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    31 Actually Helpful Tips For Dealing With Panic Attacks

    Genius strategies from people who live with them.

    Alice Mongkongllite / BuzzFeed

    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.

    FOX / Via giphy.com

    "When I start to get anxious and feel like it might turn in to a full fledged panic attack, I quickly open Netflix on my phone and watch a funny cartoon like Family Guy. Having a story to follow along with the visual really helps me from completely freaking out." — michellee5

    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.

    etsy.com

    "During the attack itself it usually becomes clear to me why I am having the attack, if I didn't know already. I write the reason down in one sentence (if I can), and usually it ends up coming out pretty damn poetic. Once it's over I go back and and look at what I wrote and it's easy for me to recognize the triggers that could lead me to have a panic attack." — Anna Ritoch, Facebook

    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.

    fuckyoudraculas.tumblr.com

    "Personally, my first move is to get cold. Even if it's the depths of winter, if I'm at home I'll crack open the window and all but hang out of it." — fanir

    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.

    Chia-Hsin Ho / Creative Commons / Via Flickr: hsinho

    "[My friend's mum] told me to think of my situation like waking up from a bad dream. You know it was just a dream but you're still scared. Her point being, even though, like waking up from a nightmare, you know the situation isn't actually the end of the world or as real as you think, your feelings are genuine and that's okay. But remember the situation most probably isn't as bad/will not be as bad as you think." — jasminec4b5b124da

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

    generalian.tumblr.com

    "I almost always wear some type of ring and when I feel anxiety setting in I turn it around on my finger and count the number of times it goes around. It helps ground me and distract my mind from whatever is causing the anxiety." — ginnyeppensp

    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."

    youtube.com

    "The background music and the narrators soothing voice allow me to focus on something other than the intense panic." — JP

    25. Read up on panic attacks.

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

    The CW / Via wifflegif.com

    "I was told by a doctor to treat the panic like an 'annoying younger brother who won't stop pestering.' What he means is to focus on anything else; laugh it off, do my best to ignore it. It's not perfect, or easy, but it works." — nadinelisar

    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.

    Brute Reason / Via freethoughtblogs.com

    "This might sound completely contradictory, but I let myself feel it to try to lessen it. I used to be so scared of having panic attacks that as soon as I felt any symptoms (racing heart, sweaty palms etc), it would always go to a full blown attack. Having spent a lot of time in counseling and reading on the subject for panic and anxiety, the best advice I've had is to appreciate the fact your body is doing this to protect you — it feels awful but if you can sit back and feel your symptoms with an inquisitive (not an OMG I'M DYING) mind, generally it doesn't build to a full blown attack. I've not had an attack for a long time but I don't worry about the next one coming — because worrying about it will just bring it closer, generally." — Jenna Clayton, Facebook

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