Tools keep you in the present and provide a measure of familiarity and comfort. The following are some examples of tools that our members find invaluable. We hope that they help you to develop your own tool bag. If you have your own tools not listed below, please drop us a line and let us know! We're all in this together!

Put a pebble in your shoe and press on it and focus on the discomfort. This is especially good for agoraphobics.

Positive self-talk-Telling yourself that panic is just a feeling and that feelings might make you uncomfortable but cannot hurt you.

Carrying a cell phone.

Talk to people- either by asking for the time or striking up conversation on line at the grocery store or while waiting in a doctor's office.

Warheads sour candy. They may turn your face inside out but some folks swear by them for distraction! Also, mints, lifesavers or gum.

Carrying a cold drink with you and sip it slowly.

Carry a small mirror with you so you can see that you are not shaking or looking panicky.

Rubberbands to snap on your wrist and keep you in the present. If you don't have a rubber band, pinch yourself.

Blue Ice soft gel packs for head and neck. You can also use a cool washcloth or even ice cubes or a frozen pack of veggies.

Wash n dry towelettes, baby wipes, perfumed hankerchief or smelling salts.

Deep breathing, walking or yoga. If you are in a car, roll down the window and feel the air blowing on your face.

Music, nature sounds, white noise or relaxation-type tapes. Carrying a tape player and record the sound of your voice.

Counting backwards from 100 by ones or threes and playing the Alphabet game for distraction.

Crossword puzzles, word searchs, handheld electronic games, silly putty or even a calculator or child's plastic number puzzle to keep your mind busy.

Circle all the 5 letter words on a page and then go back and count them all.

Look at things around you and try to notice different colors, textures and smells.

Feel textures of surrounding objects- escalator rails, elevator doors, etc.

Feel and count change or keys in your pocket and try to distinguish which one is which or which end is up.

Count cracks in the sidewalk, panels in an elevator, ceiling tiles, telephone poles, signs, cars, etc.

Add numbers or make funny words or sayings with the numbers and letters on license plates. Or count out of state plates.

Translate songs or signs into steno or a different language. Or translate songs into musical notes.

Try and distinguish the different instruments used in a song.

Always carry a book or magazine with you. You can read for distraction while you wait and keep yourself from worrying about those around you.

Take a word and see how many smaller words you can make from it.

Read upside down, or holding a paper to a mirror.

What are your favorite tools? We want to know!

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