individuals or groups, online or face-to-face, and the length of therapy can vary.
2. Take Medications
Benzodiazepines, such as Xanax, can help treat symptoms of panic attacks as they occur.
However, they won’t help treat an underlying anxiety disorder and can quickly lead to dependence. Doctors typically only recommend benzodiazepines for short-term use. A panic disorder diagnosis is likely needed before benzodiazepines will be prescribed to you.
In some cases, doctors may prescribe anti-depressants for long-term use.
3. Breathe Deeply
Hyperventilating is a symptom of panic attacks that can increase fear. Deep breathing can reduce symptoms of panic during an attack by improving the feeling of relaxation, comfort, and alertness.
4. Close Your Eyes
If you’re in a fast-paced environment, closing your eyes may prevent triggers from overwhelming you. Closing your eyes also makes it easier to focus on your breathing.
5. Practice Mindfulness
Mindfulness involves focusing your attention on the present, recognizing the mental/emotional state you’re in, and meditating to reduce stress and help you relax.
6. Use Muscle Relaxation Techniques
Muscle relaxation aims to release tension in your whole body. Deep breathing, relaxing one muscle at a time, and identifying areas of tension will become effective with some practice.
7. Picture Your Happy Place
Guided imagery can help reduce stress and anxiety. Both spending time in nature and visualizing nature can help manage anxiety. Think about the most relaxing place in the world. A sunny beach? A cabin in the mountains? Picture yourself there and focus on the details as much as possible.
8. Lightly Exercise
Exercising at 60%-90% of your maximum heart rate for 20 minutes three times per week can help reduce anxiety. Moderate options like walking, swimming, or yoga are great for stress.
9. Repeat a Mantra
Repeating a mantra can be relaxing and reassuring. “This too shall pass,” or another mantra that speaks to you personally may help a panic attack start to subside.
10. Use Lavender
Lavender essential oils have calming effects that many people use to reduce stress. Get your essential oils from a reputable source and follow the instructions for use.