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Although I’ve lived with mental illness my whole life, I am not a medical professional. If you need help finding a mental health care provider, call 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or visit BetterHelp to talk to a certified therapist online at an affordable price. This post contains affiliate links. You can read my full disclaimer.
My anxiety is always there, so I am no stranger to panic attacks. On a good week, I panic at least a couple times a week. But lately, panic attacks have even been occurring multiple times a day.
To keep myself from feeling like I’m going insane, I started to dive deep into the roots of my anxiety attacks. I’ve figured out what triggers me the most, and how to cope with them. I’ve built a mental checklist for myself on how to control my reaction to these attacks.
Whenever I feel an attack come on, here are the things I do to train my brain to calm itself down:
6 Things to Do When You Feel a Panic Attack Coming
1. DISTRACT YOURSELF
A lot of the reason we panic is because we’re too much in our heads. Every little thing seems more intense because our mind tends to intensify everything when we are experiencing anxiety. Before I can focus too much on me panicking, I quickly get up and engross myself in other activities.
Whether it’s taking a walk outside, playing video games, journaling, or even cleaning the house, I do whatever it takes to kick the little devil off my shoulder. Sometimes our thoughts are our worst enemy!
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2. FIND YOUR COMFORT
Hugs have been proven to reduce anxiety by releasing serotonin and dopamine. They instantly elevate our moods. However, sometimes hugs can be too suffocating for me during a panic attack.
If hugs don’t work, the tender touch of someone can really be calming to me. If my boyfriend is within 20 feet of me, I usually ask him to rub my back. (You would think he would’ve mastered the skills by now.) Talking about peaceful memories also soothes me.
3. PUT ON A POT TEA
Tea, especially herbal tea, has also been proven to relieve anxiety. Try drinking a cup of chamomile tea and see how you feel. If you need something stronger, try passionflower tea.
I try to drink tea at least once a day to help keep my symptoms at bay. If you drink tea for a straight week, I promise you’ll see results and start to feel different!
4. FIND A MIRROR
This might be a stretch for some, but when I feel myself starting to panic, I try to be in the exact moment. I’ll find a mirror and look at my reflection. Then I’ll tell myself all the things I see with my eyes.
I’ll notice how the freckles dance across my face, or how my auburn hair descends down to my hips. I never try to point out the flaws I see in myself. Try to only point out concrete observations or features you like about yourself.
5. PET AN ANIMAL
If there is a dog or cat anywhere close to you, reach out your hand. Animals can sense your energy, so they can work wonders. My pit bull knows exactly when I’m panicking, and she instinctively knows to come lay by me and kiss my face until my breathing goes back to normal.
She and my other two dogs have seriously saved my butt plenty of times when my anxiety is so high and I’m having a really intense panic attack. They are my instant remedy.
6. LISTEN TO MUSIC
If there is one tip you should take away, it would be to listen to music. Pandora has been my lifesaver in recent years, and instrumental music has always been a good friend to me. Explosions in the Sky, Factor Eight, Anesthesia are some of my favorite bands I listen to in order to calm myself down.
If they don’t work, I also love putting myself in tune with the sounds of nature. Rain and thunderstorms are amazing to me, and they’ll instantly calm me down. Try putting the Nature Radio station on Pandora and feel your body start to relax!
What are some of your personal remedies you have discovered that calm you down?
- 4 Ways to Safely Recover from a Panic Attack
- How to Work Out When Exercising Feels Like a Panic Attack
- 10 Common Bad Habits Making Your Anxiety Worse
- 5 Things You Can Do to Help Your Partner Through Anxiety
- How to Build Your Own Anxiety Kit
- The Ultimate Anti-Anxiety Playlist
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