6 Tips for Coping with Panic Attacks

1.     If you feel that you are about to have a panic attack, check your breathing. Breath slowly in and out of a brown paper bag or cupped hands.

2.     Change your lifestyle. Exercise, this helps burn off excessive adrenaline. Avoid cigarettes and alcohol, eat regular meals to keep blood sugar levels stable.

3.     Do not try to fight your way out of a panic attack – this will increase the adrenaline. Try to simply accept that the feelings will come and go, and allow the symptoms to play their tricks, as they will.  Visualize yourself floating over them. Eventually the panic will go away.

4.     Don’t bottle up your feelings. Confide in someone, such as a friend, family member or counselor.

5.     Listen to music or do a pleasurable activity while you wait for the panic to subside.

6.     Learn a relaxation technique. Close your eyes, and breathe slowly and deeply. Try breathing 5 to 6 breaths per minute. Locate the areas of tension and imagine them disappearing. Relax each part of your body, starting from the feet upwards.

For more info on panic disorders please visit National Institute for Mental Health.