There's no perfect formula for how to stop a panic attack, and it's not your job to bring the panic attack to an end; that will happen no matter what you do. Your job now is to control what you can and make yourself more comfortable, while you wait for the attack to end.
This article contains some pratical tips on how to bring back your sense of control during a panic attack and find comfort in the difficult time.
When you first start to feel the symptoms of a panic attack, it can be a good idea to use an anxiety reducing herb like kava to calm you down. You can apply several sprays of kava spray like 1Hour Break® under the tongue to help ease you into a more calm state of mind. Because it is absorbed sublingually, it bypasses the digestive system, so the effects of 1Hour Break® are felt immediately, which will bring you instant comfort as your panic symptoms mount. The spray by binding onto various receptors in the amygdala that regulate feelings of fear and anxiety, and in turn promotes calmness, relaxation, and a sense of well-being.
After you take some kava to reduce your symptoms, incorporate the following techniques.
The easiest and most effective thing you can do is breathe into your belly, also known as diaphragmatic breathing. Breathe in slowly and allow your belly to fill with air before exhaling slowly. Belly breathing allows you to mindful of your breath and control the rate of your breath. Most people don't know that the increased rate of breathing during a panic attack causes most of your symptoms like an increased heart rate or stiffness/tightness throughout your body. So belly breathe and slow down your breath! Your goal should be less than 20 inhales/exhales a minute.
Talk to Yourself
Talk to yourself (silently!) about what is happening, and what you need to do. One question to ask yourself is this: is it Danger or Discomfort? Some of the other responses include:
1. Fine, let's have an attack! It's a good chance to practice my coping techniques.
2. Answer your "what if...?" fears by saying "So what? I'll get afraid, then calm down again."
3. It's okay to be afraid.
Get Involved in the Present
People don't panic in the present. People panic when they imagine something bad happening to them in the future or in the past. This is why your panic attacks are almost always accompanied by some "what if...?" thought.
If a dog just bit my leg, I don't say "what if a dog bites me?". The reason you say "what if...?" is because what you fear is not actually happening!
Get back into the activity you were engaged in prior to the attack, and become involved with the people and objects around you. If you're in a store, resume shopping, reading labels, comparing prices, asking questions, etc. It will move you closer to your goal of overcoming panic attacks when you bring your focus and energy back to the present environment. By this I mean, work with what is around you.
Work with Your Body
Identify, and relax, the parts of your body that get most tense during a panic attack. This typically involves first tensing, and then relaxing, the muscles of your jaw, neck, shoulders, back and legs. Do not allow yourself to stand rigid, muscles tensed, and holding your breath. That just makes you feel worse! If you feel like you "can't move a muscle", start with just one finger!
With 1Hour Break® and these techniques, you can transform the panic state into something thats manageable. By calming your breathing, you in turn lower your heart rate. By positively talking to yourself, you stop the negative loop that brought on the panic attack in the first place. By living in the present, you practice mindfulness. And by listening and working with your body, you can regain control of your physical sense.