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Tips for Coping with Panic Attacks

1. Recognize that panic attacks are transitory, and will pass eventually. Although they feel terrifying at the time, they are not dangerous. Also, they are not a sign that you are going crazy, or are about to die.

2. Try and take comfort in the fact that you are not alone in suffering from this. There are many, many people who are also struggling with panic disorder.

3. Educate yourself on what panic attacks are. Essentially, the intense feelings of panic are caused by an excess of adrenaline in what feels like a traumatic or life-threatening situation.  That is, it is a physiological response, triggered by an event that reminds you of something threatening from your past. Thus, your feelings are telling your body to escape from it views as a potentially dangerous situation.

4. People who don’t have panic attacks may not understand what is going on. However, people who genuinely care about you will want to understand what you’re going through – and you may be surprised at how supportive they can be.

5. Understand that avoiding situations which create anxiety will only reinforce your panicky feelings. That is, the more you avoid them, the worse they will get. Instead, when you first start to panic, don’t try to fight the feelings. Allow them to build - and then you’ll find they will subside. At the same time, try and focus on the way that you are breathing – and try and breathe as slowly, and deeply, as you can.

6. Make sure you get plenty of quality sleep, exercise regularly, and build margin in your life. (That will help to prevent you from getting over-stressed.)