Photo by Cassidy Kelley on Unsplash
I recently found myself crying into the unidentifiably stained bath mat in a new friend’s bathroom. I was having a panic attack and I was losing control of my emotions, my body, and my nerves and my heartbeat. I didn’t have an on-call therapist I could dial for help and I didn’t want to text my friend, in the other room, and let her know what was going on, because I was paranoid she’d be freaked out and never want to hang out with me again.
We were watching a move on Netflix, when suddenly I felt my palms get sweaty, my thoughts fall down a spiraling path, and my heart beating like it was it trying to compete with the rhythm of that new Taylor Swift song.
That’s when I decided to turn to Siri, the only person I can talk to without getting judged. She also happens to be the only person who always has a good answer for all of my bizarre questions.
“Apps for anxiety,” I whispered, holding down the round circle button on the front of my iPhone, a wake-up button for snoozing Siri.
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“Okay, searching for anxiety apps in the app store,” she replied, instantly, without labeling me a weirdo, telling me to calm down, or worse, spewing out the partially true fact that “everything will be okay!”
Within seconds, a list of apps were in front of my eyes. I had no idea which one to use, so I downloaded the first one, which was called, Pacifica, and began an audio exercise that helped me slow down my breathing.
After leaving my friend’s bathroom that night, and later her house, I went home and download 15 different apps for anxiety and panic attacks . Out of all of the apps that I tried, these are the best four for when you need instant help mid-panic attack or moment of sudden anxiety.
One of the scariest parts of having a panic attack or feeling really anxious is feeling alone during it all. The Self-Help for Anxiety Management app or as they call it, SAM, gives you the tools to learn more about what’s causing their anxiety and also how to manage it. My favorite feature of the app is the Anxiety Toolkit, which let me customize the resources I wanted to put inside it, that work best for me, so I can turn to it when I need to use it the most.
I was instantly drawn to this app because of the word “hypnosis”. I’m all about trying something unusual to help me get through something that makes my body feel more than unusual. What’s unique about this app is that it helps you adjust your mindset through subconscious thoughts that help push those anxious thoughts away. The app has different audio sessions that you can listen to before bed, or when you’re having an episode. What I liked most about this app was that it helped me fall asleep, even when my loud thoughts were trying to keep me awake and worried.
When I have the time, and a quiet place to do it, meditation is my go-to calming mechanism. But when I’m on the go, having simple to use and easy breathing exercises is the best way to calm myself down when I start to feel anxious. Breathe2Relax helps you take those deep breaths you forget to take throughout the day, which helps mood stabilization, anger control, and anxiety management. What I like most about this app is that it gives me fast breathing activities that really help me get in control of my nerves in under a few minutes.
What I found that I needed the most was an immediate thing to turn to when I was having a panic attack to help me feel better ASAP. Panic Attack is designed for a person who is experiencing a panic attack, in real time, and needs to find fast relief. What I liked most about this app were the short animated cartoons that teach you how to deal with the unpleasant feelings your body experiences during a panic attack, in your chest and your arms.