If you’ve ever experienced a real panic attack, you know how difficult it is. It can feel like you’re breathless, shaky, sometimes even sweating. Panic attacks completely suck and aren’t easy to control. They can occur at the absolute worst moments and leave you paralyzed from completing the rest of your day.
I’ve had too many panic attacks to count and I’ve always been looking for ways to stop them naturally. There are tons of remedies out there that people swear by but stopping a panic attack isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. I’m going to share the main ways to stop a panic attack that have worked for me. I’ll also add other methods that have worked for people that I know.
Splash Water on your face or get into a cold shower.
This one has worked for me a couple of times when I’ve endured panic attacks at home. I understand that in every situation, you won’t be able to get into the shower but if there’s water around – go splash some cold water on your face or even just hold your hands under cold water. It has helped a panic attack fade for me a few times. The cold has a way of bringing me back into the present.
Focus on your breathing.
I know that everyone recommends this remedy but, if taken seriously, it truly can help. Hyperventilating is one highly common symptom of a panic attack, (as well as those nasty chest pains that mimic a heart attack). This one doesn’t work for me every single time but, if I focus hard enough, it can help. My best method of deep breathing is as follows:
- Inhale deeply for 6 seconds
- Hold for 4-7 seconds
- Exhale slowly for 8 seconds.
Keep deep breathing on repeat, attempting to really feel the air come and go.
Accept that it’s a Panic Attack.
It can really feel like a heart attack. The heart palpitations and chest pains are common during a panic attack. If you’ve had one before, be sure and recognize, in that specific moment that it is just a panic attack – that it will pass. Acknowledging that it’s a panic attack – that you’ve been there before, can help ease your mind so you can concentrate on using methods to help it pass.
Hugging and cuddling can really help us come back to the present moment. Cuddling a pet is particularly helpful. Most of the time – especially with dogs – they can sense when we are uncomfortable or frightened. And hey, even if you’re alone, take hold of something soft, (like a pillow or a heavy blanket) and embrace it. I know it sounds odd but it does make a difference, (for me at least). You can even embrace yourself in a hug. (They make weighted blankets now that can help ease anxiety – link below).
Head to Knees.
This is my ultimate go-to when a lingering panic attack won’t pass. Simply sit and grab hold of your legs and place your head downward onto your knees. (It’s almost like a hug). Many, (including myself), believe that this a “safe position”. Close your eyes and remain in that position – focusing on your breathing and repeating, (either aloud or in your mind), positive mantras or the simply phrase, “It’s going to pass. I’m alright”.
Find your “Happy Place”.
This works wonders, but it is different for everyone. Some people prefer to retreat to their bedrooms or another location until the panic attack passes. Know what truly helps you, personally, calm a panic attack. For me, a horror movie, a blanket, and diffusing lavender essential oil while drinking a Gingerale is my “happy place”. (The horror movie thing is different, but it’s what works for me). You need to find out what works for you. The general rule to form a “happy place”, a way to get over your panic attack is as follows:
- Something you can see. (A movie you enjoy, artwork you find relaxing, pictures of loved ones and/or pets).
- Something you can touch. (A “worry stone”, a blanket/pillow, a stress ball, and some people use crystals they say work wonders).
- Something you can hear. (Tons of apps offer relaxing sounds like rain or a crackling fire. This can also be music or the sounds associated with what you’re seeing – if it’s a movie or a TV show).
- Something you can smell. (Your favorite perfume, a relaxing essential oil, favorite lotion – anything that has a pleasing scent).
- Something you can taste. (Lots of people use mints or gum. Personally, I like the taste of Gingerale).
It make take some trial and error but you will find your personal “happy place” that can help subdue a panic attack.
Talk it Out
At times, talking your way through a panic attack with someone close to you can really help ease your mind. Call up a relative, a friend or talk with your significant other to help dig your way out of your panic attack.
Certain Yoga Poses & Positions are helpful.
Aside from what I call “head to knees”, there are many other positions and some Yoga poses that people swear by. Child’s pose is one of them. A highly useful technique, (that I can’t remember where I picked it up), is called “Legs up Wall”. Lie on your back and put your legs upward, resting against a wall and deeply breath. That particular position has also helped me ease the symptoms of a panic attack.
Lots of people recommend Meditation as well and rave about it. I have been trying, but for whatever reason, I have yet been able to master meditation. But – try it! As I’ve said, one remedy isn’t for everyone.
Personally, this has rarely worked for me, (even though it does help my insomnia on occasion). However, I have talked to others who experience panic attacks that claim sipping chamomile tea calms them enough to take productive steps to rid themselves of a panic attack.
Take your Prescription
I am diagnosed with severe anxiety and panic disorder and yes, I do have a prescription. I don’t always like to jump right into taking a pill when I experience a panic attack but sometimes, when it’s severe enough – there’s just no other option. NEVER take a pill from a friend though if you’re not prescribed the medication. Dabbling in experimental medication while not under a doctor’s supervision can be highly detrimental to you and your state of mind.
I truly hope these tips can lead you to your own means of battling, (and beating), a panic attack. I am not a doctor. I simply suffer from panic attacks and these are methods that I’ve tried. I would never suggest NOT taking your prescribed medication.
Are there any other ways that you are able to get rid of a panic attack that I didn’t mention? What works for you? Tell me in the comments section. 🙂
Also, be sure and share this article to help others battle panic attacks.
Much Love & the wish that you have a wonderful & peaceful day. 🙂