Shaky and sweaty hands. Fast heartrate. Hyperventilating. Dizziness. Nausea. Fear of losing control…
A panic attack can show up out of nowhere. Often times you don’t know the exact cause or trigger that set it off.
But now you are feeling like the panic attack will never end.
It’s in the middle of a panic attack where you forget how to calm your mind and body down to overcome it.
Thankfully, there are some easy calming strategies to try for panic attack relief!
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Strategies For Panic Attack Relief
Easier said than done, I know! Breathing a real struggle when you’re in the middle of a panic attack.
Your heart is racing and you make even feel as though your chest and throat are tightening.
To overcome this claustrophobic feeling, learning to breathe correctly for panic attack relief is a must!
The breathing technique I’ve found that works best is the four count methods. It goes like this…
Inhale for 4 seconds through your nose.
Exhale for 4 seconds through your mouth.
Continue this pattern of breathing until your heart rate slows and you feel yourself catching your breath.
Of course, this breathing method can be modified to do more than four seconds.
I just feel that four seconds is a long time for me to inhale and exhale during a panic attack.
But feel free to breathe in and out longer if you want, as long as you’re breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth!
There are many grounding exercises to try, but one of the easiest you can do is name and describe things around you (out loud or in your head).
If you’re at home and a panic attack occurs, start naming random objects you see around the house. For instance: “I see a grey couch, a blue and white area carpet, a white rocking chair, a bookshelf, etc.
Depending on how long the panic attack continues, you may end up naming multiple objects throughout your house. But that’s OK!
Grounding exercises like this one can be performed an where you have a panic attack.
They allow you to refocus your mind on other things and help you feel a sense of familiarity of your environment around you.
Another great ground exercises to try is the 5,4,3,2,1 grounding method.
For more on this exercise check out my article on how to stop obsessive thoughts!
Panic Attack Playlist
What type of music calms you down? For some it’s classical piano music. For others Elvis Presley’s greatest hits.
Whatever your preference is, find music that brings a sense of calm back to you when you’re feeling your most anxious.
Create a playlist of your favorite calming songs and have them on hand to listen to whenever a panic attack strikes!
Personally, when I am feeling a panic attack coming on I like to go straight for the screaming rock music of As I Lay Dying and Slipknot.
I feel it releases some pent-up frustration I might be having at the time of the panic attack.
I have this panic attack playlist on my phone and ready to go anytime I need some panic attack relief!
If you don’t have a weighted blanket yet, you need to get one! I highly recommend it!
A weighted blanket has the ability to completely calm you down during the worst panic attack ever.
When I’m at home and I start having a panic attack, I stop whatever I’m doing and grab my weighted blanket, throw it over myself and lay down on the couch until the attack passes.
While the idea of having weighted pressing down on you may seem claustrophobic, I promise the deep pressure stimulation created from the blanket is so comforting!
Although you can’t drag a weighted blanket around in public every time you have a panic attack, you can find panic attack relief at home by purchasing one!
To learn all about weighted blankets and the benefits it can provide your mental health read this article!
Visualization is all about finding your happy place. Let me walk you through my own visualization (happy place) to help calm a panic attack.
Close your eyes during a panic attack. Imagine you are at a beach. Feel the ocean water as it crashes on the shore.
Take a few steps out into the water and dig your feet into the sand. Feel the waves all around you and the sun heating your face. Then, imagine yourself closing your eyes and only hearing the sounds of the ocean around you.
This is my happy place for panic attack relief! I just visually took you through a fond memory a have of my childhood of being on a beach in Maui.
Now, what is your happy place? Try to think of somewhere that immediately brings you feelings of calmness and visualize not only what everything looks like, but the sounds and smells of your visual happy place!
Essential Oil Jewelry
I love essential oils and use them often. However, I don’t believe breathing in essential oils alone can provide complete panic attack relief.
Therefore, this strategy should be combined with another relief strategy to overcome an attack.
Essential oils have the ability to provide a state of calmness to the mind at it’s most hectic.
To help with panic attack relief at home and away from home, essential oil jewelry is the best way to diffuse it!
Personally, I prefer essential oil necklaces compared to bracelets because they are better for breathing in the oils.
I don’t smell much from essential oil bracelets because my arms are always moving throughout the day.
Here are some amazing essential oil blends to help calm a panic attack!
Yes, positive affirmations are able to calm anxious minds! Reciting positive phrases daily before an attack can overtime challenge and reframe your thinking.
During a panic attack reciting positive affirmations breaks your mind’s negative thinking patterns and distracts you from the physical signs of a panic attack.
Affirmations for anxiety are more than just saying “I am OK.” You have to be more specific to change your thinking and find panic attack relief.
Read my article Positive Affirmations For Anxiety and Anxious Thoughts to find 20+ affirmations for daily use!
Panic attacks can be unbearable! Some last for minutes, while others last for over an hour or more.
No matter the length of the panic attack, there are simple ways to refocus your mind to find the relief both your mind and body so desperately need!
I’ve found all of the above strategies to be highly effective in my own life for panic attack relief.
However, I typically combine at least two calming strategies together to calm myself quickly.
When a panic attack strikes, what strategies do you use to help you find relief?