How To Stop a Panic Attack Quickly

How To Stop a Panic Attack Quickly

Reading Time: 5 minutes (1054 words)

Introduction

If you suffer from panic and anxiety attacks I'm going to teach you how I get rid of my panic attacks quickly. Using my technique I'm able to stop a panic attack before it spirals out of control.

I’ve experienced thousands of panic attacks in my lifetime. I know how horrendous and scary they can be. Other people don't quite understand how anxiety and panic can destroy your life.

Over the years I've tried countless ways to stop my panic attacks including medications, therapy, yoga, and meditation. But, one of the most helpful methods that work for me is a technique I developed myself called riding the anxiety wave (you'll see why in a moment).

I can tell when I'm about to have a panic attack. I'll start to feel jittery with an overall feeling of something isn't right. This is the make or break stage. I either control the attack as it's starting or it will progress into a full-blown attack.

Anxiety and Panic Attack Symptoms

During a panic attack I experience many different symptoms that can feel very uncomfortable and down right scarey. These include:

  • Sensory overload: Sounds around me become jumbled into noise and chatter. My eyes become sensitive to bright lights (especially fluorescent lights).
  • Racing thoughts: My thoughts whizz by at a million miles per hour and I find it impossible to focus my attention on a single train of thought.
  • Fast heart rate and tachycardia: My heart rate will rise to between 120bpm and 200bpm during the anxiety attack.
  • Ectopic heartbeats: A feeling like my heartbeat is skipping, fluttering and pausing.
  • Sweaty palms armpits, back, and butt.
  • Nausea and a feeling of sickness often followed by gas.
  • The need to urgently poop.
  • Shortness of breath and a feeling like I can't get enough air.
  • Impending doom and the feeling like life is about to end.
  • Lack of control and a feeling of separation from the body.

Does this sound similar to the panic attack symptoms you have?

Do not worry they're completely normal during a panic attack. The important thing to do is remain calm.

It's shocking that the brain can cause the body to go haywire. When a cardiologist told me the symptoms are completely harmless I almost didn't believe him. But, 18 years later I'm still here and as fit as a fiddle. He was right.

I still have panic attacks regularly, but I've developed a method to stop an anxiety attack quickly. They no longer control and dominate my life as they used to. My method is called …

Riding The Anxiety Wave

Pretend you're a surfer. Imagine the scene. You’re paddling out to sea on your surfboard just about to catch a big wave. It’s much bigger than you expected and the sound of rushing water and strong winds is deafening. Your body is pumping you full of adrenaline as you prepare to mount the wave. Your heart is pounding out of your chest!

It’s too late to turn back now. You either ride the wave, or you let it crush you.

An anxiety attack is very much like a surfer riding a wave. If you let it, it will crush you. But, eventually, the wave loses energy and trickles up the sand … just like a panic attack.

Instead of a wave of water, a panic attack is a wave of overwhelming fear, panic, and worry.

You've Done This Anxiety Thing Before

If this isn't your first panic attack you've already had one or more attacks in the past. Just like the previous attacks, this one is no different. It will not harm you and you're not going to die, pass out, or go insane. Trust me, I've been in your shoes.

Some people find it helpful to keep a log of their panic attacks. It can be useful to look back on your past anxiety attacks as a reminder that you've experienced panic before, and it will pass.

How To Get Rid of a Panic Attack Now

If you’re suffering from an anxiety attack right now, or at any point in the future, I want you to try my method and ride out the anxiety. It's easy to perform, and easy to remember. Honestly.

  1. If possible find a quiet comfortable spot such as a bathroom, bedroom, garden, etc. If that's not possible put some headphones in, or cover your ears with your thumbs and massage your temples with your fingers. Close your eyes too.
  2. Breathe in slowly through your nose for 8 seconds. Fill your lungs with air.
  3. Breathe out slowly through your mouth for 8 seconds. Release all the air from your lungs through pursed lips (like you're kissing somebody).

Repeat steps 2 and 3 for 5-10 minutes. Be patient. Try to relax your muscles. A panic attack will cause your muscles to stiffen and tense. This is normal during a panic attack.

I like to repeat a mantra in my head (or sometimes out loud if nobody is home):

This is just a normal panic attack. Lots of people have them. I’ve had them before. It will pass very soon just like it always does. A panic attack has never harmed anybody and it can not harm me.

… find something that works for you.

Distract Your Mind From Negative Thoughts

Another good thing to do during a panic attack is to distract the mind. It's helpful to distract the mind from negative and persistent thoughts. You can do this in several ways but some helpful ideas are:

  • Try to recall the multiplication table. If that's too easy try to memorize Pi.
  • Count all the red cars you see.
  • Watch something silly on YouTube.
  • Starting a conversation with a coworker.
  • Listen to classical or calming music.
  • Cuddle a cat or dog.
  • Complete a crossword, word search or sudoku puzzle.
  • Play a game of chess.
  • Read a book.
  • Go for a walk or do some exercise.

I hope this article helps you learn how to stop and control your anxiety attacks. You can help other people with anxiety by sharing this page on social media, or with friends and family.

Wishing you happiness, and good mental health …

James