How can I stop anxiety attacks?

18 Answers
Last Updated: 12/31/2019 at 9:18pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
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Andrea Tuck, LCPC

Licensed Professional Counselor

I tackle and discuss a multitude of social and emotional health issues. I have a belief that through empowerment and non-judgmental support clients' can thrive.

Top Rated Answers
Hotchocolate7
January 15th, 2015 12:43pm
There are a number of techniques. You could use an ice pack - ice is known to shut off the flight/fight response or atleast calm it down. Another technique is to use mind distraction. You can simply start focusing and concentrating on something you love or a color you love. Another technique is using accupressure points to calm yourself down (which you can google!). Some people use energetic techniques such as EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique - plenty available on youtube for free). Doing concentration exercises such as meditation or counting words in a book for 15 minutes a day keeps the anxiety attacks at bay. There are scents that calm down attacks such as lavender or citrus. Also you should develop a habit of exercising 1.5 hours 5 days a week to tame down those attacks long term.
caringSmiles20
January 15th, 2015 4:51pm
First step is to talk to someone when you feel anxious. 7 cups of tea have trained active listeners. Sharing your anxious thoughts makes you feel calm. Then you can read professional guidance about anxiety available on this site. Once you start understanding your anxiety attack reasons and symptoms, you can learn relaxation technique. Never stop sharing with someone when you feel anxious. Don't take anxiety lightly.
Anonymous
February 11th, 2015 4:03pm
Some people find the STOPP routine helpful for anxiety or panic attacks. Stop, Take a breath, Observe (What am I thinking? What am I reacting to? What am I feeling in my body), Pull back (Put this in some perspective - see the bigger picture. Is this fact or opinion? How would someone else see this?) and Practice what works (What's the best thing to do for me, for others, for this situation?) and working out what helps you, what calms you down and what you need at that moment in time, and communicating that to yourself and others around you :)
Skybringslight
April 3rd, 2015 4:27am
Before the entire incident, think about why the anxiety attack happened in the first place. Create a recording of yourself, in a soothing voice, and outline how you are feeling, why are you are feeling that way, and tell yourself to accept these fears. When the anxiety attack comes on, breathe through your mouth and turn on the recording.
aYvonne
April 9th, 2015 6:01pm
When you feel them coming on stop what you're doing. Sit down, relax, take deep breaths. Try counting to ten and after every number take one deep breath. Hug someone or something, listen to soothing music.
Anonymous
July 7th, 2015 10:27pm
You can take some deep breaths and think about things that make you happy. Distraction is key, find a beautiful fllower or something and appreciate its beauty, whilst distracting yoursself away from the panicking
kourtney22
August 18th, 2015 4:50pm
I get them a lot, and that's a tricky question. Anxiety really comes naturally, and it is hard to stop. No matter the situation, it's always best to think about something else, or the bright side of the situation, no matter what situation. But, for actual anxiety attacks, I think thinking about something else will be most effective. Not only will it clear your mind, but it will also just make you feel better the inside.
Sierra8D
March 15th, 2016 5:35pm
Listen to music or even go away from a lot of people and just sit there and steady your breathing repeatedly for an extended period of time.
Alishia
March 16th, 2016 2:31am
I suffer from these frequently. One way to try and calm yourself is a breathing technique in which you breathe out for longer than you breathed in: for example, if you breathed in for 7 seconds, breathe out for ten. The point is to 1) slow your heart rate which can contribute to your anxiety and 2) shift your plane of focus elsewhere. Also, you can use a technique where you put yourself back in the present. Say if you're outside and an attack hits you, you can look around and find a very specific thing to pay attention to. Don't just think about the object, say it outloud. For example, if you see a green stoplight say "I see a green stoplight". or if you're indoors and taste some juice, say "I taste the apple juice" or whatever. The point is to bring your mind back to the frontal lobe, back into the present. Another thing I've found that works for me is, oddly, math. Just simple things that take the functioning of your brain from your amygdala/ flight or fight response to your frontal lobe, the executive part of your brain. Switching your focus is key. Anything that switches your focus can be a potential way to lower your anxiety level. Wish you the best of luck.
Anonymous
April 4th, 2016 2:35am
When I'm having anxiety attacks slowing down and focusing on my breathing helps, also contacting a a close friend just to talk to someone who cares.
Anonymous
August 8th, 2016 5:22pm
Try to stare at something and distract yourself. I have heard that finding 5 things you can see, 4 things you can touch, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell, and 1 thing you can taste is a good tool to stop attacks. Good luck and I hope that works or you find a better solution.
insightfulNatural90
September 27th, 2016 1:19pm
take a deep breath, hug yourself and tell yourself that is will be all right. Know that it is natural to get anxiety attacks and it is not your fault
Anonymous
June 27th, 2017 2:13pm
Well try doing something that may help you, like drawing ot singing or even reading. for me i find theses tips to be very helpful
Anonymous
September 25th, 2017 6:20pm
I am so sorry that you are experiencing anxiety attacks. They can be very overwhelming and scary. While the attacks may be challenging to stop completely, there are some positive coping skills to help us feel better. There is a great Grounding exercise called "5-4-3-2-1" that can help us redirect our attention from our anxiety to the present moment and what's happening around us. You list 5 things you can see; 4 things you can touch; 3 things you can hear; 2 things you can smell; and 1 thing you can taste. Sending you some hugs
Anonymous
December 12th, 2017 4:45pm
To stop anxiety attacks, one could try to breathe in deeply and let out the breath slowly. It might help one to clear their mind and get the heart rate to slow down
Anonymous
April 16th, 2018 7:57pm
Focus on what's real and solid around you. Think about your breathing. Look at things that you can touch, see, taste, smell in order to ground yourself
Anonymous
July 3rd, 2018 6:24pm
Breathe, and just try to focus on one thing, whether it be your toes or the feeling of your hair. Just breathe
Anonymous
December 31st, 2019 9:18pm
I know this sounds counter intuitive, but stopping anxiety attacks can actually make them worse - trust me, I know this from experience! Someone shared this technique with me a while back that has been helpful in me managing anxiety. What would your anxiety look like if it were a little creature or a cartoon character? When I feel my anxiety showing up, I picture my little cartoon image and say to myself, "well hello, anxiety, I see you there!" Simply acknowledging that it is there can help you reduce your feelings of anxiety and show that you are aware of your emotions.