Tips for coping with panic attacks
If you experience panic attacks, try the tips below. They can reduce stresses in your life and help prevent panic. See which ones work for you.
Try a breathing exercise
Breathe deeply into your stomach; then breathe out slowly – making your out-breath longer than your in-breath. Repeat until you feel calm.
Face your fear
Tell yourself that all the symptoms you experience are caused by anxiety, it is not dangerous and it will pass. This can help you feel calmer and less fearful of future attacks.
Shift your focus
Look at a flower, a picture or something that you find interesting or comforting. Really notice the details, the colours and any smells or sounds.
Listen to music
Listening to peaceful music can help you to be calm.
Confide in someone
Talking to someone you trust about how you feel, can also give you someone to contact when you start to feel anxious.
Join a support group
This allows you to share feelings and discuss strategies and can be a useful way of meeting people who understand what you are experiencing.
Keep a diary
Make a note of what happens each time you get anxious. This can help you spot patterns and what triggers your panic attacks.
Create your own coping card
When you feel anxious, it can be hard to remember coping strategies that you have learned. It can be useful to list what you know will help (e.g. phone mum, do my breathing exercise) on a small card, and keep this in your bag or wallet.