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9 Ways To Calm Yourself During a Panic Attack

9 Ways To Calm Yourself During a Panic Attack

Panic attacks can be overwhelming and scary, leaving you feeling like the world is closing in. But amidst the swirling emotions and physical sensations, remember: you’re not alone, and there are steps you can take to regain control. This guide equips you with nine practical strategies to navigate a panic attack, from calming breathing exercises to grounding techniques that bring you back to the present moment. Remember, knowledge is power, and with these tools at your disposal, you can weather the storm and find your way back to a calmer state. Take a deep breath, let’s begin.

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Acknowledge intrusive thoughts without judgment

Recognizing and accepting the presence of these thoughts, rather than resisting them, is the first step to managing their impact. It’s important to remember that thoughts themselves are not harmful, and your reaction to them plays a crucial role. By acknowledging them neutrally, you can begin to detach from their power and move towards healthier coping mechanisms.

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Anchor yourself in the present moment

During a panic attack, practice mindfulness techniques like grounding exercises or focusing on your breath. By bringing your attention to the sights, sounds, and sensations around you, you gently disengage from negative thought patterns and regain a sense of control, easing the intensity of the panic attack.

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Ride the wave, don’t fight it

Resisting the physical symptoms of a panic attack can amplify anxiety. This tip suggests accepting sensations like a rapid heartbeat or shortness of breath without judgment. Remember, these are temporary reactions, and focusing on calming your breath and practicing relaxation techniques can help them subside naturally. By riding the wave instead of fighting it, you regain a sense of control and reduce the overall intensity of the attack.

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Connect with a source of calm

During a panic attack, feeling safe and supported is crucial. This tip encourages you to identify what brings you comfort, whether it’s deep breathing exercises, listening to calming music, or reaching out to a trusted friend or family member for emotional support. By connecting with something or someone that brings you a sense of calm, you can manage the overwhelming emotions and navigate the attack more effectively.

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Engage your senses to ground yourself

Engage your senses: notice the feeling of your feet on the ground, the coolness of the air on your skin, or the sound of your breath. These simple grounding techniques gently shift your attention away from overwhelming thoughts and emotions, offering a sense of control and reducing overall anxiety.

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Drink Water

Drinking water during a panic attack can help alleviate symptoms by promoting deep breathing and providing a distraction. The act of sipping water encourages slow, deliberate breaths, which can counteract hyperventilation and reduce feelings of anxiety. Additionally, the physical sensation of swallowing can divert attention away from racing thoughts, offering a moment of calm and grounding during the episode.

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Take a Whiff

Incorporating pleasant scents, such as lavender or peppermint, can be a helpful technique for managing panic attacks. Aromatherapy triggers the olfactory system, which can evoke feelings of relaxation and calmness. By focusing on the soothing aroma, individuals experiencing panic can redirect their attention away from distressing thoughts and sensations, promoting a sense of tranquility. The power of scent to influence mood and reduce anxiety makes it a valuable tool in managing panic attacks.

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Practice self-compassion

Amid a panic attack, self-criticism can fuel anxiety and make the experience feel even worse. This tip encourages compassionate self-talk. Remind yourself that panic attacks are temporary and don’t define you. Use phrases like “This is hard, but I can get through it” or “I’m not alone in this.” By offering yourself kindness and understanding, you can reduce self-blame and create a space for emotional regulation, promoting a calmer state of mind.

Tags: health