Nurse's Notes June 2019

How to Stop a Panic Attack:

Know the signs - You don't have to be in a scary situation to have a panic attack. You could be on a hike, at a retaurant, or asleep in bed. All of a sudden you get a strong surge of fear. This triggers physical symptoms like a pounding heart, sweating, shortness of breath, nausea, chets pain or tembling. It can last 5 to 20 minutes. Once you learn to recognize when attacks are coming on, you find ways to stop them.

Talk to yourself - When you feel a panic attack coming on, remind yourself that you're feeling anxiety, and not real danger. You can even try directly addressing the fear. Practice a go to response like, "I am not afraid" or "This will pass."

Don't distract yourself - As tempting as it may be to try to focus your mind elsewhere, the healthiest way to deal with a panic attack is to acknowledge it. Try not to fight your symptoms. But keep reminding yourself that they will pass.

Break through it - An attack may make you take quick, shallow breaths, so get your breathing under control. Close your eyes. Put your hand between your bellybutton and the bottom of your ribs. Inhale through your nose slowly and deeply. Then let all that air out gently through your mouth. You'll feel the hand on your belly rise and fall. If it helps, you can count from 1-5 on each inhale to exhale. After a few minutes, you should start to feel better.

H.A.L.T. your attack - HALT stands for hungry, angry, lonely, and tired. Four feelings that bring out the worst in everyone. If you are prone to panic attacks, they can turn into triggers. Once you poinpoint what's going on you can fix it.