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Anxiety and Stress Disorders

Anxiety/Panic Atacks



When my heart won`t stop pounding and I`m in the throws of a anxiety/panic attack. Is there some exercise to help make calm you down. I am seeing my doctor today cause the meds are making me feel worse.


There are a large number of relaxation techniques to assist with anxiety and panic disorders.  Most are techniques that are used regularly to help you decrease general anxiety and decrease the frequency and severity of panic attacks.  These include simple things like deep breathing and progressive muscle relaxation as well as more structured techniques that are best taught by an experienced teacher or care provider such as yoga, tai chi,  and meditation. 

When an acute anxiety or panic attack occurs, unless someone has been regularly practicing and using these relaxation techniques, it is unlikely that they can suddenly be used to help those uncomfortable feelings of heart pounding, shaking and shortness of breath.  However, when a person practices and uses these techniques they can be used during these difficult times.

Many counselors and therapists can help teach simple deep breathing and progressive muscle relaxation, and there are a number of web sites that discuss the techniques as well.  Yoga, tai chi and meditation are best learned in person by an instructor.

Good luck.

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Response by:

Nancy   Elder, MD Nancy Elder, MD
Associate Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati