Published on 10 October 2021

Steps To Follow During An Anxiety Induced Panic Attack

Diagnosis and Treatment
Table of Contents

You don't have to be in a scary situation for your heart rate to spike and you feel the weight of a panic attack pressing down on your chest. A sudden surge of fear that makes it hard for you to breathe all at once.

It can happen in a restaurant, in your office space, or even in your bed. It can come from multiple triggers, or sometimes it can happen because you face a minor inconvenience, and the previous minor inconveniences you had piled up come crashing down on you.

Once surrounded by stress, you must take measures to pull yourself out of panic attacks. So don't worry! We have provided steps to help you deal with panic disorders and sensations similar to Anxiety.

What is an Anxiety-Induced Panic Attack?

Anxiety can be explained as having an excessive and intense worry or fear about everyday situations, which would lead to facing symptoms such as rapid breathing, faster heart rate, uneasy sweating, and exhaustion.

An Anxiety-induced panic attack occurs when the fear reaches an extreme level, and the person experiencing it starts losing control over their mind and feeling helpless.

When one experiences a panic attack, one feels a sudden and immense bout of Anxiety. There will also be some physical symptoms that may occur, such as shaking, irregular heartbeats, profuse sweating, shortness of breath, dizziness, dry mouth, and nausea.

Strategies To Handle Panic Attacks:

Panic attacks may seem horrifying, but they do not signify anything harmful. They tend to pass on their own gradually and should be treated as such. Still, let's focus on some strategies to help you control the Anxiety attack.

Know Your Triggers

It could be a particular situation, a particular place, a specific time, sometimes a particular smell, or other things that could trigger you to experience Anxiety that could lead to a panic attack.

Knowing what could trigger your panic attack will help you be prepared if it occurs, and you can deal with it accordingly or prevent it from happening altogether.

Focus On Breathing

If you manage to control deep breathing, there is less probability that you will experience hyperventilating. You can also prevent the triggering of other symptoms that may worsen the situation by holding your breath before an attack.

If you experience irregular breathing, a simple exercise can help slow your heart rate and ease nervousness. Breathe in and out through your mouth, feeling the air slowly fill your chest and belly.

Breathe for a count of four, hold for a second, and breathe out again to complete one cycle. You don't need to wait longer; start these breathing exercises, and you can experience positive changes within yourself.

Close Your Eyes

Some panic attacks come from triggers that affect you. A fast-paced environment with many stimuli can feed your panic attack, so if this is something you're experiencing, it may be best to find less stimulating situations as often as possible until the symptoms subside. It is advisable to pull your mind out of such overstimulating cases by closing your eyes and calming your senses.

During a panic attack, close your eyes to reduce the sensory stimuli you're exposed to. This can help you focus on breathing and calm yourself down quickly.

Picture A Happy Place

A sunny beach with gently rolling waves is usually the most relaxing place for many people. Still, a study found that being around trees and greenery can be even more calming.

Picture a place close to your heart where it is impossible for any worry, problem, or fear to reach you once you get there. The site you're thinking of must be relaxing and quiet, keeping your nerves calm, not any place with a rush like New York streets, even though you like that place so much.

Walk along the beach with your toes digging into the warm sand. Focus on how it feels and smells; imagine you can smell sharp pine trees in a nearby forest. Just think like you are trying to focus on the details as much as possible.

Practice Mindfulness Keeping Yourself Alert

Worrying about your panic attack can make it worse. Being fully aware and present, without judgment or reaction to what's happening around you, can help you ground yourself amongst a possible upcoming episode.

Maybe it sounds unusual but tries to focus on the specific and familiar physical sensations to ground yourself firmly in reality. Dig your feet into the ground or feel the texture of your jeans on your hands that might give you some objective to focus on.

Apply Muscle Relaxation Techniques

You can control your panic attack by learning to relax the body. Muscle relaxation techniques like deep breathing and controlling our response as much as possible work by ultimately stopping an attack from progressing.

Deliberately relax one muscle at a time, starting with something simple like the fingers of your hand. Move up through your body while you do this to get started on relaxing it too! Practice muscle relaxation techniques to ensure you get the most out of them.

Reassure Yourself

When you are going through a panic attack, you mustn't lose the connection between your body and mind. You must be aware and attentive to your mind and the signals it is giving you.

Talk to yourself, repeat a chant you believe in your mind that 'you are okay' or 'you can get through this' or something along these lines to reassure yourself.

5-4-3-2-1 Anxiety Control Method

One of the most commonly used techniques to get through an Anxiety or panic attack is the 5-4-3-2-1 method. It works like so:

  • 5 - Find five things that you can see
  • 4 - Find four things you can touch
  • 3 - Find three sounds that you can hear
  • 2 - Find two smells that you can identify
  • 1 - Find one thing that you can taste


One thing we do wrong when we face any problem is thinking that we are alone in the situation and no one will help us; by thinking so, we add to the problem instead of fixing it.

Communicating and conversing about the situations we deal with the people around us, be it a friend, a family member, or even an office colleague for that matter, helps our mind in trusting that if we face a panic attack, we won't have to deal with it by ourselves. This, in turn, relaxes our mind and decreases the severity of the panic attack or stops it from occurring altogether.

Engage In Light Exercise

After working out, your body lets the endorphins flow to keep you balanced. To keep up that positive wave after work or during stressful times, go for an exercise like walking, or if you want, you can even try swimming.

If you're having difficulty catching your breath, it is safe to assume you are hyperventilating. First and foremost, do what's necessary: breathing into a paper bag or holding onto something sturdy while counting backward from ten until the symptoms subside.

Frequently asked questions

A panic attack usually lasts up to 5 to 20 minutes, but there have been some reports of a panic attack lasting almost an hour. It also depends on the trigger that has caused the panic attack and the severity of your condition.
Sudden distress, shortness of breath, increased heartbeat, nausea, faintness, trembling, and sweating are some signs or symptoms of a panic attack.
No, a panic attack is not the same as having a heart attack. However, they share some of the same symptoms, like rapid heartbeat, chest pain, shortness of breath, and sweating. Hence, when one is going through a panic attack, they may think they have a heart attack.

Lifestyle Changes to deal with Panic Attacks

People who experience panic attacks may think they're having a heart attack or a stroke. Your nerves react differently in that particular situation. In addition to the steps to control a panic attack, you must follow a simple routine to overcome a panic attack.

Avoid Caffeine, Smoking, And Alcohol

Drinking alcohol, caffeinated drinks, or smoking excessively can increase the risk of Anxiety and panic attacks in sensitive individuals with psychiatric conditions and people who are young and genetically predisposed to these mental health problems.

Caffeine and alcohol can contribute to Anxiety in several ways. These substances are known for their ability to relieve an individual temporarily, but they subsequently worsen Anxiety symptoms by contributing physical and provoking effects associated with Anxiety.

Eat A Nutritional Diet

A healthy diet with the proper nutrients is just as crucial for mental health and brain function as physical maintenance. Studies have shown that adding more vegetables, fruits, and whole grains to your daily menu can contribute immensely to supporting good mental health and even lower Anxiety symptoms. A sound body means a sound mind too.

Certain ingredients can help in reducing Anxiety symptoms. These include turmeric, fish oil, and coconut oil, which have brain-boosting benefits on the body. In addition, you could use some ingredients in your daily diet to lower Anxiety that, includes:

  • Salmon is functional in promoting brain health as it contains Vitamin - D and omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Chamomile is a traditional herbal tea that is useful for its calming effect.
  • Dark chocolate - It contains antioxidant properties that make you feel calm.
  • Yogurt - It has probiotic bacteria that can ease the symptoms of Anxiety.
  • Green tea - An amino acid called Theanine is present in green tea leaves that help you relax and keep stress away.

Maintain A Proper Sleep Schedule

According to reports, people suffering from Anxiety should aim for seven-nine hours of sleep each night. Getting insufficient or inadequate quality rest may worsen your condition and impact other areas.

Many healthcare service providers recommend good sleep due to its clinical benefits for treating this severe disorder. It is excellent for overall health too!

Take Some Time For Yourself

Managing a social, professional, and personal life can be hard to handle, and you might get lost. More often, forgetting to spend time with only yourself, taking some of the 'me time.'

Give yourself that extra 10 minutes of sleep before starting your day, read another chapter of the book that have you hooked, cook a delicious meal just for yourself, go on an evening walk to feel the wind on your face, and be with and be there for yourself.

Try Out Some Lavender Tea

Lavender tea has been known throughout history for its calming effects on the body and for relieving distress symptoms. If you are prone to panic attacks, smelling lavender essential oils can help ease your Anxiety through relaxation and keep you calm when in a state of stress or panic attack.

Lavender tea is a great way to relax and soothe tension. Drinking it will reduce stress, calm your nerves, prevent headaches or muscle pain from building up, and replenish energy levels if you're tired.

Therapies and Medications to deal with Panic Attacks

You may seek your doctor for long-term solutions and consult therapists with special training in treating panic disorder. Even a short course of treatment can help you immensely, so don't hesitate to reach out.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a type of psychotherapy that tackles the behaviors and thinking patterns triggered by your panic attacks. It also helps you tackle these fears alternatively, teaching you that nothing serious will happen. With this knowledge, experiencing a panic attack becomes less terrifying over time.

There is research that provides an overview of two of the most commonly used CBT methods that treat Anxiety disorders (exposure and cognitive therapy) and summarizes and discusses the current empirical research regarding the usefulness of these techniques for each Anxiety disorder.

Kaczkurkin AN, Foa EB did the research. Cognitive-behavioral therapy for Anxiety disorders: an update on the empirical evidence.

Exposure Therapy For Panic Disorder

Overcoming your fear of Anxiety takes patience and time. First, you must learn healthy coping methods for both mind and body before tackling the disorder head-on.

A therapist creates a safer environment where fears can be shared without judgment, encouraging you and providing helpful advice on each step to living life more freely again.

Medications To Treat Panic Attacks And Disorders

There are many effective medicines available in the market to treat Anxiety and panic disorders. Medications are much more effective when combined with other treatments like different therapies and your efforts to improve.

Antidepressants and benzodiazepines may be helpful in severe cases, but they should not be the only way to cure the condition. Please consult your doctor to select the best medication that suits your body.

Bottom Line From Practical Anxiety Solutions

Panic attacks should be taken seriously and given proper attention as early as possible. The symptoms are not life-threatening, but the attacks could worsen if untreated or undiagnosed for long periods.

It is recommended that you consult a medical professional before beginning any of the medications. Do not shy away from seeking professional help if you need it to support your healthy living. Through proper treatment like psychotherapy and medicine, it's possible to lead an overall healthy lifestyle.

In today's fast-paced world, we forget to look after ourselves and care for our needs. Try to listen to your mind and body; watch for it, and it will take care of you in return.