What's The Best Way To Calm Down During A Panic Attack? 13 People Share What Works For Them
When you have a panic attack it's as if every fear you've ever had is hitting you at once, fighting against each and every good thought you have. You may find your heart pounding, a shallowing of your breath, or a myriad of other symptoms occurring while your body processes the panic attack. Whether a panic attack comes on at work or at home, it can change how you feel for the rest of the day or longer. It's an ordeal that will quite literally leave you breathless. And keeping calm while experiencing a panic attack can seem like an impossible feat.
Fortunately, you're not alone in experiencing panic attacks. There's a recent AskReddit thread asking, "What was the most deliberate way that you kept yourself calm while on the verge of a panic attack?" The intimate topic was met with honest responses with users discussing the actions they take to cope during a panic attack. Dealing with panic attacks myself, as a result of my panic disorder, I'm still experimenting with what works for me. Exercises such as breathing and stretching have had positive effects, as well as talking myself down — but I'm still learning.
If you have panic attacks, it's easy to feel as though there's little, if anything, you can do besides wait them out. As these users discovered, experimenting with different techniques can help you discover a way to make panic attacks more bearable. Check out what helps these Reddit users calm down during a panic attack.
1. Tell Yourself This Won't Kill You
During a panic attack it can quite literally feel like you're going to die, but try to remember that you'll be fine.
2. Look At Pictures Of Puppies
Looking at pictures of things you enjoy can provide a happy distraction.
3. Accept What You Fear
Fear is the fuel that keeps a panic attack burning. Work to face your fear and watch the flame start to burn out.
4. Understand Where It Comes From
A panic attack is your body creating an unnecessary fight or flight reaction. Work to understand your triggers and acknowledge the cause when a panic attack occurs.
5. Relax Your Body
During a panic attack your body can tense up.Consciously relax your muscles as a way to show your body there is no danger.
6. Keep Pacing In Circles
Literally try to walk it off. Movement can help calm you down and take your mind off of it.
7. Focus On The People Around You
While the people around you can be a source of support during a panic attack, if they too become worried, their reaction can have an increasingly negative effect.
8. Know That You'll Be OK
Tell yourself that you can survive this. The feeling will eventually subside.
9. Use The Left Side Of Your Brain
The right side of your brain processes emotions, so try engaging in activities that activate the left side of your brain, such as calculations.
10. Distract Yourself With Activities
While you may feel paralyzed and unable to do anything during a panic attack, engaging in more demanding work can be a great way to distract your brain.
11. Just Take It One Breath At A Time
If it's not obvious yet, breathing is a key component to beating a panic attack. It clears your head, calms you down, and provides extra oxygen to your brain.
12. Ground Yourself In The World
Grounding yourself may sound simple, but it's impact can be life-changing. Forcing your entire body into the present moment really helps you think and be aware of the current situation. This allows you to separate from the panic attack.
13. Redirect Your Adrenaline
When a panic attack occurs, your adrenaline rushes. Redirect this to a different part of your body by doing a minor exercise move somewhere, such as your core.
In the unfortunate event of another panic attack, I will definitely test out some of these coping mechanisms. What works for one person might not work for everyone, but there's no harm in trying. Once you discover what helps you when a panic attack comes on, it could very well change your life for the better.