As anyone who has experienced one knows, anxiety attacks are very frightening episodes of intense fear or panic. In addition to the severe physical and psychological symptoms that accompany the attack itself, the worry about if or when another attack will occur can be debilitating. For many people with recurrent panic attacks, the attacks are triggered by a particular situation. Even if your first panic attack appeared to strike with no particular cause, you may find that the situation you were in at the time causes extra anxiety in the future, because you associate it with having an anxiety attack.
Fortunately, panic disorder and anxiety attacks respond well to treatment, and there are a number of things you can do to help prevent future anxiety attacks. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and exposure therapy are two effective treatment options that a professional counselor can help you with. CBT will help you learn to alter the patterns of thinking that are perpetuating your anxiety, and exposure therapy helps you learn to cope with symptoms of panic in a safe, controlled environment.
There are also a number of things you can do on your own to prevent anxiety attacks. Avoiding drugs, including cigarettes and caffeine, can help you avoid triggering an attack. If you're feeling symptoms of an anxiety attack coming on, controlling your breathing can help you avoid hyperventilation and remain calm. Other relaxation techniques, like meditation and progressive muscle relaxation, can help you learn how to relax, so it is easier to keep calm in times of intense anxiety.