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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
July 10th, 2015 12:37pm
Continue to take slow, deep, complete breaths. Slow, deep, complete breaths will relax your body, which is the first step to reversing the release of adrenaline.
July 10th, 2015 7:16pm
I sit down and do some deep breathing. Concentrating on my breath as it goes in and out and I try to get myself into a meditative state this way. Or I put on some music calming music and listen to it.
July 10th, 2015 9:49pm
From personal experience, I just breathe deeply, then i think deeply and realize that Im just freaking out over nothing or small things, then I calm down :)
July 11th, 2015 5:45am
Breathe deeply a few times, and try to distract your mind, for example, count to 100 and back, and just let the attack go away, no one will harm you, if you don't feel better, call someone, just like familiars or friends.♥
July 11th, 2015 6:37am
The best thing that has helped me is to leave the situation if possible whether that's physically walking away or mentally distancing yourself. Remember, the symptoms you are feeling in that moment such as shakiness, dizziness, racing heart, etc., are all just physically happening. You are not in danger and the symptoms will subside in about 5-15 minutes. Just try to breathe deeply, drink some water, walk around, and distract yourself. Sometimes panic attacks are random, in which case just try to shake it off and take it easy for the rest of the day. They also occur during periods of stress which is why it is important to have supportive people to talk to and to keep doing activities you enjoy. For persistent panic attacks, talk to a counselor so you can work on relieving the thoughts that cause your anxiety. This has all helped me. Some days are better than others, but overall, it does get better.
July 11th, 2015 12:42pm
Close your eyes, visualize yourself somewhere safe and happy. Then concentrate on breathing. Use the 4-7-8 method. Breathe in through your nose for 4 seconds, hold it for 7 seconds, breathe out through your mouth for 8 seconds. Repeat over and over. You will feel yourself relax.
July 11th, 2015 5:28pm
try to deepen your breathing. Count to ten slowly and focus on nothing else. If there is someone with you focus on them and your inhale and exhales.
July 11th, 2015 9:56pm
Take deep breaths. Follow a square anywhere you can see one. Maybe a door or a window or something... trace the lines on the squares and then breathe in as you trace one line, breathe out when you trace a second, breathe in when you trace the third line and breathe out again when you trace the last line. Do that for a minute or so. Sit down if possible, get some water to drink and take your time before you get back up. Call out for help if you feel dizzy or like you might faint or be sick in some other way.
July 12th, 2015 2:58am
Try closing your eyes and breathing in for 4 seconds and then breathing out for 4 seconds. Do this for like 5 to 10 minutes. Your mind will try to mimic the calmness of your body.
July 12th, 2015 9:18am
Recognize that you are having a panic attack, step back, and begin trying to breathe. In, then out-- and repeat. Consider even repeating a mantra, or a phrase that brings you comfort.
July 12th, 2015 4:06pm
Breathe deeply and slowly. Also, don't think things like: "oh my God, I'm having a panic attack, I have to calm down!!!", just try to distract your mind in any way possible. xx
July 12th, 2015 6:12pm
I have found that finding a quiet place and doing some deep breathing helps. I try to remember that my feelings will pass .
July 15th, 2015 12:13am
Try to breath deeply as many times as you need, and keep saying to yourself that everything is going to be alright. Breath deeply, maybe even count to 10, just take your mind off of what's happening around you and what may have caused the attack
July 15th, 2015 2:08am
When I experience a panic attack I try to count 5 things I can see, 4 things I can hear, 3 things I can touch, and atleast one smell. It helps to grund me and bring me back to the present moment with mindfulness.
July 15th, 2015 9:25pm
Take slow, deep breaths. Listen to calming music. Think positive thoughts. Talk to a person who understands you well & is supportive.
July 17th, 2015 6:29am
there are many ways to help deal with a panic attack, unlike most emotion which come like waves that you can just let pass, panic attacks can only be eased by things that calm you, music, a soft object you like to touch, a smell, a happy place you can focus on. tools are your best defense against panic attacks.
July 17th, 2015 5:43pm
Panic attacks can be caused by fears of the past or the future. When that's the case, it can help to ground yourself in the present. Do a senses check and focus on the moment-but not on the rogue physiological responses you're feeling. What do you hear? What can you see? What can you smell? Touch your chair or something solid that is around you and identify it. Doesn't have to be complicated, just a simple word: chair, wall, couch, etc. Bring yourself back into the present and usually the symptoms will fade soon after.
July 18th, 2015 2:02am
Panic attacks usually occur because you're having too much anxiety over something. Try to think of something that makes you happy instead. If you can't, begin doing breathing exercises. Eventually, you'll get your mind off of the thing that was bothering you.
July 18th, 2015 3:52pm
There are several 'tools' to help during a panic attack but the most common way is to regulate your breathing. Our breathing affects our mental state - when we are calm we breathe slowly through our diaphragm, when we are tense we often take short, shallow breaths. This is an effective breathing exercise: breathe in to the count of four, hold the breath to the count of four, breathe out to the count of eight. It will be even more effective if you practice this a couple of times a day when you are calm, so during a panic attack you will also automatically associate this with a feeling of calm.
July 19th, 2015 2:59am
Distract myself with anything I can. Talk to someone and try to copy their breathing. If it's not noise that has sent me into an attack, music can help
July 19th, 2015 6:00am
To calm down during a panic attack, try breathing exercises and visualizing yourself in a happy place
July 19th, 2015 2:27pm
What I use is a breathing exercise called "4-7-8 Breathing." You inhale for 4 seconds, hold your breath for 7 seconds, and exhale slowly for 8 seconds! It helps me calm down when I'm feeling panicky or having a panic attack.
July 22nd, 2015 2:17am
You can close your eyes and just take a deep breathe and take a break from what you are doing to calm down. Think about things that make you happy and imagine yourself in your favorite place. if that doesn't just think to yourself that it will pass and everything will be ok.
July 22nd, 2015 3:42am
Remind yourself that a panic attack can only last for ten minutes. Know that it will end. You will be okay.
July 22nd, 2015 3:10pm
Sit yourself down and take some deep breaths, breathing from your stomach and then out and asking yourself why do you feel anxious and perhaps you could try and replace it with a positive thought this usually makes me feel better.
July 22nd, 2015 10:49pm
try the square breathing technique. Breathe in for four seconds, hold it for four seconds, exhale for four seconds, hold for four seconds, and repeat as necessary.
July 23rd, 2015 12:20am
You can always refer to the self help guide we have here on 7cups for panic attacks. They have tips and tricks ready for you when ever you need them.
July 23rd, 2015 3:55am
Take deep breaths and take a walk. Remove yourself around people or situation that is causing the panic. That usually calms me down.
July 23rd, 2015 10:30am
There was a movie called Fire Starter where whenever this little girl got angry she would stare at something and it would combust into flames. When she realised that this was hurting people and herself she controlled herself when she got angry by saying Back off! Back off! I find it very useful when you are feeling out of control. It tells your mind to back down!
July 23rd, 2015 10:11pm
5 seconds breathing in, 5 seconds breathing out. Breath with your abdomen and eventually use a bag in front of your mouth to stop hyperventilating. Imagine yourself in a safe place. If you can, go away from the trigger and seat down.