When Anxiety Becomes Panic

Anxiety is the most common mental health related issue in the United States. Of those diagnosed with anxiety, 2.7% are affected by panic disorders.  A panic disorder is identified as a condition where people experience an unexpected, and often debilitating episode of intense fear. Symptoms may include heart palpitations, sweating, trembling, shortness of breath, and feelings of impending doom. Anxiety and panic disorders can be effectively treated with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and medication; however, people may still experience these attacks despite treatment. There are a number of useful strategies that can help slow the racing mind and manage the overwhelming feelings.

Some of these include:

  • Mental Games (grounding techniques)
    • Name a fruit or vegetable for each letter of the alphabet (A=apple, B=banana, etc)
    • Name every state that you know
  • Use Ice
    • Hold a piece of ice in your hand as long as you can, then switch hands
  • Alternate Nostril Breathing
    • Close your right nostril with your right thumb. Inhale through the left nostril slowly and steadily. Close the left nostril with your ring finger so both nostrils are held closed; retain your breath at the top of the inhale for a brief pause. Open your right nostril and release the breath slowly through the right side; pause briefly at the bottom of the exhale. Continue alternating breaths for 10-15 mins.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *