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3 steps to stop a panic attack in its tracks

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Posted: 4 December 2017
3 steps to stop a panic attack in its tracks
A panic attack can feel absolutely terrifying, at it’s worst it can feel like you are dying.

But did you know that a panic attack is the body’s threat system going into overdrive? The anxiety you feel is the body’s way of preparing you for flight or fight.

Once a threat is detected your body responds automatically and adrenaline floods the system. All of the changes happen for good reasons, but may be experienced as uncomfortable when they happen in ‘safe’ situations.

The symptoms of a panic attack, racing thoughts, changes to vision, faster heart beat, quicker and more shallow breathing are necessary in an actual threat situation as they helps us either run away – flight – or fight to save ourselves.

However, in every day life when there is no actual threat these symptoms feel unmanageable.

The good news is that you can offset a panic attack with breathing.

It’s as simple as that.

Control your breathing and the symptoms recede. With regular calming breaths you trick your body into believing that the danger has passed. Try these 3 steps at home when you are feeling fine so that you know what to do the next time you feel a panic attack coming.

1. Take a long slow breath in through your nose, first filling your lower lungs, then your upper lungs.

2. Hold your breath to the count of 3.

3. Breathe out slowly, relaxing the muscles in your jaw, shoulders and face.

Written by: Ranmoor Therapy
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