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How You Can Stop An Anxiety Attack In One Minute

Updated on November 13, 2015


Anxiety. What is it and where did it come from? What are the symptoms of a Panic Attack? Anxiety can cause you to feel short of breath. Your stomach gets tight. Heart rate sky rockets. Hands get cold. Feeling dog tired. Diarrhea maybe? Tingling in your arms or legs. Suddenly you're filled with fear. You begin to wonder if you might be about to have a heart attack. Perhaps a stroke? There is an intense feeling of dread. It's not pleasant. Not pleasant at all.

This is anxiety. For many, it is a condition that strikes with out warning or mercy.

Where did it come from?

The reality is this most likely isn't a heart attack or stroke. There's also a really good chance that realistically at this moment, you have absolutely no clue what fired this off. To have a feeling of panic or fear of death as you're about to skydive for the first time is normal. To feel the same way while watching a Seinfeld re-run, not normal.

Essentially, your fight/flight mechanisms fired off inappropriately. This could be the result of chemical imbalances in the brain, personal history or a nice cocktail of the two.

"Shaken and stirred you are."

-Yoda to James Bond in The Lucas Broccoli Connection.

Clearly, laughter is the best medicine, but this is really no time for jokes. You don't feel right. You could be on a medication to help reduce anxiety and alleviate depression, but you're still having a panic attack right now and you have to get through this moment.


The beauty of your humanity is the ability to see yourself in the third person. You have enough self-perception to see yourself as if you were outside your body.

When a bear feels panic or fear they react without pause. You, the human being have some choices about what to do with your fear, anger, anxiety, sadness. You may not think you do, but you do.

I'll prove it to you. The next time some jerk cuts you off in traffic, you'll have a few choices. The simplest and easiest one is to flip the guy off. Next, you can catch up to him, pull up next to him and flip him off. You will also have the option at this point to use foul language to go with your sign language. From here you may also decide to run him off the road or even open fire with the handgun of your choosing. If you're really concerned that you won't be truly making your point, then I recommend grenades tossed into an open window or the sunroof if you're a good shot.

Most people in their right mind, meaning they have control over their response, simply mumble and fantasize but never take any action. You had, analyzed, and responded to a given stimulus and then chose your action. In this case, it was to do nothing which was the smart thing to do.

So what to do when you get a panic/anxiety attack?

How about you?

I have had a panic/anxiety attact before:

See results

5 Things To Do About It Right Away

Anyone of these 5 things can bring immediate relief in one minute or less.

  • Breathe. Slow. Controlled. Deep Breaths. Take a moment, center yourself. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. As you inhale deeply, also make sure you are breathing in positive, radiant, loving energy. I'd like to recommend getting the arms involved. Move your arms in a way that replicates bringing positive energy in to you. Whatever movement that is to you. Do that as you inhale. With the exhale, release the tension, anxiety, negativity, and pain. Use your arms again to slowly, deliberately push it away from you. You don't need it. Continue breathing in peace and exhaling negativity.
  • Anchor. Before your next panic attack, run through the memory banks of your life and bring to the forefront a powerful memory of safety, joy, peace, love, and tranquility. If you can't come up with a memory, make something up. Create a sensation or relive the memory fully. You want to feel so good about the memory or thought that your breath lightens and you feel like you might lift off and float around a bit. While that sensation peaks, touch your index finger to your thumb and hold it. Now when the panic fires up, touch thumb and index finger together and recall the peace, joy, love and security.
  • "Spinning." Spinning is an NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) Technique that comes from the founder of NLP, Richard Bandler. This is a great technique which is highly effective at reducing and even eliminating an anxiety attack. When you feel it start to come on and it's building momentum, recognize the situation for what it is, a panic attack. Now, identify the direction it is going. For example, does it start in the pit of your stomach and then moves up into your chest and then circles back into your knees, through your groin and then back up to your stomach again? Does this feeling start to spin in one direction until you're overwhelmed? So can you see the circle? Now ask yourself what direction is it going? While you're at it, what color is it? Now all you need to do is reverse the direction of the spinning, adjust the speed to your preference and then change the color to something more pleasant, say Blue. Presto!
  • "I want to feel good!" This one come by way of Wayne Dyer's book, The Power of Intention. Say this little mantra of magic words when the anxiety or fear fires up. "I want to feel good." Say it like you mean it and start generating the good feelings. If you want to take it a little further try, "I want to feel good. I intend to feel good and I refuse to allow any thoughts of dis-order or dis-ease in."
  • Combo Time. When you need a double whammy or even triple whammy, try combining the breathing with the mantra. You can also combine the mantra with the Spinning. Breathing and the Anchor works well too. If you're having a Doosie, start with the breathing, transition into the Spinning and as that starts to take effect, fire off your anchor and begin your mantra.

Getting through this moment of anxiety is now a skill you can develop. Simplify it down to a moment. A moment that will pass and you know that it will. You also don't have to allow this moment to overwhelm you like a large wave. Even if it does, you have the power to change the image of that wave to a wave of peace and tranquility.

You have the power to change your mind at a moments notice. Why not give yourself permission to use it!

Richard Bandler At Work

Try Deep Breathing For Anxiety

How Does This Apply To You Now?

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    • David R Bradley profile image

      David R Bradley 2 years ago from The Active Side of Infinity

      Ruth, sounds dangerous, so be careful. Im not a doctor, but it may be possible that you're not breathing. I'd say put your attention on your breath. Focus on the road obviously, but start takin controled, slow, deep breaths. Making this a daily practice will also help with that. Let me know if that helps. Also get to the root of why bridges trigger your anxiety so you can release it instead of just dealing with it

    • profile image

      Ruth Ann 2 years ago

      All my panic attacks happen while I'm driving; especially on a bridge or an overpass where it is not possible to just pull off the road. Main symptom is dizziness which makes me think I'm going to pass out and have a wreck. What's a quick way to stop the attack of dizziness?

    • David R Bradley profile image

      David R Bradley 3 years ago from The Active Side of Infinity

      BOOM! Glad to hear it! Congratulations!!!

    • profile image

      Torey 3 years ago

      Woke up this morning with a crazy panic attack. Just considering all the things to accomplish for this day. I did the breathing and the blue reverse circling imagery. I can't wuite tell, but I'm not paralyzed anymore

    • David R Bradley profile image

      David R Bradley 3 years ago from The Active Side of Infinity

      @Ana Koulouris - K.I.M. it is your anxiety, so make sure next time it has a run in with YOU, not the other way around! ;-)

    • Ana Koulouris profile image

      Ana Koulouris 3 years ago from Chicago, IL

      I very much enjoyed this hub, David. I'll be sure try a few of these techniques the next time I have a run-in with my anxiety. Thanks!

    • David R Bradley profile image

      David R Bradley 4 years ago from The Active Side of Infinity

      Norma, you got this! Please let us know if any of the techniques here helped and how you did it.

    • profile image

      Norma 4 years ago

      I am about to skydive in a few days... It's a life long dream... But I have panic attacks... Could I do it do you think?

    • David R Bradley profile image

      David R Bradley 4 years ago from The Active Side of Infinity

      Tim, thank you. I understand what you get to deal with and can tell you with out a doubt that if you weren't up for the challenges in your life then they would not be happening. Stay strong and much power and peace to you and yours.

    • profile image

      Tim Lovas 4 years ago

      Wow, just wow. I deal with hypocondriasis and anxiety. These tools can help with both. I think that the physical motion of thumb to finger would be the best bet. I think this may have just changed my life. Thank you.

    • David R Bradley profile image

      David R Bradley 5 years ago from The Active Side of Infinity

      Well, genitii / andrew, I'm not a Doctor, Psychiatrist or Psychologist and based on the limited information, it would be hard to fully respond to this. That being said, what I would like to share with you is that YOU are in control here and can choose wellness. You can start to change your thinking to what you want to happen instead of what you're afraid might happen. Neither one has happened yet, because it's in the future. So put your attention on how you want it to be, not on what you're afraid may be. Follow?

      Regarding the guilt. Most guilt is a complete waste of energy. It has nothing to do with creating the future you deserve and will only slow down your progress. Forgive yourself if you need to, connect with your higher power, offer the negative energy up and ask for a more useful energy in return.

      Let me know how that helps...

    • profile image

      andrew 5 years ago

      David im I n deep trouble everything alright 4 month ago but suddenly a bad memory came into my mind and I strated overthinking about it in negative way founding myself guilty and worried about future conciquenced one more think my father had ocd so is it


    • profile image

      Shirley 5 years ago

      Love this.. I will enjoy practicing the index finger and thumb anchor of good memories.. Thank you..

    • vrbmft profile image

      Vernon Bradley 5 years ago from Yucaipa, California

      Wow! I don't remember reading this almost two years ago, but obviously I did and even left a comment!! An awesome hub even if I didn't remember reading it the first time. I still enjoy the Bandler video. I am always amazed at how simple the breathing is, of course, but when I am anxious, it does take conscious effort. Thanks again for a very informative, delightful, and very helpful hub.

    • David R Bradley profile image

      David R Bradley 7 years ago from The Active Side of Infinity

      Esther, thanks for reading and I'm sure you will have the presence of mind next time. Actually, hopefully there won't be a next time, but if there is I'm confident you will fair well. Spinning works very well for me especially when I catch it early. Let me know how it all goes for you! Be well and Pura Vida!

    • profile image

      Esther 7 years ago

      I hadn't thought about the spinning technique before. I'll give that a go next time, if I have enough presence of mind to remember it, lol.

    • David R Bradley profile image

      David R Bradley 7 years ago from The Active Side of Infinity

      Glad you found them helpful bojanglesk8! Thanks for reading.

    • bojanglesk8 profile image

      bojanglesk8 7 years ago

      Great tips.

    • David R Bradley profile image

      David R Bradley 7 years ago from The Active Side of Infinity

      Thanks for reading toneyahuja, I'll check out your link!

    • toneyahuja profile image

      toneyahuja 7 years ago from India

      Great hub. Anxiety attacks are never any fun. The good news is possible treatment. . Say goodbye panic attack, goodbye anxiety attack, Follow panic away program. With simple technique each morning

    • vrbmft profile image

      Vernon Bradley 8 years ago from Yucaipa, California

      I live in the midst of more anxiety that I allow my conscious mind to notice, but my fingernails sort of give me away. I like the tips. Breathing is my best bet because I tend to forget about breathing pretty quickly except when I am walking, walking fast. I like the Bandler "thing." Going to play with that one instead of work with it! Great hub, David

    • David R Bradley profile image

      David R Bradley 8 years ago from The Active Side of Infinity

      Keymaster, continue the mantra until it works and work on the anchoring, that's a really good 1,2 punch...

    • profile image

      KeyMaster 8 years ago

      David, this has helped a lot! I use the breathing in particular and just used the "I want to feel good" technique on Monday and it did work after a few tries! Thank you!

    • David R Bradley profile image

      David R Bradley 8 years ago from The Active Side of Infinity

      stars439, I'm glad you gained something from this hub. If I can help people handle anxiety just a little better with what I've learned and experienced myself, I'm a happy man.

    • stars439 profile image

      stars439 8 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

      David, thank you for this great hub. I have dealt with it many years. Too much I have seen of hard things in life. God Bless you.

    • David R Bradley profile image

      David R Bradley 8 years ago from The Active Side of Infinity

      Thanks for taking time to read this. I hope it helps. These have all worked for me.

    • christryon profile image

      christryon 8 years ago

      I do occasionally experience anxiety attacks. Thanks for the tips.


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