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How To Manage Panic And Anxiety Attacks

Updated: May 14

Cost of living crisis, changing interest rates, recession and uncertainty as well as other life circumstances all lead to many people experiencing high levels of panic over their jobs, lifestyle, future and finances. In the latest article from Becoming Aware we look at panic and anxiety in more detail including what the signs and symptoms are, ways to overcome and deal with it and lifestyle changes you may wish to consider.

Panic attacks and anxiety attacks are not the same

First of all it’s important to differentiate between a panic attack and an anxiety attack. They are not the same although both have several symptoms in common and defining the difference can be difficult. It’s therefore often difficult for people to know if they are experiencing a panic or an anxiety attack.

Panic attacks

· More intense and disruptive

· Onset is sudden, abrupt and unexpected

· Can cause a sense of unreality and detachment

· Symptoms are frightening and include a racing heartbeat, nausea, dizziness and shortness of breath

· Symptoms are severe and disruptive

· Usually go away after a few minutes

· Trigger fears about having another attack

Anxiety attacks

· Generally less intense although can be mild, moderate or severe

· Often associated with a trigger – something perceived as threatening or stressful

· Symptoms become gradually more intense

· Can go on for minutes, hours, days, weeks and months

· Symptoms may include difficulty concentrating, irritability and restlessness

What causes attacks?

The causes of panic and anxiety attacks are manifold. They include anything from having a stressful job to social situations, relationship issues, phobias, chronic illnesses, withdrawal from alcohol or drugs and medication and supplements. The cause may also be having a stressful or traumatic life experience such as bereavement.

How to manage panic and anxiety attacks

· Stay where you are, if possible

· Bring yourself back to the present moment by focusing on feeling your feet on the ground

· Focus on your breathing – take slow deep breaths

· Recognise and accept that you are experiencing an attack

· Confront the panic – do not fight it

· Use relaxation techniques

· Change your mind – focus and think about something that makes you laugh or visualise a tranquil setting

· Affirm positive statements – remember it’s not life threatening

· Practice mindfulness

· Know that it is temporary and that it will pass

Lifestyle changes

It is certainly important to adopt lifestyle changes as they can help in preventing attacks. They can also assist in reducing the severity of symptoms when an attack occurs.

· Exercise regularly – moderately at first

· Practice relaxation techniques including mediation and yoga

· Try complimentary therapies – massage and aromatherapy

· Eat healthily – balanced diet

· Reduce intake of alcohol, caffeine, sugary food and drinks and stop smoking

· Develop a consistent sleeping pattern

· Read self-help books

How can Becoming Aware help you with panic and anxiety attacks?

Panic and anxiety attacks are different although they can have very similar causes, symptoms and inherent risks. The most obvious difference is that panic attacks are more intense and disruptive and often associated with severe physical symptoms. As a Mental & Emotional Wellbeing Specialist, I can help you find and release the triggers that cause the feelings and the attacks. Call me on 07766 427966 for a free without obligation chat or email

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