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Knowing how to prevent and settle a panic attack is valuable, especially when you or a loved one frequently suffer from them. Panic attacks can be a scary experience, and the thought of having one can actually increase levels of stress and panic. Learning how to identify triggers and successfully manage anxiety-induced stress is integral to managing panic attacks. Fortunately, there are several techniques that can be performed daily to relieve stress and settle the senses. We have curated a list of the best exercises that can be used to prevent panic attacks and relieve bouts of anxiety. These can be performed in the comfort of your own home, as well as on the go. The exercises can both prevent and relieve feelings of anxiousness, making them useful techniques to be aware of, especially if you suffer from panic or anxiety disorders. In this article, we are going to tell you some of the Best Exercises to Prevent a Panic Attack
Belly Breathing Exercise
Breathing exercises are a great way of relaxing your body and mind. Deep breathing also boasts scientific backing, as breathing techniques have been proven to affect the brain and heart while aiding digestion and the immune system.
Try this belly breathing exercise below to relieve anxiety. Take your time with the exercise and ensure you breathe deeply:
- First, lie flat on a smooth surface (the ground or your bed works well).
- Place one hand on your chest and the other over your belly button.
- Breathe in deeply through your nose and feel your belly rise. Make sure your chest stays still to ensure you are belly breathing.
- Exhale through your mouth and feel your belly sink. Use your hand to help push all of the breath out.
- Repeat this breathing exercise between 5 to 10 times until you start to feel more at ease.
Muscle Isolation and Relaxation
Muscle isolation and relaxation will help to relax a tense body. This is the perfect exercise to do at night to aid sleep, as anxiety can often lead to insomnia.
This exercise requires individuals to clench and relax each muscle group individually for maximized stress relief. Follow these steps to complete the exercise:
- Breathe in and squeeze your hands into fists. Hold for 10 seconds and instantly release upon exhale.
- While breathing in, stretch your arms out to your sides and bend your wrists backward. Hold for 10 seconds, exhale and release.
- Push your shoulders up towards your ears while inhaling. Hold for 10 seconds and release while exhaling.
- Tense your facial muscles by squeezing your eyes shut and smiling as widely as you can. Hold and release upon exhale.
- Arch your back forwards away from the ground to stretch your vertebrae. Hold for 10 seconds and release.
- Inhale and constrict your stomach by clenching it into a knot for 10 seconds. Release when exhaling.
- Next, clench your thighs and hips together, hold for 10, and exhale.
- Finally, stretch your toes by pointing them towards your face. Stretch on the inhale, hold, and release on the exhale.
Note any areas that still feel tense and isolate the exercise to those areas only.
Use Grounding Exercises
Grounding techniques work by distracting your brain from negative thoughts. The triple sense exercise (commonly known as 333) helps to shift your focus back into the present moment and prevent you from becoming overwhelmed.
To try this exercise, follow these steps:
- Look around at your surroundings and name three things you can see.
- Next, concentrate on three things you can hear and focus on these.
- Finally, move three body parts. Clench them slightly and then release the tension.
Meditation for Panic Attack Management
Using meditation to manage and prevent panic attacks will require a weekly commitment. You will need to practice meditation for a few minutes every day to feel the full benefits.
Studies support the influence of meditation on decreasing anxiety levels, with researchers concluding that daily meditation can mirror the effects of antidepressants. Guided meditations specific to reducing anxiety can be found on YouTube and Spotify.
Preventing panic attacks can add some control back into your life, and several exercises can help relieve feelings of panic. If your panic attacks are too overwhelming or frequent, Prairie Health offers innovative online treatment plans for panic and anxiety disorders. Check out how you can receive additional online help from board-certified psychiatrists with a Free Consultation, today!
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