How can I deal with a panic attack when I am out?

33 Answers
Last Updated: 06/04/2019 at 5:29pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Jamitia Wilson, MS, LAC

Pre-Licensed Professional

I believe that true healing occurs when one is able to honestly express how one feels about himself/herself and the world. I would be honored to support your healing change.

Top Rated Answers
LovelySummer
October 25th, 2014 3:22am
Hey there! As unfortunate as this question is, it does not take away the fact that it is indeed a very good question. Panic attacks are basically an overwhelming feeling of anxiety and fear (give or take). First things first... Did you guess "Figure out where this feeling is emerging from"?... ehh close but not quite. First thing is to get along, as quickly as possible. If getting somewhere private is extremely difficult (and I do mean EXTREMELY difficult) then you are out of luck! No, I'm joking! Sorry unique sense of humor lol! Anyhoo, If you can't get alone, I suggest asking to be excused right then and there! Take a moment to collect yourself (and your breath). Go to a nice calm place in your head. If you don't have one, GET ONE! Don't worry about how long it's taking you, don't worry about who's around, don't worry about how you look. At that particular moment in time, the ONLY person you should be worrying about is YOU! Even if you have loved ones! You can't care about others when you're trying to slow your heart rate down and gain back control over your body! Hope this helps!
DavidH
September 18th, 2014 5:24pm
I usually use distraction methods such as listening to music or making a phone call to a friend it always calms me down.
heyitsnicolec
October 8th, 2014 1:45pm
Bring a stress ball with you where ever you go. place it in a bad or your pocket. use it when you feel like you're having a panic attack. it works for me.
Anonymous
September 15th, 2014 9:54pm
Find a public bench or other sitting areas immediately and sit down with head bent and stare at the floor while controlling the emotion.
Regina
September 21st, 2014 1:22am
Best way I know to deal with a panic attack when you are out is to find a secluded place where you can take some deep breaths. You should focus on each deep breath until your breathing rhythm goes to a normal rate. Remind yourself that everything is okay, will be okay, and you are in control of the situation. Go back to the area that you were experiencing the panic attack when you feel comfortable and ready to. Make sure you think of a plan for how you will react and be within this environment so you can prepare yourself beforehand.
Acokanthera
October 9th, 2014 3:03pm
Find a quiet place if possible, close your eyes, breathe deeply and, if you think it will work for you, count your breaths from 1-10 and back again. Try and sort in your mind what has bothered you to such an extent, and make a mental list of what can be done to remedy the situation. Always remember that your health is your priority, and you should put yourself first.
mdcrist92
October 15th, 2014 5:37am
Bring yourself back to reality by reminding yourself of the real things going on around you. You may feel out of control during a panic attack, and letting yourself know of things that can be in your control or that you know of can help calm you down
Malaena
October 17th, 2014 10:42pm
I use mindfulness-based breathing to get me through panic attacks. I focus solely on my breath without attempting to modify it. I just pay attention to it as it comes in and goes out. This is usually effective but if not I'll sing a song in my head to distract myself.
Rachel29Warrior
October 18th, 2014 1:05pm
Panic attacks can be very tough to cope with. There are a few discrete things you can try to help manage your panic when you're out and about. If you can find a quiet place. You can try is to focus on your breath as you breathe in for a count of four, hold for a count of two and then breathe out for a count of four. Another option to try is to focus all of your attention on something such as counting how many colours you can see. Slowing your breathing and calming your mind will hopefully help you to manage your panic attacks easier.
StormWilliams
October 25th, 2014 10:49pm
Get yourself into a place where you feel safe. call someone you trust and use relaxation techniques to help yourself calm down.
Gracey
October 26th, 2014 2:26pm
if possible find a place that is quiet and away from crowds of people, this will allow you to take some time for yourself to relax and try and get your anxiety and breathing under control. it can sometimes help to close your eyes, concentrate on your breathing and think of something pleasent
Specialbutterfly
October 27th, 2014 1:51pm
Deep breaths. Imagine your lungs are a giant balloon of your favourite colour. Breathe in deeply, and when you feel you can't breathe in anymore, do it for longer. Then let the breath out, keep letting it out, until you feel all the air gone. Repeat this over and over again.
MonochromePuppet
October 28th, 2014 5:20pm
breath in for four seconds , hold your breath for seven seconds . then exhale for eight seconds, this works a lot for many people.
Gemma8483
October 29th, 2014 10:30pm
Try to remove yourself from the situation and take a breather to prevent them. If you do have one, let someone know so they can take you somewhere quiet and talk you through it.
Anonymous
October 30th, 2014 6:17am
By using breathing exercises and relaxation exercises. If you feel like having a panic attack you can also count from 10 and find your happy place or thoughts that will help you calm down.
Anonymous
November 2nd, 2014 6:07am
The thing that works best for me is deep breathing, but it doesn't always work when I'm not laying down.
KatieB
November 2nd, 2014 7:43am
Panic attacks are terrifying, one of the most important things to keep in mind when they occur is the ability to IDENTIFY what is happening in your body. Your body is reacting as though it is under direct attack - when often times, it isn't actually under any threat. When you're out, I would recommend seeking a place that you feel comfortable, such as a public bathroom, perhaps ask one of the store clerk in a shop if you can be taken out the back. Concentrate on your breathing, breathing from your abdomen, inhaling through the nose and out the mouth SLOWLY, this will not only calm you down, but it will also prevent you from hyperventilation. Deep muscle relaxation is also incredibly helpful, tense your muscles all at once and then release. These are things that can help during a panic attack, but it is important that you also deal with the origin of your panic attacks, always seek professional help if you think that you need it.
Helper6754
November 6th, 2014 12:30am
like out of medicine or out of the house? either way you want to first calm yourself down and take deep breaths and keep doing that until you are okay
zeiwald
November 7th, 2014 4:09am
Don't just remember to breathe, but actually do it. If possible find a not so crowded place, public bathroom should do, too. Hell, if you feel safe then lock yourself in a public bathroom - and breathe, breathe, breathe. But slowly - inhale, exhale. Feel the air going in and out of your lungs. Don't hurry and take your time.
Artemis6
November 10th, 2014 6:38pm
The easiest way to deal with a panic attack anywhere would first to be able to identify the symptoms of a panic attack. Identifying the symptoms of a panic attack would then lead us to be aware of a coming attack, and in a public setting muching on something as a distraction from the attack would be a way to deal with it. As well as practicing on the breathing techniques :)
CupOfMint
November 10th, 2014 8:57pm
What helps me, is to take deep breaths. I face panic attacks even on my office having my coworkers all around me. What I do is to take deeps breaths and I carefully try to hide in the toilets where I stay till it all goes off. Because it will go off!
Bea258
November 12th, 2014 10:59pm
Of course! Take in a slow, deep breath through your nose while counting to five. The hand on the chest should stay still, while the one over your diaphragm should raise with your breath. This is how you know the breath is deep enough. When you reach the count of five, let the breath out slowly (through your nose) at the same rate. Concentrating on your hands and the counting will help focus you and calm you down. Continue these breaths until you feel relaxed. Relax your muscles. Find a comfortable position to sit in (or lie down). Close your eyes and begin to focus solely on your toes. Curl them under tightly for a count of five, squeezing the muscles together as hard as you can, then relax. Next, concentrate on your feet. Contract all of their muscles tightly for a count of five, then relax. Continue up your body, isolating each muscle group (calves, thighs, buttocks, stomach, chest, shoulders, neck, fingers, hands, and arms) all the way up to your face. By the time you contract and relax your face muscles, you should feel much more calm. You can do this anywhere! Hope it helps:)
DivergentMockingjay
November 17th, 2014 3:12pm
Breathing is key. When you are having an attack, your breathing can turn erratic. A good thing to try is to cup your hands together, like you're holdimg water betweem your hands. Cover your nose with your cupped hands and breath slowly in to the count of five, hold it for five seconds, then release the breath slowly. Do this for about five minutes, and you should feel better.
Lovekensa
April 11th, 2015 9:22am
You bring yourself to the present moment, you keep yourself calm. Breathe in for 7 seconds and out for 11. People can't see what is going on inside of your body.
DipityEnigma
July 14th, 2015 10:51pm
Look at your surroundings, think of a joke, listen to your music, read a book, play a game on your phone, put up your hood to block people out, wear dark sunglasses that others can't see through, sit at the back whenever on public transport so you don't feel like you're the attention even when you're not, text a friend, call a friend, have a friend with you, have something in your pocket that's small and has meaning and hold it in your hand or maybe have a small stone in your pocket that you can fiddle about with, don't look at people directly. Here's some relaxation techniques: http://www.incaresurvivors.org.uk/resources/ICSSS-Anxiety-Flashbacks-and-Grounding-techniques.pdf I hope this helps.
Bellonya2
August 18th, 2015 6:21pm
First of all, if you are with someone you trust, let them know imideately so they are aware and can offer their support. No matter what you are doing, stop that, maybe look for somewhere to sit and take deep breaths. Remind yourself that you are having a panic attack and that it will be over soon, that everything will be alright, and just focus on your breathing, feel your body, it's your nexus to reality.
ListenLady
September 22nd, 2015 8:59pm
Panic attacks when you are out can be very scary but the same as any panic attack one thing is true, it ALWAYS passes. No matter how bad/ill you feel it will pass. To help you while the panic passes you can try deep breathing, breathing exercises like box breathing techniques can be used in public without anyone knowing what you are doing. Some people find it helpful to chew something and concentrate on the flavours and sensations of chewing to take their focus from the panic. I personally would remove myself from the situation or place where I was having the panic attack but then I would panic about having another attack in the same place or situation so leaving would make my anxiety worse so I started to change my thinking, instead of running I would stay there and let the panic pass, this helped me lose the fear that feeds anxiety and panic attacks. Another thing I used quite a lot was distraction, I would play a game on my phone or talk about something I was very interested in if with another person, this distracted my mind from the rising panic and stopped it reached a high level.
kindheartedNatural99
June 13th, 2016 4:31am
Try to seclude yourself from people who you don't trust. Focus on your breathing and try to calm your heart rate. Think about your happy place if you need to.
Dawn04
October 10th, 2016 12:42pm
If possible, try to excuse yourself back to the car or somewhere more private, like a bathroom. Then just let it ride out before returning to what you were doing.
bornabaz
March 8th, 2017 12:03am
Get into a calm place or just leave the setting it happened at. Think about your breathing and blasting music could help