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How can I calm down during a panic attack?

298 Answers
Last Updated: 12/29/2020 at 6:10pm
How can I calm down during a panic attack?
★ This question about Panic Attacks was starred by a moderator on 5/12/2016.
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Lindsay Scheinerman, MA, LPC

Licensed Professional Counselor

My work with clients is to help them recognize and build on their strengths to find solutions for the conflicts presented in their lives.

Top Rated Answers
heavenPainting21
January 31st, 2016 2:54pm
breath in to a paper bag to slow breathing but also try a get someone to talk you down even if it's samaritons as you talk slowly breath slowly in bag they keep you focused then it eases as the power has been taken away
Alexanderishere
January 31st, 2016 9:17pm
I think the main thing to remember in a panic attack is that it is going to end. You've dealt with it before and you can do it again. One of the main things I do to calm down is play with breathing techniques. There's one that you inhale for 4 counts hold for 7 counts and exhale for 8 counts, you do it 3 times take a break then try it again. Another breathing technique I try is fairly simple inhale for one count hold for one count exhale for one count, inhale for two counts hold for two counts and exhale for two counts you repeat this method up to 10. It also helps for me to distract myself anagramming, puzzles, and coloring are all distractions I use. Another thing that helps me calm down is moving because it gives my body something to do. If you have any questions feel free to message me.
Ambs07
February 1st, 2016 6:46am
Panic attacks are like a ladder: there are a few steps. Step 1, your breathing changes, step 2, your heart rate increases etc. Once you pass step 5 or 6, the only thing that will stop the attack is time. Eventually you will calm down, but until you do, you have to focus entirely on your breathing - deeply, in and out. Lots of people get confused and panic more when they experience things like chest pain, nausea, dizziness, lightheadedness etc. These are all common symptoms of panic and will pass, though always best to call an Ambulance if you truly believe your life is at risk (e.g. heart attack).
HopefulLeaps
February 5th, 2016 6:12am
When I have a panic attack or feel one coming, I usually start to count colors. I tell myself "Okay, how many things in here are green?" and then I start to count. Once I start focusing on something else other than what I'm currently worried about, my panic attack starts to subside and then I begin to take 10 deep breaths.
Anonymous
February 6th, 2016 3:48pm
I can find ways to cope with panic attack when I have it normally I go and hang out with friends and make the best Of it .
Sarahmander7
February 7th, 2016 7:35am
Run your hands under cold water. Feel it touching your skin and focus on its coolness and realness. Think only on how it is flowing and the temperature. There is nothing else but the flowing water and the cold. Breathe.
Anonymous
February 10th, 2016 1:05pm
I find it helps to sit down and take slow deep controlled breaths until I'm calm and afterwards think happy thoughts.
PoeticWhisperer13
February 11th, 2016 3:15am
Take deep, long breaths and think about something that makes you smile. Or find someone to hug or a blanket and a warm space to breath in.
hayl
February 11th, 2016 7:46am
think of your favorite person in the entire world and think about why you love them! it helps me every time!
Anonymous
February 11th, 2016 2:31pm
Breathe deeply, relax and think of something that makes you happy, if possible take your self out of the situation.
dxlight
March 23rd, 2016 11:13pm
Going out for a walk or maybe even run a bit. If that is not possible eating or drinking something might help and by closing your eyes thinking about something really important and breathing deeply
Anonymous
March 25th, 2016 7:34pm
Breath in slowly, and then count for ten seconds holding your breathe in,..Then letting it out in five seconds, it will help.
Anonymous
March 27th, 2016 6:47pm
The best way to calm down is to take some deep breaths and get away from what is making you anxious for a moment. Do things like read or listen to music, and deep breaths always help. If you are in school try to calmly and politely ask the teacher if you can go to the bathroom or into the hallway to calm down. Usually the teacher would rather you leave than disrupt the class and will let you go.
FelipeAG
March 27th, 2016 9:09pm
Basically the most important things in my opinion to deal with a panic attack in progress is to talk about it with someone, to find someone to talk about it. To recognize that we are living something like that, then accept it, and to concious of our own body and to focus our mind in something, for example our breathing while we are in silence ideally with our eyes closed. But as I said before, the most important thing is to talk about it. To let go things from our chest.
Anonymous
March 31st, 2016 1:18pm
Take deep breaths, close your eyes and try to distract yourself. Accept the panic attack, it's the kind of thing that can't undo. The more you accept that it's happening, the faster it'll come and go. Good luck x
Anonymous
April 2nd, 2016 10:36pm
you could Use the 54321 relaxing technique I find it quiet useful or you could use the mindfulness exercises
Anonymous
May 23rd, 2016 6:42am
Try and think of something that makes you happy. Steady your breathing and try and make yourself feel better.
jr50
May 23rd, 2016 8:07pm
The best way is to try to breathe deeply and try to use something to as a distraction, like listen to music, mediation or just take a walk
Bearhugs1
June 5th, 2016 12:20am
Take deep breaths. Concentrate on your breathing. Don't think anything else other than your breathing. Just breath. It'll go away.
Anonymous
June 5th, 2016 9:19pm
According to my health teacher, tell yourself that you will be okay,take some deep breaths and maybe drink a little water
GregariousAngie
June 9th, 2016 6:27pm
The best way is to breathe and relax yourself as much as you can. Later a self Pep Talk is always the key to do so. Tell yourself that there's nothing to worry about,that you can get through this,that you're the best. This laways helps one calm down. Else listen to some soothing music or talking to your friends and not thinking about the problem always helps.
BrainyUnicorn
June 9th, 2016 10:29pm
I know from experience how panic attacks can get but the one thing that has helped me is to breathe and focus on other things like find one thing in the room your end and just find descriptive words for it and just try to refocus your thoughts on positive things :)
Anonymous
October 10th, 2016 12:43pm
Try your best to relax and control your breathing. Put yourself into the most relaxing position possible - like off in a room where it's quiet for example - and see if you can try to make yourself only thing of more calming things.
Anonymous
July 18th, 2017 3:03pm
One of the best tips I've heard to calm down during a panic attack is to make yourself be present in whatever room or place you are. Remind yourself that you could walk out that door, or go touch that wall, or anything else, to remind yourself that you are present in a world outside of your mind.
SIsiJV
September 11th, 2017 6:22am
Breath and think of the calmest place you can and imagine yourself there. Then just open your eyes and try to work the problem out.
Anaiviv01
August 26th, 2019 3:58pm
There are different grounding techniques you can learn to master in a moment of calm. These resources are better acquired when you're in a state of normality, because they can't be "absorbed" during a panic attack. There are several ways to keep you grounded during an attack: the best way is to carry around with you a little "attack purse" with samples of different fabrics or a little stuff animal. Tact is an important sense to keep you in touch with reality and distracted with a sensory pattern. There are many tricks to overcome the overwhelming feelings building up, but this is one of the best one.
Anonymous
September 6th, 2019 5:20pm
NASAL BREATHING stops hyperventilation/lightheadedness you get breathing through the mouth. You can’t hyperventilate with your mouth closed. The way to do this is by closing each nostril with a finger, and breathing through one, then switching until the panic attack is gone. This is something I believe is not mentioned enough, yet much more effective than most techniques as it allows you to control you’re breathing directly. Reduce the fear by reminding yourself that a panic attack is only excess adrenaline running through your body. Try to sit down, find a quiet or safe space, lean on something solid, and/or tell someone available or that you trust to help if possible.
GinaMastali
December 29th, 2020 6:10pm
mindful breathing will help regulate your feelings of panic. deep inhalations and long slow exhalations will help one to become aware of being mindful, in which should help regulate the feelings of panic. Ask yourself where are these feeling coming from. Am I thinking into the future or am I staying present is a good question to ask oneself. Having someone to listen to how you are feeling is important . They may be able to help you reflect on what you are feeling and help you to realize that your panic attack may just be a reaction to what one was thinking.