Approximately 10% of people will suffer a panic attack at some time in their lives. Sometimes sufferers will have just a couple of attacks while others will suffer for years.

Panic attacks are very unpleasant and can be very frightening however they are not actually dangerous. Symptoms include breathlessness, rapid heart beat, a feeling of nausea, feeling as though you might pass out, hot or cold flushes and a general feeling of impending doom (usually with absolutely no rational reason). An average attack will last a few minutes at most.

One of the main things which makes it hard to cope with panic attacks is that the sufferer will normally start to recognise that if they are in certain situations, attacks are triggered. If the sufferer finds themselves in such a situation, they are then expecting to suffer a panic attack and this expectation can be enough to trigger the attack. The body recognises a situation and learns to react in a certain way to it (ie. by having a panic attack).

Here are five tips which should help you cope with panic attacks if you suffer from them:

  1. Panic attacks can cause over breathing and this can cause you to take in too much oxygen which may make you feel dizzy. If you breathe slowly into a paper bag or your cupped hands, your oxygen intake will be reduced and it will help to prevent you from feeling giddy.

  2. Talk to your friends and family about your panic attacks. Let them know the type of situations in which you might suffer so that if they are with you when you start to have a panic attack, they can reassure you rather than leaving you to suffer in silence. This really helps and so many people never tell anyone about their panic attacks because of embarrassment.

  3. Accept the feelings of panic and don't fight them. Remember that they will go as quickly as they have come. If you are a regular sufferer of panic attacks you will know that you have never come to any harm because of an attack and you won't this time either.

  4. Consider hypnotherapy or Neuro-Linguistic Programming to help to 're-program' your bodies natural reaction to going into panic mode in certain situations. Most hypnotherapists will be able to cure or improve panic attacks in just a couple of sessions.
  5. Take regular exercise and avoid alcohol and cigarettes. Eat healthy meals and avoid processed foods.

Sufferers of panic attacks often have what they refer to as 'good days' and 'bad days'. A good day being when they feel confident and happy to face the world with a bad day being the complete opposite. Whilst it is ok to recognise these days, you shouldn't let the bad days take over as you will end up not wanting to leave the house! If you start finding that panic attacks are stopping you doing anything that you would really like to do or if they are adversely affecting your life in other ways then it is probably sensible to speak to your doctor or consider the Linden Method which has a high success rate in curing panic attacks permanently.