How to get through a panic attack
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7 Ways I've Freed Myself From Panic Attacks

Anxiety tips that actually work.

7 Ways I've Freed Myself From Panic Attacks

Panic attacks are NOT fun. In fact, I've had my fair share of panic attacks. Although anxiety is a big part of my life, I try not to allow it to control me. If you are having a panic attack right now, or need help managing your next one, here are a few tips and tricks that have helped me and will hopefully help you.

1. The 4,7,8 breathing technique

How to do it: Breathe in as deep as you can for 4 seconds, hold it for 7 seconds, and breathe out slowly for 8 seconds. Repeat this 3-4 times or until your breathing gets back under control. (This has saved me multiple times in the midst of having a panic attack)Side note: If you are in a public place, find a quiet spot like a bathroom, a bench, or somewhere that you can really focus on breathing.

2. Facing The Anxiety Head On

I know this sounds so cliche but recognize that you are having a panic attack. Sometimes when we are having one, we tend to get stuck in our own mind and start spiraling downward into hundreds of catastrophic thoughts. Tell yourself that it's okay. Acknowledge that this has happened before and you ARE going to get through it.

3. Confronting Catastrophic Thoughts

One thing I like to do in the midst of a panic attack is to ask myself, "What am I so afraid of?" or "what is causing me to feel this way?" Sometimes I like to use my iPhone and jot down a list of fears that I am having in that very moment. The next thing I ask myself is " What is the worst thing that could happen if any of these fears actually came true?"

For example, Inner thought: "I am afraid that I will embarrass myself in front of everyone or throw up from nervousness" Challenging that inner thought: "What happens if you DO embarrass yourself, or you DO throw up? What's the worst thing that could happen if you did?"

When you cognitively challenge your own fears and thoughts, it allows you to not be as afraid. Most of the time, our fears are not as scary as we think.

4. Essential Oils

I absolutely love essential oils. If you've never heard of them before then I highly recommend looking into it ASAP. My favorite oil to use during a panic attack is Lavender. Keep in mind, not all essential oils are meant to be put directly onto the skin without diluting it first. Do your research and always make sure what you are using is safe. I like to dab a few drops onto my wrists. I also like to do my breathing exercises while inhaling the lavender scent. FYI: Lavender is one of the oils that you do not have to dilute.

5. Peppermint

Peppermint has been scientifically proven to have a calming/relaxation effect. It also helps with nausea and anxiety. This is my mini "go-to" in order to calm myself in the midst of a panic attack, or if I'm feeling anxious. So chew on some minty gum or a breath mint. This really helps me if I don't have my essential oil, or I'm unable to do my breathing exercises.

6. Getting Fresh Air

Panic attacks can strike just about anywhere or at any time. If possible, go outside and breathe in the fresh air. Wherever you are, focus on the present moment. Use your five senses and think about what you can hear, smell, see, taste, and feel. A lot of us spend so much time preoccupying our mind into our cell phones or thinking about the past and future. Panic attacks are also spent mostly in the mind. When you bring yourself back to the present moment, it will help you feel more grounded.

7. If All Else Fails Try This 

If you have reached this step and are still feeling panicked, try a guided meditation video. My favorite person to listen to is Jason Stephenson. I was never really into meditating, nor did I ever really get the concept of it. But after a few years of doing it, it's my favorite anxiety tool. Don't worry about knowing how to meditate, sometimes just listening to a calming voice helps. (Best if listened to with headphones)

Finally, don't be afraid to seek professional help. If this is an issue that is interfering with your everyday life, then there are many resources available! Talk to a friend, a family member, a school counselor, or a teacher. You are not alone.

Seek Help:

Suicide Prevention:

Crisis Text Line:

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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