3 Proven Steps to Stop Panic Attacks in Their Tracks

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2023-05-03 - 01:10

Panic attacks can be a terrifying experience. They can strike at any time, without warning, and can leave you feeling helpless and vulnerable. They can cause you to feel like you're losing control, as if you're having a heart attack, and even make you feel like you're going to die. The good news is that you can learn how to handle them. In this article, we'll provide you with three simple steps that you can take to help you manage your panic attacks.

Panic attacks are more common than you might think. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), approximately 2.7 percent of the US population experience panic attacks each year. Panic attacks can happen to anyone, regardless of their age, gender, or background.

It's important to learn how to handle panic attacks because they can have a significant impact on your life. They can lead to avoidant behavior, where you avoid situations that may trigger a panic attack. This can impact your quality of life and limit your experiences. By learning how to manage panic attacks, you can regain control and prevent them from ruling your life.

In the next sections, we'll share with you three steps that you can take to help you manage your panic attacks. These steps have helped many people overcome their anxiety and panic attacks, and we're confident they can help you too. So, let's dive in!

Understanding Panic Attacks

Alright, let's dive into what a panic attack actually is. First off, it's important to know that panic attacks are not uncommon - in fact, they affect millions of people worldwide. When a panic attack happens, it can feel like the world around you is falling apart. Your heart might race, you may have trouble breathing, and you could feel like you're going to pass out or even die.

So what exactly happens in your body during a panic attack? Well, your body goes into "fight or flight" mode, which is an evolutionary response that helps us respond quickly to danger. The problem is that during a panic attack, there's usually no actual danger present, so this response can be overwhelming and confusing.

Some common symptoms of a panic attack include sweating, shaking, feeling hot or cold, feeling nauseous or dizzy, and having chest pain or a racing heartbeat. It's important to note that not everyone experiences the same symptoms during a panic attack, and some people may experience different symptoms during different episodes.

Anxiety is often a key player in the development of panic attacks. If you struggle with anxiety on a regular basis, you may be more likely to experience panic attacks. Understanding the role that anxiety plays in panic attacks can be helpful in learning how to manage them.

Step 1: Grounding Techniques

Grounding is a technique that helps bring you back to the present moment and helps you connect with your senses. It can help you feel more in control, reduce feelings of anxiety and prevent panic attacks from escalating.

There are many different grounding techniques you can use, and different techniques may work better for different people. Some popular techniques include focusing on your breathing, repeating a calming phrase, or touching different textures around you.

When experiencing a panic attack, it can be helpful to engage in a grounding technique as soon as possible. This can help you regain control of your thoughts and emotions, and prevent the panic attack from getting worse.

It's important to remember that grounding is just one technique and it may not work for everyone. If grounding does not work for you, don't be discouraged. There are many other techniques you can try to help manage panic attacks.

Step 2: Deep Breathing Exercises

When you're in the midst of a panic attack, your body goes into "fight or flight" mode, and your breathing often becomes shallow and rapid. Deep breathing exercises can help to slow down your breathing and bring your body back to a calmer state.

To do deep breathing exercises effectively, find a comfortable, quiet place to sit or lie down. Start by taking a deep breath in through your nose for a count of four, and then exhale slowly through your mouth for a count of six. Repeat this process several times, focusing on your breath and trying to let go of any anxious thoughts that may be running through your mind.

It's also helpful to practice deep breathing exercises regularly, even when you're not experiencing a panic attack. This can help to train your body to automatically use deep breathing as a coping mechanism when you feel anxious.

Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your deep breathing practice:

In the next step, we'll talk about another technique that can help to ground you during a panic attack.

Step 3: Positive Self-Talk

When you're in the middle of a panic attack, your mind can quickly spiral into a negative thought cycle that only worsens your symptoms. That's where positive self-talk comes in. By focusing on positive affirmations, you can counteract those negative thoughts and bring yourself back to a calmer state.

To start, it's important to recognize when you're having negative thoughts. These may include things like "I can't do this," "I'm not strong enough," or "I'm going to die." Once you identify these thoughts, you can work on replacing them with positive affirmations, such as "I am strong," "I can get through this," or "I am safe."

It's important to be kind and compassionate with yourself during this process. Don't beat yourself up for having negative thoughts – it's a natural part of the panic response. Instead, focus on how you can reframe those thoughts into more positive, supportive messages.

Incorporating positive self-talk into your daily routine can also help prevent panic attacks from occurring in the first place. Make it a habit to practice gratitude and positive affirmations each day. Write down things you're thankful for or repeat affirmations to yourself in the mirror. Over time, this can help rewire your brain to focus on the positive and reduce anxiety overall.

Remember, panic attacks can be scary, but you have the power to take control of your thoughts and feelings. With grounding techniques, deep breathing exercises, and positive self-talk, you can overcome panic attacks and lead a more peaceful, fulfilling life.

Additional Tips and Strategies

While grounding, deep breathing, and positive self-talk are effective ways to manage panic attacks, there are other strategies that you can try as well. Some people find that physical exercise, such as yoga or running, can help them reduce anxiety and prevent panic attacks. Others find that creative activities like painting or writing can provide a much-needed distraction during times of stress.

It's also important to take care of your overall physical and mental health. This means getting enough sleep, eating a balanced diet, and reducing your intake of caffeine and alcohol. Additionally, practicing mindfulness meditation can help you learn to stay present in the moment, which can be especially helpful during times of anxiety.

While these strategies can be helpful, it's important to recognize when you need professional help. If you find that your panic attacks are interfering with your daily life or if you're experiencing other symptoms of anxiety, such as persistent worry or fear, it may be time to seek the help of a mental health professional. They can work with you to develop a personalized treatment plan that may include therapy, medication, or a combination of both.

Remember, panic attacks can be frightening and overwhelming, but they are also treatable. By practicing these techniques and seeking professional help when needed, you can learn to manage your anxiety and prevent panic attacks from controlling your life.


We've covered a lot in this article about managing panic attacks, so let's do a quick recap of the main points.

First, we talked about what panic attacks are and how common they are. We also discussed the importance of learning how to handle them.

Then, we went into detail about the three steps you can take during a panic attack to help yourself feel more grounded and in control. We discussed grounding techniques, deep breathing exercises, and positive self-talk.

Finally, we talked about additional tips and strategies for managing anxiety and preventing panic attacks, as well as the importance of seeking professional help when needed.

It's important to remember that managing panic attacks takes practice and patience. Not every technique will work for everyone, so it's important to experiment and find what works best for you.

If you're struggling with anxiety and panic attacks, know that you're not alone. There are many resources available to help you, including therapy, support groups, and online resources.

By learning how to manage panic attacks, you can improve your quality of life and feel more in control of your emotions. So take these steps to heart, and remember to be kind to yourself along the way. You got this!