What Should You Do for an Anxiety Attack? 4 Tips That Help

Anxiety attacks are episodes of panic that paralyze the patient, affecting their mental and physical health. Although the main treatment is through therapy, there are other tips that can help you.
What Should You Do for an Anxiety Attack? 4 Tips That Help

Last update: 27 May, 2022

Anxiety attacks, which are more common in women, usually start from 25 years upwards. They’re generally related to psychosocial factors, but can also be related to a genetic predisposition or vulnerability. In this article, we’ll talk about this disorder and share the best ways to treat it. However, personal diagnosis and treatment following the advice of a medical professional is essential. What should you do for an anxiety attack?

Anxiety attack

An anxiety attack is a suddenly occurring panic attack. The symptoms can include the following, though they vary from person to person:

  • Heart palpitations
  • Sweating
  • Shaking
  • Dry mouth
  • Difficulty breathing and a feeling of asphyxiation
  • Chest pain
  • Nausea and abdominal discomfort
  • A feeling of unreality
  • Parasthesia (tingling or prickling sensation)

What triggers an attack? Y ou can’t always determine the factor that causes it, which is why they’re unpredictable. However, some people learn to recognize situations that can lead to attacks, which helps them to prevent them.

Treating an anxiety attack

Woman having anxiety attack with head in hand at a table.
For anxiety attacks that don’t let you relax or have good mental health, the best thing to do is seek professional help.

Studies show that there are many obstacles to treating anxiety attacks for different reasons:

  • The affected person doesn’t seek professional help.
  • The treatment steps aren’t clear or the patient doesn’t follow them with the support of a psychologist and medication, depending on the case, as an outpatient.

However, the affected person should get a psychological diagnosis of their disorder, the possible causes, and available treatments. Patients should weigh up the benefits of psychotherapy, medication, and other possible treatment steps after a personal analysis.

Additionally, an analysis should always keep in mind the age of the patient, if they have had previous treatments, as well as the risk of suicide, the seriousness of the anxiety attacks, among many other factors. As you can see, it requires an exhaustive evaluation.

In the case of medication, these can change from country to country, which is why we can’t make any general recommendations. In addition, it’s very important to take the correct dose and to know the possible side effects of each medication.

General tips to help an anxiety attack

1. Lavender oil

There are some natural remedies that can help you to prevent or calm the symptoms of an anxiety attack. However, many of them need more studies to prove their effectiveness.
Lavender oil has been shown to be effective to relax when suffering from disorders that affect the nervous system. Specifically, a study was conducted in which the participants took this oil as a supplement. However, you should always take it in a diluted form and follow the instructions on the label.

2. Physical exercise and relaxation

Woman laying on her back on a yoga mat.
Through physical exercise or relaxation you can help control your attacks and promote your well-being.

Physical exercise doesn’t solve anxiety attacks. However, studies show that it can help, along with other measures. For example, you can do aerobic training three times a week.

Likewise, you should also look for methods to relax your muscles. Of course, it depends on each person’s likes and personality, but you can also try activities like yoga or any other activity you like.

3. Breathing

As we mentioned before, difficulty breathing is one of the symptoms of an anxiety attack. Hyperventilation, for example, can even start or prolong the attack. For this reason, learning to control your breathing could be important during an attack and as a method to treat it.
Respiratory retraining could reduce the frequency and intensity of your anxiety attacks. Due to this, any therapy leading to this goal could be beneficial.

4. Psychotherapy

Man on a couch in psychotherapy.
Psychotherapy can be effective as a long term treatment for anxiety attacks and stress.

Looking beyond just the moment you suffer the anxiety attack, psychotherapy should be your long term treatment option in order to be able to overcome it definitively. You can also attend support talks or self-help groups if you want.

The psychotherapist will be in charge of investigating the emotional problems related to this disorder. Additionally, they will evaluate the causes and situations the anxiety presents itself.

There are many different options, however, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) stands out for its demonstrated effectiveness in treating this disorder. This is because CBT teaches you different ways to think, behave, and react to your feelings – the ones that lead to attacks.

We hope this information about anxiety attacks and the treatment of this disorder has been useful, and that you’ll have seen that psychotherapy will be essential to be able to solve this problem.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.