Ten Tools That Help Relieve Panic Attacks
How can coping tools help relieve panic attacks? Especially since most panic attacks feel like they come out of the blue, even though there is usually a trigger. The trigger is that you are scared of panic attacks. And why wouldn't you be? They are one of the most uncomfortable experiences on this planet. Having a list of tools can help reduce the number of panic attacks you experience and help you feel less afraid of the panic coming.
10 Coping Tools for Panic Attack Relief
These coping tools will help you avoid panic attacks in the first place. Some of them you should do every day as part of good self-care. Others will help when you enter new situations or relationships. Put them all in your anti-anxiety toolkit and feel more in control.
1. Have an exit plan. Sometimes knowing we have a plan to leave a situation helps us not be so afraid of trying something new. For example, know you can excuse yourself, you can have your own car to drive home, or you have a friend to support you can make all the difference. We are often scared to get anxiety and not be able to do anything about it. We are afraid of being out of control. Making a plan will make you feel more in control and this counters the anxiety.
2. Have someone you can count on ready to call. In fact, have several, in case the one is busy. Someone who knows about the anxiety and can tell you you are okay, or even better--someone who can make you laugh.
3. Spend time with your pet. Animals tend to ease anxiety. So spend as much time with a friendly animal as you can. Here are some animal activities to enjoy: keeping a pet, bird watching, going to an aquarium, etc. (Animal Therapy: Easing Anxiety With An Animal)
4. Interact with water. There is something about water that stops the energy of panic. Sometimes crying releases it (tears). However, consider taking a hot bath or shower for immediate relief. Also drinking hot soup or a hot drink (non-caffeinated) can help.
5. Have a tranquilizer with you. Knowing you have anti-anxiety medication to calm you down within 15 minutes can help you not be afraid of anxiety. Again, we are afraid of being out of control of our anxiety so just knowing you have the medicine is all you need (With Anxiety, You Do Have Control). Panic needs you to be scared of it for it to stay.
6. Give yourself a massage or have your loved one give you one. This really calms the nerves and calls our attention back out of the anxious mind and into the body.
7. Forward bend. Like a fetal position, any forward bend in yoga counters anxiety. You can get in child's position (see photo).
8. Stare at yourself in the mirror. This is called tratak meditation. It helps build trust in yourself. Do this when you are calm to prevent anxiety and panic.
9. Go for a walk. Get a change of scenery and use up some of that excess energy. The biology of fear indicates the release of adrenaline makes your body want to do something. Doing something and feeling a sense of control on the account of that activity is by far the best thing you can do for a panic attack.
10. Laugh. Watch some funny videos on YouTube. Laughter and anxiety cannot live in the same moment together!
What did I forget? What's worked for you?
Lobozzo, J. (2012, May 2). Ten Tools That Help Relieve Panic Attacks, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, August 4 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/anxiety-schmanxiety/2012/05/ten-things-to-do-for-a-panic-attack
Author: Jodi Lobozzo Aman, LCSW-R
Once upon a time, my anxiety was so bad it was difficult to function! It's loads better than it used to be, but I still experience at least one panic attack a day. The only thing that seems to help me is finding a very quiet place, closing my eyes, and then breathing in and out very slowly. I can't stand to be touched during my episodes!
These tips are great! Thanks for sharing!
My name is Amir. I start thinking negative then suddenly my heart beats fasts looks like i cant breath much confusion weakness in legs feels like i would die any tips for me
I find that I can stop an anxiety attack by heating the back of my neck and upper shoulders with a heat pad, hot water bottle or a hot shower playing on that same area. The heat pad is the easiest method as you don't need water. But you need plenty of heat, as much as you can safely bear. It works very fast for me.
I’ve tried Passion flower tincture -it’s not as powerful as benzodiazepines, but a strong dose or cup of Passion flower tea can help you overcome and encourage rest.
Hi I’m always having panic attacks iv tried every thing it’s so distressing
Omg I’m with you there. And sometimes it’s like three in a row. Feel like I’m gonna pass out I try to get up and run outside pour water in my face like I feel out of control when it takes over. :( so tired of it.
On January 5th 2018 @approximatly 10:50 pm I called 911 for help not knowing what was wrong.
I ended up in the emergency room for the rest of the night to find out I was going through a panic attack.
I’m a widow and knowing that there’re thing in life that now I have to face on my own I realize the anxiety.
Reading scriptures from the Bible also helps me to meditate.
I am having one now. These steps are great. I made an appointment to see a therapist. I always have an attack at night. I’m a widow and live alone. Thank you for these amazing tools.
Im having one now....but its almost over,its good to know there sre people who understand.
Hey I have up to 3 panic attacks a night and to stop them I play my instuments what ever time of night day minute hour that really helps me if anyone plays an instrument I would recommend it !! But when I don't have them this really helped so thankyou!!!
I always have panic attack, and it disturbs my everyday activity. I need help. Does it not have cure because I have tried everything possible
This articles is great.
This is true about what you said about water here "hot bath or shower for immediate relief" You need to be friend with water evrytime, relate with it and it will really help.
Thanks for this post.
Hey i keep on having anxiety attack i keep thanking negative though i just need help it hard deal with this my friend and family thank im crazy it like im going crazy please someone help me
nice article very educative in ways to handle panic attack
The management of panic is a challenge that has caused many people to do reall crazy things. This article is a great help in managing this challenge
Regular body exercise is very crucial
Excellent and wonderful article
Great tips there but one important tip to put into consideration is to put your trust in the word of God.The Bible tells in 2timothy 1:7 "For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline".
Awesomely simple and beautiful
Excellent article on this emergent and discomfort medical condition ! In fact this psychiatric disorder indicates common and damn medical urgency that deteriorate whole medical staff professionally and psychologically, as well. Also, panic attack are stressful experience for oneself patient and their close relatives. It goes without saying that comprehensive and satisfying treatment of this anxious disorder is psychiatric service, but in medical practice many patient with this illness are treating in others non-psychiatric wards for long time, without any owing result. So the fate of this patient becomes more complicated with bad and unpredictable repercussions. The most dangerous outcomes is involved depression, as difficult psycho-somatic disorder. In addition, many others illnesses might happen as result of non-professional treatment and management of panic disorder. By reason of these and many others medico-social consequences your 10 simple and easy tools exhibit great contribution to successful overcoming of panic disorder. Furthermore, they are simply and accessible tools. According to my opinion, they indicate active and creative way to confront this dreadful psycho-somatic disorder in co-ordination with current psychiatric protocols. Without appropriate psychiatric treatment, panic attacks would complicate seriously and entirely global wellbeing. This statement is in concordance with fundamental principle of psychiatric of complex and three-dimensional nature of psychiatric illnesses. Panic attacks is clean and typical psychiatric entity, with specific and odd features. Non-psychiatric treatment and management of panic disorder has got dangerous repercussions on definitive course of this intrigued anxious disorder. I remind this observation, because in daily medical pactice a lot of patient with panic attacks for long time are treating on non-psychiatric wards, with weak and temporary success. Paradox sui generis, that renders the definitive destiny of patients and theirs close relatives, as well.
I actually play computer games like the ones that you try to find objects in a picture. It gives my brain something to do to not think about the attack.
Besides hyperventilating, I experience numbness in my face and arm and then it feels like someone is pouring lighter fluid down my chest and setting it on fire.
I also find it hard to concentrate on my job when it happens when I am working. it comes outta nowhere.
Times you feel alone like no one else has this. so nice to see everyone here that understands what I am going through.
Also, talking to someone also helps. Just talking about random stuff helps me calm down
This anxiety, this panic disorder...is crippling to my life. I want to stay positive. I was known for my positivity, for understanding, and emphathy. Since last July 2015 I had a full panic attack. Most likely I had it before just didn't recognize what it was unit l the big episode sent me to the hospital from my job. So scary. To feel as if you are dying, unsure of everything...no words... This has effected so much of my life. I see all the positives in the comments here, the lows, the searching questions, people trying to see the brighter side or give more knowledge to others but still I wonder ... Can this get better?..get over this?... Can I go a day with out feeling anxiety or panic... The stigma is so heavy. If I say anything about it to those that obviously don't understand their demeanor changes. The looks in their eyes...
I am a very rational person. I self analize and make adjustments. It was part of my job to stay calm, manage and multitask. Now I can't even feel comfortable going out alone afraid of having an attack and unabled to control the situation. Feeling like your dying , hyperventilating, dizzy and panicking does not look good on a 6'2 mixed woman...or to someone unaware around me.... Smh.
I loved reading all comments. I was is the worse state of depression with panic attacks you could ever be in.
I love looking through an article that will make people think.
Also, many thanks for allowing for me to comment!
When I get panic attacks it's always full on straight away. I get the feeling I'm staring myself in the back of my head, my entire body goes numb except I start throwing up (which creates more panic; I've always had a hard time catching my breath after throwing up). I'm lucky if I'm able to stand... I have no chance of panic relief, because I've already lost control then. The techniques mentioned here work if I have a regular anxiety attack, but not when I have a panic attack. I'm so freaking exhausted because they've become more frequent, almost daily now, and they even occur during the night now (usually after I've woken up from a nightmare). It's affecting every aspect of my life now...
I also am new to the whole panic attack stuff. Mine get pretty bad and I have had to go to the er before due to not knowing what it was. My first ever legit panic attack happened out of nowhere. I was just relaxing with my lady and watching supernatural and bam! It.felt like I was having a heart attack. My chest hurt so badly, I couldnt breath right, my body was shaking everywhere, and my body was tingling and going numb. So thr doctors told me what was up and put me on ativan. Which does help when im having a bad one. I think the worst for me is waking up in the middle of the night flipping shit and having a bad one. That's been happening a whole lot lately. That's what really scares me. I also get kinda suicidal in a way but not really.. its so hard to explain and im very against suicide in all ways.anyone else get like that?
Getting away by myself. Slow deep breathing with my eyes closed. it seems to distract my thinking and relaxes me
Thanks so much for sharing this.
I loved reading all comments. I was is the worse state of depression with panic attacks you could ever be in. The attacks were coming up to five times a day and being alone (husband worked at the time) made for an interesting day for me. I kept to myself, inside in the darkened room not wanting to do anything. This all came about because I had to go on disability for other illnesses. Couldn't work, couldn't walk very good, just put me down in a pit of no return. Until my husband said "you need a dog!" We got a shih tzu puppy over a year ago and his love for me is all I needed. I laugh, go for walks, but mostly, I have no more panic attacks, none. I just love my puppy for being my therapy dog.
How very wonderful that you overcame depression and panic attacks. Thank you so much for sharing a bit of your story to inspire others -- sharing what worked for you and showing proof that these challenges can be overcome.
I have enjoyed the read, very informative article.
I've been having anxiety attacks for nearly 11 years of my life. They start with a tightening in my chest, then lead to high sensitivity to noise, sounds, and eventually I can't speak without crying. I've talked to family who have anxiety and a therapist or two, but they all say the same thing, "Take your mind off it, deep breaths, say you're ok, listen to music." The problem is when I do these things, my anxiety grows worse because I know I'm trying to ignore it which makes me feel worse. I know my trigger is feeling like a failure since I have ADD and medication doesn't help much, but besides that my panic attacks and anxiety are out of control. I don't want to take medication for it, but I'm not sure what else to do. I'm going to try some other things, but does anyone know something I could do that would help me control my panic attacks really quick of I'm out in public?
Very interesting blog! It's amazing how many people suffer from panic disorder and how it can affect your life.
Hi, I wanted to know if it was best to let a person sleep after a panic attack? My 18 yr old boyfriend had one after a fight, in fear of a break up, and I wanted to know if--now that we have him calm--it was okay to have him sleep, or if there could be terror induced sleep and leading to a panic attack when he's dreaming. I'm terrified seeing him like that, and I'm really hoping to never see him that way again.
Night terrors and panic attacks tend to be separate things. Although the underlying causes can absolutely be related and people can experience both, there usually isn't a direct cause-and-effect relationship where a panic attack directly leads to night terrors if one falls asleep after a panic attack. It's very caring that you don't want to see him have a panic attack again, and you can talk to him about it and even help him find professional help if they are problematic. One caution is to be careful not to give in to him all of the time just to avoid a panic attack. Avoiding that will help your relationship be emotionally healthy for both of you.
Thank you for the advice, but I know he won't want to go to professionals, he absolutely hates the idea. He woke up a few times, scared and crying, and looked around to make sure no one had left him. He was absolutely terrified. And I can tell he's still absolutely terrified, he's scared to let go of anyone around him. I don't give him his way, and he wasn't even the one the fight was with. But, with the one I had the fight, most of the time we actually manage to come to a calm decision. It's really hard, when we're in a group relationship, but it's really hard on him when he thinks there'll be someone leaving the relationship.
Fear of loss and abandonment are overwhelming (for the person experiencing these as well as the ones who love and care about them). Perhaps these articles might have some useful thoughts for all of you:
With patience and support, things can get better.
I am having anxiety/panic attacks just going to doc visits or tests. I am terrified even though I know that the visit will be fine. Having minor surgery soon and trying to find a way to overcome/prevent an attack while waiting for surgery to begin. Give me your best advise to use while waiting. I feel I will be in a panic before I leave the house.
Many readers have shared their own situations and ways of dealing with their panic attacks right here in the comment thread. There may just be things that will be very helpful to you! One thing that has been helpful to people is to refocus your thinking. Sometimes when we think we are going to have a panic attack, we often do because that's where our focus lies. If we think instead of all of the reasons we *aren't* going to panic and all of the strengths, strategies, and coping skills we have to head off panic attacks or deal with them when they occur, we then are thinking of our capabilities rather than our panic. That doesn't instantly bring panic attacks to a stop, of course, but it is a tool that can significantly reduce them.
I realized that I am planning on having an attack and like you said I am rethinking and planning on not having one, but if I do, I will put into place some of the suggestions on this site. It has been very helpful.
I am so glad that this site has been helpful. It sounds like you are already on the way to overcoming these panic attacks! Be patient and kind to yourself. Beating anxiety, anxiety attacks, etc. is a process -- one that you can definitely achieve.
One more thing, I don't mind being nervous, just do not want to panic when I really know its going to be okay. Thanks again
This is such a wise and healthy perspective. Defining what we can and can't tolerate really helps us focus on exactly what we want changed, plus it helps the other things, such as feeling nervous, feel more in control and manageable.
Hello: A few weeks ago i started experiencing panic attacks, anxiety,rapid heart rate, chest tightness etc. I had two EKGS done, along with blood work (including thyroid and CBC).Everything was normal. Was diagnosed with anxiety. My anxiety tends to decrease at night and i sleep quite well. The nervous feelings come back in the morning. I chew a Xanax and then eat a healthy breakfast. Whenever i go to certain places like my doctor, my heart starts to pound, and will slow down when i leave. It's so annoying. I have started to try meditation and looking for some supplements that may help with this.
I forgot to mention that before all this started, i was worrying a lot about various things, and also will be moving into a new house and selling my old one. So maybe these are to blame.
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Interesting article! Here in this article I found very useful advices for calming. Thanks for sharing!