Panic Attack

Simple Breathing Techniques

In today’s fast-paced world, dealing with anxiety has become a common challenge for many. The good news is that there are effective and accessible techniques that can help alleviate anxiety, and they all start with the simple act of breathing. Let’s explore various breathing techniques that you can easily incorporate into your daily routine to reduce anxiety and promote a sense of calm and well-being.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. The Connection Between Breathing and Anxiety
  3. Diaphragmatic Breathing
    • Understanding Diaphragmatic Breathing
    • How to Practice Diaphragmatic Breathing
  4. Box Breathing
    • What is Box Breathing?
    • Steps to Practice Box Breathing
  5. 4-7-8 Technique
    • The Science Behind the 4-7-8 Technique
    • Practicing the 4-7-8 Technique
  6. Mindful Breathing
    • Incorporating Mindfulness into Breathing
    • Guided Mindful Breathing Exercise
  7. Alternate Nostril Breathing
    • Balancing Energies with Alternate Nostril Breathing
    • How to Perform Alternate Nostril Breathing
  8. Conclusion
  9. FAQs
    • Can these techniques be practiced anywhere?
    • How often should I practice these techniques?
    • Can children benefit from these breathing techniques?
    • Is there a right time of day to practice these techniques?
    • Can I combine these techniques with other relaxation methods?

The Connection Between Breathing and Anxiety

Before we move into the techniques, it’s important to understand the connection between our breath and our mental state. When anxiety strikes, our breath often becomes shallow and rapid, which can further exacerbate feelings of unease. By intentionally adjusting our breathing patterns, we can send calming signals to our brain and activate the body’s relaxation response.

Diaphragmatic Breathing

Understanding Diaphragmatic Breathing

Diaphragmatic breathing, also known as belly breathing, involves using the diaphragm to take deep, slow breaths. This technique engages the diaphragm muscle, located just below the lungs, to promote optimal oxygen exchange.

How to Practice Diaphragmatic Breathing

  1. Find a quiet and comfortable space to sit or lie down.
  2. Place one hand on your chest and the other on your abdomen.
  3. Inhale deeply through your nose, allowing your abdomen to rise as you fill your lungs.
  4. Exhale slowly through your mouth, feeling your abdomen fall.
  5. Continue this pattern for several minutes, focusing on the rise and fall of your abdomen.

Box Breathing

What is Box Breathing?

Box breathing is a technique that involves equal parts of inhaling, holding the breath, exhaling, and holding again – each for a specific count. This method helps regulate your breath and calm your nervous system.

Steps to Practice Box Breathing

  1. Sit in a comfortable position with your back straight.
  2. Inhale deeply through your nose for a count of four.
  3. Hold your breath for a count of four.
  4. Exhale slowly through your mouth for a count of four.
  5. Hold your breath for another count of four.
  6. Repeat this sequence for a few minutes, gradually increasing the count if comfortable.

4-7-8 Technique

The Science Behind the 4-7-8 Technique

The 4-7-8 technique, pioneered by Dr. Andrew Weil, taps into the body’s natural relaxation response. It helps calm the mind and reduce stress by extending the exhalation phase of the breath.

Practicing the 4-7-8 Technique

  1. Begin by exhaling completely through your mouth.
  2. Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose for a count of four.
  3. Hold your breath for a count of seven.
  4. Exhale completely through your mouth for a count of eight.
  5. This completes one breath cycle. Repeat for four full cycles.

Mindful Breathing

Incorporating Mindfulness into Breathing

Mindful breathing involves paying full attention to each breath, observing its sensations without judgment. This practice brings your focus to the present moment, easing anxiety’s grip on the mind.

Guided Mindful Breathing Exercise

  1. Find a peaceful place to sit comfortably.
  2. Close your eyes and take a few natural breaths.
  3. As you inhale, silently count “one.” As you exhale, count “two.”
  4. Continue this pattern up to a count of ten, then start again.
  5. If your mind wanders, gently bring your focus back to the breath.

Alternate Nostril Breathing

Balancing Energies with Alternate Nostril Breathing

Originating from yoga, alternate nostril breathing aims to balance the body’s energies. It promotes relaxation, mental clarity, and a sense of equilibrium.

How to Perform Alternate Nostril Breathing

  1. Sit comfortably and use your right thumb to close your right nostril.
  2. Inhale deeply through your left nostril.
  3. Use your right ring finger to close your left nostril.
  4. Exhale fully through your right nostril.
  5. Inhale deeply through your right nostril.
  6. Close your right nostril again and exhale through your left nostril.
  7. This completes one round. Repeat for a few rounds.

Incorporating these simple breathing techniques into your daily routine can significantly reduce anxiety and promote a sense of calm. Remember, breathing is a powerful tool that you can access anytime, anywhere, to find peace within yourself.


  • Can these techniques be practiced anywhere? Yes, all these techniques can be practiced in various settings, providing quick relief from anxiety.
  • How often should I practice these techniques? Ideally, aim for a few minutes of practice multiple times a day. Consistency is key.
  • Can children benefit from these breathing techniques? Absolutely, these techniques are safe and effective for people of all ages, including children.
  • Is there a right time of day to practice these techniques? You can practice these techniques whenever you feel anxious or stressed, or incorporate them into your daily mindfulness routine.
  • Can I combine these techniques with other relaxation methods? Certainly, these techniques can complement practices like meditation, yoga, and progressive muscle relaxation.
What is crippling anxiety

People must realize the difference between “feeling anxiety” and “having an anxiety condition.” It’s natural to feel stressed and anxious now and then; it’s part of the human experience. However, you may be suffering from an anxiety disorder if you have crushing anxiety, which overpowers you to a point where you will be unable to perform daily tasks.


Panic Attacks While Pregnant

Despite feelings of anxiety and stress being perfectly normal for expectant mothers, panic attacks are no fun – especially when you’re already dealing with the challenges and ups and down of pregnancy. Here are the symptoms of panic attacks and a few tips to help you kick them to the curb as quickly as possible.

1. Symptoms of Panic Attacks

The symptoms of panic attacks and anxiety are the same. However, panic attack symptoms are amplified and happen suddenly. Chances are if you’re hit with intense, overwhelming feelings of anxiety for no obvious reason, you are experiencing a panic attack. Unlike anxiety, which may be a constant problem, a panic attack only lasts for up to ten minutes. Some symptoms of panic attacks include:

  • Feeling like you are unable to breathe
  • Shaking, tension or pain in your muscles
  • Feeling scared that your life may be in danger, or something terrible is going to happen
  • Sweating
  • Racing heartbeat
  • Double-vision or dizziness
  • Numbness or tingling sensation in limbs

2. Techniques for Calming Panic Attacks

Stop Panic Attacks While PregnantRemember to breathe

When you’re experiencing a panic attack, one of the first things to focus on is your breathing. Inhale slowly and deeply, and exhale completely. It may help clear your mind faster to count to three during each breath. Breathe with your stomach rather than your chest, so that your stomach moves with each and every breath.

Focus on positive thoughts

Focusing all of your attention to one positive, happy thought or object helps to ease you out of your panic attack. It can be a memory or fantasy, something in the environment, or even something you’re looking forward to in the future.

By directing all of your attention to one specific idea, your mind will stop racing to every worrisome thought and start to calm down. Keep in mind that everyone is different and you need to find what works for you. For example, while some may choose to listen to soothing music to help them with panic attacks, others may need complete silence in order for the episode to pass.

Reassure yourself

During a panic attack, it’s important to remind yourself that you and your baby are going to be okay. Although it may feel like you’re under great physical and mental harm, panic attacks are not dangerous for you or your baby.

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3. Long-Term Techniques for Anxiety/Panic Attacks

Diet and exercise

While it is important to maintain a healthy diet and exercise throughout your whole life as well as while you’re pregnant, it may also help reduce the risk of panic attacks. It is highly recommended that you avoid stimulants such as alcohol, cigarettes and even caffeine while pregnant. Not only are stimulants bad for your baby, but they can also make anxiety issues and panic attacks all that much worse.

Talk to your doctor

Contact your midwife or doctor and let them know that you are experiencing anxiety or panic attacks. Cognitive therapy is designed to help people replace their negative thoughts with realistic, positive ones. Medication under the supervision of a physician may be necessary for women experiencing panic attacks, because they are more likely to struggle with these issues postpartum.

It is so important to try to remember to relax as much as possible during a panic attack. Focus on the fact that you’ll typically start to feel better in just a matter of minutes. Countless mothers-to-be experience panic attacks. Although these attacks are uncomfortable, rest assured they won’t physically harm you or your baby.

Someone Who Is Having a Panic Attack

When someone experiences a panic attack, it’s usually scarier for that person to go through it alone. One exception to this might be if that same individual is panicking because he or she has difficulty being around people.

If that isn’t the case and you’re with someone who is requesting assistance, there are numerous things you can do to help. These are just a few of them.

Keep Them Calm

Having a panic attack can be a very scary and confusing experience. One of the best things you can do for someone who is suffering from one of them is to help the individual stay calm. Come up with a simple activity you can do with them. This gives him or her something to focus on.

It can be something as easy as lifting your arms or counting to ten. If possible, find something that’s a bit more challenging for them to do. The sense of accomplishment they feel when they finish the task should help to make them feel more in control.

Get the Person to a Quiet Place

Getting over a panic attack is all about calming down, which can be hard to do in a noisy or chaotic location. Try to encourage the person to move to a calm and quiet place, if they are willing to do so. Consider asking if there is a certain place they’d like to relocate to and help them get there if possible. However, don’t be too forceful about it. Doing so might potentially make the situation worse.

Help Them Breathe

People who are having a panic attack tend to hyperventilate, especially if it’s the first time they are experiencing the sensation. Shallow, rapid breaths cause the amount of carbon dioxide in the bloodstream to fall. This can lead to symptoms such as headache, weakness, dizziness, or tingling in the hands and feet.

When people experience these symptoms, they often feel like they aren’t getting enough air, which causes them to hyperventilate even more. Encourage the panic attack sufferer to take slow, deep breaths by doing so yourself. Inhale slowly, count to three, then exhale slowly and repeat. Chances are good that this will have a positive effect.

Stay with the Individual

When someone is having a panic attack, they may feel like they want to be alone. But, the best thing that you can do for them is to stay with them and keep them calm. Remind them that you are there to help them. They may say things to you that are rude or aggressive, but try to keep in mind that they’re very upset and don’t mean everything that they say.

Take Care of Yourself

If the person you’re trying to calm down sees that you start to panic, it can make things even worse. It’s perfectly normal to feel stressed out or have an elevated concern for your friend during this situation. But, you need to make sure that you stay calm and in control. Quite honestly, it’s the best way to help.

Of course, these aren’t the only methods to help someone who is having a panic attack. Everyone responds to different things. If the first thing doesn’t work, try something else. The most important thing to do is to try.

Stop Panic Attacks While on the Road

As summer rolls on, many of us are getting out of quarantine and wanting to hit the road to go camping, traveling to see family, or just driving to get out!

Panic attacks are a very debilitating experience. But, they can be especially overwhelming when you happen to be behind the wheel.

It’s normal to feel some anxiety while driving. In fact, many drivers wind up having a panic attack at some point during their driving career. Unfortunately, the symptoms of the condition can make driving even more difficult and potentially dangerous. That being said, please follow these steps to manage anxiety and keep your cool while driving.

Turn Up the Radio

Give yourself something to focus on other than the stresses of maneuvering your vehicle. The easiest way to do this is to listen to the radio or a music streaming service. You might even want to try an audio book. But, whatever you choose to listen to, make sure it isn’t too loud or distracting. You don’t want to take too much of your attention off of the road. Doing so can lead to a whole new set of difficulties.

Drive Responsibly

Driving safely is a sure way to reduce driving stress. When you drive aggressively or break the rules of the road, you have to worry about causing an accident or being arrested, in addition to the other complications of driving.

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Also, if you’re not great with directions, make sure you have a GPS at your disposal. That way, you won’t have to worry about navigational abilities. If you currently don’t use a GPS device, you really don’t know what you’re missing!

Panic Attacks While on the RoadKeep Breathing Under Control

During a panic attack, people often take quick, shallow breaths because they feel like they aren’t getting enough air. But, hyperventilating like this can actually make anxiety symptoms worse.

The best thing to do is to focus on slowing down your breathing. Breathing deep from your diaphragm helps as well. Count to five as you breathe in, hold your breath for three seconds, then breathe out as you count to five. Typically, the sooner you get your breathing under control, the sooner the attack will begin to dissipate.

Pull Over (If Necessary)

While panic attacks can be scary, the feeling should pass within five minutes or so. (Remember, these attacks generally don’t last longer than ten minutes tops.) But, if you feel too anxious to drive, you should pull over to the side of the road. An even better option might be stopping at a rest area or fast food restaurant. Grabbing a bite to eat or a cold drink might help to calm you down a little.

Drive Often

The more often you drive, the more comfortable you will feel behind the wheel. Try to drive a little bit every day. Stick to roads and areas you’re familiar with while you practice. If you drive often enough, many of the things you have to do will become second nature, which will probably reduce the driving-related anxiety you may feel.

Although you can’t completely eliminate the possibility of having a panic attack when you’re on the road, these things are sure to aid you in reducing the chance. Remember, you only live once. You need to explore the world, while you can.

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Tips for Dealing with Panic Disorder in the Workplace

No time is ever a good time to experience a panic attack. The physical symptoms can be very debilitating, and the anxiety that accompanies an attack can make it difficult to make any decisions at all. Because of this, the fear of having a panic attack in the workplace can be particularly troublesome to someone with panic disorder. Here are a few tips that may help you to manage this issue while you’re working.

Trust In a Co-Worker

Panic attacks can be difficult to go through alone, especially if you’ve only recently started suffering from this particular disorder. If you feel you know any of your co-workers enough to trust them, confide in someone about your condition. Not only does it feel good to be accepted, but your friend may also be willing to help calm you down when you need it.

Always Have a Plan

Being unorganized and unprepared at work will set you up for a stressful day. Come up with a plan for yourself at the beginning of the week. Make sure to manage your time wisely, and leave yourself a bit of time to take a break between each commitment.

Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle

The food that you eat can have a profound impact on your mood. Try to eat a balanced diet and keep alcohol and caffeine consumption to a minimum. Getting enough sleep is another important (and also overlooked) factor. For most people, this means shooting for roughly eight hours of sleep per night.

Dealing with Panic Disorder in the WorkplaceKnow When to Take a Break

If a particularly difficult project is getting to you, don’t be afraid to step away so you can clear your head. Take a trip to the break room, take a walk around the park, or simply meditate or do some breathing exercises. You’ll come back refreshed and with a clear perspective.

Reward Your Successes

If you’re successful at work, take a moment to celebrate your achievement. Acknowledging your accomplishments helps you to keep a positive frame of mind throughout the day.

Set Realistic Goals

Achieving your goals makes you feel good. Failing to reach your goals, on the other hand, can be frustrating and stressful. When you plan out your work day, set goals for yourself that are meaningful but still achievable.

Look Into Employer Resources

If you’re having a hard time at work, communicate with your employer or supervisor so that you can get the help you need. You may be able to sign up for skill-building classes or an Employee Assistance Program. Even if no formal assistance is available, your supervisor may be able to offer guidance or assistance so you can get a handle on things more easily.

Keeping these tips in mind throughout the day can help to reduce workplace stress, and avoid the kind of situations that could lead to a panic attack. However, panic disorder is a serious issue, and can be very difficult to treat by yourself. If you experience panic attacks regularly, consider talking to a mental health care professional to see what sort of treatment is best for you.


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