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How To Stop a Panic Attack Immediately? 3 Best Ways!

Don’t panic.

We probably have heard this phrase or said it uncountable times.

As much as it sounds practical, sometimes, that’s not even the last thing people going through a panic attack wants to hear.

The fright you go through when suddenly the lights go out when you are alone.

The fear you experience when you lose sight of your little one in the mall.

The nerve-wracking emotion you feel when your plane experience turbulence due to bad weather.

The overwhelming emotions one experiences during these scenarios can’t be put into words, but we are sure you all can relate!

When someone has a panic attack, they experience a sudden unreasoning and overpowering fright and anticipate the worst things that could happen at that moment. As a result, they lose the ability to think logically and react to the situation frantically and irrationally.

Even before you register a panic attack, your body releases adrenaline, cortisol, and other hormones that indicate danger. These hormones cause physical reactions: heart-pounding, shallow breathing, sweating and shivering, shaking, and other unpleasant physical sensations.

In this blog, we will walk you through 5 effective ways to help you immediately control panic attacks or at least make them shorter and less severe.

How To Stop A Panic Attack Immediately?

Take long, deep breaths!

That’s the first thing you should do when your panic mode turns on. Inhale through your nose, hold it for five to ten seconds, and then exhale from your mouth slowly.

We advise you to learn breathing techniques from an expert or on the internet to master this drill. Trust us. It works wonders!

Start Counting Backwards.

If your heart suddenly starts racing fast and you feel that a panic attack is barreling for you, try counting backward. This method is recommended by Rob Cole, LHMC, clinical director of mental health services at Banyan Treatment Centers.

Start counting backward from 100 by 2s, 3s, or 4s. Counting backward at random intervals will take your attention from anxious thoughts to counting the numbers correctly. 

The unwanted noise of anxious thoughts sometimes makes it difficult for people to count backward in their heads. In that case, always carry loose change in your pocket. Add a dime to a nickel, two pennies, and so on.

By doing this drill, you stop anxious thoughts that try to sneak into your psyche and focus your attention on counting, and that’s why, within a few minutes, you start feeling calmer and relaxed.

Ice To the Rescue!

Using ice packs is another effective way to combat panic attacks.

We recommend storing four ready-to-go ice packs, two big ones and two small ones, in a refrigerator.

Immediately grab all four ice packs whenever you experience uneasiness and feel like a panic attack is on its way. Place two small ones in your hand and two large ones on your lower back. This significantly reduces the tension in your brain and helps bring your heartbeat to an average pace.

Holding small ice packs in your hands controls the sweat on your hand and helps you manage your shivering hands.

If you feel like your heart is in your throat, place one large ice pack on your lower back and rub the other one from the middle of your chest down to the bottom of your belly, slowly and over and over until your heart rate starts to mellow (over your shirt, of course- you don’t want to make yourself freezing!)

This practice carries all the nervous energy down from your chest so you don’t experience chest pain and instantly makes you feel better.

Call A Friend

Sitting idle and anticipating your panic attack is the worst thing you can do to yourself.

We recommend you distract yourself. Try talking to a friend who understands you and makes you feel better while you are feeling anxious.

If you are someone who isn’t comfortable sharing their anxiousness with anyone, try distracting yourself through soothing music, reading your favorite book, or watching your favorite show.

Try Reverse Psychology the Other Way  

A panic attack can clog your head with negative thoughts, which can keep the panic last for a long time and make you feel worse.

But you can wield a powerful weapon against these hostile forces: A list of powerful positive thoughts!

In reverse psychology, you ask someone to do the opposite (mostly negative) of what you actually what them to achieve. However, in this case, you can think about all the positive things instead of the negative things that could happen to you.

Your positive list should exactly get back to all your negative thoughts. For instance, if you feel like you are going to get a heart attack, tell yourself you won’t. Write it somewhere or say it in your head. The words you hear or read are powerful, and upon reading, again and again, they become your eventual truth!

We recommend you prepare this list when you are having a great day and feeling amazing! Keep this list in your wallet or save it on your phone so it’s easily accessible.

Conclusion

Panic attacks always strike out of the blue! They come when you least or don’t expect them – making you feel anxious, frightful, and helpless.

Try the above methods to control your panic attacks immediately and avoid them entirely soon.

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