June 2023

Panic vs Heart Attacks: Differences & Methods to Manage

Learn the distinctions between panic attacks and heart attacks, treatment methods, including the Mesmerize app, and more for managing panic attacks.

Relax with
visual meditation

Download Now
Rated 4.8/5 stars with 30,000+ reviews

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Recognizing the Distinction: Panic Attacks vs Heart Attacks

In the maze of life, where uncertainties rule, it's common for fear to creep in, seize us, and play havoc with our peace of mind. It manifests in different forms and intensities, and panic attacks are among the most potent and fear-inducing. These sudden, intense surges of fear, anxiety, or discomfort can mimic the severity of heart attacks, causing confusion and distress. In such circumstances, knowledge becomes our primary defense. It equips us to discern the differences between panic attacks and heart attacks, to respond appropriately, and to potentially save lives. So, let's embark on a journey to illuminate the distinct characteristics of these two often conflated conditions and explore ways to manage anxiety attacks effectively.

What is a Panic Attack?

The American Psychological Association defines a panic attack as an abrupt surge of intense worry or intense discomfort that reaches a peak within minutes. Picture this: you're comfortably settled in your bed, reading a book or perhaps on the verge of sleep, when out of nowhere, your heart starts to race, you break into a cold sweat, and you're engulfed by a pervasive sense of doom. This is a typical portrayal of a panic attack.

Panic attacks are associated with physical manifestations such as palpitations, pounding heart, accelerated heart rate, sweating, trembling or shaking, sensations of shortness of breath or smothering, and feelings of impending doom or loss of control. The crucial point to remember here is that panic attacks, although intense and disturbing, aren't inherently life-threatening. They are more of a psychological response to perceived threats or extreme stress and are frequently linked with mental health conditions like panic disorder and anxiety disorder.

What is a Heart Attack?

A heart attack, medically referred to as a myocardial infarction, is a severe medical condition that occurs when the blood supply to part of the heart is interrupted, usually due to a blockage in one or more of the coronary arteries that supply blood to the heart muscle. This interruption deprives the heart muscle of oxygen, causing damage or death to the heart muscle cells.

Symptoms of a heart attack include discomfort in the center or left side of the chest that often lasts more than a few minutes or goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain. Other symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw, or stomach, shortness of breath, nausea or lightheadedness, and breaking out in a cold sweat. Unlike panic attacks, heart attacks are a critical medical emergency that can be life-threatening and require immediate medical attention.

Despite their shared symptomatology, including chest pain, increased heart rate, and shortness of breath, panic attacks and heart attacks are fundamentally different in their origins, implications, and treatment approaches. While heart attacks are primarily physical, panic attacks are primarily psychological. This isn't to diminish the severity of the attack; it merely emphasizes the importance of understanding their distinct characteristics to ensure appropriate and timely response and treatment.

How To Treat A Panic Attack

While panic attacks can be unsettling, numerous methods can help manage them effectively.

Meditation with Mesmerize

In the midst of a panic attack, your mind is like a stormy ocean with waves of worry and fear crashing in. Mediation can serve as an anchor, bringing tranquility amid the chaos. This practice focuses on achieving a mentally clear and emotionally calm state, and the Mesmerize app is an excellent tool to guide you through the process.

Discover a whole new world of tranquility with Mesmerize, your new favorite visual meditation app for finding inner peace and relaxation.

Mesmerize combines captivating colors and stunning animations with soothing audio to create immersive experiences that allow your mind to unwind. These carefully crafted visual journeys are designed to help you de-stress, refocus, and bring balance to your busy life.

With a wide range of customizable visual patterns and calming soundscapes, Mesmerize is tailored to your unique preferences, making meditation more enjoyable and accessible than ever before.

Achieve mindfulness, boost your creativity, get better sleep, improve your mental well-being, and more with this easy-to-use app. Whether you're a meditation newbie or a seasoned zen master, Mesmerize offers an engaging, personalized experience for everyone.

Join the growing community of happy users who have found their zen with Mesmerize. Head to the App Store or Google Play to download and unlock a world of tranquility today.

Controlled Breathing

During a panic attack, your breathing can become rapid and shallow, adding to the sensation of fear. Controlled breathing is a simple yet powerful tool to counteract this. This technique involves taking slow, deep breaths, holding them briefly, and then exhaling slowly. By consciously controlling your breathing, you can lower your heart rate, lessen the intensity of the response and restore a sense of calm. With time and practice, this tool can become a natural response to the onset of symptoms.

Grounding Techniques

Panic attacks often feel like you're losing control and being swept away by your feelings. Grounding techniques serve to root you in the present moment, diverting your focus from the spiral of worry about the tangible world around you. This can involve focusing on the details of a familiar object, describing your environment in detail, or engaging in a physical activity like tapping your fingers. By grounding yourself, you not only interrupt the distressing thought patterns, but also encourage a shift towards a more rational and less fear-driven mindset.

Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR)

Panic attacks are not just psychological; they also have physical manifestations, including muscle tension. Progressive Muscle Relaxation is a technique where you tense and then relax different muscle groups in your body. Starting from your toes and working up to your head, PMR helps you become aware of the sensation of releasing tension. This technique not only encourages physical relaxation but also promotes a greater sense of calm and control over your body, which can be particularly beneficial during an episode.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are intricately linked. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy operates on this principle, aiming to identify and challenge unhelpful thought patterns that trigger an episode. By restructuring these thoughts, you can change your response to potential triggers. With the guidance of a mental health professional, CBT can help you develop effective coping strategies, reducing the power panic attacks hold over you. It's an empowering process, one that puts you back in the driver's seat of your own mental well-being.

Regular Exercise

Physical activity serves as a powerful stress-reducer, making it an excellent ally against panic attacks. Engaging in regular exercise helps stimulate the production of endorphins, often referred to as 'feel-good' hormones, in your brain. This uplifts your mood and acts as a natural antidote to anxiety and stress. Whether it's a brisk walk in the park, a vigorous gym session, or a tranquil yoga class, the key is to choose an activity you enjoy. Consistency is crucial - make exercise a non-negotiable part of your routine, and over time, you may notice a reduction in the frequency and severity of your panic attacks.

Adequate Sleep

The connection between sleep and mental health is significant. Poor sleep can exacerbate anxiety and symptoms, creating a vicious cycle. On the other hand, getting sufficient quality sleep can boost your mood, increase your resilience to stress, and provide you with the energy to cope with panic attacks. Experts recommend 7-9 hours of sleep per night for adults. To enhance your sleep quality, establish a regular sleep schedule, create a peaceful sleep environment, and adopt relaxing pre-sleep routines like reading or taking a warm bath.

Balanced Diet

Food plays a crucial role in your overall health, including your mental wellness. A balanced diet can help you manage panic attacks more effectively. Consuming a variety of fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains ensures that your body gets a mix of different nutrients essential for the optimal functioning of your nervous system. Avoiding processed foods, high in sugar and unhealthy fats, can also help keep your blood sugar stable and prevent mood swings. Drink plenty of water and remember, what's good for your body is good for your mind too!

Avoiding Caffeine and Alcohol

While a cup of coffee or a glass of wine might seem like a good idea to ease stress, they might be doing more harm than good if you're prone to panic episodes. Both caffeine and alcohol can trigger or worsen the effects. Caffeine, a stimulant, can cause jitters and heart palpitations, mimicking or intensifying symptoms. On the other hand, alcohol can disrupt your sleep and impact your mood, making you more susceptible to panic attacks. Moderation is key. Consider reducing your intake or switching to decaf options and non-alcoholic alternatives.

Join a Support Group

You're not alone in your struggle with panic attacks, and joining a support group can make you realize this. Support groups provide a safe, non-judgmental space for people to share their experiences, fears, and successes. Connecting with others who are going through the same struggles can provide comfort, reduce feelings of isolation, and give you practical tips to cope. It's a place where you can speak your truth, draw strength from others, and provide support in return, turning your battle with panic attacks into a journey of mutual healing and growth.


Understanding the disparity between panic attacks and heart attacks is not only crucial for our mental peace but can also be lifesaving. While heart attacks present a dire physical emergency, panic attacks, though equally distressing, are largely psychological and manageable with effective strategies. From using the Mesmerize meditation app to engaging in regular exercise, maintaining a balanced diet, and joining a support group, numerous tools and tactics can help us navigate the stormy seas of panic attacks. The journey may seem daunting, but remember, each small step you take towards managing your panic attacks is a giant leap towards reclaiming control of your life, one breath at a time. Knowledge is power, and with it, we can transform worry into resilience.

Relax with
visual meditation

Download Now
Rated 4.8/5 stars with 30,000+ reviews

30,000+ 5-star reviews

Better than Headspace!

I canceled my subscription with Headspace and I now pay for Mesmerize instead. I was hooked after the free trial! I love how customizable the sounds, meditations, and visuals are! Using this app has honestly become my favorite part of my day! ☺️ It helps me relax, meditate, visualize, sleep, and it does wonders for my anxiety/phobia/ocd tendencies. Thank you Mesmerize for giving us this amazing mental health tool! I told my therapist about this app and have been telling all my friends too. It’s just so helpful!

- swayedstars

The Art of Zen

This is the second or third app in the mindfulness and meditation realm, and it’s the most scientific approach I have found. I have found these combinations of open monitoring, and focused attention meditation techniques are the most viable for those suffering from more severe forms of sleep, pain, and anxiety dysfunction one may be suffering from. Many of these approaches are used by professionals in a cognitive behavioral therapy setting. A truly complete approach in mindfulness and meditation.

- pastduebeautyqueen


I suffer from clinical depression and sometimes I get into a bad headspace but this app has really helped me whenever I’m in a bad mood I turn on the app listen to some person taking about breathing and look at cool figures on my phone and it makes me feel so much better I would highly recommend this app it’s worth the money

- man17491

Love it

It didn’t take but five minutes of using this app to buy a yearly subscription. Worth it on so many levels. Easy to manipulate to what I like. Massive library of music, videos, etc.

- NMMI Cadet Mom


Uniquely hypnotic visuals that clear your mind
Meditations for sleep, anxiety, depression and more
Soothing psycho-acoustic music to help you relax
Visual Breathing mode that helps you meditate
Sleepy stories designed to help you doze off quickly
Sleep timer, visualisation speed control and more

Try Mesmerize Now

Clear your mind and relax with a unique audio visual meditation experience.

Download Now