Panic attack

Expert Tips on Calming a Panic Attack

Recognize the signs of an anxiety attack.

Although the video is fictional, panic attacks are very common.

Before you can effectively calm an anxiety attack, it’s important to be able to recognize the signs. Common symptoms of an anxiety attack include rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, chest pain, dizziness, trembling, sweating, and a sense of impending doom. It’s important to remember that everyone’s experience with anxiety attacks may be different, so it’s essential to pay attention to your own unique symptoms. By being able to identify the signs of an anxiety attack, you can take the necessary steps to address it and find relief.

Practice deep breathing exercises.

Deep breathing exercises are a powerful tool for calming anxiety attacks. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a moment to focus on your breath. Breathe in slowly through your nose, counting to four. Hold your breath for a count of four, and then exhale slowly through your mouth, counting to four again. Repeat this cycle several times, allowing yourself to fully focus on your breath and the sensation of inhaling and exhaling. Deep breathing helps to activate the body’s relaxation response, reducing feelings of anxiety and promoting a sense of calm. Practice deep breathing exercises regularly, even when you’re not experiencing an anxiety attack, to build your skills and make them more effective in times of need.

Use grounding techniques to stay present.

Grounding techniques can be incredibly helpful in managing anxiety attacks. When you feel yourself becoming overwhelmed, try focusing on your senses to bring yourself back to the present moment. One technique is called the 5-4-3-2-1 method. Start by identifying five things you can see around you, then four things you can touch, three things you can hear, two things you can smell, and one thing you can taste. This exercise helps to redirect your attention away from anxious thoughts and onto your immediate surroundings. Another grounding technique is to engage in physical sensations, such as holding an ice cube or splashing cold water on your face. These sensations can help to bring you back to the present and provide a sense of relief. Experiment with different grounding techniques to find what works best for you and practice them regularly to build your skills in managing anxiety attacks.

Challenge negative thoughts and replace them with positive affirmations.

One effective strategy for calming an anxiety attack is to challenge negative thoughts and replace them with positive affirmations. Anxiety often stems from negative and irrational thinking patterns, so it’s important to challenge these thoughts and replace them with more positive and realistic ones. When you notice yourself having negative thoughts during an anxiety attack, take a moment to pause and question the validity of those thoughts. Ask yourself if there is any evidence to support them or if they are simply exaggerated or distorted. Once you have identified the negative thoughts, consciously replace them with positive affirmations or statements. For example, if you’re thinking “I can’t handle this,” replace it with “I have overcome challenges before and I can handle this too.” By challenging negative thoughts and replacing them with positive affirmations, you can help to shift your mindset and reduce anxiety during an attack.

Seek professional help if needed.

While there are many strategies you can try on your own to calm an anxiety attack, it’s important to recognize that professional help may be necessary in some cases. If your anxiety attacks are frequent, severe, or interfering with your daily life, it may be beneficial to seek the guidance of a mental health professional. They can provide you with personalized strategies and support to manage your anxiety more effectively. Additionally, they can help determine if there are any underlying causes or conditions contributing to your anxiety and provide appropriate treatment options. Remember, there is no shame in seeking help, and reaching out to a professional can be a crucial step in finding long-term relief from anxiety.

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