How can I avoid having panic attacks without avoiding triggers?
Last Updated: 08/30/2016 at 4:33pm
Amanda Wiginton, LMFT
Marriage & Family Therapist
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Top Rated Answers
Avoiding panic attacks is something very hard to manage to do as even people who wouldn't consider they suffer from panic attack problems still experience panic attacks. Panic is simply part of how humans work. Id say its less about avoiding things and more about exposing yourself to things in a way called "exposure therapy" which puts you into a panic and lets you learn and adapt to live with panic and not have it control your life.
Just imagine yourself in your happy place with yourself or with someone you love/care about. I've used this technique many times and it actually works.
You need to practice the techniques you have learned and face the triggers head on. Avoiding the triggers only feeds into panic.
You can try to avoid triggers first, to build up your confidence in avoiding panic attacks. Overtime, when you feel more comfortable, you can try to face the triggers one by one. Remind yourself that you've been able to stay calm before. :) Good luck!!
How can you avoid having panic attacks without avoiding triggers? When you feel an attack coming on take deep breaths through your nose and release out of your mouth. Try to think of a happy place and picture yourself there.
Well, self-help books always advise to breathe deeply, relax, concentrating on your immediate surroundings and all that as soon as you feel an attack coming on. Personally though, those help only for a few seconds as a distraction, and the panic comes back when I realize that it's not really helping anything. What does help me is perspective, as large as I can manage. Basically the idea is to divorce yourself from your problems. I think about space, stars and planets, galaxies, and that my panic is pointless compared to that, even if it's the shapeless, all-consuming panic that haunts me sometimes. Or, another kind of perspective is personal, like thinking "in 20 years I won't care about this grade" or something tacky like that for minor things. Just think about that for a minute, try to visualize something, oh and breathing is good too.
You could try to learn to control your panic attacks at first, and learn how to stop them as soon as they start. It may become easier with time and eventually can even be automatic. I believe I heard that sometimes, if you really are diligent with it, it can become automatic and you won't even have panic attacks before.
I listen to relaxing music or watch a comedy on tv. Certain sounds like soft music or laughter can be calming to a frenzied mind.
First of all, I recommend working with a professional for things such as these. Only if you feel comfortable doing so, of course! A qualified professional will have many different approaches to how this can be done, and often the approach is different for everyone. Sometimes that may mean something such as exposure therapy, CBT, medications, etc. It is entirely based on you, and what works best for you. Sometimes it take some hard work, and sometimes that just means time.
You could try relaxation and breathing techniques or facing those triggers head on, it'll help to overcome them.
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