10 Simple Ways to Stop Panic Attacks
One technique that is often useful is called progressive muscle relaxation:
Make yourself comfortable, in a chair or lying down, and then begin to tighten and relax
specific muscles in your body. First, slowly tense those particular muscles as much as you can, stopping short of causing cramping or pain, and then notice the feeling in the tight muscles.
Next, suddenly release the tension and enjoy the pleasant feeling of relaxation. Study the contrast between the tension and the relaxation in each area of your body as you go along. While you are practicing, try to hold the muscles tense for at least five seconds and
relax for at least thirty seconds.
Some parts of your body - your back, for example, which has many more muscles than other parts - may require more time. If you still feel tension in a certain area of your muscles after you finish tensing and relaxing, you may choose to repeat the exercise before moving on.
Here are more exercises for you to try:
l. Wrinkle your forehead, noticing the tension at the bridge of your nose and over each eyebrow. Now release the tension and feel it slowly ease away.
2. Wrinkle your nose and notice the tension at the bridge and nostrils. Pay special attention to the areas that are particularly tense. Now relax and notice how the muscles feel.
3. Close your eyes tightly. Now relax your eyes as you release the tension and notice the difference in how you feel.
4. Make yourself smile as widely as you can. Your lips and cheeks should feel tense. Now relax the muscles in your cheeks, and notice how they feel. Focus on the sensations of increasing relaxation and concentrate on enjoying it.
5. Clench your teeth as hard as you can without causing pain. Now relax your jaw, and think about enjoying the sensation of letting go.
6. Tighten your neck. Pay special attention to the areas where you feel tension, especially the back and sides of your neck. Now let go as much as you possibly can. Then let go a little more.
7. Make a fist in front of you, holding your arm out straight, and make your entire arm as rigid as you can. Notice how tense it is. Now relax and lower your arm, allowing your hand to hang naturally at your side. Again, notice how different it feels.
8. Raise your leg. Turn your toes up and back and make the whole leg rigid. Now slowly relax and lower your leg, letting your toes go. Again, notice how different it feels.
9. Bring your fists up high on your chest, pull them back and clench them as hard as you can. Notice how your shoulders and back feel. Now slowly open your hands and let your arms fall, noticing the
10. While sitting down, tighten all the muscles below your waist as hard as you can. You should feel yourself rise off the chair a little. Notice where the tension is, especially the tops and bottoms of your thighs. Now gently relax all your leg muscles, and notice how relaxed you feel.
Repeat this sequence of exercises as often as you can. After a while, you can practice relaxing just that certain part of your body that feels tense. Eventually you should be able
to relax without the tense-and-release regime, particularly if you also practice slow, relaxed breathing as described in
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