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How To Calm Anxiety Attack

By Mosh
Treat Mental Health
8 min read
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Key Takeaways

 Anxiety is characterised by feelings of uneasiness or tension coupled with concerns about potential or actual adverse outcomes. Anxiety attacks can manifest differently in everyone, knowing your symptoms and triggers can help to reduce your risk of an anxiety attack. To reduce anxiety, individuals can try short breathing exercises, virtual relaxation tools, and seek support from others. To address any concerns that you may have, it is advisable to consult with a  mental health professional to receive proper advice and treatment depending on your specific situation.

A man and woman having a friendly conversation in a kitchen about mental health.

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What is anxiety?

Anxiety is a normal human experience, and everyone feels it at some point. It is characterised by feelings of uneasiness or tension coupled with concerns about potential or actual adverse outcomes. Unease and fear are inevitable parts of life. But for some, anxiety is a constant companion that makes even the simplest of tasks difficult. If this is the case, it is possible you are suffering from an anxiety disorder.

What are the symptoms of anxiety?

Different types of anxiety disorders can manifest different symptoms, but they often come in the following types:[1]

Psychological symptoms

Anxiety that does not go away and is caused by unreasonable beliefs or assumptions may be a sign of a disorder. They make it hard to go about your day normally and make you feel tense and worried. Extensive amounts of time can pass without it going away, and it may even worsen with time.

Physical symptoms

Anxiety disorders can manifest in the form of physical symptoms that can range from racing heartbeats and tightness in the chest to lightheadedness and even fainting.

Behavioural symptoms

Alterations in behaviour, such as withdrawing from activities that are normally part of one’s day-to-day life and other similar actions, can result from an anxiety disorder.

What does an anxiety attack feel like?

Before we get into how to calm anxiety attack, we first need to break down what it is and how it feels.

When someone talks about having an ‘anxiety attack’, that may indicate any number of different things because there is no recognised medical definition for it.[2] It can be unclear what is meant when someone says, ‘I am having an anxiety attack’, as it might refer to either feeling anxious or having a panic attack.

Since panic attacks can be triggered by a variety of things, the signs and symptoms can vary from person to person. For some, an attack may come on very suddenly and with no apparent trigger, while for others, there may be a specific trigger (e.g. a stressful situation at work). Some people may experience isolated incidents occasionally or have them regularly.

There are a number of signs and symptoms that can accompany panic attacks, though not everyone experiences all of them. It is common to feel exhausted after a panic attack has passed. Some of the more common ones include:[3]

  • feeling suddenly and overwhelmingly anxious or scared;
  • heart palpitations or chest pain;
  • shortness of breath;
  • sweating;
  • trembling or shaking;
  • feeling dizzy, lightheaded, or faint;
  • feeling like you are going to lose control or pass out;
  • hot flashes or chills; and
  • nausea.

The anxiety of having another episode is a particularly distressing aspect of having a disorder. Your anxiety about having a panic attack may cause you to avoid circumstances where one could occur, even important everyday situations.

What are some simple breathing exercises that helps with panic attacks?

One of the simplest ways of how to calm anxiety attack is through breath control. There are a number of deep breathing exercises that can help you manage your anxiety. The great thing about breathing techniques is that it does not matter where you are; you can easily perform them anywhere. 

There is some scientific evidence to support the use of diaphragmatic breathing relaxation (DBRT) for reducing anxiety. One study found that DBRT was effective in reducing anxiety, based on the participants’ scores on the Beck Anxiety Inventory.[4]

The goal of DBRT training is to help you learn how to breathe using your diaphragm. This type of breathing is also sometimes called ‘belly breathing’ because when you do it correctly, your stomach will expand slowly instead of your chest as you inhale. Diaphragmatic breathing is an effective way to reduce anxiety because it helps to slow down your breathing rate and promote a sense of calm. 

When you are feeling anxious, your breathing tends to become shallow and fast. Learning how to calm anxiety attack by breathing deeply and slowly using your diaphragm can help you counteract the effects and promote relaxation.

What is the 3 by 3 by 3 rule for anxiety?

The 3 by 3 by 3 rule, also known as the ‘333 rule’, is a simple tool that can help you get through anxious moments. It involves simply looking around you and finding three things that you can see, three things that you can touch, and three things that you can hear.[5]

Once you have done this, you can refocus your attention on the present moment and away from your anxious thoughts. This can help to ground you in the here and now and provide a much-needed distraction from your anxiety. However, although the 333 rule may be helpful to you in knowing how to calm anxiety attack, it is not a substitute for treatment.

When dealing with mental health issues, it is vital to take a personalised approach to address a person’s specific needs. Mosh has a short and simple online mental health survey broken down into the following sections: Getting Started, Mind Check-in, and Personal History and Lifestyle. Our network of doctors can use your answers to make an informed assessment. Your doctor will reach out within twenty-four hours of finishing the quiz.

We provide a safe space for you to ask questions about the symptoms of social anxiety or medication for anxiety. Everything is confidential; whatever you discuss will be between you and your doctor.

You can be assured that you will only be recommended a course of treatment by your doctor when it is needed. You can talk to your doctor through SMS, chat, or video. ​If you are prescribed any medications, Mosh will handle the entire delivery process. Our subscription service also includes shipments of refills.

Mosh is a telehealth platform that addresses health issues like mental health, sexual wellness, weight loss, and hair loss. At Mosh, we believe that no issue – no matter how private – is too sensitive to be taken seriously. You will not have to wait in long lines or commute long distances to get the care you deserve.

To learn more about how to calm anxiety attack, coping mechanisms, and other stress management techniques to improve your quality of life, talk to us at Mosh.

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