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7 Quick Steps to Follow When a Panic Attack Strikes

02/20/2015 01:58 pm ET | Updated Apr 22, 2015

A person can experience a panic attack when they least expect it. This can cause a great deal of fear and anxiety for the person. Many people do not know what they should do when dealing with a panic attack.

As a result, here are seven quick steps a person can follow when a panic attack strikes unexpectedly.

1. Stop What You Are Doing
The first thing a person must do when experiencing a panic attack is to stop whatever they are doing. A panic attack can be very uncomfortable and can affect a person's everyday thinking. This can cause a person to have trouble focusing which can be dangerous. Be safe and stop whatever you are doing at the time.

2. Take Deep Breaths
Secondly, a person should take some deep breaths to help feel better and to get rid of some of the excessive fear and anxiety. There are also many kinds of breathing exercises a person can learn to follow with the help of a mental health counselor. Taking some deep breaths can help a person relax right away.

3. Distract Yourself
Next, a person should try to distract themselves from the panic they are experiencing. A person could get some fresh air, listen to some music, take a brisk walk, read the newspaper, or do something relaxing that will give them a fresh perspective on things. This is a great way to get your mind off of your current anxiety.

4. Get The Facts Of Your Situation
Many people feel like they are going to die when they experience a panic attack for the first time. The fact is that you will be ok and that it takes a few minutes for the anxiety to go away. Talk to a counselor and get the facts of what a panic attack is and what you can do when a panic attack occurs.

5. Don't Dwell on Your Thoughts
A person must not dwell or focus on their thoughts during a panic attack. The more a person tries to reason out their thoughts the longer a panic attack lasts. Try to keep your mind blank and free of any negative thoughts during a panic attack. Read some positive statements from your favorite self-help book to help overcome your negative thoughts during a panic attack.

6. Get Help
It is important to talk to a qualified professional in order to learn how to survive a panic attack. By talking to a professional, a person will be helping themselves in the long run because they will become better able to deal with any panic attacks that may occur in the future. Talk to your doctor or go on the internet to get a list of mental health counselors in your area.

7. There Is Hope
Dealing with a panic attack is not easy, however there are ways to get rid of them. Many people feel that there is nothing they can do to help prevent any panic attacks down the road. This is not true. Talking to a counselor and educating yourself on how to deal with a panic attack will help you manage any future panic attacks in your life. The key is to get help and learn why you are having a panic attack in the first place.