Panic attacks are one of the most difficult mental and emotional environments to find yourself up against. And once they're in full swing, it can be really tough to find your way out. The fear, the sweats, the shakes and the shortness of breath quickly become a harsh reality and it’s hard to understand how to control panic attacks. If you find yourself suffering regularly, here’s a specific breathing technique to help you stop going overboard during a panic attack and better manage and prevent further debilitating ones.

What is a panic attack like

When you experience a panic attack, it feels like the walls are closing in on you. It may be hard to breathe and your mind becomes foggy quickly. It feels hard to find your way out.

The reason we want to develop a breathing routine is because hyperventilation is one of the biggest crutches when it comes to having and keeping a calm, clear mind. When most people become stuck in a cycle of hyperventilation, their breathing becomes more restricted and feelings of suffocation take over and the fear really sets in. 

How to stop a panic attack instantly

How to stop a panic attack instantly

Here’s an interesting fact: one thing Navy SEALS are adamant about throughout their training is how staying relaxed under pressure is a learned skill, not the inherent human trait of our imagination.

According to the SEALS, when under the influence and symptoms of anxiety, humans will always default to their training, or lack thereof. Therefore, it doesn’t matter how clever a person is, if one has practiced methods of calmness, their preparation will shine through in dire moments, instead of automatically being filled with panic and fear. This breathing exercise help to stabilise the nervous system.

Steps to control panic attacks

Here are two simple steps to a breathing exercise that will help you deal with panic attacks naturally and calm down anxiety:

1. Sit comfortably

2. Take five quick breaths in, followed by one long exhale. By the fifth breath, your stomach should be completely full. Then, breathe out completely, leaving your stomach completely empty.

If you find yourself prone to panic attacks, practice this breathing technique every morning when you first wake up for five minutes while sitting up in bed. Once you develop a steady morning routine, begin to also practice it throughout your day.

You never know when a panic attack will strike and unfortunately, they don’t just ‘go away’ – you have to work on dealing with them. However you’ll eventually be able to go straight to the solution and feel strong enough to tackle your next panic attack if you make the time to practice daily breathing.

Read next: Can Acupuncture Really Help You Manage Anxiety?


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The breathing technique you need to learn to manage panic attacks, calm down anxiety and prevent fear and worry.

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