[Before we dive into the topic, I must tell you that there may be affiliate links in the post. If you purchase through one, I get a windfall of commission at no additional cost to you and will send you a socially-distanced high five from my world to yours.]
How do you know this guide on how to stop a panic attack in public is for you? Simple, if you experience intense levels of anxiety or constantly have depressing thoughts accompanied by sweating, hyperventilation, increased heart rate, and chest pain then you’re suffering from panic attacks and need this guide.
These 20 timely tips on how to stop a panic attack in public are highly recommended for people who are constantly outdoors like at school or work. Panic attacks usually happen without warning and not being able to control an attack in a public setting can lead to bad memories or experiences which can scar some people for life.
This guide on how to stop a panic attack in public will help you learn not only how to manage your episodes in public but also how to effectively reduce your levels of anxiety and how to overcome your fear of panic attacks with various panic attack treatment without medication.
Please understand that while it is possible for some people to fully overcome their panic attacks and anxiety forever, others may not be able to achieve the same results. Regardless, these 20 tips on how to stop a panic attack in public will teach you how to properly manage your anxiety levels and help you feel safe in public. Let us get started.
Table of Contents
How to Push Through an Anxiety Attack
Anxiety or panic attacks are characterized by high levels of fear and distress followed by uncomfortable physical symptoms like hyperventilation, which convince your mind that you’re either having a heart attack or you’re about to die.
Learning to overcome anxiety attacks will require patience and dedication as it is not possible to rewrite your mind overnight but it is possible to achieve this goal. Here are the three steps on how to push through an anxiety attack.
1. Understand what causes your panic or anxiety attacks: The first step on how to push through an anxiety attack is to learn what triggers your condition. So what causes panic attacks? The common answer is anxiety, nervousness, fear, and distress.
Most people are triggered by being put in the spotlight or when they are shocked or unhappy by a situation. Others are affected by the actions of people around them while some are simply triggered by their inner fears.
Understanding which category you belong to will ultimately help you learn how to stop a panic attack in public. If your triggers aren’t listed above, don’t worry as everyone is different and cannot be easily categorized.
Simply get a notebook to write down your triggers and take your time to understand each one. If your negative thoughts are at fault, write them down, and underneath each bad thought, write a positive one. If you’re easily affected by your surroundings then focus on increasing your resistance by learning how to leave the situation for a calm space or gaining the confidence to face the problem.
2. Don’t fight but accept your anxiety: Do you know that fighting against your panic or anxiety attack will only make your condition worsen over time? To avoid this, you need to accept your anxiety for what it is. Acceptance is key in helping you effectively manage and even stopping an anxiety attack.
How does this work? This is easier said than done but with commitment and time, you can learn to control your emotions. Start by understanding that acceptance does not mean you’re giving up, rather it will help your mind gain clarity when your attack occurs.
Accept that what you’re experiencing is an anxiety attack. Convince yourself that your attack is temporary and your symptoms will only worsen if you let fear take over your thoughts. Practice by focusing on your tensed body parts and trying to relax the muscles or by counting the numbers 1-10 repeatedly to gain control.
Please wait a minute! Apart from constantly publishing meaningful content here as the owner of this blog, I am also a fast-rising artiste who need your support by simply subscribing to my YouTube channel. Thank you so much.
3. Practice meditation: The use of meditation is one of the most common panic attack treatment without medication. Various meditation techniques can teach you how to stop a panic attack in public and each of them requires patience and good mental focus.
Meditation requires a clear mind and you can achieve this mindfulness by focusing on your breathing or an object in your surrounding. Practice in a safe and calm environment where you can easily focus without distractions.
Breathe in deeply, hold for a few seconds, and breathe out. Focus on keeping your breathing controlled, your mind at ease, and your heart rate normal. You can also use a mantra to meditate, this requires you to find a word or phrase that you strongly believe in and can calm you. For example, “I’m greater than my fears” or “I control my mind, it does not control me.”
You can research other meditation techniques to find the one that works best for you. It will take time and effort but don’t give up, this last tip on how to push through an anxiety attack is sure to help you overcome your fear.
How to Desensitize Your Nerves Anxiety
Just as how people suffering from panic or anxiety attacks are wired to become nervous and distressed in public or uncomfortable situations, they can also be taught how to not feel these emotions through the method known as Desensitization.
Desensitization helps you achieve inner peace and tranquility in situations where you would usually feel anxious. This process works by rewiring your mind and body to no longer react the same way to your anxiety triggers. In simple words, it makes you numb to uncomfortable emotions.
If you can afford it then practicing desensitization with the help of a professional will yield faster results and it will be done in a proper environment. However, there are simple ways to carry out desensitization by yourself but do remember that this will take dedication, mental focus, and patience.
Without further delay, let us get started on how to desensitize your nerves anxiety by yourself.
1. Have a relaxation method then create your anxiety hierarchy: The first step on how to desensitize your nerves anxiety is to familiarize yourself with your relaxation or meditation technique. This means that before you can begin desensitization, you must know what calms you down when you’re having attacks.
Either with breathing exercises, the use of mantras, or some other form of relaxation, you must be able to calm yourself before you can proceed or your anxiety will only worsen. Once you have gotten a method that can calm you down a little if not completely the next step is to create your anxiety hierarchy.
This simply means that you write down your anxiety triggers or fears from the least distressing to the highest. Take your time to process this step as you need to fully understand the things that trigger your anxiety to categorize them in the least distressing to more distressing.
2. Exposure, Relax, and Repeat: The final steps on how to desensitize your nerves anxiety are exposure, relaxation, and repetition. Once you have mastered your relaxation technique and known your anxiety hierarchy, you will begin exposing yourself slowly to your least distressing triggers.
Start with one trigger at least twice in a day or as much as you’re comfortable with. Once you’re exposed and begin to notice your anxiety levels rising, use your relaxation method to calm down, and don’t continue until you’re strong enough.
Repeat exposure to just one trigger until your response system to that trigger is reduced or completely gone. Then you pick the next trigger on your hierarchy and continue this process.
Desensitization cannot be rushed it will take time and dedication to keep pushing through your anxiety triggers. But once you have mastered this technique you will know how to stop a panic attack in public.
15 Steps to Stop an Anxiety Attack in Public
Dealing with panic or anxiety attacks at home is a lot easier than dealing with attacks in public. Since panic attacks tend to occur without warning and when they happen in a crowded place, it is harder to find a quiet place or an escape route. So what do you do in an emergency or a situation you cannot leave? These 15 steps to stop an anxiety attack in public are the solutions you need.
1. Create a “calm down kit”: A calm down kit is a small and easily accessible kit filled with essential relaxation tools. To create your unique calm down kit means that you must experiment to find out what relaxation tools works best for you when you experience an anxiety attack.
This is the first step on how to stop a panic attack in public and your kit must be filled with items you can easily carry in your bag or store in your car. Here are a few common relaxation items to add to your calm down kit:
● For kids: A small colorful bubble blower, a blanket, a stuffed animal, essential oils (e.g. lavender), an MP3 player filled with calming music, a coloring book, candy, a small puzzle or toy (e.g. a Rubik’s cube).
● For Adults: Noise-canceling headphones, Rescue remedy stress relief drops, essential oils, stress balls, calm down cards, calming audiobooks, a stuffed animal, dark chocolate, peppermint, prayer beads, or elastic rubber bands.
You can also purchase calm down kits online or ask your local pharmacist if they have them. Remember, it should be small enough to fit into your bag, and make sure to take it whenever you go out.
2. Use muscle relaxation: The next step on the 15 steps to stop an anxiety attack in public is a muscle relaxation technique. This method requires mental focus and breathing exercises to help you achieve calmness and composure.
This is a really good method on how to stop a panic attack in public as you can easily do this without drawing attention to yourself. Begin by breathing in deeply, hold your breath for a few seconds then breathe out. Focus your attention on a muscle that is tense and keep doing your breathing exercise until the muscle is relaxed.
Start with something simple like your fingers or your toes. Pay attention to the movement of your muscles, feel the tension, release the tension, and repeat working your way through your body until you no longer feel the symptoms of your anxiety attack.
3. Try the 5-4-3-2-1 method: Once you begin to experience the symptoms of a panic attack in public, it is understandable why your body’s first response is to flee but the fact that you’re in a position where running away would not be easy makes your symptoms worse.
A simple way on how to stop a panic attack in public is to use the 5-4-3-2-1 method. This works by using your five senses, begin by finding 5 things you easily see in your environment. Then 4 items you can touch, followed by 3 sounds you can hear, use your nose to pick out 2 distinct scents, and finally think of 1 item you can taste.
Continue this exercise for as long as necessary until you’re back in the present and no longer in distress.
4. Use visualization: The next of the 15 steps to stop an anxiety attack in public is the use of visualization. This method simply uses your power of imagination, ability to concentrate, and your five senses. Visualization helps you achieve control over your anxiety by creating a safe place for you to relax in your mind.
When you begin feeling anxious in public, close your eyes and envision a place where you truly feel at peace. It can be at the beach, a garden, or even your bedroom. I’m sure you have realized that visualization requires a great deal of mental focus as you need to block out the noise of your surroundings to achieve this tranquil vision.
To help with your visualization process, you can wear noise-canceling headphones or if you’re at school or work, ask to be excused to the bathroom. If it is a place where you cannot leave then you need to strengthen your mind and sharpen your senses so that you can visualize without disturbance.
While visualizing, breathe in and out deeply, close your eyes, and call on your imagination to bring forth your safe place. Use your five senses to feel the environment of your vision, let your nostrils be filled with the scents, imagine what it would taste like, and let the sounds ring in your ears.
This will take practice and dedication to achieve. So don’t give up and keep pushing until your safe place becomes so real that you can escape reality completely and be lost in your mind. But make sure to always return to the present and don’t spend your time daydreaming or it could cause the people around you to be worried.
5. Find a distraction: One of the quickest ways on how to stop a panic attack in public is a distraction. If you cannot find an escape route in the situation (e.g. during an exam) the best solution is to distract yourself from your anxiety. Focus on the objects in your immediate surrounding, let us use the exam scenario as an example.
You cannot look around too much as that could get you labeled as a cheater, so focus instead on your desk, pencil, eraser, or shoes. Notice where the wood of your desk has been chipped off or the design of your pencil. You can also focus on the shoes of the people beside you or in front of you.
If it is possible, try drawing on your exam paper or worksheet then erasing it off when you feel calmer. Drawing can help you forget about your anxiety once you become absorbed in the details of your art.
6. Use herbs: Another common panic attack treatment without medication is the use of herbs. There are various herbs known for their calming effect on the body system such as chamomile, lavender, jasmine, and bergamot.
You can either use them in oil or tea form. Keep small oil bottles in your calm down kit or bag or pocket and breathe in the scent when you feel stressed. In tea form, you can make the tea before leaving home and store it in a thermos flask.
7. Do the 4-7-8 exercise: The next of the 15 steps to stop an anxiety attack in public is the 4-7-8 breathing exercise. This is another great exercise to help you achieve control over your body’s response to anxiety. This method was introduced by Andrew Weil, MD, and it is known for its effectiveness.
Begin by exhaling through your mouth then inhaling deeply through your nose for four seconds or to the count of four. Then hold your breath for seven seconds or counts and finally breathe out slowly through your mouth and repeat.
8. Have a snack: Some people experience higher anxiety levels when they are hungry. So when you begin to experience symptoms in public, you need to eat something tasty but not sugary. Have peanuts, walnuts, crackers, mints, or chocolate at hand when you go out and eat them to calm your nerves.
9. Play the ‘name’ game: Another great way on how to stop a panic attack in public is to play the ‘name’ game. This is a mind game, where you focus on the objects in your surrounding and name them. It is simple, fun, and a great way to distract you from anxiety.
10. Get relaxation apps: Thanks to smartphones, relaxation apps are a much more convenient way to help you push through an anxiety attack. Either through games or books or music, there are various relaxation apps you can download and use whenever you feel anxious in public.
11. Avoid negative thinking: When you experience a panic attack, negative thoughts follow, and these thoughts increase when you’re in public. The fear of being judged by others or embarrassing yourself will make you think the works will happen. This in turn will make your anxiety levels increase.
Avoid this by not fighting your attack but accepting that you’re having an attack and it is not life-threatening. Control your thoughts and your symptoms will reduce.
12. Have a partner: The next of the 15 steps to stop an anxiety attack in public is to have a partner you trust. Talking to a loved one about your anxiety is a good way to control it. You can attend public events with that person or call them when you get anxious in public.
13. Benzodiazepines: This is an anti-anxiety drug that provides quick relief during a panic attack. However, consult your doctor before taking this drug as it is highly addictive.
14. Avoid coffee, alcohol, and smoking: A healthy way on how to stop a panic attack in public is to avoid smoking or drinking alcohol or coffee. These are not only bad for your health but they make you lose control of your body system and can stimulate an attack in public.
15. Use physical sensations: The last of the 15 steps to stop an anxiety attack in public is the use of physical sensations. A good way to calm yourself is to focus on familiar sensations like the feeling of your feet on the ground or the weight of your clothes on your body. Focusing on these sensations will help you gain control over your anxiety in public.
Now that you know the best ways on how to stop a panic attack in public, it is time to put your new knowledge to use. Practice leads to perfection, so stay committed to these steps and you will not only be able to push through an anxiety attack but also be able to reduce your negative responses associated with an attack.
If you found this guide on how to stop a panic attack in public use, please share it with your loved ones, and don’t forget to leave a comment below. With these tips to get through an anxiety attack, I wish you success on your journey to achieve control over your anxiety.