Claustrophobia – 7 Quick Tactics to Stop the Panic

If you’re reading this, you’re probably all too familiar with that horrible growing panic when you’re in elevator or a crowded subway.

Around 2-5% of the population suffer from claustrophobia. Not only is each attack a terrifying experience, it can really mess with your lifestyle and freedom – but only if you let it. So what can you do about it?

Let’s look at some diversionary tactics that you can use quickly and easily to occupy your mind, and ward off the anxiety & panic of claustrophobia.

7 quick tactics to use immediately:

1. Count numbers down from 100. Do this very quickly, and repeat over and over.  Say the numbers softly out loud if possible.

2. Disempower the attack and laugh about it. Tell yourself: “This can’t hurt me, never has. This is meaningless.” 

3. Keep moving constantly. Step up and down, rub your hands together, rub or lightly slap your face repeatedly. 

4. Shake your arms and legs, and clench your fists. Do the same thing with your feet. Roll your shoulders over and back again repeatedly.

5. Talk to someone nearby, whether it’s someone you know or not. Even just saying hello can be enough of a distraction.

6. Breathe in slowly and deeply through your nose. Count to 4, then breathe out slowly through your mouth. 

7. Relax your shoulders and focus intently on a single, static object.  Fascinate yourself with that object.

Use a combination of any or all of these tactics for the greatest effect. The panic should gradually subside. The more you practice, the easier it will become and the better you’ll get at it.