When you’re in the middle of an anxiety spiral, it can be extremely – I repeat: EXTREMELY – hard to calm your mind long enough to even think/remember to do some of the classic, natural anxiety-calming tricks (journaling, read a book, listen to calming music, weighted blanket, etc.), let alone actually do them.
Let me tell
Pfftt… Yeah right. A journal, and actually sitting down to write in it, is the last thing on my mind at that moment.
This is a list of panic attack remedies you can try when you are on the verge of an anxious meltdown and about to lose your shit!
Panic Attack Remedies
1. Go outside
Who cares about the weather. I don’t care if it’s freaking 3 degrees or 118 degrees (I live in Arizona, and yes, it was 118 degrees last summer. Ugh!). GO OUTSIDE.
Sitting in your stuffed up
You need space and a lot of it. You need air. You need to feel like you can breathe.
And getting out of your enclosed, suffocating house (or whatever building or enclosed space you are in) is the best way to get that new, fresh air into your lungs.
Slow, deep breaths.
Breathe allll the way in for a count of 4…
…hold for a conscious 2 seconds..
…then breathe out for a count of 3.
3. Talk to yourself OUT LOUD
Be that “weirdo” whose having a full-on conversation with themselves! So what! You do what you gotta do for your own mental well-being.
I say things like:
- “Ok. Ok. You’re Ok.”
- “Just keep breathing”
- “You can do this”
- “You’ve had this happen before and you made it through”
- “This is a panic attack. Not a heart attack. You are not dying.”
- “What’s bothering you at this very moment?”
- “What do you think triggered this attack? Remove yourself from it.”
Yep! I literally pace and talk out loud to myself! Even if it’s a soft whisper, speak it out loud, not just in your head.
The trick here is not only to reassure yourself that you WILL be ok, but to try and lower your stress “fight or flight” hormones and therefore bring your mind back into reality and rational thinking.
4. Grounding technique 5-4-3-2-1 (5 Senses)
I did this one a few days ago and it really does work, you guys. This is my new go-to.
If you have kids, especially little ones, then you are familiar with “redirecting” as a tactic to alleviate and/or bypass a tantrum. This is the same concept – redirection – and can be used for kids and adults.
Then, consciously listen and name out loud 4 things you hear. It could be a bird in the tree near you, a printer in your office printing (which you shouldn’t hear because you should have your butt outside! lol), a motorcycle speeding off on a nearby road. Anything you hear – name 5 of them. OUT LOUD.
Next, touch 3 different things. Make an effort to touch something random, such as bend over and touch the sidewalk, or take a step or two and touch a tree.
Next, name 2 things you can smell. Did you smell the stinky exhaust of the car that just drove past you? Or maybe you smell the neighbor firing up their BBQ. Or
Lastly, name 1 thing you currently taste. If you aren’t eating anything at the moment, name OUT LOUD the last thing that you tasted, and make a cons
5. Walk, and keep walking
…until the peak of your anxiety mellows out and the feeling of an anxiety/panic attack passes. Practice the 5-4-3-2-1 Grounding Technique over and over again while you’re walking.
I’ll sometimes even hum my favorite song to myself while I’m walking.
6. Count backward starting from 1 MILLION
Yes, that’s 1,000,000. And do this OUT LOUD. It’s not that often that you count backward from this high of a number. So this requires your spiraling anxious brain to redirect onto something else – what big long number comes next!
Panic attacks can come on at any time, even when nothing in particular triggered us in that very moment.
This list of remedies can help stop panic attack before they happen or when you feel one coming on.
What is something you have done in the past that immediately calms your anxiety? Share in the comments below!
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