Coping With Panic

  • Remember although your feelings and symptoms are very frightening, they are not dangerous or harmful.
  • Understand that what you are experiencing is just an exaggeration of your normal bodily reactions to stress.
  • 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.
  • Stay in the present. Notice what is really happening to you as opposed to what you think "might" happen.
  • If you find yourself escalating your fears by worrying about "what if..", tell yourself, "So what?"
  • When the fear comes, expect and accept it. Wait and give it time to pass without running away from it.
  • Notice that when you stop adding frightening thoughts to your fear, it begins to fade.
  • 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.
  • When you find yourself thinking too much about the fear, change your primary thought. Focus on and carry out a simple and manageable task.
  • 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.