What To Do When A Panic Attack Is Coming On

By Dr. Nicole Cain ND, MA

Here’s exactly what to do when you sense a panic attack waiting in the wings and you need to perform well!

You’ve got something that matters to you going down, yet your body (in a paradoxical attempt to protect you) hits the PANIC button in a BIG way and your flavor of anxiety symptoms come rushing on.

  • What is it for you? What happens to your body? For me, my stomach ties itself in an instant knot. My body flushes hot like I’m standing at the edge of a volcano and I feel as panicked as if the things are about to erupt and kill me.

So how can we calm our well-meaning – but extremely debilitating – panic symptoms down and let our body and mind know that we’re actually OK? (We just don’t FEEL ok). How do we tell our body that WE GOT THIS and put that pending panic attack back where it belongs??

My mission to provide drug-free alternatives to anxiety – especially the overwhelming experience of panic attacks – I’ve come up with lots of powerful, effective solutions that have shifted my clients from feeling at the mercy of panic attacks to being in total control.

Here’s one of the most effective strategies that works well – and quickly when you need to get back to shining like you naturally do.

Step 1: We have to directly respond to the anxiety.

Avoiding it and suppressing it will cause a build-up of anxiety that will make you feel worse. You need to speak directly to the anxious mind, say:

“My body is a little revved right now.
This is no big deal.
I am okay.
The human body was designed to experience anxiety, I do not need to worry about the feelings of anxiety.
Anxiety and panic CAN NOT hurt me.
They are characters in my life story that mean well – but are overbearing in their need to protect me.

My brain has been wired to produce anxiety and I am working on changing that.
This feeling WILL pass.
My body hit the gas pedal a little bit too strongly just now.
I just need to wait for the pedal to come back up.
I am not my anxious thoughts.
Anxious thoughts are just an anxious brain’s attempt to create rigidity from feeling chaos.
Anxiety – I got your message.
Thank you – You delivered your lines well. Now head backstage. I got this. Save your energy for the drama scenes when I’ll need your high intensity performance.”

Step 2: Change up the scene.

If you’re inside, go outside, if you’re outside go inside. If you’re sitting still, move your body, if you’re in a meeting, take a bathroom break.
When the needle is starting to top into the panicky groove, we gotta get its attention by working with the body. The first step is to get away from the scene that is triggering you.

Step 3: Your left nostril has the power to stop panic.

Who knew? But if you’re noticing anxiety kicking up, breathing exclusively through the left nostril has shown to reduce a person’s body’s fight, flight, and freeze response in clinical trials. To supercharge your nostril’s anxiety crushing power try four-count left nostril breathing: Inhale through the left nostril for four counts, hold at the top for four counts, then exhale through the left nostril for four counts, hold for four counts and repeat.

Step 4: Work with your body.

I talk about the 4-S Model in quite a bit of detail in the A.C.T. Method and I want to share it with you:

  • Scene: Wherever you are, change it up. Change the scene. This may mean immediately getting up and going to the bathroom, taking a walk outside, or if you have the option to change the scene where your anxiety typically takes place, like the office, by changing art on the walls or using a diffuser.
  • Scent: Scents can bring back memories in a flash, distract the brain from a repetitive group, and some in and of themselves are actually therapeutically beneficial.
  • Sip: The brain stem loooooves tastes, textures. Chew on ice, gum or lick a lollipop.
  • Stimuli: Stimulate your body in a way that is LOUDER than the anxiety itself is. This may involve something as basic as noticing the feel of your feet in your shoes, to something more extreme like sticking your face in a bowl of ice water.

Thank you for reading the 4-step quick fix for when Anxiety tries to steal the show.

You send that stage hog back to the green room to sip a juice box and settle the F down.
You get to shine on the stage of your life.
This is your show. You go shine.

Know that when you’re ready to have a fully functional toolkit for kicking anxiety and panic attacks to the curb for good. I’m your gal. If you’re ready to take my flavor of alleviating anxiety for a test drive I’ve got a gift for you.


It’s called the Anxiety Freedom 1 Week Challenge.

I hereby challenge you to come play with me for a week to get a jump on anxiety and panic attacks for good. You deserve to put these well meaning players back in their place and be the star that you are.

You can grab that free one week challenge here. And don’t think I’ll let you take that wild ride alone. No way girl -I’ll be there for you with daily tips and tricks to rock this challenge like only you can. Together – we got this. Grab the free workbook and let’s get started.

Here’s to your next chapter,

Dr. Nicole Cain, ND, M


How would life be different if you could recognize the early warning signs of anxiety and had a powerful tool set to shift your thought patterns and emotions rapidly?

This article is for educational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. Whenever considering changing your protocol whether it includes a change of medications, supplements, diet or lifestyle, always speak with your primary care physician first. Dr. Nicole Cain consults with clients locally and internationally. Dr. Nicole Cain ND MA has helped countless people take back control of their lives, and she can help you. To set up a complimentary consultation, call our office or visit https://drnicolecain.com/getting-started to schedule online.
Dr. Nicole Cain is an advocate for empowering people around the world to help themselves via her educational video e-courses, books, and exclusive free Facebook group. You can receive the tools you need to find the root cause of your symptoms and feel healthy again.


How would life be different if you could recognize the early warning signs of anxiety and had a powerful tool set to shift your thought patterns and emotions rapidly?