Panic attack symptoms can be frightening. Overcoming panic attacks is possible with relaxation. Here is a relaxation script for overcoming panic attacks by listening to calming affirmations and reassurance. Use this guided relaxation for dealing with panic attacks in the moment.
Signs and symptoms of panic attacks include physical panic attack symptoms and emotional anxiety. If you are experiencing a panic attack right now, you are probably very frightened…. and that is okay because it is normal. Relaxation can help you with overcoming panic attacks and returning to a state of calm. Relaxation is a normal process, too.
You are not having a heart attack. You are experiencing normal, natural anxiety that is designed to help your body handle stressful situations. Let’s begin the process of overcoming panic attacks and letting that anxiety decrease.
Take notice of your physical position right now. You might be standing, sitting, lying down, or moving around. Just notice where your body is.
Now if you want to, you can make some adjustments to be more comfortable. You may want to sit down, or stretch a bit… or even lie down if you like. Just allow yourself to become slightly more physically comfortable.
Now that you are in a more comfortable position, you can observe your environment. Is there any immediate danger? If there is something that will cause you harm, you can take action to keep yourself safe. If there is no immediate threat to your life, I can assure you that right now you are safe from harm.
The panic that you are experiencing is not going to hurt you. Although it may feel like you are in danger because of this anxiety, and it is completely normal to feel that way…. you are not in danger. Anxiety will not harm you.
Anxiety attacks can be scary, but they will pass. This anxiety will pass. Overcoming panic attacks is possible.
You are breathing…. and you are getting enough air. If you weren’t, you would not be conscious right now. Your body knows how much air it needs.
If it feels like you cannot catch your breath right now, you probably are breathing a great deal of air in, but not exhaling enough. We can fix that right now. Blow out through your lips, as if you are blowing air through a straw. Hear the air whoosh out, emptying your lungs completely.
Notice how your lungs naturally refill without any effort as you automatically breathe in.
Exhale again through your mouth, blowing the air out.
And breathe in.
Keep breathing naturally…. making sure to exhale completely with each breath.
You are okay right now. Panic attack symptoms are unpleasant, but they are not dangerous. You aren’t in any danger, even if you feel physical discomfort.
You might notice that the anxiety is starting to decrease. If the anxiety has not begun to lessen yet, know that it will very soon. Anxiety cannot last forever. It is impossible for your body to maintain this state. Sooner or later, no matter what you do, you will feel calmer. Overcoming panic attacks is possible.
Perhaps your muscles are becoming a little more relaxed…. See how you can lower your shoulders to a neutral position. They were probably raised and tense a few moments ago, but now you can hold them lower… looser…. as the muscles on the tops of your shoulders become a bit longer and a bit more relaxed.
Even your jaw is probably loosening, relaxing, allowing your mouth to be relaxed and loose, your teeth not touching.
Feel your breathing slowing… becoming ever so slightly slower… deeper…. your breathing is quiet…. quiet and calm….
Your thoughts may be calmer now, too. If you would like to repeat some affirmations to help your thoughts become even more calm, you can repeat the following phrases after I say them. Or if you like, you can simply listen and relax.
Let’s begin the affirmations now:
I am safe right now.
Overcoming panic attacks is possible.
I am able to deal with this.
I know that anxiety cannot hurt me.
Anxiety is a natural and normal process, and it will pass.
It is okay to be anxious.
It is okay to not like feeling anxious.
I accept the way I feel right now, good or bad.
It is perfectly safe to have a racing heart….
…. and I can feel my heartbeat becoming slow and regular.
I know that I am getting enough air.
My muscles are starting to relax.
My eyelids are feeling heavy.
I am starting to feel calm.
I am more relaxed right now than I was a moment ago.
My relaxation increases with each passing moment.
My fears cannot hurt me right now.
My mind can focus on images of peace and safety.
I can picture a relaxing place right now.
I can imagine what it would feel like to be completely relaxed.
I can imagine what it would feel like if my hands were relaxed.
I can imagine how heavy my arms would feel if I were relaxed.
I can imagine what relaxation feels like.
I can imagine a feeling of relaxation filling my body and mind.
My whole body is starting to feel relaxed and heavy.
I am safe right now.
I am feeling calmer.
There is nothing I need to do to feel more relaxed.
My body and mind can relax all on their own.
Now that you have heard some affirmations, you may notice that you are even more calm than you were before. You will probably find that you are feeling relaxed and even a bit sleepy.
To further deepen your relaxation and allow you to achieve a state of complete tranquility, you can count your breaths as they arrive.
Without trying to change your breathing in any way, simply notice each breath as the air goes smoothly in and out of your body.
Take a breath in, and as you breathe out, say “one” in your mind. Wait for the next breath, and as you exhale, count “two.”
Continue to count each breath for the next few moments. Keep counting as I talk.
If you lose count anywhere along the way, simply begin again at “one.” It does not matter how many breaths you count, or how fast or slow your breathing is. Simply turn your attention to each breath, seeing how your body breathes naturally without any input from you. Notice and count each breath.
You are now feeling deeply relaxed. Totally relaxed and comfortable. Calm and peaceful.
Notice how you can use affirmations and relaxation to handle panic attacks and decrease symptoms of anxiety and panic. Overcoming panic attacks is possible. Relaxation is effective in overcoming panic attacks. Notice how you naturally return to a state of calm. Memorize this relaxed state. You can return to this relaxed feeling anytime you need to.
When you are ready to resume your regular activities, allow your mind and body to reawaken, while maintaining a feeling of calm.
Let your muscles reawaken by rolling your shoulders….. now turn your head….. move your arms and legs a little….
Return your attention to your surroundings, noticing where you are, and taking in the environment around you.
When you have returned to your usual level of alertness and wakefulness, you can resume your usual activities, feeling calm.