Skip to main content Skip to bottom nav

How can I control panic attacks when the breathing techniques don't work because I cant concentrate?

6 Answers
Last Updated: 03/31/2020 at 12:45pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Traci Seery, LMFT

Marriage & Family Therapist

Are you living your best life? My style is collaborate, supportive and compassionate. Together, we will develop goals that produce positive results to make your life better.

Top Rated Answers
PrincessDove13
November 14th, 2016 7:56pm
The next best thing in my experience is to distract your mind. This can be with just about anything. Have a conversation with someone, watch a movie, listen to music, read, paint or draw, snuggle a pet, so on.
calmArrow53
January 1st, 2017 12:14pm
Most of the time, you cannot completely control panic attacks. But the good news is that when they happen, they will undoubtedly pass. And usually the they only last a couple of minutes. If you have a panic attack and cannot control your breathing, I would advise going somewhere alone or with a supportive friend/family member) or going somewhere safe while it passes. Personally, sitting down or lying down helps my panic attacks. Chewing gum does for me as well, because it makes me more aware of my body and what it's doing/how it's feeling. You could also distract yourself is possible - even with something to play with in your hands (for example, a sponge, rubber ball, etc).
Anonymous
March 13th, 2017 10:21pm
I also found it hard to concentrate on breathing while we are having panic attack. What helped me a lot was installing breathing app. It helped me to have clear guidance and comforting sound. Whenever I have panic attack, I just start the app and follow it. I would recommend to try several relaxation technique apps when you are feeling fine, and have your favorite on your home screen so that you can quickly access to it when you have panic attack. Also, if you have not done so, I would see your doctor or therapist and talk about it.
resourcefulHeart96
May 8th, 2017 11:22pm
Personally 99% of the time I cannot help myself through a panic attack. I always call someone that I know will help and support me and help me get out of my attack. They help me through the breathing exercises and tell me soothing things that I need to hear because my mind is too foggy and panicky to do anything else.
Anonymous
July 3rd, 2017 11:03pm
Look around you, find 5 things you can see, 4 things you can touch, 3 things you can hear, 2 of your favorite scents, and one of your favorite flavors. This is called a grounding technique and it helps many people, including me. After you do this, you might feel a little better. You now can do some breathing exercises.
heavenlyRiver8628
March 31st, 2020 12:45pm
I would recommend having a pre-recorded meditation/breathing session ready to go on your phone for when you need it, or a trusted person you can call who will sit with you and remind you to breathe. Anxiety is powerful and can shut down your ability to think, even about basic things like regulating your breathing. But remember you are powerful too, and you will get through this, sometimes you may just need a little help along the way and there is no shame in that. Preparation is the best thing you can do for yourself, so what is definitively one of the simplest yet most effective ways to handle an anxiety-provoking situation is to plan in advance and have something or someone on standby for when you need that little extra help to calm down.