Mayo Clinic describes panic attacks as “a sudden episode of intense fear that triggers severe physical reactions when there is no real danger or apparent cause.”
Many of us have experienced some degree of a panic attack, and if you have, you probably understand how scary these attacks can be. And while they are generally not life-threatening, they can definitely have a negative impact on your quality of life.
The symptoms of a panic attack may include any of the following:
- Feelings of impending doom
- Excessive sweating
- Increased heart rate
- Rapid breathing
- Chest pain
- Stomach cramps
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Major League Mommy is an informational site and much of the information shared on this site is based on my personal experiences. The resources shared on this site are provided for informational purposes only and are not to be used as a replacement for a trained and professional medical/ mental health care professional.
Major League Mommy cannot be held responsible if you choose to use the information provided. Please always consult a trained mental health professional or physician before making any decision regarding treatment of yourself or others.
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Anxiety Vs. Panic Attacks: What is the Difference?
We talk a lot about anxiety here at Major League Mommy. And like many others, I am sure you are wondering what the difference is between anxiety attacks and panic attacks. So let’s address this frequently asked question before moving on.
Nationwide Children’s explains it perfectly.
“A panic attack often feels and seems unpredictable, sneaky, or even surprising. They can happen unexpectedly or be brought on by a subtle trigger, as seen in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).”
“An anxiety attack feels more predictable, often being the result of a build-up of anxiety or worry.”
It is important to note, however, that anxiety attacks and panic attacks are very similar and can have identical symptoms. Often times, these two terms are used interchangeably.
In either case, there are a few strategies you can use to overcome the attack which is what we’ll be discussing in this post.
Combatting Panic Attacks Using Natural Remedies
I always, always, ALWAYS recommend focusing on your breath when you’re starting to feel a little panicked. Take deeper and longer breaths to calm the nervous system. And for those who have trouble doing so, I suggest using a device like CalmiGo to help you breathe more mindfully and relax.
Another reason why I love the CalmiGo device I mentioned in the previous section is because it also incorporates the aromatherapy aspect into mindful breathing. Aromatherapy is a fantastic way to calm yourself down. And even if you’re not ready to invest in a CalmiGo, you can purchase an inexpensive aromatherapy inhaler from Amazon.
Here are some fragrances typically recommended for calming the nervous system.
- Ylang Ylang
Not only is exercise good for your body, but it is also good for your mind. Have you ever been in a crappy mood (or downright stressed tf out) and went for a jog or run? I’m willing to bet you felt a whole lot better afterward right?
Just get your body moving. It doesn’t matter which type of exercise you choose, you just want to move out some of that pent-up energy. This is a great way to release some of that baggage and clear your mind. This helps you to reset and move forward in a calmer state.
Exposure to cold water may not sound like much fun, but it can be extremely helpful when trying to lower your heart rate. It basically helps you “snap out of it” by activating the sympathetic nervous system.
I’m not saying you need to take a full-blown ice bath (although this works for many people — I can’t really handle it personally). But even a cold shower, splashing some cold water on your face or hands, or placing an ice pack on yourself can make a huge difference.
This coincides with the concept of focusing on your breath mentioned earlier. But you can also expand it to include a body scan and/or focusing on each of your five senses. There are so many mindfulness exercises out there to try so don’t be afraid to experiment.
You can use visualization in a variety of ways to calm yourself down.
I actually have a place I created in my mind that I can retreat to whenever I feel a bit overwhelmed. I just visualize myself being in that space and I begin to calm down almost instantly. I know this may sound a little crazy. But this is a really great way to find your peace.
Use a Mantra
You can try one of these mantras for anxiety relief whenever you feel an anxiety or panic attack coming on. My personal mantra for when I’m beginning to panic is “I am safe. I am loved. I am at peace.” I repeat it over and over (either aloud or in my mind) until I am feeling calm.
What are some of your favorite ways to calm yourself down during a panic attack? Do you have any mantras you would like to share with our community? Please feel free to share in the comments!