What is the 21 Second Countdown Technique?

What is the 21 Second Countdown Technique?

Stressed man rubbing eyes.

Drive Panic Away.


Hey guys, today this review is going to be about the 21 Second Countdown Technique, part of the Panic Away program as taught by Barry McDonagh.

Mike will be doing a further, more in depth review of the Panic Away program in another article, but for now I want to focus on this aspect of the system.

I have been using just this technique alone over the past month and wanted to go over the changes it has brought to my way of coping with life’s hurdles.

Click Here To Visit The Panic Away Website…

About Me and My Anxiety.

First, let me give you some background on me. I’m a 41 year old Mom of two, both boys are at college and I live with my hubby in Jacksonville Florida. We have a medium sized house on the west-side and had a decent income until hubby got downsized. I hate that word by the way.

Now we are running ourselves ragged trying to keep everything together and our boys in college. Happily we still have a strong family life but it was touch and go there for a while. That’s one of the reasons I agreed to contribute to this site with John and Mike.

All the stress and strain of the current situation brought on stress reactions in both myself and hubby and pretty soon we both started suffering from panic attacks and crippling anxiety. When it’s both people in a household you just feed into one and others anxiety and it soon gets out of hand.

But we are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel as far as the panic attacks go and so I agreed to pass on the tips and techniques that helped us.

Panicking man

Help Me…


So, this article is all about me and my experience with the 21 Second Countdown Technique from the panic away system.


I hope it helps you as much as it did me.


What is the 21 Second Countdown?

The 21 Second Countdown forms the very first stage of the 21 – 7 Technique which is, in turn, the core of the Panic Away System.

The technique is a deceptively simple one, in that it focusess on developing awareness of and embracing those feelings related to anxiety and panic attacks.

The goal is not to fight or in any way suppress those feeling using positive thinking or happy thoughts.


Not something you’ve heard before? Me neither…


When  we analyze the feelings we experience we find ourselves approaching anxiety in a new way, one that doesn’t need us to get into a straight fight with the feelings.

Instead we try to ride the feelings we experience, go with the flow and become familiar with the causes of the emotions rather than trying to fight against them and in so doing cause more stress.


 Better to yield when it is folly to resist, than to resist stubbornly and be destroyed.





When the panic starts, wherever you are, simply start to observe it. Don’t try suppress or restrain the feelings .


Accept and embrace the experience. Try to feel all the sensations as they pass through your body. Try not to label the sensations as being either good or bad.


If you feel that the panic attack is getting out of control do the exact reverse of what you have been doing so far. DEMAND MORE. Demand more of the panic, view it objectivly and ride it out.


TRUST that you are safe. Place trust in your body and psyche to handle what is going on. Even if you feel uncomfortable with the current situation, the feelings you are experiencing will not harm you.

Use the 21 second rule to minimize the growth of the panic:

  • whatever the fear it must happen within that 21 second time frame.

  • if your heart is going to explode, then it has 21 seconds to do so.

  • if you are going to stop breathing, then you have 21 seconds to do so.

  • if you are going to faint-21 seconds! absolutely no more time than that. by setting a specific time frame you turn the table and establish clear boundaries of control. In short you call panics bluff. If it were a poker game, you would be asking panic to slow its hand.

  • This works because it places you in charge of the experience instead of getting tossed around by the sensations of panic and anxiety. It is a very subtle switch in perception that enables you to re-establish control.

  • now start counting down from 21- but nice and slowly, don’t rattle it off as fast as you can. Really tease it out like you did when you were a child playing a game and you never wanted to reach zero. Teasing it out is the key because it allows you to feel generous, you are really giving panic every chance possible to do its worst.

  • By not rushing the countdown you will feel your confidence soar because you are demonstrating real control and authority over the feared panic attack.


Click Here To Visit The Panic Away Website…


But what happens if you use this Panic Away technique and the fear remains?

The aim of this technique is not to hide or repress the feelings of panic and anxiety, but rather to acclimatise you to these feelings. To raise your tolerance of them so that when they do arise you can ride out the feelings and remain focused on their cause.






4 Responses to “What is the 21 Second Countdown Technique?”

  1. Peter says:

    These techniques are really useful. I have been trying them since I first found the site.

    Can you tell me where I can get the full panic away system?


  2. June says:

    Thanks for the review. I’m using the tips you gave and I’ll be buying the full panic away system in the morning.


    • John says:

      I’m really glad you found the review useful. We have found that if used correctly then Panic Away is a useful tool in our armory against panic.

      Hope you keep getting stronger.



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