31 Actually Helpful Tips For Dealing With Panic Attacks

    Genius strategies from people who live with them.

    We recently asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to tell us how they get through and care for themselves after a panic attack.

    Panic attacks are terrifying and debilitating, and they can happen to anyone. There's usually not much you can do other than wait it out, but these are the tricks some people have found helpful — physically, emotionally, or otherwise — for dealing with panic attacks.

    Remember: These aren't meant to be medical recommendations, but they're tactics that have worked for others and might work for you, too. Be sure to check with your doctor before trying anything new for panic attack prevention, relief, or recovery.

    1. Listen to songs that will help you control your breathing rhythm.

    "I had a playlist of songs that I used to listen to when I got frequent anxiety attacks. All of the songs were around 60 bpm. The song I found most effective was Broken Social Scene's 'Pitter Patter Goes My Heart.'" — Jeffrey Samuel Shochat, Facebook

    2. Play with a toy that engages your senses.

    3. Count five things you can see, four you can touch, three you can hear, two you can smell, and one you can taste.

    4. Just visualize doing yoga if you're not physically able to.

    5. Play with silly putty.

    6. Reread a book you know really well.

    7. Concentrate on a funny cartoon when you feel an attack coming on.

    8. Have a mantra that you can repeat as you ride out an attack, like "This is not going to kill me."

    9. Use an app like MyCalmBeat to help control your breathing.

    — Lara Thomazini, Facebook

    10. Make something.

    11. Chew gum to help relieve panic symptoms.

    12. Write down whatever might've triggered your panic attack for future reference.

    13. Call someone who you know can calm you down.

    14. Talk yourself through it out loud.

    15. Cuddle with an animal.

    16. Find some cold air.

    17. Say the alphabet backwards.

    18. Blow on your thumb.

    19. Use the R.A.I.N. method — Recognize, Allow, Investigate, and Not let it define you.

    20. Treat panic attacks like waking up from a nightmare.

    21. Wear rings that you can use when an attack sets in.

    22. Find a breathing technique that works for you.

    23. Touch things with different textures.

    24. Watch a soothing episode of "How It's Made."

    25. Read up on panic attacks.

    26. Treat an attack like an annoying younger brother who won't stop pestering you.

    27. Play repetitive phone games .

    28. Give your attack a name and a face.

    30. Or try a coloring app.

    "I have terribly debilitating panic attacks daily. I use adult coloring book apps such as Colorfy to calm down and refocus. It is the most relaxing and hypnotizing activity and is the most therapeutic thing I've ever discovered, it's better than talking to my therapist!" — jodiew4

    31. Try to sit with the fear and remember that it will pass.

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