Panic attacks strike quickly and can be a terrifying experience. While symptoms can vary from person to person, they can include feeling light-headed and dizzy, fast heartbeat, tremors, sweating, and nausea.
Even if you know the signs, it’s hard to avoid your body’s fear response to stress, danger, or even excessive excitement. Because panic attacks are so overwhelming, it’s good to have some strategies to prepare you to deal with those dreaded moments. When a panic attack occurs, these are the apps that will give you instant help.
Rootd can help you manage anxiety and panic attacks through a combination of breathing exercises, meditations, journals, and lessons. Rootd’s main feature: a big red Root button at the bottom of each screen—makes it ideal for those moments of despair. Just tap this button for instant support.
Pressing the red button will give you two options. You can come up with a series of positive affirmations to help you calm down if you are feeling overwhelmed. Or, if you’re feeling a little stronger, you can choose the second option that provides reassuring support. This reminds him that he’s done all this before and that today he doesn’t beat him.
Even if you don’t pay for a subscription to get full access to the app’s content, Rootd is worth downloading for the instant relief it can provide with just that red button.
Based on the bestselling book Dare, this app offers a training program to help relieve anxiety and panic attacks. It is a full-featured, evidence-based app that offers a huge bank of resources to help you deal with mental health issues. However, if you are on the verge of a panic attack, you will head straight for the call for help button, where you get instant help for these situations:
- I am having a panic attack.
- Calm me down.
- My mind is racing.
- I feel trapped.
- In a reverse.
- Overcome bodily sensations.
- I’m frustrated.
- It motivates me.
Each section takes you to an audio track that explains your problem and instantly calms you down. Have your headphones ready and turn on the most relevant one when you need it. You can easily download the audio guides, so they’re there if you need to access them offline.
3. Be well
Be Okay is a free app beautifully designed by people who clearly understand what helps in those moments of panic. It is a simple and free application that provides a personal comfort zone based on breathing techniques and sounds of nature.
Be Okay couldn’t be easier to use. As soon as you open the app, there’s a big Begin in the center of the screen and the sounds of nature begin. You can choose between waves, rain forest, cicadas or a lake, and turn off the sounds if they don’t help you. The colors are muted and relaxing, and you can easily change the color scheme within the app’s settings to suit your preferences.
All you need to do when you feel a panic attack coming on is to follow the on-screen guidance and breathe. But there is also a brilliant Telephone at the bottom of the screen, which you can use to call a loved one who can help you. There’s even an option to import some of your favorite pictures, so you can see your favorite places, people, and pets to help you get through the moment.
Pause is one of the easiest mindfulness apps you can download. And in times of crisis, simple is exactly what you need. Pause helps you relax instantly through its unique visual display.
You place your finger on the spot and slowly and continuously move it around the bright screen while a nature-based ambient soundtrack further immerses you in the relaxing experience. The effect is like the movement of droplets inside a lava lamp, and it’s strangely hypnotic.
Based on the ancient practice of Tai Chi, concentrating on this simple action brings you into the present moment, helping you release your stress and fend off impending waves of panic. Another way to get relief could be to play cool games. Winner of several awards and named app of the year by Apple and Time magazine, this writer has been using Pause for many years and can attest to its effectiveness.
Discharge: pause for iOS (Free, subscription available)
5. Panic Shield
PanicShield offers four tools to protect you from panic attacks. There’s a guide to help you learn about anxiety, while two sets of programs, Internal and External Exposure, train your mind not to fear the situations and feelings that can trigger your panic attacks.
The fourth tool is the one you will use in an emergency. hit the Breathe section for a simple interface that will help you breathe in and out as the shape grows and shrinks on the screen. You can change the shape, color scheme, and timings from this section of the app whenever you want. But in an emergency, you can turn it on and get free help with just a couple of taps.
6. Calm the damage
Calm Harm is an award-winning app developed by clinical psychologists for an adolescent mental health charity. It is a tool to help users establish a safety net of helpful thoughts and behaviors to help them resist the urge to self-harm.
If you ever experience panic attacks that trigger these urges, you should seek professional help. But it’s nice to know that you’ll also have a toolkit like Calm Harm in your pocket to help you with simple activities that can distract you from the feelings, calm you down, and help you breathe more deeply.
7. not good
The notOK app is a free digital panic button and is your source for instant support wherever you are. When you’re in a panic and need immediate help, simply press the red notOK button to seek help via text, phone call, or GPS location.
You can nominate up to five trusted contacts in advance to be your emergency support. If they are unable to respond, you will be given the option to contact a crisis text line or phone number. Available options will vary by geographic region.
Developers insect and bee call notOK a “pre-crisis tool”. While this isn’t a substitute for calling 911, it’s an easy way to get help from your trusted network when you’re too panicked to call or text them. There’s also a green button, so when you’re feeling better, you can press it to reassure everyone that the crisis is over.
Help is available for your panic and anxiety attacks
Download at least one of these free tools at a time when you feel calm and relaxed. That way, the next time you think those impending waves of panic are coming, you can reach for your phone or device and get instant support.
With so many brilliant tools at your disposal, there are plenty of ways to get instant relief and support for anxiety and panic attacks. You never need to feel alone.