Relaxation techniques for panic attacks
It has been well established scientifically, that relaxation techniques help to overcome panic attacks. In order to cope with the growing anxiety one can use the correct and rapid technique for muscle relaxation, normalization of breathing and ability to switch one’s attention to something else.
Relaxation techniques, which help to overcome a panic attack:
- breathing techniques;
- muscle relaxation techniques.
Relaxation techniques for panic attacks: breathing exercises
At the moment of nervous tension people unconsciously hold their breath or practice rapid shallow breathing. The ability to control your breathing process will help to relax during the onset of panic attack. Relaxing breathing instructions:
- Concentrate on your breathing, making slow breaths with equal duration. Make 10 breaths;
- Take a deep breath in through your mouth, feeling the air, which comes into the lungs and abdomen. Exhale slowly, and then make a quick and shallow inhale-exhale. Repeat 6 times, alternating deep and shallow breathing movements;
- Place your right hand on the upper abdomen. Take a deep breath from the abdomen, and then also a deep exhale. Watching as your hand rises and falls, do at least 5 – 6 breaths.
This exercise should be repeated for 5 – 10 minutes every day.
Relaxation techniques for panic attacks: meditation
Meditation – is a set of exercises aimed at achievement of physical and emotional tranquility. Meditate before going to sleep, it contributes to the total body relaxation. The best would be practicing meditation outdoors. If it is impossible, you can meditate at home, under condition you will not be disturbed. Here is a simple example of meditation :
- Take a comfortable position sitting or lying down;
- Focus your attention on some object (this may be the flame of a burning candle);
- Turn on some relaxation music;
- Start to breatheslowly, trying to relax all your muscles;
- During meditation repeat previously formulated phrases (“I control my fear”, “I’m not afraid of panic attacks” and so on).
Relaxation techniques for panic attacks: muscle relaxation
Muscle relaxation will help to prevent panic attacks. Methods for muscle relaxation:
- Autogenic relaxation (based on self-hypnosis) – oral or mental repetition of positive and affirmative phrases;
- Progressive muscle relaxation – is a gradual tensing and relaxing of muscles;
- Visualization – is a mental transfer of your body into the situation, which promotes tranquility;
- Yoga exercises;
- Contrast shower.
To make relaxation process more effective you must practice all these methods regularly, which helps you to cope with a stress during panic attacks.
Other helpful recommendations
Preparing some objects, which help to feel more comfortable, can distract or serve as a first aid for those, who suffer from panic attacks. The aim of these things is contribution to rapid relaxation during a panic attack. List of potentially useful things:
- Detailed instruction of breathing techniques and muscle relaxation;
- Rubber hand exerciser;
- Lavender oil (has a sedative effect);
- Hand Cream (applying cream removes muscle cramps in the hand);
- MP3 player (music relaxes);
- Herbal tea (mint, lemon balm, linden, chamomile);
- Favorite stuffed toy;
- Postcards, letters and photographs of loved ones.