Video: 6 Ways to Distract Yourself From PanicCoping with panic attacks can be difficult, to say the least.

I’ve had well over… um… well, I’m not exactly counting, but it’s certainly more than 300 or 400. And I mean bona fide panic attacks. Not high anxiety — true panic.

Even after 8 years, I’m still working on coping with it effectively. A series of heart palpitations in the cereal aisle will still send me dashing for the exit of the grocery store. A twinge of nausea on a car ride will send me reaching for Xanax.

And a little unwelcome heat & humidity will make me clammy and lightheaded… just like it did today. Just as I started filming this video, I panicked. My apartment was too warm and I couldn’t get the AC to work. Frustrated, I started feeling woozy and like I needed to sit down, lest I panic. Then, when I finally did sit down, I became worried that I would simply grow hotter and hotter until I finally passed out. So, feeling even woozier, I stood up again to plead with the thermostat, shaking, and extremely fearful of passing out.

Fun fact, eh? A panic attack distracted me from recording a video for Psych Central about how to distract yourself from a panic attack. Go figure.

But anyway — on to the video. While distraction isn’t the best long-term solution, certain distraction techniques can help you to get through a difficult panic attack. Ideally, desensitizing yourself to panic triggers is key — and that can be accomplished via Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. But until your figurative “Coping Toolbox” is well-stocked, these distraction techniques can help.

In a pinch, what helps you to get through a panic attack?

(This video is based on an earlier blog post of mine from Panic About Anxiety called “6 Ways to Distract Yourself From Panic”.)