Eastern Michigan University

Coping With Panic

  1. Remember that although your feelings and symptoms are very frightening, they are NOT dangerous or harmful.
  2. Understand that what you are experiencing is just an exaggeration of your normal bodily reactions to stress.
  3. Do NOT fight your feelings, or try to wish them away. The more you are willing to face them, the less intense they will become.
  4. STAY IN THE PRESENT. Notice what is REALLY happening to you as opposed to what you think "might" happen.
  5. If you find yourself escalating your fears by worrying about "what if..", tell yourself, "So what?"
  6. When the fear comes, expect and accept it. Wait and give it time to pass without running away from it.
  7. Notice that when you stop adding frightening thoughts to your fear, it begins to fade.
  8. Label your fear level from 0 to 10 and watch it go up and down. Notice that it does NOT stay at a very high level for more than a few seconds.
  9. When you find yourself thinking too much about the fear, CHANGE YOUR PRIMARY THOUGHT. Focus on and carry out a simple and manageable task.
  10. Be proud of yourself for your progress thus far and think about how good you will feel when you succeed this time.

Adapted from: Roundhouse Square Psychiatric Center, Alexandria, VA.

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