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How To Stop Panic Attacks

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Having a panic attack can be scary. It feels like you’re losing control of your body and mind! You might feel hopeless and not know how to handle it. Thankfully, it’s possible to reduce your symptoms.

Follow these 7 steps to naturally stop panic attacks in its tracks:

1. Know The Symptoms

Know The Symptoms: 7 Steps To Stop A Panic Attack

It’s good to be able to recognize when you’re about to have a panic attack. This way, you can make the appropriate move. And while everyone is different, there are common symptoms. Many people have tremors, nausea, chest pain, and a fast heart rate. Sweating and trembling are also likely.1

2. Stop What You’re Doing

Stop What You’re Doing: 7 Steps To Stop A Panic Attack

Since a panic attack happens suddenly, you’ll probably be doing something else when it starts. You may need to briefly stop what you’re doing. For example, if you’re driving and can’t focus on the road, pull over. If you’re at the grocery store, find a spot off to the side. This will give you a chance to focus on calming your mind and body.

3. Breathe

Breathe: 7 Steps To Stop A Panic Attack

Hitting pause will also give you a chance to control your breathing. After all, it likely feels like your heart is going crazy! So try to practice deep breathing. This will help the blood and oxygen flow to your brain. Deep breathing will also encourage calmness by waking up your parasympathetic nervous system.2

4. Stay In Place

Stay In Place: 7 Steps To Stop A Panic Attack

While it helps to stop what you’re doing, don’t run away. Staying put will increase your tolerance for the location. Confronting the area will strengthen your ability to combat the panic attack! Otherwise, you might start to associate panic attacks with that place. Stay in the same place so you can focus on breathing.3

5. Distract Yourself

Distract Yourself: 7 Steps To Stop A Panic Attack

Once you have control of your breathing, continue what you were doing. Better yet, do something that you love. Listening to music, cooking, and stretching are all great ideas. Anything that promotes relaxation is fair game. It will show your brain that danger is not actually present.

6. Think Realistically

Think Realistically: 7 Steps To Stop A Panic Attack

Remind yourself that every panic attack will eventually end. Think about how you have overcome past attacks and anxious feelings. It’s also a good idea to notice that you’re not in any immediate danger. If needed, give yourself a mantra or phrase to repeat. You can even write it down on a piece of paper and keep it in your wallet.

7. Seek Help

Seek Help: 7 Steps To Stop A Panic Attack

Don’t be ashamed to look for support. If you’re near loved ones, reach out. Call a friend or family member that you love to talk to. It’ll serve as a distraction while providing security and comfort. And if you have panic attacks often, meet with a therapist for professional guidance.

You can also prevent panic attacks by practicing stress management. It’s also a good idea to eat well, exercise, and get enough sleep. If your therapist prescribes medicine, be sure to follow the instructions carefully.

References   [ + ]

1. Taylor, Steven, Gordon JG Asmundson, and Jaye Wald. “Panic attack symptoms.” Psychiatry 5, no. 6 (2007): 188-192.
2. Take A Deep Breath, The American Institute Of Stress
3. Cognitive Behavioral Treatment of Panic Disorder, Anxiety And Depression Association Of America
CureJoy Editorial

The CureJoy Editorial team digs up credible information from multiple sources, both academic and experiential, to stitch a holistic health perspective on topics that pique our readers' interest.

CureJoy Editorial

The CureJoy Editorial team digs up credible information from multiple sources, both academic and experiential, to stitch a holistic health perspective on topics that pique our readers' interest.