The University Counselling Service

Panic attacks

Sometimes people experience a burst of very intense anxiety, which can lead to faster breathing, pains in various parts of the body (often chest pain), sweating or shaking. These can be very frightening and once experienced, you may worry about them happening again. Sometimes this secondary anxiety can itself increase the likelihood of further panic attacks.

The best way of dealing with panic attacks is to find the techniques which work best for you in calming down the symptoms. Breathing exercises often workwell. Alternate nostril breathing (PDF) can be particularly effective if you think that a panic attack might be starting because it is quite complicated to do, so you really have to focus your attention on it. It’s a good idea to practice it when you’re not feeling too anxious.

Once you know that you have a way of managing the panic attacks, you are less likely to be highly anxious about having another panic attack.

Progressive muscle relaxation is also helpful.


University Counselling Service

The Orchards
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0)115 951 3695

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