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3 Ways to Stop an Anxiety Attack

3 Ways to Stop an Anxiety Attack

Sweating, trembling, shortness of breath …
A choking sensation, chest pain, nausea, dizziness …
Feeling that danger is nearby, fear of losing your mind, fear of dying …
A racing heartbeat, feeling an intense need to escape …

An anxiety attack often comes on suddenly, with symptoms lasting only a few minutes. But the intensity is unmistakable. And while almost everyone experiences some form of these feelings when exposed to significant stress or threat, individuals who have an anxiety or panic disorder experience these symptoms often, ongoing, and in the absence of realistic stimulus.
If you’ve ever experienced the rapid onset of symptoms like these, you’ve likely asked: What is happening? What can I do to make it stop?

What is happening?

It may feel like the end of the world, but what has actually happened is that your brain has sent a massive boost of adrenaline into your bloodstream. This causes an exaggerated arousal of your nervous system. You’re sensing danger. Your flight or fight instinct is triggered. This would all be normal were there real threat or danger at hand.

The mark of anxiety attacks is an absence of real stimulus. This attack has come out of the blue, without reasonable cause or provocation. It often times snowballs; initial symptoms can illicit others, amplifying the experience. It is terrifying. Can be paralyzing. Anxiety can cause major disruption in the lives of sufferers.

What can you do to make it stop?

There are many strategies people suggest for dealing with an anxiety attack. Different things seem to help different people. There is not a sure-fire, follow-these-simple-steps, one-size-fits-all remedy. Still here are three things you can try which have been beneficial for many sufferers:

  1. Recognize that you’re having a panic attack
    By recognizing that you’re having a panic attack, you can remind yourself that this is temporary, it will pass, and that you’re going to be okay. Reminding yourself this is only an anxiety attack can help alleviate concern of impending doom. This can allow you to focus on other techniques to help reduce your symptoms.
  2. Concentrate on breathing deeply
    Hyperventilating is a symptom of an attack which can trigger other symptoms, increase their severity and duration. If you’re able to concentrate on and control your breathing, it can help. Concentrate. Focus on taking deep breaths in and out through your mouth. Feel the air fill your lungs. Feel it leave as you exhale. Perhaps inhale, count to four, then exhale.
  3. Be intentionally mindful of things around you
    Since anxiety can cause a feeling of detachment from reality, awareness of what is real can help clarify what is and what is not actually happening. Try to find something to engage each of your senses. Feel the texture of something with your hands, listen for birds outside, the breeze, smell a familiar fragrance—find things that are tangible to focus on.

If you or someone you love suffers, take heart—we understand and we’re here to help.

Of course, the best step to take is to get help. With the right help and resources, you can enjoy a life free of these attacks. At Honey Lake Clinic, our experienced staff, licensed therapists, psychologists, and psychiatric specialists stand ready to assist you in regaining control of your life.

Renewal can start today with a simple phone call. To learn more or get started today, call Honey Lake Clinic (888) 837-6577 Email or Visit