The Butterfly Hug: End a Panic Attack and Gain Confidence

butterfly hug panic attack

The Butterfly Hug for Panic Attack

We all know what it feels like to be anxious or stressed.

For some people, anxiety can be so debilitating that it leads to panic attacks. Panic attacks are characterized by intense fear or discomfort that peaks within minutes and includes physical symptoms like accelerated heart rate, sweating, trembling, shortness of breath.

While panic attacks can be incredibly scary, there is a simple and effective way to stop them in their tracks: the butterfly hug.

What is the butterfly hug?

The Butterfly Hug is a form of bilateral stimulation used as a grounding technique. It involves an individual wrapping their arms around themselves, so that each hand touches the opposite upper arm or shoulder, and then moving their hands like the wings of a butterfly to tap their arms/shoulders in an alternating rhythm. This technique was originated by Lucina Artigas, and has been proven to be highly effective for anxiety, stress and feeling overwhelmed.

butterfly hug
copyright by

The Butterfly Hug is a hug of self-love, and can help bring you back to the present moment and calm your emotional state. By crossing hands over the chest and hugging oneself closely, it is like embracing one’s inner child. The tapping action adds a therapeutic touch, and it is recommended to assure oneself with positive affirmations such as “everything is okay” in order to create acceptance and peace.

How does the Butterfly Hug help to end a panic attack?

The Butterfly Hug helps to end a panic attack by providing a calming and grounding effect. Through the act of crossing the wrists and tapping each hand in turn, the person is able to focus on the physical sensation of the vibrations of the taps and the comfort of the hug. These actions help to distract the mind from the anxiety of the panic attack and can be used as an effective tool to end the attack.

What are the benefits of the butterfly hug?

The Butterfly Hug is an effective exercise that can help with panic attacks, anxiety, stress, and feeling overwhelmed. It can help people to recollect their trauma without attaching the negative emotions associated with it. The main benefit of the Butterfly Hug is to help people regulate their mind and body in the moment of feeling distressed. Overall, the Butterfly Hug is a great tool to help relax and calm a panicking self, allowing people to feel more grounded and in control.

How to use the butterfly hug to end your panic attack and gain confidence?

The Butterfly Hug method can be used to end a panic attack and gain confidence. It is a powerful tool to soothe the stress of the nervous system, and can help one feel more grounded. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to use the Butterfly Hug:

  1. Take a few deep breaths. As you inhale, draw your breath all the way down to your stomach, and as you exhale, relax your shoulders. Try the 478 breathing method.
  2. Cross your wrists together (you can interlock your thumbs) and place your hands on your chest.
  3. Tap one hand, then the other, alternating each turn. Make sure that you are doing this slowly and steadily, as this will help to calm your nervous system.
  4. As you tap, focus on the reverberation of the sound in your chest, and continue to breathe deeply and slowly.
  5. Once you start to feel more grounded, you can add in positive affirmations to help you gain confidence. This can be something like “I am strong”.

By using the Butterfly Hug method, you can end a panic attack and gain confidence. It is important to take your time as you move through the steps, and to remember that it is okay to not always feel okay.


What are some other grounding techniques?

When it comes to feeling grounded and calming anxiety, there are many helpful techniques to try. The most commonly used technique is the 5-4-3-2-1 method, which has you engage with all five senses to return back to the present moment.

Other grounding techniques include:

  • mindfulness meditation,
  • reading from a daily book of inspirational readings,
  • praying,
  • doing some deep breathing,
  • singing, chanting,
  • walking or exercising in a mindful way,
  • malasana (the deep squat pose from yoga),
  • Yoga Nidra for better sleep
  • searching the room for a specific color,
  • and the butterfly hug which is practically self-hugging.

There are also many deep pressure calming activities that adults can do to help relax their muscles and joints. By providing input to the proprioceptive system, deep pressure activities can help people to better regulate their emotions by providing a feeling of being grounded.

Each of these techniques can help to ease the symptoms of anxiety and panic attacks.

What are some coping statements for panic attacks?

Some coping statements for panic attacks :

  1. I am safe and I can get through this
  2. I am in control of my thoughts
  3. I can stay present in this moment
  4. This too shall pass
  5. I can take slow, deep breaths and relax my body
  6. I can handle this
  7. I can challenge negative thoughts and reframe them into positive ones
  8. Mistakes help me learn and grow
  9. I can focus on the five senses and use them to ground me

How long should you do tapping for?

Tapping typically follows a sequence of five steps, often called a round, that takes about two minutes to complete. Lower intensity issues may only require four or five rounds, while more intense issues may take 10 or 12 rounds. Intense or chronic issues are best addressed through consistent tapping over time.

To perform the tapping procedure, seven to nine taps are delivered on each spot. Emotion Freedom Technique (EFT) tapping can take several minutes, and the “Hug” Method requires closing the eyes and tapping the left and right hands until you feel relieved. Tapping with the butterfly hug and holding tappers while visualizing a calming or safe place can induce the relaxation response.

Finally, you can use self-BLS to facilitate a calm and connected mental state, which may require recalling a place where you feel calm or peaceful and focusing on deep breathing for a few moments.

What does hugging for 20 seconds do?

Hugging for 20 seconds or more releases oxytocin, a “feel-good” hormone that can boost the immune system, reduce stress, and create a stronger bond between the huggers. The Butterfly Hug method, which was first developed by Lucina Artigas during her work with the survivors of Hurricane Pauline in Acapulco, Mexico can be used to relax and calm a hyper-aroused self. The Butterfly Hug can help bring you back to the present moment and calm your emotional state.

What is self hugging?

Self hugging, also known as the Butterfly Hug or the Hug of Self Love, is a technique used to ground oneself and soothe one’s emotions. It involves crossing one’s arms over the chest and hugging oneself tightly, while tapping the upper arms or shoulders with alternating hands in a rhythmic pattern. This technique can be used as a form of bilateral stimulation to calm the mind and bring one back to the present moment. This technique can be used in any situation to relax, de-stress and bring comfort.

Do weighted blankets help with panic attacks?

The use of weighted blankets for treating anxiety and panic attacks has been gaining traction in recent years. Research has indicated that the deep pressure provided by weighted blankets has a calming effect on the body and can help to reduce symptoms of panic attacks. Mental health professionals have touted the effectiveness of this method for managing anxiety and fear.

butterfly hug panic attack

Sharon Martin, LCSW, a therapist and author of “The CBT Workbook for Perfectionism,” states that she uses slow, deep breathing to soothe her body and mind during a panic attack. She recommends using a breathing technique such as the Breathing Bubble in the Calm app or box breathing (breathe in for 4 seconds, hold for 4, exhale for 4, and hold for 4).

Similarly, Tanya J. Peterson, NCC, psychotherapist and author of “Mindfulness Journal for Depression,” suggests using mindfulness in the moment of a panic attack to help cope with anxiety. According to Peterson, being mindful means being fully present and aware of what is happening in the present moment. She suggests redirecting the attention to something tangible and external in order to shift thoughts and help to calm the nervous system.

It is clear that sleeping with a weighted blanket in combination with mindfulness and deep breathing can help to manage panic attacks. The deep pressure and soothing weight of the blanket can help to activate the parasympathetic nervous system and reduce fear and anxiety. Furthermore, the mindfulness techniques can help to ground the body and shift one’s focus away from the panic attack, thus making it easier to cope in the moment.


By lezt

Lez Taylor, Founder and CEO of Corala Blanket. She tried every sleep system and trick to conquer her insomnia for good.