There are a combination of interventions used to treat panic disorders with CBT. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is the type of therapy but there are action steps within all therapies known as interventions. Some of them would be; Relaxation Training, Mindfulness Practice, and Cognitive Restructuring.
Panic and anxiety can wreak havoc on our bodies due to tension in the muscles, increased cortisol (stress hormone), and other chemical reactions that include our natural fight/flight/freeze response. With this it is important to practice relaxation skills as a first step to being the body to a level of calm. Learning to decrease physiological arousal is part of the craft of lowering anxiety and remaining calm during chaos. This can include progressive muscle relaxation (you can find this on my podcast Calm Connect); breathing techniques; and grounding skills.
Panic and anxiety usually take over our mind and bodies because we are not mindful in the moment, we are thinking one thousand different things that haven’t even happened yet. We are racing in our thoughts and not focusing on what is in front of us. Try naming everything in the room for just a few minutes and you will notice a reduction in tension. One I like is naming every animal you can possibly think of. This gives your mind a mini-mental break from trying to figure out how to conquer your life! Just relax a little!
Cognitive Restructuring is a way to become more aware of our cognitive thinking errors. We all have them! To lower anxiety is to reduce fear-provoking thoughts and catastrophizing small situations as insurmountable barriers. Noticing our thinking errors will lead to a reduction in the frequency and intensity of our panic and anxiety. Research common ‘cognitive distortions,’ to see which ones fill your mind regularly.
Author and Podcast Host
Nicole Festa LPC, LAC, NCC, EMDR, NCAC
Nicole has authored e-books and runs a podcast called "Calm Connect," which can be found on most platforms to include Itunes, Anchor, and Spotify.