How to calm down from a panic attack

The physical and emotional stress of panic attacks can leave a person feeling stressed out and exhausted. Even if the panic attack has reached its peak and is starting to subside, it can still be hours before you fully calm down after a panic attack. Yes, it can shake a person up that badly! Knowing how to calm down from a panic attack can decrease the amount of time you feel stressed out afterward.

Here’s a look at a few easy things you can do that should help you feel more relaxed within a couple of minutes.

Breathing Exercises
Some of the most common symptoms of panic attacks include the sufferer feeling smothered, choking sensations, hyperventilating, and feeling unable to breathe. Taking a couple of minutes after the panic attack has passed to just focus on getting your breathe under control is highly effective.

There are many different breathing methods, and each person will have something unique that works for them. Some good examples of what to do include doing equal breathing (inhale for a specific count, hold for the same count, and exhale for the same count); taking longer to exhale than inhale; and taking deeper breathes.

The key is really to focus on your breath – to control your breathing and be mindful of the positive and calming effects that breathing has on your body and your thoughts.

Stretching
Stretches can go hand in hand with your breathing exercises. You’ll be surprised at the amount of physical stress a panic attack places on your body.  This is part of what makes it so difficult to relax after you’ve had a panic attack – your body may still be holding some of that stress!

As you are doing your breathing exercises, incorporate the stretching. Any stretch is fine as long as you don’t push your limits and are mindful of not hurting yourself.

The stretches will help loosen you up and relieve the stress from your muscles. This will make it far easier to calm down.

If you are lucky and have somebody who can massage you, ask them to! Massages also help to relieve the tension from our muscles, and help you to calm down from the panic attack.

Positive Distractions
The aftereffects of the adrenaline rush caused by panic attacks often makes it difficult to focus on anything else other than your anxiety. A good way to combat this is by distracting yourself with positive or light-hearted things.

The list of what you can do is extensive: Google some silly jokes and have a laugh; play a fun or challenging game online; engage your family member or friend in a light-hearted conversation; or even just make some popcorn and put on your favourite TV show or movie.

Small distractions like these can take your mind off of the panic attack in no time at all, and have you feeling relaxed again.

If you don’t feel up to any of these things, just reach out to a loved one and ask them to be there for you so that they may distract you or reassure you. There is no shame in needing comfort after having a panic attack. Tell your family or friends what they can do to assist you, and let them take care of you while, or until you feel better.

Natural Remedies
Certain herbs and spices have calming effects on the human body. Lavender and camomile are great examples of this. You can run a relaxing bath with them, or even get teas that contain these healing herbs. They soothe and aid sleep.

Please make sure that you check with a doctor about possible side effects, especially of you are on other medications, and also take care if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.