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How to cope with panic attacks

Panic attacks are something a lot of us experience, yet not many of us talk about. Panic attacks are a type of fear response, usually triggered by your body's natural response to danger, yet when you experience a panic attack, you are most likely in no danger at all.

Panic attacks are different for everyone although most people experience the same symptoms:

· Chest pain

· Struggling to breathe

· Nausea

· Sweating or shaking

· A racing heartbeat

· Feeling faint or light-headed

During a panic attack you may even feel like you are having a heart attack or going to die. You may even avoid certain situations in fear that you may have a panic attack. Although they may be scary, there are techniques you can practice helping you to manage your panic attacks. It may help to write these tips down and keep them in a safe place so you can easily have access to them when you need it.

During a panic attack:

· Focus on your senses. Find, five things that you can see. Four things you can touch, three things that you can hear, two things that you can smell and one thing you can taste.

· Stamp your feet on the spot, some people find this technique helps then regulate their breathing.

· Focus on your breathing, concentrate on breathing slowly and deeply for five seconds. Repeat until your breathing is normal and you feel calm.

After a panic attack:

· Listen to your body, you may feel tired, you might feel hungry. It is important to give your body what it needs.

· Try relaxation techniques such as meditation to focus on you breathing.

Try not to avoid situations that may trigger a panic attack, as avoiding situations just tends to heighten the fear. As the saying goes, “you’ve got to face your fears head on”. The good news is panic attacks can be treated. For most people Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is the most successful treatment for panic attacks and disorders. If you would like to talk to someone about panic attacks, click here to book your first session with Talk Therapy Online, an online therapy service where you can talk with qualified therapists in the comfort of your own home.

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