Stop Panic Attacks: Random Stuff

Have you tried …


As any panic sufferer knows, there is always lots of little tid-bits of advice being thrown at you, for ways to stop panic attacks or things that may help. Some times they are helpful, sometimes you just “smile and nod”.

So this is going to kind of be one of “those” posts. However, I am wanting to know if you have tried any of these and what your take on them is.

Grounding Technique: 5 Things

  • Name 5 things you can see in your immediate area.
  • Name 4 things you can touch.
  • Name 3 things you can hear.
  • Name 2 things you can smell.
  • Name 1 thing you can taste.

This is supposed to help bring you back to the moment and stop you from wandering off with your thoughts. I have tried this one a few times and for me, it is hit or miss.

Grounding Technique: Describe Object

Pick an object near you. Pick it up and begin describing it as if you are explaining it to someone who has no idea what it is. Using a pillow as an example below.

  • It is soft.
  • You can squeeze it.
  • It is blue.
  • It has a flower on it.
  • You can rest your head on it.
  • You can hug it.
  • Etc.

This again is supposed to help connect you with the present. I have tried this one as well and it seems to help if I do it right when I can feel anxiety starting.

Breathing Technique: Plug Your Nose

Do not actually plug your nose, but rather one side of it, like below.

  • Take a finger and press it to one side of your nose, blocking the flow of air in that nostril.
  • Slowly breathe in the open nostril.
  • Hold for few seconds.
  • Press your lips together and allow only a small crack.
  • Slowly exhale fully through the small crack.
  • Repeat a few times.

The idea of this is to help slow down breathing and get the right amount of air. Too much, or too little air can cause panic to worsen.

Check out this video

Breathing Technique: Belly Breathing

  1. Place one hand just above your belt line, and the other on your chest, right over the breastbone. You can use your hands as a simple biofeedback device. Your hands will tell you what part of your body, and what muscles, you are using to breathe.
  2. Open your mouth and gently sigh, as if someone had just told you something really annoying. As you do, let your shoulders and the muscles of your upper body relax, down, with the exhale. The point of the sigh is not to completely empty your lungs. It’s just to relax the muscles of your upper body.
  3. Close your mouth and pause for a few seconds.
  4. Keep your mouth closed and inhale slowly through your nose by pushing your stomach out. The movement of your stomach precedes the inhalation by just the tiniest fraction of a second, because it’s this motion which is pulling the air in. When you’ve inhaled as much air as you can comfortably (without throwing your upper body into it), just stop. You’re finished with that inhale.
  5. Pause. How long? You decide. I’m not going to give you a specific count, because everybody counts at a different rate, and everybody has different size lungs. Pause briefly for whatever time feels comfortable. However, be aware that when you breathe this way, you are taking larger breaths than you’re used to. For this reason, it’s necessary to breathe more slowly than you’re used to. If you breathe at the same rate you use with your small, shallow breaths, you will probably feel a little lightheaded from over breathing, and it might make you yawn. Neither is harmful. They’re just signals to slow down. Follow them!
  6. Open your mouth. Exhale through your mouth by pulling your belly in.
  7. Pause.
  8. Continue with Steps 4-7.

The above technique was found at

20 Second Countdown

When you feel the sensation of a panic attack (a sudden “fit” of terror) building up, do the following:

  1. “Talk” to your panic – tell the panic that it has 20 seconds to manifest fully. 20 seconds and no more.

After the 20 seconds are complete it must stop making empty threats. You are allowing 20 seconds for it to fully manifest but not a second more. Whatever the bodily sensation that you fear is, it must happen within that 20 second time frame.

 If you heart is going to explode then it has 20 seconds to do so.

 If you are going to lose control, then your mind has 20 seconds to do so.

 If you are going to faint – 20 seconds! But absolutely no more time than that.

You get the picture. By setting a specific time frame you establish boundaries of control.

You turn it into a game where you call fear’s bluff. If it were a poker game, you are asking anxiety to show its hand. This works because it establishes a sense of control within your mind and body.

You think to yourself “I am not ready to spend my time worrying about this. I’ve had enough.

I am going to be generous and give it 20 seconds but after 20 seconds and nothing has happened then the opportunity has officially passed and I am going to go back to what I was doing.”

2. Then start counting 

Do it nice and slowly, don’t rattle it off as fast as you can. Really tease it out like you did when you were a child and you never wanted to reach zero.

Teasing it out is the key because it allows you to feel generous and that you are giving anxiety every chance possible. Deep down you know there is really nothing to fear.

To really help tease it out, break the last few numbers into fractions. 5………………………….. 4………………………….. 3…………………………… 2…and three quarters… 2…and half……………… 2………………………….. 1…and three quarters… (last chance anxiety) 1…and half……………… (I really can’t wait any longer) 1………………………….. 0. Sorry too late we’ve reached the end.

By not rushing through the countdown you will feel your confidence rising because you are demonstrating real control and authority over your anxious thoughts and bodily sensations.

You are saying “look, I am really trying to give you all the time I can to unleash X,Y, and Z, I am being very generous here with this countdown.

The above was found at

What do you think?

So there are just a few of the suggestions that I have been given. Have any of you ever tried or even heard of these? What did you think of them? What are your thought on these?


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