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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
TalkToMe21
July 2nd, 2015 7:23pm
Everyone is different. If I feel one coming on, I start doing a puzzle or knitting. Something to keep my hands busy and my eyes away from a screen. I set everything up for tea afterwards and wait it out. More often than not it dissipates and the ones I do have are mild at most
Anonymous
July 3rd, 2015 12:11am
First thing's first, don't try to stop the panic attack from happening. I like to think of it as "riding the wave". Let the emotions roll through you and remember that they will pass. Let it happen, tell yourself that it is temporary and just do whatever you can to ground yourself in that moment.
HawaiianAir
July 3rd, 2015 12:59am
The best way to calm down during a panic attack is to remember that you're just having anxiety, you are going to be fine, and to focus on your breathing. Place one hand on your stomach and concentrate on taking slow, deep breaths. Calm down and breathe slowly. If you are standing or walking around, find a place to sit and try to relax and have deep slow breathes. If you are with friends or at work, tell people around you that you need a minute.
SophiaListensToYou
July 3rd, 2015 8:07am
Breathe in for seven seconds. Hold your breath for three seconds. Breathe out for eight seconds. Repeat. Think about things that are calming or relaxing, like your "happy place."
KelseyAnna
July 3rd, 2015 8:08am
It takes 20 minutes or half an hour to calm down from a panic attack. Usually deep breaths, doing something else, or identifying what thought pattern ("cognitive distortion") triggered the attack are the last things you want to hear about or do, but with time these are the tools that help the most. Usually things that trigger the attack to wait to be settled until you are calm, and trying to address the concern while panicking can make things worse. Take care of yourself first, so future you can be strong enough to take on the challenge.
JessThePhangirl
July 3rd, 2015 7:30pm
Steps To Help Breath Think about something happy Breath Think about something you luv Breath Repeat
BeyondThePines
July 4th, 2015 1:00am
Try grounding yourself to the physical, immediate world around you, and breathing. Try walking around the room, calmy breathing, touching objects and focusing on the texture of them. Focus on smells, and details. Feel the physical outline of your body and realize your presence, and realize you're in control of your own body.
Jenniiy
July 4th, 2015 11:00am
You have to take deep breaths. And just switch off the world for a second. You have to concentrate on yourself and just breath deep and slow. And you have to believe that nothing can happen that is that bad.
Anonymous
July 4th, 2015 12:13pm
You can calm down by taking deep breaths, trying to stop your negative thoughts, using coping words/phrases and accepting how you feel.
Anonymous
July 4th, 2015 10:47pm
Take deep breaths, use your coping skills. Take a warm bath, take a walk, smell calming scents, listen to calming music, talk to someone you trust about it, write in a journal, sleep, use positive distractions!
Emily619
July 5th, 2015 12:23am
Whenever I have panic attacks, I try to think of time. Although I haven't had many, thinking of time usually helps me, as if it, in a way, slows down and fastens the attack at the same time. This doesn't work for everyone, but, based on my experience, it has helped me.
Tiger2279
July 5th, 2015 7:17am
To calm down during a Panic Attack, one should use a technique called "GROUNDING" in which one focuses on environment and other concentrations in order to get out of their current internal focus of worry, fear and anxiety.
AskingAriel
July 5th, 2015 4:58pm
Find your relaxing point. Find a breathing technique that helps, or a routine. Remember that it'll be over soon, and that you're okay.
Anonymous
July 5th, 2015 5:57pm
Breathing is game changer. Taking the time to concentrate on your breathing means the difference between calming down and getting more agitated. Take deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth. Think rationally - why are you having a panic attack? Is there any way you can fix the cause? Is there even really a cause to begin with? Accept you are afraid, don't try to fight it, you'll only panic more. Wait - stand or sit but just wait. Don't move - you're not thinking or acting right, you could hurt yourself or someone else. Repeat until you come out of your panicked state.
PondIsle
July 5th, 2015 8:20pm
"Centering" yourself, or learning to be in the present moment really helps me out. It's not a miracle cure by any means, but it certainly helps!
peachysunny
July 5th, 2015 8:56pm
breath in for 4 seconds hold for 5 seconds breath out for 8 seconds this will help alot i promise just breath
MrRabbito
July 7th, 2015 7:15pm
Something simple as breathing properly can be extremely helpful to calm down. Just close your eyes, take deep slow breaths and focus on your breathing. Do like 5 slow breaths and that should usually help calm yourself.
MissaAlyssa
July 8th, 2015 1:55am
Take deep breathes and focus on calming thoughts. Reassure yourself as much as possible, so eventually you will relax
HisBestFriend1030
July 8th, 2015 9:00am
Breathe! and realize that some times we think of the worst case scenario. When we do this it's just a recipe for disaster. Sometimes we think things will be worse than they actually are. Usually sitting down for a couple and thinking about the reality of the situation helps. Talk to someone about your fears, thoughts, etc that got you there in the first place and pick each issue out individually and see the good in each one until they feel little.
IamLeonarda
July 8th, 2015 2:25pm
Just close your eyes and imagine you're somewhere where you feel relaxed, whether it's a beach, a top of the mountain, your bedroom...and start taking few deep breaths. Just focus on breathing and imagine you're somewhere else. It's going to be okay, YOU are going to be okay!
DipityEnigma
July 8th, 2015 5:30pm
Try to take your mind off of the situation. Listen to music, try to read a book, look at scenery; anything to keep your mind off of the situation.
Laliat
July 8th, 2015 8:55pm
You can find someone to talk to about it or anything really, find something healthy/safe to do that helps you stay calm until it passes, or find a quiet place where you can sit and breathe deeply until it passes. There aren't any magical tricks that will make a panic attack go away, each person is different so find your method that best works for you, so long as the method is both safe and healthy for you and those around you. Some people have hobbies, others have pets, others may just want to talk/vent it out or just sit quietly in a room.
EquusZoe
July 9th, 2015 1:09am
Deep breathing to a rhythm really helps me calm down. Sometimes just getting up and going outside helps as well! Talk to family members if you need it or find a quiet space to relax.
Anonymous
July 9th, 2015 5:04am
Phone a friend, hug a teddy bear, wrap up in a soft blanket, listen to music, take a nap...BREATHE. Breathe in for four seconds, hold it for seven, breath out for eight seconds. Do this two times, four times, or however many. Why? Because this will help to take your brain out of "panic" mode. Keep telling yourself that everything will be okay, and that YOU are okay. c:
Anonymous
July 9th, 2015 9:46am
The biggest thing I try to focus on is breathing. When I am having a panic attack, I breath rapidly, cause hyperventilating. I take slow deep breaths through my nose and exhale slowly out my mouth. This works for me because it slows my breathing as well as my heart rate and also helps in relaxation. Thus bringing me out of the panic attack.
Anonymous
July 9th, 2015 12:33pm
It is easier if you have somebody with you to calm you down. If not, maybe sit down and try to breath.
heartsNcupcakes
July 9th, 2015 2:51pm
Practicing breathing exercizes, though it may not seem like it at the time can really help doing a panic attack. You could also be dehydrated which can intensify it so drinking water helps. Also repeatedly telling yourself that this will pass and you will not die from a panic attack has helped me a lot. I also find that there are a lot of apps that offer useful tips on managing panic attacks both in the present and future.
Mogsyt
July 9th, 2015 7:56pm
talk yourself somewhere safe, put of a crowd, somewhere quiet, concentrate on your breathing or ask somebody you trust to help, make yourself a drink, sit down and keep concentrating on your breathing.
dreamwithmelovers31
July 10th, 2015 2:02am
i calm down so to speak by engaging with the present, feeling my surroundings, having people reassure me that i am okay and that i am safe.
bambooandsilk
July 10th, 2015 10:27am
As I have had plenty of panic attacks, the best solution to getting rid of a panic attack is first addressing the issue that you are having a panic attack. Once you know that, you know that the panic attack is occuring and only YOU can stop it. What has really helped the most after that is to take in deep breaths VERY slowly. Concentrate on your breathing. If you have to, lay on your back and put your hands on your stomach and breath in deep and breath out.