5 Best Meditations For Panic Attack Relief

Recently, one of my meditation students asked me what the best meditation for panic attack relief is. And so I thought I would write this post to help other people in a similar position.

When you have a panic attack, meditation techniques can help. Today I will share the best meditations for panic attacks with you.

Meditating and practising mindfulness (nonjudgmentally focusing on the present moment) are healthy ways to take control of your anxiety. [1] [READ: Meditation For Anxiety Relief]

As a meditation teacher, lots of people ask for my advice on using meditation for panic attacks. Naturally, this is a very complex condition and it can be hard to know how to calm down during panic attacks when they are actually happening, which is why it is best to develop some strategies while you are feeling calm.

Meditation cured my panic attacks. I used to get them so bad it was completely debilitating. I can vividly remember the feeling of my boiling hot skin and my rattling mind. I would hyperventilate to the point when I felt could collapse. And in my experience, there isn’t much you can do when they are happening, which is why you need to develop strategies before they occur. Thankfully, mindfulness and meditating can help.

Science proves it. Just take a look at these proven mental health benefits of meditation.

Meditations help to:

  1. stop panic attacks when they happen
  2. keep your calm, so they don’t happen in the first place.
  3. you take control of your emotions

As well as using meditation for panic attacks you can use progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) and yoga[READ: Yoga When Panicking ] [2]

Once you learn to meditate and start practising yoga, you will gain more control over panic attacks.

Let’s take a look at the best meditations for panic disorders.

I Personally Found These The Best Meditations For Panic Attacks   


When I personally suffered from panic attacks I found that these were the most helpful methods for me.

1. Mindfulness Meditation for panic attacks  

Mindfulness meditation is a style of meditation in which we are consciously aware of the present moment and of what is occurring within the mind.

This is arguably the best meditation for panic attack relief [3]. You would have heard such luminaries as Deepak Chopra and Jack Kornfield advocating the use of this method.

Scientific research shows that good things happen when you use mindfulness for panic attacks and anxiety attacks. Specifically, you gain more emotional control.  [4]

When using mindfulness meditation for panic attacks, we learn about the mind and about how our mental state is continually shifting. And we learn to accept our feelings and emotions instead of reacting to them in unhelpful ways.   

It seems crazy simple, doesn’t it? Just focusing on the present moment. That’s all it is. And yet the act of mindfully focusing on the present moment can have significant benefits.

When we practice mindfulness meditation for panic attack relief, we teach our mind not to dwell on thoughts. This naturally lessens the effect that stress, worry and negative thoughts have on us.

Mindfulness is about observing and accepting thoughts, rather than fighting them and pushing them away.  By accepting our thoughts and not fighting them, we recognise that they are only thoughts, that they are not reality. Once we realise this, we can overcome our negative ways of thinking.

2. Nine Round Breathing  

One of the best breathing meditations for panic attacks is “Nine Round Breathing”.

If you suffer from panic attacks, meditating on the breath is an excellent strategy.

Nine round breathing relaxes the mind quickly.

It’s a special breathing technique that originates from Buddhism. And it is great for quickly relaxing the min when you feel a panic attack coming on. It is one of the methods that the Dalai Lama advises for relieving anxiety.

3. Mindful CBT  

MBCBT (Mindfulness-based cognitive behavioural therapy) is a system that combines psychological exercises (CBT) with mindfulness. This method combines the best of psychology and meditation for panic attack sufferers. It is commonly used in psychotherapy and is an effective treatment for relief from panic disorder and anxiety.

Research shows that when we combine mindfulness with cognitive behavioural therapy, we get a highly effective treatment for panic attacks (5).

5. Mindful jogging

One of the best meditation techniques for panic attacks is to take a mindful run.

This is personally my favourite solution when I start to feel the symptoms of panic manifesting in my body.

Hundreds of scientific studies have proven that physical exercise is of immense benefit in curing anxiety. Exercise releases hormones and chemicals that help you to relax and to improve your mood.

Exercise also helps to stop anxiety by making it harder for the body to experience the physical symptoms of anxiety. Jogging is one of the best activities to try, and if you don’t feel like a run, a walk can be equally effective.

6.  Be mindful and plan ahead 

Another great trick for panic attacks is to plan ahead.

You need to plan, so you are prepared for when an episode does occur.

Make use of your free time, when you are feeling relaxed, to come up with a plan of campaign for when you do suffer an episode.

Perhaps you can have a friend or relative in mind who you can call.

Perhaps you can carry some relaxing music with you.

Find ways to relax and make sure they are always at hand. Simply knowing that you have ways to overcome an anxiety attack will help you to feel more relaxed and less worried.

The science of using meditation for panic attacks

The best thing about using meditation for panic attack relief is that it stops the symptoms quickly.

As you know, there are lots of symptoms of this terrible condition: (6):

  • Heart palpitations
  • Accelerated heart rate
  • Sweating
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Shortness of breath
  • Feeling of being smothering
  • Feelings of choking for seemingly no reason
  • Chest pain / tension /
  • Nausea or abdominal pain
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Feeling light-headed
  • Feeling faint
  • Chills or heat sensations
  • Paresthesia (numbness or tingling sensations)
  • Derealization
  • Fear of losing control or “going crazy.”
  • Fear of dying

By using meditation for panic attacks you will stop these symptoms early on, before they become a problem.

Is it a panic attack or anxiety?

Many people confuse panic attacks with anxiety, which is understandable because of the similarities in symptoms. That said, it is essential to be able to distinguish between the two. Here are the crucial differences.

  • Panic attacks are short and intense. They generally reach their peak within 10 minutes and with no obvious trigger.
  • Anxiety lasts longer and is usually tied to a specific trigger. It also has observable worries and is generally less intense.

As you can see, the main difference between panic attacks and anxiety is that the former are shorter and more intense.

Thankfully, you can use a combination of yoga and meditation for panic attacks.

Scientific research on meditation for panic attacks

There are more than 100 health benefits of meditation.

Mankind is finally entering an age where science is taking spirituality seriously.

As such, there is significant research currently being conducted into how spiritual practices like mindfulness and yoga help with mental health problems.

Science has already proven that meditation and mindfulness offer 100+ health benefits.

And we now know, scientifically, that we can use yoga and meditation for panic attacks.

Yoga reduces stress and anxiety and improves the quality of life. And the combination of meditation and yoga is effective at treating the condition.

Scientific Research on using yoga and meditation for panic attacks:

A survey of 14,985 people looked at the effects of acupuncture, yoga and meditation on panic attacks.

Two thirds of the study-group who had anxiety disorders undertook alternative therapies and had successful results.

This has been backed by other studies around the world.

Scientists believe that mind-body interventions like yoga and meditation help panic attacks significantly.

The scientists note that when used as therapy, yoga should include asana (poses0, pranayama (breathing) and yoga Nidra (deep relaxation) as well as meditation.  

The researchers note that yoga and meditation significantly increase emotional regulation and reduce depression, stress, and anxiety. [8]

Those are the best panic attack meditation techniques

Yes, this condition can be devastating, I know from firsthand experience how it can make it very difficult to relax, especially when you are out in public. But it is imperative to remember that you are in control.

Yes, you are in control.

I know it often doesn’t feel like that. But listen.

You have control of your own mind.

Yes, there are challenges from time to time. And sometimes you may feel anxious. And you may continue to suffer from the occasional panic attack. Meditation will help when that happens. By practising daily while you are healthy, you will train your mind to control an episode the next time one occurs.

Remember to share and leave a comment.

 

 SOURCES

1: Hofmann SG, Sawyer AT, Witt AA, Oh D. The effect of mindfulness-based therapy on anxiety and depression: A meta-analytic reviewJ Consult Clin Psychol. 2010;78(2):169-83. doi:10.1037/a0018555 https://doi.org/10.4088/JCP.12m08083

2: Li Y, Wang R, Tang J, et al. Progressive muscle relaxation improves anxiety and depression of pulmonary arterial hypertension patientsEvid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2015;2015:792895. doi:10.1155/2015/792895

3: Hoge EA, Bui E, Marques L, et al. Randomized controlled trial of mindfulness meditation for generalized anxiety disorder: effects on anxiety and stress reactivityJ Clin Psychiatry. 2013;74(8):786-92. doi:10.4088/JCP.12m08083

4: Fadel Zeidan, Katherine T. Martucci, Robert A. Kraft, John G. McHaffie, Robert C. Coghill, Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, Volume 9, Issue 6, June 2014, Pages 751–759, https://academic.oup.com/scan/article/9/6/751/1664700

5: Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Behavior Therapy in Patients with Anxiety Disorders: A Case Series, Mahendra P. Sharma, Angelina Mao,1 and Paulomi M. Sudhir, Department of Clinical Psychology, NIMHANS, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3573578/

6:  Panic Disorder Symptoms, Anxiety And Depression Association of America, https://adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/panic-disorder-agoraphobia/symptoms

7: Anxiety Attacks vs. Panic Attacks, By Sheryl Ankrom, MS, LCPC , VeryWellMind, https://www.verywellmind.com/anxiety-attacks-versus-panic-attacks-2584396

8: Reducing the Symptomatology of Panic Disorder: The Effects of a Yoga Program Alone and in Combination with Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy,  Camila Ferreira Vorkapic1,* and Bernard Rangé, aboratory of Neurophysiology, Department of Physiology, Federal University of Sergipe, , Department of Applied Psychology, Institute of Psychology, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro,  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4259001/


Paul Harrison

Paul Harrison is a qualified meditation teacher and writer with more than 15 years experience in meditation and mindfulness. He studied meditation in Oxford, UK, and Hamilton Ontario Canada, and earned his degree at Staffordshire University. Paul has helped thousands of people to discover their true potential through mindfulness, yoga and meditation. You can read his books on Amazon

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