Breathing Exercises: How to Cope with a Panic Attack

Breathing Exercises: How to Cope with a Panic AttackMost people don’t realize that panic attacks can have physical symptoms, alongside mental ones. Panic attacks frequently make people feel disoriented, nauseous, and they can even prompt rapid and irregular heartbeats.

Though the symptoms of a panic attack aren’t dangerous, they can be very frightening for many people. Some feel as though they’re having a heart attack, and many people comment that they feel as though they’re going to collapse.

How to Handle your Panic Attack

A panic attack simply happens when there’s too much adrenaline in your system, and you’re not sure how to cope with the stress that you’re placing your body under. The best way to deal with these problems is to help your entire body calm down slowly and effectively. If you’re breathing quickly during a panic attack, this causes your heart-rate to beat faster, which can prolong the attack. Ideally, it’s a better idea to handle your attack by conducting gentle breathing exercises.

Try the following steps:

• Breathe in slowly, and as deeply as you can, as though you’re trying to fill your stomach with air.
• Breathe out slowly, gently, and deeply through your mouth. It might help to imagine the stress in the form of a black cloud leaving your body.
• Some people find that it’s helpful to count when breathing, but make sure to close your eyes and focus on your new breathing.

Related: Slow Down Super Mom – Taking a Break from Doing It All

Ways to Prevent Panic Attacks

Ideally, the best way to prevent a panic attack is to figure out what’s causing your stress in the first place. Usually, this means seeing a therapist or counselor who can help you to talk through your issues. However, you can also consider things like regular exercise, breathing exercises, and a change in diet to enhance your coping capabilities. Remember that a good diet will keep your blood sugar levels stable, which should prevent bursts in energy and depression, and exercise will boost your feel-good chemicals, for greater emotional control.

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  • I have been struggling with mini panic attacks lately and they are terrifying. I will be thinking of this post when the next one hits.

  • Jeanine

    I had a panic attack once. I was pregnant and on the subway. It was extremely terrifying. I had to get off, call my husband and then take a cab to my destination. This is some great, helpful information.

  • Elizabeth O.

    It’s been a long time since I experienced one of these. I think it’s important to know what to do next and this makes a really good guide.

  • These tips are so helpful. Panic attacks are so scary. The make you feel like you have no control over your body.

  • Kelly Reci

    I wake up at night with panic attacks. Thank you so much for these tips.

    • Annemarie LeBlanc

      You are very welcome!

  • Our Family World

    This is so true. Just to add up, count to 10 when you breath slowly; breathing in with you nose and breathing out with mouth. Always think calm folks.

  • These are great tips. It is important to know how to handle this in case it ever happens. Breathing exercises are a great way to calm down in many situations.

  • I’ve never had a panic attack yet but thanks to your tips! Now I know what to do should I encounter it or anyone that is close to me encounters it.