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, October 20 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/anxiety-schmanxiety/2012/05/ten-things-to-do-for-a-panic-attack
Author: Jodi Lobozzo Aman, LCSW-R
These tips are great! Thanks for sharing!
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.
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.
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
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.
Also, many thanks for allowing for me to comment!
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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