How to Cope With Panic Attacks and Anxiety
It is difficult to manage panic attacks, which can be physically and mentally exhausting. We reached out to our community for suggestions on how to deal with panic attacks. Here are some ideas that you came up with.
1. Know your triggers
It is always a plus if you have more knowledge about your mental health. The more you know your anxiety and your triggers, the easier it will be to talk yourself out of an attack.
2. Leave the situation
I remove myself from the situation immediately, go home and pet my dogs, it is the best I can do right now. I have to take care of myself and when my body is sending me distress signals, I have learned to respond before I have a meltdown.
Jon I said he hides in the bathroom at work or in public.
I go for a walk. Even if I am at work, a quick walk works well.
3. Grounding techniques
I can smell and taste, but I can’t see, touch, hear, or smell anything. Sam A. said it was called grounding.
Grounding techniques… Gia S said to focus on what is around you.
“Look around you for…
5 things you can see
4 things you can touch
3 things you can hear
2 things you can smell
1 thing you can taste
This is called grounding. It can help when you feel like you have lost control of your surroundings.
4. Meditation and mindful breathing
I pay attention to my breathing. It is loud and fast at first, but then it slows down and quiets down. I sit on the floor and say three words. I don’t care how long it takes. When the attack passes, I feel lighter and forget why I panicked.
The focus should be on the breath. Don’t let one thought tms clinic become two. Don’t let two thoughts become three. The focus should be on the breath. Chana B. said to repeat.
Focus on breathing as much as you can. Try to correct your breathing immediately if you are not breathing correctly. If you want to avoid the bad thoughts that will make things worse, you should try to think of something else. I usually give myself a positive word, like ‘I will be okay’. If you have bad thoughts about something that caused your panic attack, try to distract them. You don’t have to believe what you’re saying to get away from it. He doesn’t hate you. You are good. Even if things aren’t okay, you can get to a point where they are manageable or even completely okay.
5. Visualize a safe place
“Start mindful breathing.
I think of a safe place when I close my eyes.
Think of all the senses being activated in the safe place, which includes the view of the beach, the sound of the waves, the smell of the water and sand, and the taste of the salty air.
Tell me I’m safe. Nothing can hurt me.
Desirae C said to relax until she could open her eyes and breathe normally.
I found that trying to focus on something else such as counting numbers out of order works because it requires concentration. You could try to count the numbers 1 to 9 out of order or you could try to subtract 7’s or 3’s from 100.
7. Let it happen/ride it out
Nicole W. said to ride the wave and say “I’m okay, nothing is wrong with me, this will be over soon.”
8. Talk to a friend or family member
I immediately contact my husband or best friend if I feel a panic attack. That is a code between us that I need reassurance from.
It is better for me to be around other people than it is to be alone. A store. Or meet up with a friend.
9. Other suggestions
I go to the bathroom and run cold water over my wrist if I am at work. Press the pressure point on the web between your thumb and first finger. This makes me take a deep breath. Sharon M said to repeat until calm.
I find a dark room to lay down and I think of black, but I keep saying it in my head.
The pop top water bottle is cold. It helps me to calm myself down. One big gulp of water and then just hold the bottle top in my mouth, forcing me to breathe through my nose.
I go upside down. Lay over the edge of a couch, bench, chair, whatever and just breathe. The different perspective helps me remember to breathe and focus on the things I can see.
I need to put pressure on my stomach when I have a panic attack. I lay on the exercise ball or push my stomach in over the chair. Theresa D. said it was strange, but comforting.
I always look in the mirror during a panic attack. Whitney Parrish said that looking in the mirror and talking out loud to herself is what keeps her grounded during panic attacks.
You can try these suggestions on your own. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy are two types of therapy that can be helpful for managing anxiety and panic attacks. You can learn the techniques and find the best method for you with the help of a therapist.
If you are in a crisis, there is help available. The National Suicide Prevention Hotline is available to call. You can reach the Crisis Text Line by texting. There is a list of international crisis centers on this page. If you are not in a crisis and would like to chat with someone, you can visit the website 7cups.com to chat for free with a trained listener.