Coping With Panic Disorder

Tips to Develop Your Coping Techniques

Enhancing your coping techniques can help you deal with anxiety-provoking situations. If you have panic disorder, agoraphobia or another anxiety disorder, feelings of fear, nervousness, and anxiety may be impacting you on a daily basis. Listed here are some tips to help you develop your coping skills to better manage your stress and panic symptoms. 

Identify Your Panic Triggers

With the exception of uncued panic attacks, they’re probably easy to spot. Does just the thought of standing in a long grocery store line make you panic? Do you feel anxious around a lot of people? Or perhaps you get nervous at the thought of going out of the house alone. Identifying your triggers is an important first step in learning to cope with them. 

Avoid Avoidance

Many panic disorder sufferers partake in maladaptive behaviors, including avoidance. Even though avoiding a panic-producing situation may feel better in the short term, in the long run, avoidance will actually lead to increased anxiety.

In order to learn to cope with your panic and anxiety, you have to practice your skills while experiencing your distressing symptoms. If certain situations are just too difficult, or you are too fearful to do this, you can experience the situation by means of roleplaying or just imagining yourself in the situation.

Rate Your Anxiety Level

Are you at a 2 with little discomfort or are you at an all out 10? Evaluate and think about your anxiety level while in the stressful situation. This will help you gain a sense of where you are with your panic and anxiety. You can use this baseline to evaluate your progress as you work towards recovery. 

Use Relaxation and Coping Techniques

Relaxation techniques are a proactive why to better relax while learning to manage your symptoms. These skills are easy to learn and can be practiced on a regular basis to help alleviate your symptoms. Some techniques that may help you deal with anxiety or diffuse a panic attack include:

Positive Affirmations 
Deep Breathing
Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Thought Stopping

Practice, Practice, Practice

The more often you are able to use your coping techniques to minimize anxiety and panic, the easier it will be to call upon skills. Soon you will realize that you are better able to control your panic disorder symptoms. Through continued practice, you should begin to notice a difference in how you approach your condition. 

Reevaluate Your Anxiety Level

Are your coping techniques working? The goal is not necessarily to be anxiety-free. Instead, determine if your coping skills have lead you to small changes. Over time, little changes will add up and before you know it, you will have a better grip on your symptoms. 

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