It's a well-known fact that women are twice as likely as men to suffer from anxiety-related conditions such as panic attacks. Although the exact cause of this relationship between gender and anxiety is still unknown, several factors point to hormonal changes. A woman is more susceptible to experiencing panic attacks during menopause, which is a turbulent time for her hormones.
What Should I Do When a Panic Attack Hits?
A lot of time and research has been focused on how to prevent panic attacks, but what should you do when you're right in the middle of one? The solutions are accessible and very effective. Below are some strategies for dealing with a panic attack while it's happening.
Slow Your Breathing
You can do this easily with a paper bag. When your heart speeds up during a panic attack, it increases your breathing rate. While fresh air is a good thing, too much of it can actually make you feel dizzy and light-headed. To counteract it, you need carbon dioxide. Exhaling carbon dioxide into a paper bag and inhaling it again will help steady your breathing.
If you tend to have panic attacks when you are alone and indoors, going outside can help. The open space will keep you from feeling like you're trapped or stuck. This solution works better if you're able to go to an environment with green space such as a park. The soothing effects of nature are one of the best solutions for a panic attack.
Take a Warm Shower or Bath
The calming, rhythmic effect of the water will serve as both a physical and mental comfort because it tells your body to slow down. Make sure to close your eyes and relax while you enjoy your shower or bath.
Put on Some Music
Music can be an influential stimulus when trying to evoke tranquility. When you're having a panic attack, tune your mp3 player or stereo to a song that makes you feel good. It can be upbeat, mid-tempo or slow, depending on what you respond to. Just try not to play something that will exacerbate your symptoms.
Try focusing on some work or task that doesn't involve too much brain power or effort. Not only will this be a way to focus your excess energy away from the panic attack, but it will also give you a sense of accomplishment and control.
Approximately six million people in the United States deal with panic attacks, and they are a common symptom of menopause. To learn more about how to manage panic attacks, follow the links below.
- Medicinenet.(n.d)."Generalized Anxiety Disorder".Retrieved from MedicineNet.com.
- National Institute of Mental Health.(n.d)."Panic Disorder".Retrieved from www.nimh.nih.gov.
- Pick, Marcelle.(n.d). "Anxiety in Women-Causes, symptoms, and natural relief".Retrieved from www.womentowomen.com.