How to Stop Panic Attacks in a Car

Assuming that you are not the driver of the car and you have a panic attack, It is advisable that you ask the driver to pull over so you can step out of the car and get some fresh air. If stopping the car is not an option such as your on a cross country road trip and heading down the interstate in rush hour traffic at a 65 mph then the tips below will help you to learn how to stop panic attacks in a car.

1. Breathing – You need to slow your breathing down, most likely you are hyperventilating. The best method to slow your breathing to a normal rate is by deep breathing. Take in a deep breath and hold it for a count of three and slowly while counting to five exhale.

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2. Positive thoughts – Many people have panic attacks while riding in cars. It is usually the result of a traumatic accident that you or a loved one was involved in. By thinking positive thought and repeating them to yourself. For example you could say “We are all safe in the car.” Or “Nothing bad is going to happen to us in the car.” This method will allow your mind to move back into the present and out of the past if you are in fact thinking about an accident that happened earlier in your life.

3. Another great tip on how to stop panic attacks in a car is to bring along your I pod or music player of choice and listen to relaxing music and lean back, close your eyes and just relax. Music is very soothing and can end a panic attack almost as soon as one starts for many people.

4. If the driver of the car is a family member or close friend before you get into the car you should tell them that you sometimes have panic attacks while in a car and tell them that you know you will be okay and there is no reason for alarm, but the attack may frighten them if they have never seen a person have a panic attack. Then tell them the best thing they can do help you is to remind you it is just a panic attack and it will pass soon. Also telling you that you are going to be just fine soon.

I always suggest when teaching people how to learn to deal with panic attacks in cars that they give the other people in the car a quick lesson on panic attacks and what they can do to help you. This prevents any confusion and anxiety on their part if they have no idea what is wrong with you or what to do to help you.

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5. Last but certainly not least when you are learning how to stop panic attacks in a car, the you want to do is to avoid getting into a car! When you were a child learning to ride a bike if you fell off you got up brushed yourself off and got back on that bike! If you allow the fear of a possible panic attack happening while riding in a car you may never get in a car again. Seeking therapy is the best way to talk about the fear that is causing the panic attacks.

Thousands of people have panic attacks in cars. Most of those people have been in a horrific accident or someone near and dear to the has, it may have even resulted in the death of a loved one. If you allow fear to control your life, not only will it be an unhappy life but an unhealthy one as well.


Once you learn how to stop panic attacks in a car and are no longer afraid you will be amazed at how good you feel about yourself. Conquering a fear is a feeling like none other!

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