How To Help Someone Having A Panic Attack - Joshua York Legacy Foundation

How To Help Someone Having A Panic Attack

Dec 5, 2023 | Outreach | 0 comments

How To Help Someone Having A Panic Attack

How To Help Someone Having A Panic Attack

Panic attacks are a common occurrence, and they can happen to anyone, young or old. If you have a friend or a family member that has ever experienced a panic attack, you know how intimidating and overwhelming it can feel. The symptoms of a panic attack can be very frightening and unnerving, and it’s essential to know how to help if and when you need to. In today’s blog post, we’ll provide you with some tips on how you can help someone you know that is having a panic attack.

1. Stay Calm:

When someone is having a panic attack, the energy levels and emotions are at an all-time high. As a helper, you need to remain calm and collected. Remember, what your friend or loved one needs is a safe and calm environment. Keeping your tone of voice slow and low will help them feel calmer. Don’t panic. If you start to panic, it will make the panic attacks worse. Stay calm, focused, and remember that you are there to help them.

2. Tell The Person to Take Deep Breaths:

Panic attacks can cause hyperventilation, and the symptoms can be overwhelming. It’s essential to help your loved one to control their breathing. Hold their hand and lead them to a quiet place, where there are no distractions. Ask them to take deep breaths and exhale slowly. This will help them calm down and feel more relaxed.

3. Encourage Them To Practice Mindfulness:

Mindfulness is a powerful tool that can help reduce anxiety levels in people. When you are with someone that is having a panic attack, help them to stay focused and present. Encourage them to listen to the sounds around them, concentrate on their breathing, and observe their thoughts as they come and go. This will help them to control their thoughts and stop the anxiety from getting out of control.

4. Distract Them:

Sometimes, the best thing you can do for someone having a panic attack is to distract them in a positive way. You can try talking to them about something they are interested in, or something that will hold their attention. You can ask them to count their breaths, think of a happy memory, or just have small talk. Helping the person focus can help them to take their mind off the panic attack and make them feel more comfortable in their surroundings.

5. Be there for them:

Panic attacks can be very frightening and can leave a person feeling vulnerable, so it’s essential to reassure them that you are there for them. During and after the attack, make sure they know that you are there to help them. They may need some time to recover, so if they don’t want to talk or be around people, give them some space. Check on them later and ask how they feel but don’t pressure them to talk about their feelings.

panic disorder

Mastering Anxiety and Panic Attacks with the 333 Rule

Life is full of threats, real or perceived. When the body perceives a threat, it initiates the fight or flight response, which is useful in a real life threatening situation. However, when one has to experience panic attacks responses occur too often or are triggered by trivial circumstances, they can quickly lead to anxiety and panic attacks. Such attacks can be debilitating and interrupt everyday life. Fortunately, the 333 rule can help you manage anxiety and panic attacks and make a positive change towards living with a calmer mind, especially if you have recurring panic attacks.

Understanding the 333 Rule:

The 333 rule is a technique that helps you overcome overwhelming thoughts and calm down. The 333 stands for three things. First, take three deep breaths. This step helps to slow down the heart rate and enable you to focus on your breathing. Then, look around and identify three things you can touch. Touching something objectifies your feelings and feelings of fear become physical sensations, allowing you to distance yourself from your situation emotionally. Finally, say three things you are grateful for. This act will remind your brain that no matter how intense your anxiety disorder or panic disorders seems, you still have things in your life to be grateful for.

Applicability of the 333 Rule:

The 333 rule is a simple and effective coping mechanism that can be used anywhere. If you experience a panic attack at home, office, or even in public, you can use this rule to avoid a complete panic situation. The best part about this technique is that you can carry it out in your head, without anyone noticing. You can simply take deep breaths, look around, and think of three things you are grateful for. You can also write down the things you were grateful for, creating an affirmation to remember later.

What are the Benefits of the 333 Rule?

The rule is easy to remember, simple to practice, and applicable in various situations. It is a quick way to break out of negative thought patterns by focusing on the present moment. As you consciously look for things to touch and feel, you shift your attention to your physical surroundings, letting go of anxious thoughts. Additionally, the act of verbalizing gratitude increases positivity and minimizes feelings of anger or sadness.

Use In Combination With Other Coping Mechanisms

The 333 rule is not a complete solution for anxiety disorders. For individuals experiencing anxiety and panic attacks at a higher level, it can be combined with other coping mechanisms. In addition to practicing the 333 rule, individuals may also consider therapy, medication, self-care practices such as yoga, exercise and dietary changes, and establishing a consistent sleep routine. Combining the 333 rule with other mechanisms will improve the chances for long-term success.

In conclusion, anxiety and panic attacks can feel overwhelming and paralyzing, but they do not have to be. The 333 rule is a simple, effective, and practical strategy that anyone can use. Practicing the technique consistently can reduce the effect of panic attacks and improve overall well-being. It is important to note that this technique may not work for everyone, the situation and individual can differ. Therefore, it is essential to always seek additional help as needed, including seeking the support of a mental health professional. Lastly, remember that managing anxiety and panic attacks is an ongoing process, but with the proper techniques and support, you do not have to battle it alone.

how to prevent panic attacks

Be Empathetic About Others Mental Health

Mental illnesses have become a growing concern in our society, and most people do not know how to react or communicate with someone who is suffering from mental health problems. Understanding someone else’s mental health with no personal experience can be quite challenging, but it’s not impossible. Next, we will explore a few things that can be done to help us understand the struggles of a loved one or friend who is going through mental health issues.

Educate Yourself

The first step in understanding someone else’s mental health is to educate yourself about the illness and the mental and physical symptoms they experience. You can read articles and books, attend lectures or talks, or even talk to people who have experienced the same issue. Knowledge is power, and the more you learn, the better equipped you are to offer support and empathy to the affected person and not make the panic attack worse.

Listen Carefully

Another important step is to listen carefully to the person who is experiencing mental health issues. Let them speak and express their emotions without interrupting or judging them. Listening without making assumptions, judgments, or offering unsolicited advice will help them feel heard and supported, which can be a big step in their recovery process.

Ask Questions

While listening is essential, asking questions is equally important. Not only does it show that you care, but it also helps you understand the illness better and offers some avenues of support. Remember to keep your questions open-ended and non-judgmental, and don’t pry too much if the person is not comfortable discussing it with you.

Be There for Them

It can be challenging for someone going through mental health issues to reach out for help. This is where having a supportive person around can make all the difference. Show up for them when they need you and offer them emotional support without expecting anything in return. Simply being there to listen, offer a shoulder to cry, or spend quality time with them can make a massive difference to their mental health recovery.

Encourage Them to Seek Professional Help

Finally, it is essential to encourage the person to seek professional help. While being supportive and empathetic can significantly improve their mental health, professional help may also be necessary especially if their having physical symptoms such as chest pain, offer to help them find a therapist or assist in any way you can. It’s important not to push too hard or make them feel guilty about seeking help. Instead, let them know that it’s okay to seek medical attention and that you’ll support them in their journey to recovery.


Joshua York Legacy Foundation


Knowing how to help someone having a panic attack can be a lifesaver. It can mean the difference between a short-lived incident and a severe emotional episode. When you stay calm, provide breathing techniques, encourage mindfulness, distract them, and be there for them, you can help them overcome the panic attack. Combined with the help of a mental health professional, your love and support can make all the difference in their journey to healing and recovery. Remember, we all need someone who can help us get through tough times, and you can be that person for someone experiencing a panic attack.


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