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What has worked for you when dealing with a panic attack?

39 Answers
Last Updated: 12/21/2021 at 4:13am
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Monique Thompson, LPC, LPC-S

Licensed Professional Counselor

I am in my 21st year as a psychotherapist. I have worked with over 3, 000 people over the course of my career.

Top Rated Answers
September 12th, 2014 4:17pm
Whenever I am having a panic attack I put my hands on a flat surface (a wall, table etc) I have found that helpful and found out recently that others do too
October 25th, 2014 6:22pm
I stop what I'm doing, take a few deep breaths, and try to think of things that I can do to get back in control of the situation
October 27th, 2014 12:49am
When I first started suffering from regular panic attacks, my boyfriend came up with a brilliant way of calming me down. A huge problem for me was that I would feel like I was losing my vision and hearing. So he'd gently sit next me and in his calmest voice, he'd ask me to look at things and describe them to him. Having to focus on something and hearing a calm and reassuring voice helped a lot, even something as simple as 'How many colours can you see on that pillow?'
November 3rd, 2014 10:45am
My first priority when having an attack is to get to a safe space. Safe Spaces include my bedroom, or any room that can be locked from the inside, with no other people in it. I like to find a wall to sit or lie against, so my back is shielded (a corner is even better). Nobody should talk to me, and definitely not touch me, while I'm panicking, with the exception of a very few people, and even then only if I initiate it. I have a specific song that I listen to on repeat when the attack starts to subside.
September 11th, 2014 5:54pm
It's important to sit down and try to focus on your breathing. Just inhale and exhale, inhale and exhale. Try to think about your inhaling and exhaling and forget the rest.
September 25th, 2014 6:50pm
Something that is always helping me is listening to music. Mostly to a specific song that really makes me feel better because of it's lyrics and melody. Maybe a song that reminds me of a happy memory. To me, music is the best way to calm down and fill your mind with positive thoughts and feelings.
October 25th, 2014 8:49pm
Concentrating on my breathing and keeping it regular and calm (as I hyperventilate). Singing Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star was a life saver when I first started to learn to keep my breathing regular as due to the rhythm of the song I found it impossible to hyperventilate and sing it plus it was a distraction thinking of the lyrics
October 25th, 2014 9:51pm
Calm, and deep breaths. I like to sit back and just clear my mind, also make sure there isn't anything stressful around me.
October 27th, 2014 3:00am
i find that when i paint or sketch i tend to feel better, sometimes doing something that you do not do all the time but that you love doing really helps you focus enough to not realize the panic
October 28th, 2014 8:40am
Diving straight into the waves. And then imagining myself just floating, and letting myself be thrashed around the waves - I'm accepting the situation as it is. And then eventually, it stops. The deeper I dive, the sooner it ends.
October 28th, 2014 6:30pm
I have diagnosed panic disorder. I am going through CBT and it's working. It's more of a training/therapy rather than strictly "talking" style therapy. It will help you understand what is panic attack and follow a strategic plan that works for your specific case to learn to cope and eventually get rid of it.
November 3rd, 2014 1:31am
If by dealing you mean controlling panic attacks, then slowing my breathing and relaxing my muscles usually helps me calm down.
November 11th, 2014 7:16pm
Trying to occupy my mind with something unrelated to what is getting me nervous. If I have no clue why I'm in such a state holding onto someone I love helps.
November 15th, 2014 3:06am
I don't have panic attacks anymore thankfully, I had them when I was younger but I had a little couple of steps to take when I had them. First, relax by taking slow, deep, complete breaths. Calm yourself by remembering that you are only having a panic attack and that nothing more serious is happening to you. Stop negative thinking, shout 'Stop!' to yourself if it's necessary. Then replace the negative thought with a positive one. Finally, accepting your feelings is very important. Don't deny them, try to see them and understand why you're feeling this way. You can become the person that you choose to be.
November 19th, 2014 9:47pm
Umm.......deep breaths, writing, drawing, emailing my counselor for help, remember that is goes away and will not last forever.
April 2nd, 2015 4:12pm
When I had panic attacks, I would sit on the floor (no matter where I was ), and try and stay calm. I have always had people around me when I had one, even if they were strangers, so I was always able to get that little extra support. But I always found that sitting down helped me stay calm, and it also prevented any possible dangers such as fainting.
April 25th, 2015 2:48pm
I can not give advise about what would be best for you for dealing with these panic attacks, however I can provide you with some links from websites that are made to help you deal with the panic attacks.
May 7th, 2015 2:07pm
Deep breathing is key, I know it's difficult, but focusing on your breathing is so important. It can make a huge difference on how long the attack lasts.
May 13th, 2015 5:29pm
The one thing that I have done is allowed myself, as a human being, to be late. I am allowed to be late, or allowed to say no. I am allowed to take 5 minutes or even more to myself. I am worthy of that. In my case, panic attacks were centered around me trying to make too many people happy at the same time while losing focus on the one person I must ensure is stable and well balanced at all times; ME!
September 22nd, 2015 3:46pm
Taking a few minutes to breath and calm down. Try to remember that this panic attack won't last and that it's only momentary.
December 22nd, 2015 4:38am
For me, I lied down on my side, closed my eyes, focused on my breathing and talked to someone while I recovered. This made me feel much better overall :)
February 2nd, 2016 9:39pm
Although it can be hard, I focused on by breathing and tried to take regular deep breaths to regulate my breathing again. Focusing on an object or something in sight and thinking about what the object looks like and feels like helped me gain control of myself and my thoughts again. I hope this helps!
February 9th, 2016 6:38pm
Im not quite certain if i have had any But i know for a fact that im dealing with strong anxity. I have found that joga is a great method dealing with anxity. Staying present and in your body, not in your mind, can really work wonders!
March 7th, 2016 6:24am
Meditation - it also helps prevent them by calming your everyday stream of thoughts. When I am at school I just walk out the class and go outside for a run or just some fresh air. Focusing on breathing + taking deep breaths. Shutting my brain off. The fears only exist in your head.
May 3rd, 2016 1:00am
Stop what I'm doing. Calmly collecting myself and breathe in through my nose and exhale out my mouth.
August 23rd, 2016 7:55pm
I found read something which suggested saying the alphabet, out loud backwards works. It really helped me. It helps because you have to concentrate on what the next letter is going to be and saying it out loud means that your breathing is focused on saying the letters.
August 30th, 2016 6:08am
For me, I go to my room and play my favourite song through my headphones on replay and repeat the same breathing techniques until I'm calm. Everyone has their own way is dealing with them, and this is what works best for me.
September 20th, 2016 10:10pm
When experiencing a panic attack, I've found it very helpful to have a plan in place to deal with it. I use a grounding exercise that involves going to a quiet place with open sky if possible (removing myself from potential triggers and assisting in feelings of safety and ability to engage in flight behaviour, but making it my choice not to), sitting down and rooting my energy through my tailbone into the earth's core (visualization of stability and oneness), and focusing on breathing rhythmically into a meditative pattern (diversion of attention and focus to a different physical sensation that will incidentally prevent hyperventilation). I engage in that for about ten to fifteen minutes, the chest pain usually eases around five minutes into the practice, and the rest is just to allow time for my parasympathetic nervous system to calm things down on all levels. After that, I reassure myself things are okay, I am safe and alive and healthy and whole (affirmation of overall wellbeing) and if possible, try to return to what I was doing before to teach my brain that the stimulus wasn't a threat (reframing the experience to one of non-panic).
November 15th, 2016 11:22pm
Praying and running a hot shower in the bathroom for the steam to help me control breathing. Or take a shower in general it removes allot of tension.
February 6th, 2017 2:39pm
Deep breathing, focusing on one thing and setting my mind on it. Drinking water or juice and counting my swallows.