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?
LCSW-R, J. (2012, May 2). Ten Tools That Help Relieve Panic Attacks, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, August 18 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/anxiety-schmanxiety/2012/05/ten-things-to-do-for-a-panic-attack
Author: Jodi Lobozzo Aman, LCSW-R
Now with that long-winded babbling out of the way, I wanted to know your thoughts on the following?
1.what is it about water that is so calming during a panic attack- especially a bath or a Shower? Do you think that there's some "in the womb" connection or is it something more simple or straightforward?
2. Although I am much better with my anxiety (I don't take any medication except for a Xanax five to ten times a year), I've been thinking of going back on medication bc I feel like I am CONSTANTLY trying to tough out my anxiety (sometimes for hours at a time). Im trying to weigh the pros and cons of dealing with it with or without daily medication. Thoughts?
3. For me, panic attacks are usually brought on when I feel sick to my stomach, when it's a night or two before my time of the month, and when I'm dealing with major life changes (going to college, graduating college, my first real job, getting married, etc). The first 2 triggers I'm pretty ok with but how do you deal with more abstract anxiety and panic attack triggers (like life changes where the outcome is unknown)?
4. Even though I'm not even married yet, I'm already worried about anxiety I may get from hormonal changes during pregnancy and I'm so nervous that my anxiety will either "rub off" on my kid through their observation of me or that because I'll be trying to hide my anxiety from my child, I'll be more prone to panic attacks and may not be there for my kid bc I'm focusing on dealing with my own issues? I desperately want kids but don't want to mess them up- have any tips on managing anxiety as a mother or any success stories?
Thanks for reading this- just the motion of typing all of this out on my iPhone- only using one finger lol- helped with the remaining panic/anxiety that I had :)
1. I am not sure what it is about water, but I am sure it works on many levels. Firstly, psychologically it is relaxing. Mentally it is a change in scenery. The warmth for sure plays a role. It is action, which helps. And I think anything goes on why its helps. A womb like atmosphere would help anxiety anyway you slice it. In yoga we do forward bends to help with anxiety (fetal position).
2. Have you tried therapy? This might help you get through it!
3. I am not sure what you are asking. "Outcomes" are always unknown. Thinking that these are different (worse, perhaps) may be where the problem lies. That belief tells you the anxiety is warrented and viola!
4. Loads of success stories, mine included. Anxiety is not a life sentence. You can get over it!
I do do online therapy. let me know if you are interested.
I hope you get to try Tratak and have some success with it. i will check out Dr. Baker's book!
I really benefited from the information supplied in your article.
I found Step 8 staring at yourself in the mirror very interesting. Upon reflection it makes perfect sense to develop trust in yourself. Eye contact is usually connected to trust. I have always thought of it in regard to others, not myself. Makes perfect sense.
Dr Roger Baker has written a book in regard to Understanding Panic Attacks & Overcoming Fear. His book also refers to fear. Fear of when the next panic attack may occur. This book is well worth reading.
You maybe interested in reading
<a>What Causes Fear In Your Life</a>
I used your question in my post today! Come take a look: www.healthyplace.com/blogs/anxiety-schmanxiety.
Well, the good news is that you can lessen and eliminate your panic attacks! (And I am sorry your practitioners haven’t helped you do this yet. Klonopin is addictive, so that is why she won’t increase it.) You have the right tools to do it: prayer, relaxation techniques and changing my thought patterns. These will work fine if you know how to implement them: You think about them differently by changing their meaning. In this way you change your relationship with them. Hopefully, you read all the above and this post: Ten Thing To Do In A Panic Attack and Is Anxiety Really About Having Control Issues? That should give you some more ideas. How come you never went to a counselor to help with them? The right counselor can help you with 1-2 sessions. I am not trying to sell professional counterparts (or myself–though I am available by Skype!) I just know that panic attacks feel awful and everyone would want to get rid of them fast. I did not do the fasted method when I had them, but now I know how to help other people do it.
You are definitely not alone in this. Panic attacks do feel new and intense every time they hit. This means people don't easily get sensitized/get used to them. There are definitely things you can do to get rid of them. What did you do before to make them stop? That could be a good starting point for you now. What worked then? Can you do more of it now? What has changed to make the panic attacks start again? Also, have you ever considered seeing a therapist? Working with a therapist can, for some people, be very effective in reducing panic attacks. You can also work to develop ways to deal with them now, while you work to get rid of them. Techniques such as deep breathing, mediation, regular exercise, and more (many articles and videos on the HealthyPlace Anxiety-Schmanxiety blog deal with anxiety management, and the techniques apply to all types of anxiety, including panic). Perhaps comments left by others here in this thread might be helpful to you as well. Do know that you're not doomed to panic attacks forever. They're frustrating and there is no quick fix, but there are fixes and you can reduce them.
This blog give some good relaxation technique and I like the video. It is a pitty there is only one post so far. Have look and good luck
Thanks for the great tips on dealing with panic attacks - I've also sent this page to my loved ones so they can get ideas of how to help when I'm bad. One thing I do to try to prevent panics is that I have a keyring on my handbag that has lots of charms on it, and I run them through my fingers like a rosary as I find concentrating on a repetitive motion can be very calming. I like the idea of interacting with water, I may have to find my desktop water fountain again!!
Best wishes and good health to you xxxx
It's fantastic to have variety of tools at your disposal as it gives you more confidence to do the things, and go to the places in where you may be afraid of having another panic attack..
It can be the fear of having another panic attack that can keep us locked in the cycle..
Getting to know the weird bodily sensations that you can experience at the onset of a panic attack can help control your emotional reaction, and in turn decrease the amount you panic- breaking the "panic loop"...
Making our fears visible takes the mystery out of them. This evasiveness is usually where they hold their power! Thanks so much for the comment!
I try to close my eyes and breath through a "tunnel" I make by rolling my fingers inward into a loose fist. I might tell myself something like, calm down, or, it's OK. I think this helps me focus better on my breath and on the moment. Does that make sense?
Thank you so much for sharing many valuable tips to move through a panic attack. Last night I had three anxiety attacks. Thankfully, as it always does it too did pass, after using three different tools.
It is so important to have many tools in your belt to move through panic and anxiety. Thank you for your great tips, I have added them to my blog post that I wrote while I was having one of the anxiety attacks. Writing is one of my tools...
Thank you for your dedication to mental health.