Do you know the most common panic attack symptoms? Everyone deals with stress or pressure at some point. It’s normal to experience an elevated heart rate or butterflies in your stomach before an important event. You may even find it difficult to sleep the night before. But if you can no longer function, you could be experiencing a full-blown panic attack. Here are the top symptoms that appear during an attack.
In healthy adults, the average resting heart rate ranges anywhere from 60 to 100 bpm (beats per minute). When you get excited or nervous, your heart rate may jump to around 120 bpm. After these feelings pass, your heart rate will slow back down.
During a panic attack, your heart not only beats faster, but it may feel like it’s pounding out of your chest. It may even seem to skip a few beats. No, it’s not a heart attack. This rapid heart rate is only temporary and will pass as quickly as it appeared.
Sweating is the body’s way of cooling down. You sweat the most during an intense workout. Some people even break a sweat when they’re anxious. However, most people can identify the reason for sweating and don’t give it a second thought.
If you suddenly start sweating profusely for no reason, you may be experiencing a panic attack. Hot flashes are a very common symptom. Even if the environment is cold, you may start sweating out of the blue. Take a few deep breaths and try fanning yourself to help stop this symptom.
Shortness of Breath
Breathing is an involuntary function. Your brain tells your lungs when to inhale or exhale—you don’t think about the process unless something is wrong. During a panic attack, it’s not uncommon to feel like you are going to hyperventilate. You may find it hard to take a deep breath, and when you do, you may feel weak.
During an episode, breathing becomes shallow and forced. Some people even think they are suffocating. As difficult as it may seem, it’s essential to stay calm. Sit down and breathe in and out very slowly. As the other symptoms of the attack subside, your breathing will return to normal.
Shaking and Trembling
When it’s cold outside, your body may shake to produce heat. You may also experience trembling during an important event, such as a piano recital or a job interview. Whenever you get nervous or even excited, your body produces high levels of adrenaline. This hormone creates a fight-or-flight response that often manifests as trembling.
You may also find your body shaking uncontrollably during a panic attack. The same hormonal response causes this symptom. What makes a panic attack different is that it’s not always possible to determine a triggering event. If this happens to you, sit down and drink some water until your body relaxes.
Seek Relief from Your Panic Attacks
Panic attacks often appear for no apparent rhyme or reason. If you find yourself worrying about when another attack will strike, it’s time to seek professional help. Positive Living Psychotherapy offers one-on-one counseling to help you live a life free of panic and anxiety. Our unique approach relies on both positive psychology and traditional psychotherapy. We can help you make a lasting change in your life. Connect with us if you want the tools to help prevent your most dreaded panic attack symptoms.