Dr. Amen’s 4-Step Method to Conquer Panic Attacks

In the throes of a panic attack, the world can feel like it’s closing in, leaving one gasping for breath and desperate for an escape. Dr. Daniel Amen, a renowned expert in brain health, offers a beacon of hope with his 4-step approach to swiftly halt these overwhelming episodes.

Drawing from his extensive clinical experience and research, Dr. Amen’s methods have been a lifeline for many, offering a tangible way to reclaim control from the clutches of anxiety and panic.

Step 1: Don’t Leave

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“Don’t leave. If you’re in a situation and you start having a panic attack, don’t leave unless it’s dangerous because if you leave, panic will now control you.”

When experiencing a panic attack, resisting the urge to leave the situation is crucial unless it poses a direct danger. Leaving reinforces the fear that triggers panic attacks and can perpetuate a cycle of anxiety.

By staying put, individuals can challenge and regain control over their panic, gradually reducing the frequency and intensity of future attacks.

It is essential to remember that panic attacks are temporary and will subside with time. Seeking professional support and practicing relaxation techniques can also aid in managing panic attacks effectively.

Step 2: Breath Deeply

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Image Credit: AndrewLozovyi/Deposit Photos.

“Breathe and take twice as long to breathe out as you breathe in. So I like the 15-second breath 4 seconds in. It’s a big breath, Hold it for a second and a half. Eight seconds out. Hold it for a second and a half. You do that for two minutes.”

Another important step for breaking a panic attack is to breathe deeply. When you’re having a panic attack, your breathing becomes shallow and rapid. This can make you feel even more anxious and trapped. By taking slow, deep breaths, you can help to slow your heart rate and calm your mind.

Dr. Amen recommends a specific breathing technique called the 15-second breath. To do this, inhale for 4 seconds, hold your breath for 1.5 seconds, and then exhale for 8 seconds. Repeat this cycle for 2 minutes.

Step 3: Identify & Correct Negative Thoughts

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“Write down what you’re thinking. She won’t want me. And then correct it. I call those ants automatic negative thoughts. They attack you, they link to other ants, then they stack, and then they attack you.”

Negative thoughts often trigger panic attacks. These thoughts can be about anything but often focus on fear, danger, or loss. For example, you might think, “I’m going to die,” “I’m going to pass out,” or “I’m going to lose control.”

Once you’ve identified your negative thoughts, you can start to correct them. This can be done by challenging the evidence for the thought or replacing it with a more realistic thought.

For example, if you think, “I’m going to die,” you could challenge that thought by asking yourself, “What evidence do I have that I’m going to die?”

You could also replace that thought with something more realistic, such as “I’m feeling anxious, but I’m not going to die.”

Step 4: Use Magnesium or GABA

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“Or magnesium. Or GABA, not Xanax. Because we take Xanax, it’s going to change your brain to need it and all of a sudden you have another problem.”

Magnesium and GABA are two natural remedies that can help reduce anxiety and alleviate panic attacks without the potential drawbacks of medications like Xanax. Magnesium aids in calming the nervous system, while GABA is a neurotransmitter that regulates anxiety.

Incorporating magnesium-rich foods such as almonds, avocados, or spinach into your diet or taking a magnesium supplement can help promote a sense of calmness.

Similarly, GABA supplements can provide additional support in managing anxiety and panic symptoms.

It is important to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement regimen to ensure safety and effectiveness.

Comments From Viewers

How to Break a Panic Attack in 4 Steps
Image Credit: TikTok @docamen.

The video gathered varying opinions from the viewers on the platform. Some viewers found the information helpful and said they would try the steps Dr. Amen recommended. Others were skeptical of the advice; some even said it was dangerous.

One viewer commented,

“This is life-changing, THX for sharing DOC”.

However, a viewer was skeptical of the advice. One viewer commented,

“Sorry doc. Xanax has helped me when I gave bad ones. Sometimes I can’t get out of one and that is the only thing that has worked in which I’ve tried,”

Another viewer said,

“The breathing saves me, and if I do the same breathing into a small paper bag, it works even faster.”

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Are you seeking ways to enhance your mental health? Here are eight transformative tips, from prioritizing health checks to embracing partial progress, these strategies can help you navigate life’s challenges more effectively.

Discover how simple changes in your daily routine can drastically improve your mental well-being.

The Key to Maintaining a Sharp Memory as You Age: Mental Pruning

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A popular video by a cognitive health expert discusses the concept of mental pruning and its impact on memory loss.

Our brains naturally change as we age, including mental pruning, which can significantly affect our cognitive abilities.


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This article was syndicated and produced by Viral-Chatter.com. It was inspired by this Tik Tok video:

@docamen @thelukecook and I discuss how to break a panic attack in 4 steps. #fyp ♬ Metamorphosis (Longer Version) v2 – Danilo Stankovic

Martha A. Lavallie
Martha A. Lavallie
Author & Editor | + posts

Martha is a journalist with close to a decade of experience in uncovering and reporting on the most compelling stories of our time. Passionate about staying ahead of the curve, she specializes in shedding light on trending topics and captivating global narratives. Her insightful articles have garnered acclaim, making her a trusted voice in today's dynamic media landscape.