We all have sensations of panic or fear from time to time. But panic attacks are far more intense. It’s estimated that up to 11% of people in the US have a panic attack each year, and they can be terrifying experiences, especially if they occur unexpectedly.
Those physical symptoms of feeling light-headed and dizzy, often accompanied by a racing heartbeat and chest pain, are your body’s fear response to a perceived threat. In those moments when they strike, you are incapable of reasoning, so it’s helpful to have some strategies to call on for quick relief if you feel the onset of an anxiety attack. Here are some great sources of instant help that are freely available on YouTube.
The Therapy In a Nutshell channel is run by licensed marriage and family therapist Emma McAdam, who’s on a mission to make mental health resources easier to access. Aware that panic, anxiety, and depression can be so debilitating that they can stop sufferers from seeking help, McAdam has created a brilliant channel full of easy-to-follow advice.
If you’re in the midst of a panic attack, hit play on A Guided Walkthrough to Stop a Panic Attack. This eight-minute video talks you through the symptoms you’re experiencing, helping you to perceive whether your feelings are caused by anxiety or something else. Then it provides you with strategies to calm down.
“Even though this is painful, I’m safe”, reassures McAdam. It’s worth watching this video in the aftermath of an anxiety attack, too, for brilliant strategies on what to do next time the feelings strike. You can also use these apps to help you avoid panic attacks.
Medical Centric is a Canadian health information provider that has clocked up over 60 million views for its YouTube channel since it started to share medical and healthy lifestyle guidance in 2018.
The video to bookmark is 12 Ways to Stop a Panic Attack. Watch this when you’re calm, as it contains lots of great advice for when you’re not. Alongside the direction you’d expect, like focusing on your breathing, there’s some more unusual advice you may not have considered. For example, using a natural remedy such as lavender is suggested as a simple solution. You could also try some gaming apps to help you reduce your feelings of anxiety.
Everything is clearly presented and accompanied by animated graphics and live video. Use the chapter guide to steer you to the parts you need to revisit. The comments section is full of practical help, too.
The Anxiety in Order channel exists solely to present one video. Just five minutes long, it shows a simple white flower against a peaceful cornflower-blue background. The animated flower grows and shrinks with the message Breathe In and Breathe Out superimposed on the illustration. All you need to do is breathe in time with the flower. The aim of this is to help you to slow your breathing and so get your anxiety more under control.
The strength of this beautiful little video is its simplicity. When you’re really panicking, and you can’t hear spoken advice, the gentle music accompanying the flower video will help you ground yourself as you try to get your breathing rate back to normal.
Yoga is not only great for your physical flexibility and strength but also fantastic for your mental health. Practicing yoga can be a great way to overcome those overwhelming moments of panic and stress with physical movement and deep breathing.
There are lots of online yoga classes that can turn your living room into a yoga studio. One of the best comes from leading yoga teacher Adriene Mishler, whose Yoga With Adriene YouTube channel has over 12 million subscribers. Designed to get people with all types of bodies and backgrounds practicing yoga, among almost 700 workout videos, you’ll find Yoga for Anxiety and Stress.
This 25-minute workout is designed specifically for those moments when you feed panicky. It starts with simple breathing practices, so even if you don’t have the time or presence of mind to complete the whole routine, the opening five minutes will provide the relief you need. In her own words, Adriene’s calm and reassuring presence will help you move “from the darkness into the light”.
The Panic Free TV YouTube channel provides science-based relief for panic attacks. It's designed to give you the answers to why anxiety attacks happen so you hopefully recognize the symptoms for yourself and can ward them off.
Although the whole channel is valuable, a great place to start is with the Panic Attack Treatment video. This contains techniques to tackle your panic attacks more effectively with acceptance and the counter-intuitive approach of trying to encourage and prolong the feelings of panic, which paradoxically makes them disappear.
This is a video to watch, learn from, and practice when you’re calm, as the techniques described here are somewhat different from some of the other approaches adopted by other channels on this list.
Within Buzzfeed’s vast and varied digital resource is a gem called How to Calm Down During a Panic Attack. It’s a simple video that only lasts around four minutes, but it cleverly uses calming music, soft colors, beautiful nature images, and captions to prompt you to breathe and think of ways to distract yourself. There are useful resources listed in the video description for you or a loved one to get further help. You can also get instant relief from panic attacks with these apps.
This video has been viewed over two million times, and the comments show that it has helped thousands of people. Sometimes you just need to hear that you’re going to be okay; this is a simple way to get that message across. Bookmark it for when you or a loved one needs quick relief from panic.
The Meditation and Healing YouTube channel provides relaxation music along with meditation resources. Try the Meditation Music for Anxiety & Panic Attacks video if you respond well to calming music. It’s a three-hour unbroken soundtrack of calming and relaxing sounds that will help you to calm your mind. There’s a simple pink flower displayed on the screen throughout, so there’s nothing to distract or trigger you. Instead, you can simply close your eyes and listen to the gentle sounds.
Because it's so long, this video is great to help you fall asleep or leave playing in the background to keep you calm. Alternatively, you could opt for one of the many ASMR YouTube channels for relaxation.
Get Instant Access to Help for Panic Attacks With These YouTube Channels
Panic attacks can strike so suddenly that they can overwhelm you. That’s why it’s great to have some instant help to hand. If you feel a surge of panic, reach for your YouTube app or an internet browser and use one of these videos instead of struggling alone.
Panic attacks are always terrible, but they do always pass. Whether your personal preference is music, listening to someone talking, yoga and stretching, or simply deep breathing, there are many resources to help you get through the moment.