If you’ve ever had a panic attack, you know how distressing they can be. Your heart races, you feel like you’re being smothered, and you feel dizzy and faint. You may experience chest pain, chills, numbness or tingling sensations, and nausea, and you may feel like you’re dying or detached from your body. People who are having a panic attacks can end up in the hospital, certain they’re having a life-threatening emergency. They often don’t realise that they have a real disorder and one that’s treatable. 

 

If you have panic attacks, visit your doctor. A number of medications can control the intensity and frequency of panic attacks, and a variety of therapies can help you ward them off before they start. In the meantime, these tips can help you recover more quickly from a panic attack and even prevent it from going full-blown when you feel it coming on.

 

Breathe Slowly and Deeply

 

Anxiety attacks cause your breathing rate to increase, raising levels of the stress hormone cortisol in your body. Deep, slow breathing reduces the amount of cortisol on the spot to help you relax. Deep breathing exercises soothe your mind and body and can help you stay calm through a panic attack.

 

Stay Mindful

 

During a panic attack, your mind may spin out of control. Take back that control by consciously telling yourself to stop panicking. Remind yourself that this is a panic attack, and nothing else. Count to twenty slowly and out loud to prevent your mind from running away from you. 

 

Distract Yourself

 

Try to distract yourself. Call a friend, do some dishes, write in a journal or run a bath. If you’re on the go, a colouring book app on your phone can offer a pleasant, creative way to not only distract your mind from the attack but also to calm down. A popular colouring book app featuring elaborate mandalas may be just the thing. Learn more about the Coloring Book for Me & Mandala, a free app that can take your mind off your panic attack. 

 

Relax Your Muscles

 

During a panic attack, your muscles tense up, making it harder to relax and remain calm. Making an effort to relax your muscles, can help reduce the intensity of the panic attack and shorten its duration. Start at your toes, tensing them and then releasing the tension. Move up to your legs, hips, abdominals, arms, shoulders, and face. 

 

Learning everything you can about panic attacks can help you understand what may be causing them, and it can help you learn to stop them in their tracks or even prevent them from occurring. The Mental Health Foundation  and Mind have lots of information and resources to support you.

 

manage your anxiety

 

*Collaborative post

24 Comments

24 Comments on How to manage your anxiety when it takes over

  1. hann182014
    April 24, 2017 at 9:49 am (1 year ago)

    I’ve had panic attacks once or twice a few years ago, it’s horrible when it happens

    Reply
  2. joanna
    April 24, 2017 at 3:55 pm (1 year ago)

    I had a panic attack on the plane once and since then I am afraid of having another one. Itr’ true that breathing techniques can help a lot to calm down.

    Reply
  3. Megan Elliott (@LushtoBlush)
    April 24, 2017 at 4:29 pm (1 year ago)

    I was never someone that suffered from panic attacks, but after a close family member passed away a few years ago I developed tons of anxiety. It was so tough to go through! These are great tips. Thank you for sharing 🙂

    Reply
  4. Harriet from Toby & Roo
    April 24, 2017 at 7:50 pm (1 year ago)

    Such good tips. I don’t suffer with anxiety myself but I have close friends that do and I know how hard it is for them!

    Reply
  5. Sarah Bailey
    April 24, 2017 at 8:22 pm (1 year ago)

    Panic attacks are terrible and they really can make a person feel like they are having a heart attack or dying when they don’t know what is happening is a panic attack. Your tips are spot on, focusing on your breathing, trying to be aware of your surroundings are helpful. Visiting your doctor to explore medication also.

    Reply
  6. Nayna Kanabar
    April 24, 2017 at 8:27 pm (1 year ago)

    I found this article really useful to read as you have shared some great advise and tips.

    Reply
  7. Susanna | Ordinality
    April 24, 2017 at 8:53 pm (1 year ago)

    I don’t (thankfully) get panic attacks, but I feel myself just tense & curl up into a ball when my anxiety kicks in. The only thing that helps are those silly little “sleep noise” clips on YouTube; they’re so relaxing, and just staring at the screen with nothing else to do helps SO much.

    Reply
  8. Tanya
    April 24, 2017 at 9:37 pm (1 year ago)

    I haven’t had a panic attack myself but I have a friend who suffers with them and these are great tips. She always says that she focuses on her breathing and then tries to distract herself

    Reply
  9. Rhian Westbury
    April 25, 2017 at 9:12 am (1 year ago)

    I have a breathing app on my fitbit and I find that helps me to relax if I’m ever feeling anxious/ stressed x

    Reply
  10. Ana De-Jesus
    April 25, 2017 at 1:09 pm (1 year ago)

    I have anxiety myself and your right, practicing your breathing can really help you stay more mindful and breathe more normally x

    Reply
  11. Stephanie Merry
    April 25, 2017 at 4:05 pm (1 year ago)

    Great tips here, I have anxiety and always find it helps when I cocentrate on my breathing x

    Reply
  12. Mummy's Monkey
    April 25, 2017 at 6:25 pm (1 year ago)

    Some great tips here. Thankfully I’ve never suffered from panic attacks but this is helped me understand them more and what I could do to help

    Reply
  13. Sarah
    April 25, 2017 at 8:07 pm (1 year ago)

    This is a really helpful article. Thank you for sharing. I don’t have anxiety, but I have had panic attacks before. More often than not it’s because I need my inhaler, and I cant find it. Then I panic, which turns into a panic attack, and then that turns into an asthma attack! It is scary!

    Reply
  14. fashionandstylepolice
    April 26, 2017 at 10:28 am (1 year ago)

    Lovely tips here to combat anxiety. Distracting yourself does work.

    Reply
  15. Sally Akins (@SallyAkins)
    April 26, 2017 at 11:31 am (1 year ago)

    These are really useful tips. I also find that music can help – I have certain albums that help me to focus and calm down when I’m feeling anxious

    Reply
  16. Francesca
    April 26, 2017 at 3:06 pm (1 year ago)

    Great tios and advicw for those who suffer from panic attacks I’m lucky as I’ve not had one before I don’t think!

    Reply
  17. Rebecca Smith
    April 26, 2017 at 5:48 pm (1 year ago)

    Some great tips – I don’t think I’ve ever had a panic attack but I have friends that suffer really badly with them

    Reply
  18. Shannon (@smritchie12)
    April 26, 2017 at 5:50 pm (1 year ago)

    I suffer from anxiety on a daily basis so these tips have given me some great suggestions on how to manage!

    Reply
  19. Dannii
    April 26, 2017 at 7:00 pm (1 year ago)

    Lots of great tips. I have suffered from panic attacks for about 15 years and it never gets easier, but I can manage them a bit better now.

    Reply
  20. Kira
    April 26, 2017 at 8:46 pm (1 year ago)

    These are all so important to keep in mind! I hate having attacks but I try my best to keep myself calm and to myself. A nice quiet place is best for me!

    Reply
  21. Leanne
    April 26, 2017 at 8:57 pm (1 year ago)

    I’ve not suffered with anxiety or panic attacks but as someone with friends who suffer these are some good tips to remember.

    Reply
  22. Lubka Henry
    April 29, 2017 at 7:00 pm (1 year ago)

    These are some good tips. I don’t get such attack very often, but it happens, so it’s good to keep these tips in mind 🙂

    Reply
  23. Emily (@amummytoo)
    April 30, 2017 at 11:12 pm (1 year ago)

    Good advice. I find mindful/square breathing to be extremely effective.

    Reply

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