How to Stop a Panic Attack the Teal Swan Way

I’ve had panic disorder for 14 years. In all that time, I’ve never learned how to stop a panic attack. I think by now, I’ve experienced every symptom of panic there is, which are frighteningly similar to a heart attack (and yes I’ve been rushed into the ER and bumped to the front of the line!). I have trekked the ever changing landscape of anxiety and I have learned 2 things. One, with ongoing anxiety, the symptoms never seem to stay the same. And two, my body is trying to TELL me something.

After 5 years of psychotherapy, a month in an outpatient behavioral program, over a month with an anxiety coach, plus all of the initial reactions like fighting, fleeing, hiding… I never was taught to deal effectively with the physical symptoms of anxiety. I never knew how to stop a panic attack. I figured, if I just let it happen, it would eventually go away… ‘suffer through it’ became my mantra. But it didn’t go away. It got worse. I wasn’t listening.

Thank the heavens, there is one person, one beacon of light that actually taught me something useful: Teal Swan. And one particularly rough night, I followed her instructions. With a sigh of relief I can say, I got through it.  And in the morning when I woke up, the heart palpitations that plague me daily, were gone. After 14 years, I probably have more work to do, but it was a glorious oasis of comfort.

I added a summary with her steps after the video, if you have dont have 19 minutes to watch. If you’re living with anxiety, I’m willing to bet you do.

Teal says that “Anxiety is the body reflecting the thoughts you’re thinking.” This means you’re spending too much time with fear. How many fear, worry, anger or stressful thoughts do you think throughout the day? Think about it. When you go to the doctor, dont they always ask you if theres anything stressful going on in your life? There’s something to this, and it only makes sense that it would manifest in some physical experience.

Teal says to question your thoughts, one by one. Though she doesnt explain much more, she recommends studying the work of Byron Katie. Teal also has a video on how to change a belief.

But right now, you need SKILLS! And fast.

Here are her steps on  how to stop a panic attack .

  1. Close your eyes. Breathe in. Hold for 8 seconds. Let it out, feeling a release.
  2. Say “I am having a panic attack” (acknowledge)
  3. Turn your focus TOWARD the sensations.
    Say… ‘Sensation – you feel heavy, you feel painful, you feel numb’
  4. Next… Ask it to become WORSE. To get more intense. To FEEL more.
  5. Ask the sensation what it needs you to know. What is it trying to tell you.
    your system is giving you totally accurate information
  6. What were you thinking before the panic started? Look for proof that undermines the fear and think supportive thoughts.
  7. Keep a positive aspects journal. Write your fear, then write a positive thought that proves your fear is just a fear.

Her last piece of advice was this. If you make a decision, maybe to do something that causes anxiety, line up your thoughts to support it. Keep yourself focused on the positive when you are and when you are not doing something stressful. Use your positive aspects journal to practice, and when fear creeps in, acknowledge it, feel through it and go back to your positive thoughts as soon as you can.

If you want a more in depth approach to deal with day to day anxiety and get past it over time, Teal has another video on how to get rid of anxiety

I also created a little downloadable pocket guide if you need a reminder 😀

How To Stop a Panic Attack

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