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How to Cope with Panic Attacks

A man sits in a therapy session.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is an effective way of coping with panic attacks.

Panic attacks feel real because they are real. Your heart really is racing. You’re sweating and short of breath. You may even feel faint.

There’s nothing wrong with you physically, yet you feel terrible.

While it may be tempting to turn to drugs or alcohol to escape that feeling, the relief they provide is short-lived—and alcohol and drugs always cause more problems than they solve.

Healthy Anxiety Attack Help

Experts say that panic attacks are one the most treatable types of anxiety disorders. Here are six healthy ways of halting and minimizing them.

  • Recognize that you’re having a panic attack. Tell yourself that this is temporary and will pass. Some people find it helpful to close their eyes or take deep breaths.
  • Try cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). This type of therapy teaches different ways of thinking and responding to the feelings that come with a panic attack. CBT doesn’t just treat the symptoms, which is what medication does. Rather, it gives you the tools you need to overcome anxiety.
  • Ground yourself. In the middle of a panic attack, some people almost feel like they’re floating. To combat that, physically hold onto something and try looking at a fixed object.
  • Use ice cubes. Psych Central suggests diverting your attention by holding an ice cube in your hand for as long as you can, then switching to the other hand. The theory is that, by focusing on the discomfort of the ice, you’ll begin to de-escalate your panic attack symptoms.
  • Make lifestyle changes. Avoid large amounts of caffeine, which can trigger anxiety. Get enough sleep and eat foods that will make you feel better.
  • Avoid drugs and alcohol. These substances chip away at your mind’s own ability to cope with anxiety and stress, ultimately making you more vulnerable to panic attacks.

Addiction Recovery at The Raleigh House

The Raleigh House is a residential treatment center located in Denver that believes addiction isn’t just a physical problem. Our master’s level trained therapists get to the root cause of addiction and will help you develop a strategy to manage and enjoy life without drugs or alcohol. Fill out our form or contact us today to learn more about the treatment programs at The Raleigh House.

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