8 Signs of a Panic Attack and 5 Steps to Help

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signs of a panic attack

A panic attack is an unexpected intense feeling of anxiety that lasts for 5 to 10 minutes.  Knowing the signs of a panic attack can help! Panic attacks happen in stressful situations, after some life-changing decisions or transitions. Feeling threatened or having different phobias and facing your fear can also be a trigger for a panic attack.

signs of a panic attackWhen you first face a panic attack, you might confuse it with a heart attack because the symptoms include changes in heart beating and chest pain. National Institute of Mental Health claims that women suffer from panic attacks more than men (women are twice as likely as men).

Some Signs of a Panic Attack:

1Racing Heart and Shallow, Fast Breathing

Change in your heart rate is a signal you are feeling afraid or endangered. A racing heart is related to feeling breathless and breathing fast and shallow. You are not taking in enough oxygen and this causes your heart to beat unevenly.

When having a panic attack, your heart beats either faster or slower and it can even have a missed beat. Why does this happen? It goes back to centuries ago responses – If you encountered a life-threatening situation, your heart would pump the blood faster to give you more strength to fight for your life. Our body has an amazing defense system, but this can be very disturbing if this happens in other types of situations.

If you find yourself breathing rapidly and not very deeply, it can lead to feeling dizzy and lightheaded. Tingling, numbness and dry mouth are just some of the symptoms that follow shallow breathing. Those who practice yoga or meditate know most people don’t breathe correctly. We breathe too shallow and we don’t inhale enough oxygen. Breathing properly makes sure our body, blood, organs, lungs and heart get enough oxygen to function well. Doing breathing exercises can help you calm down easier if a panic attack occurs or even help prevent one from occurring.

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