Knowing how to calm a panic attack is more useful than you may think. In the US, 40 million adults have some type of anxiety disorder. Even those who have no history of anxiety disorders may also suffer from a panic attack at some point in their life and don’t know how to calm themselves down.
While panic attacks generally won’t cause serious physical health dangers , they can still be scary if you don’t know how to calm it down right away. However, the good news is, there are ways to calm yourself (or someone else) down to get through a panic attack better.
Are you interested in hearing more? Then keep reading. Here are 7 tips for calming a panic attack.
1. Focus on Your Breathing
Many anxiety attack symptoms have to do with your heart rate and breathing rate. In fact, you might have issues with breathing, such as hyperventilating. As a result, this can further exacerbate your anxiety attack.
One of the best things you can do for calming your anxiety attack is focus on your breathing. Take a deep breath in, but don’t exhale just yet. Hold it for about 5 seconds, and then slowly let it out.
Repeat this process until you can noticeably feel yourself calming down. This is the first thing you should try when it comes to how to deal with anxiety attacks.
2. Ground Yourself
In the moment, it can feel very scary to have a panic attack. You might even wonder if it’s anxiety or a heart attack.
But a vital thing you can do is ground yourself. Instead of focusing on how scary the attack is, focus on the things that are tangible to you.
For example, focus on your clothes feel against your skin, how the air smells, or how the texture of the wall looks. It might help to just pick one thing and focus all your attention on it.
This type of mindfulness is a great anxiety attack remedy.
3. Relax Your Muscles
While you’re having a panic attack, you’re probably tensing up a lot of muscles without even realizing it. That’s actually one of the common signs of an anxiety attack.
As part of the mindfulness you’re doing for anxiety attack help, you should also concentrate on relaxing your muscles. Think about your muscles, starting from the top of your body, and move down slowly, relaxing each group separately.
When you take a moment to notice how tense your body is, and take the necessary steps to relax those tensed-up muscles, it can help immensely in getting you through the attack.
4. Be Conscious of the Fact That the Attack Will Pass
As we’ve mentioned earlier, panic attacks won’t cause you any serious physical damage. If you can get through them, then you’ll be fine once it ends.
In the moment, it may feel like the world is ending and you can’t cope with that feeling. But if you take a second to recognize that it’ll eventually be over in an hour, that may help to quash all those scary feelings and ride out the attack.
5. Do Some Light Exercise
Physical activity can help people blow off steam and burn off excess energy, which can be created through an anxiety attack. Not only that, but it can cause your body to release endorphins, which are natural “feel-good” hormones.
If you can manage to do so, get yourself up and do some light exercise. It doesn’t have to be anything intense; it can even just be a walk around the block.
Some exercise can have a lot of benefits for you when it comes to an anxiety attack. Not only can it do the above, but it can also help you clear your mind and not have racing thoughts anymore.
6. Speak to Your Therapist
If you already have a therapist, it might help to speak with them while you’re in a time of crisis. They might be able to help walk you through some important steps on how to stop an anxiety attack that you might’ve temporarily forgotten about.
However, be careful not to overstep your boundaries. Your therapist is a person with their own life as well, so only reach out to them if you really feel like your life is in danger. Otherwise, you should try the other methods on this list first.
7. Speak to Your Loved Ones
Perhaps you don’t have a therapist just yet. That’s fine, so long as you seek their help in the near future.
For some people, it helps to not be alone while they’re having a panic attack. If that’s the case for you, then see if one of your friends or family can come spend some time with you. If they can’t, at least see if anyone can hop on a call with you.
Speaking with someone can help distract from the overwhelming symptoms of an anxiety attack. Having them discuss ordinary and mundane issues can help bring your anxiety level down, as these conversations can be comforting.
Know What to Do for Calming a Panic Attack
Now you have some effective ways of calming a panic attack.
We understand it’s a highly unpleasant and scary thing to go through, which is why we hope the above tips have helped. But one of the most important things in handling an anxiety attack is to have the aid of a professional therapist.
With their help, you can learn even more effective ways of dealing with these panic attacks so they aren’t as detrimental to your life. In addition, they can help you pinpoint your sources of anxiety and give you effective ways to deal with them so your chances of anxiety attacks are decreased for the future.
Now that you know how to help someone with an anxiety attack and how to calm an anxiety attack, it’s time for the next step. Find a psychotherapist near you who can help you even further with these debilitating occurrences.