Panic Attack

How to Avoid Having a Panic Attack & What to Do if You Have One

Panic attacks can be frightening experiences, characterized by intense waves of fear, anxiety, and physical discomfort. Though they are common and can happen to anyone, the good news is there are strategies to both prevent the onset of panic attacks and manage them if they occur. 

This post aims to provide insight into understanding these sudden surges of intense anxiety, as well as offering practical advice on how to avoid panic attacks and what to do if you find yourself facing one. 

The goal is to empower you with knowledge and tools to navigate these challenging moments, promoting mental well-being and resilience.

1. Understanding Panic Attacks

Panic attacks can be triggered by a variety of factors, including stressful life events, underlying mental health conditions, and even certain medications. They tend to come on suddenly, without warning, and can last anywhere from a few minutes to half an hour. 

Symptoms typically peak within 10 minutes and may include palpitations, shortness of breath, sweating, trembling, chest pain, and a feeling of being out of control. 

In severe cases, individuals may even feel like they are having a heart attack or going crazy. However, it’s important to note that panic attacks are not physically harmful and will pass on their own.

2. Identifying Triggers

One crucial step in avoiding panic attacks is identifying what triggers them for you personally. This will be unique to each individual, but some common triggers may include stressful situations, traumatic events, specific phobias or fears, and even certain foods or drinks. Once you have identified your triggers, you can take steps to manage or avoid them as much as possible. Certain substances, such as cannabis, can also cause some to experience anxiety. Having a tool on hand like Hibegone to help manage cannabis effects can be helpful. 

3. Practicing Stress Management Techniques

Stress is a significant factor in the onset of panic attacks, so learning how to manage stress effectively can greatly reduce your risk of experiencing one. 

Some helpful techniques for managing stress include deep breathing exercises, mindfulness meditation, physical exercise, and talking to a trusted friend or therapist. These strategies can also be used as coping mechanisms during a panic attack.

4. Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is essential not only for physical health but also for mental well-being. This includes getting enough sleep, eating a balanced diet, and limiting caffeine and alcohol intake. These lifestyle factors can significantly impact your overall stress levels and make you less susceptible to panic attacks.

5. Seeking Professional Support

If you have frequent or severe panic attacks, it may be helpful to seek professional support from a therapist or counselor. They can work with you to identify underlying causes and develop personalized strategies for managing and avoiding panic attacks. Additionally, they may recommend medications or other treatment options if necessary.

What to Do if You Have a Panic Attack

Despite our best efforts, sometimes panic attacks can still occur. Here are some practical steps to take if you find yourself in the midst of one:

  • Acknowledge and accept the experience: The first step is to acknowledge that you are having a panic attack and remind yourself that it will pass. Trying to fight or deny the experience can make it more intense.
  • Find a safe and quiet place: If possible, find a place where you feel safe and comfortable. This could be your home, a familiar space, or a quiet outdoor area.
  • Practice deep breathing: Focus on your breath and take slow, deep breaths. This can help to calm the physical symptoms of a panic attack.
  • Use grounding techniques: Grounding techniques involve using your senses to bring you back to the present moment. Some examples include focusing on something in your environment, listening to calming music, or holding onto an object.
  • Allow yourself to feel the emotions: It’s normal to experience a range of emotions during a panic attack, including fear, anxiety, and sadness. Instead of fighting these feelings, allow yourself to feel them without judgment.
  • Reach out for support: If you are with someone you trust, don’t hesitate to ask for their support or simply have them stay with you. If you are alone, consider reaching out to a friend or loved one over the phone.
  • Seek medical attention if necessary: If your symptoms are severe or continue for an extended period, it’s important to seek medical attention. Though panic attacks are not harmful, it’s essential to rule out any underlying health issues and ensure your safety.


Panic attacks can be challenging to manage, but with the right knowledge and tools, it is possible to avoid them or handle them effectively if they do occur. 

Remember to identify your triggers, practice stress management techniques, maintain a healthy lifestyle, and seek professional support when needed. 

And in the midst of a panic attack, remember to acknowledge and accept the experience, find a safe place, use calming techniques, and reach out for support. With these strategies in place, you can take control of your mental well-being and navigate through panic attacks with resilience.