7 Mantras For When You Feel Like Panicking

by Brianna Wiest
Jovan Geber/E+/Getty Images

Panic attacks are no joke — anybody who has struggled with them can tell you that. The problem with trying to get yourself through a panic attack is that, well, the very nature of it is feeling completely out of control. They are a function of anxiety, and anxiety is a product of internal stress that isn't being dealt with. Some people can heal from their anxiety (with the help of therapy, medication, and a lot of growth) and for other people, it's more of a long process. The important thing to remember here is that even if it feels impossible, and even if you've relapsed more times than you can count, and even if the only thing you know is panic and anxiety — it does not have to be that way forever. This is the first and most important thing to realize.

The second thing to realize is that you can learn to live with your anxiety, and that, in itself, is the cure. Nobody is ever freed from anxiety, they just learn the tools to cope with it better. Anxiety, after all, is your body's misguided stress response trying to get you to do something, realize something, or help you with something. It's there to help you, and to make sure you survive. It is not, inherently, a bad thing. Yet, it becomes a bad thing when we don't know what to do with it, or how to control our thoughts, or how to get ourselves through a particularly harrowing experience. If that's the case for you, there are so many things you can utilize to help yourself, but here's one in particular that works for many people: mantras. You just keep repeating them until it's all you're focusing on. Here are a few that will hopefully help you a bit:

This Feeling Can't Hurt Me

This feeling can make you really scared. It can make you feel pain for a little while. It can make you think things that are not true and are even less helpful to your current situation. But in cannot hurt you permanently. It is just a feeling, and it will pass. It cannot actually hurt you.

These Are The People Whose Opinion Of Me Really Matters

And then make a list of everyone who you actually care about (try to keep it under five people).

These Are All The Things I've Gotten Myself Through Before

And then list all of the other difficult, seemingly impossible situations you've gotten through.

This Pain Is Trying To Protect Me

When we experience emotional pain, it is because our minds/bodies/subconscious does not realize that you are not actually in danger. Your stone age mind is colliding with your modern life, and it's creating this constant panic for which you have no real outlet because you only think you are in severe danger, and that's only because the stress response is the same. Instead of fighting your feelings, try thanking them for trying to help you, then finding a more effective way to actually help yourself cope.

I Am Not This Feeling

When you're really panicking or in any other kind of physical discomfort, focus on the deepest part of yourself that you can imagine. You will find that at your core — no matter what turmoil is happening at the surface — you feel OK. Now, that doesn't mean that you can (or should) ignore the pain, it only serves as a reminder that the pain is something you are experiencing, it is not who you are, and it will not last.

I Am Committed To Taking Care Of Myself No Matter What

And then ask yourself what you really need: a hot bath? Medication? To talk to someone? To not be alone? To re-focus on something else? Figure out what you really need and then go and do it. Commit to taking care of yourself the way a mother would a child.

This Too Shall Pass

If nothing else, consistently remind yourself of everything you've gotten yourself through in the past. When you realize that pain doesn't last, it becomes that much easier to cope with (see above).

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