How to Calm Down During a Panic Attack: 5 Practical Tips and Techniques

Panic Attack

Have you ever felt like you can’t breathe, you’re hyperventilating, sweating, with your heart racing and your knees ready to give out?

Like many people, you’ve probably experienced something like that and felt you’re losing control of your body. These are some of the symptoms of panic attacks, a common problem that affects up to 13% of the US population.

What is a Panic Attack?

A panic attack is an intense and sudden attack of fear that has nothing to do with a genuine threat but rather a perceived one. These episodes can happen at any time to anyone as they don’t have a particular cause.

However, people diagnosed with panic disorders tend to experience panic attacks frequently. The same goes for people with anxiety disorders and those struggling with intense phobias.

For example, if you have an intense fear of confined spaces (Claustrophobia) or fear of public speaking (Glossophobia), finding yourself in such a situation is likely to trigger a panic attack.

Practical Tips and Techniques to Help Calm Down

Panic attacks are treated using coping mechanisms and medications. If you’re struggling with panic attacks, the tips below will help combat the condition.

  • Learn More About It

One thing that makes a panic attack so bad for the person experiencing it is how horrible it makes them feel. You may feel like you’re having a heart attack or something bad is happening to you.

But learning more about these episodes allows you to recognize them for what they are and that they don’t pose any danger to you. A panic attack is just a terrible experience that will pass. 

Get to know what your attacks look like, and it will become easier to focus on controlling them.

  • Eliminate the Trigger

When a panic attack hits, you want to eliminate anything that makes it worse. If you’re in a crowd, leave. 

Although, sometimes, you may be unable to remove yourself from the situation that triggered the attack.

For instance, you’re afraid of the dark, the lights go out, and you can’t find your way out of the room. Or you find yourself in a confined space where you can’t leave immediately.

It would help to sit or lie down as that lowers your heartbeat and makes it easier to implement other coping strategies.

  • Distract Yourself

Distracting yourself can be a quick way to get out of panic mode. Teach yourself a few steps to help shift your mind from the distressing situation to something else.

For some people, counting backwards helps. You could also try focusing on different senses. It would help to close your eyes and think of what you can smell, hear, or touch.

  • Try Meditation

There’s a reason meditation has been around for thousands of years. It’s a set of practices designed to strengthen your mind and wash away everything but the present.

Meditation is a great way to center and calm yourself. It’s often recommended to counter anxiety and stress and can definitely pull you out of a panic attack.

When meditating, you don’t pay attention to anything else except your breathing. Thoughts will creep into your mind, but the idea is to let your thoughts revolve around your environment and the moment.

There are plenty of resources online for step-by-step training on how to meditate.

  • Try Cannabis

People have been using herbal remedies for centuries to treat various ailments, including stress and anxiety.

One of the herbs that has greatly interested the research community is cannabis. The plant contains chemical compounds with medicinal benefits.

These compounds produce different effects, some of which are psychological because cannabis, also known as marijuana, has a mind-altering compound called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

Since a panic attack is purely psychological, THC would be an ideal remedy. However, combining all marijuana compounds like cannabinoids and terpenes is preferable.

With its broad-spectrum profile, the whole plant can trigger a range of psychological experiences like happiness, relaxation, euphoria, calmness, and focus.

Remember that these feelings can vary depending on the marijuana strain you use. Veriheal has an in-depth guide on marijuana strains you can go through.

Final Thoughts

It’s important to remember that a panic attack isn’t going to harm you. It’s just a disturbing experience that can make your life miserable. However, the condition is entirely manageable through psychotherapy and other coping mechanisms.


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