1. Acceptance. Accepting the fact that you are having anxiety.
2. Communication. Telling yourself, “It’s just an anxiety attack, you are okay.”
3. Cry. From my own personal experiences I have learned that crying helps take a lot of tension from my brain. I don’t know if that makes any sense, but I my thoughts shift quite a bit when I allow myself to cry. After doing #1 and #2, I allow myself to cry and continuously tell myself I am okay.
4. Seeking Help. Telling yourself that you can get help to your door in a matter of minutes if you need it. Whether it’s a friend or a family member that you know can hold you and be there for you. In many cases, from personal experience, friends and family are either unavailable or nonexistent. In that case you always have the alternative to call 911. Don’t be afraid to do it, seriously. That is what they are here for. Although, they aren’t of much help, in terms of medication, they do fill that gap of loneliness. They are paid to help you. Even if you don’t need to be taken to the E.R, you can still call them.
5. Sleep. This is a very difficult thing to do, but it works sometimes. Anxiety is all brain stuff so it gets very tiring when your constantly thinking about your fears. Breathe, lay down in a place where you are comfortable sleeping, close your eyes, and dream. Dream about the ocean, or whatever makes you happy. Although this isn’t a long term solution, sometimes you just don’t want to deal with anxiety. Close your eyes and let your dreams take over.
6. Breathe. When you have an anxiety attack your breathing tends to either get really heavy or really slow. In many cases, such as in my experience, you can hyperventilate. When you don’t breathe correctly you will experience a “clam up”, also known as cramping in your hands and legs. It hurts pretty badly, so breathe. During an anxiety attack, calming yourself down becomes one of the most difficult duties you’ve ever done. You are freaking out and most of the time you are just trying to figure out why. Try to steer your mind away, which is very difficult, but you can do it, and breath. Get your timer out. Breathe in 7 seconds. Hold for 8 seconds. Breathe out for 7 seconds. Do this until you feel a little more calm.
7. Sounds. Soothe your body with the sound of music or even with the sound of the ocean. Personally, I love the sound of rain falling, it’s very soothing. While trying to do #6 you can allow your body to calm its self with some mellow sounds.
8. Thinking. Stop thinking. I know, I know. How does one stop thinking during an anxiety attack? It’s one of the most hardest things, and honestly it can sometimes make things worse. But while you are doing #6 and #7 talk to yourself. Tell yourself things that will replace those thoughts of fear. Remind yourself about good times. Or as you listen to sounds of the ocean, think about how you are walking down the beach on a hot summer day. Control your thinking. Remember, it’s your brain and your thoughts. The only person in control is you. It’s your body, not anxiety’s. You can do it.
9. Isolation. If you are at a party, social gathering or basically any place where there are people, excuse yourself. Isolate yourself and give your mind a minute. Breathe. If you struggle with social anxiety you might find yourself not feeling comfortable around a lot of people. Give yourself a minute. If you want to try and overcome that anxiety allow yourself to stay where you are. Think, what is it that is triggering this anxiety? Is it the noise? The amount of people? The room is to small and feels like you can’t get to an exit? Calm yourself down. Sit or stand next to an exit if that makes you feel comfortable. Personally, sitting next to an exit helps ease my anxiety so much. Whether it’s in lecture hall, a restaurant, or a social gathering.
10.Happy Place. Go to your happy place if you are feeling way to overwhelmed with your anxiety. If your happy place is the park or your bedroom, go to that place. Sometimes your place might not even be a place but rather a person or an activity. Whatever the case is, go to what makes you happy. Whether it’s your mother, boyfriend, or the breeze of going on a long run, do it. If your happy place is unavailable and/or not reachable close your eyes and picture your happy place. If you are at the mall and your happy place is your room, let yourself know you will be there soon. Even if it’s not true just tell your brain that. “You’ll be home in 5 minutes.” Sometimes when I’m at a drive thru I get really bad anxiety and I let myself know that I can leave if I want. Our brain has a way of making us feel like we are trapped and won’t ever be able to go to our happy place. That’s not the case. You can leave wherever it is that you are whenever you want.
11. Distractions. BIG ONE RIGHT HERE. I personally wake up every morning with extreme anxiety and sometimes walking outside to water the plants or even going to the kitchen to cook helps distract your mind. If you like to run or go to the gym, the perfect time to do it is when you are having an anxiety attack. It sounds a little crazy, but trust me. Use it as a method of adrenaline and a way to motivate you to overcome anxiety. Distract your brain. During anxiety attacks your brain is only focusing on your fears and weaknesses. Let your brain know that you need to focus on how crooked the rug is, or how many loads of laundry you want to do today or how many sets of dead lifts you should do or how many goldfish you can fit in your mouth all at once. Distract yourself. Be there for yourself. Attack your brain with positive distractions.
12. Freak out. This might be the worst one on here but sometimes you just need to let it happen. Let your anxiety do its job and you’ll realize that (excuse my language..) this bitch is only here to waste your time. If you let your anxiety do its thing you will come to the realization that, you’re going to be fine. In that very moment you might want to make a deal with the devil, but
13. Pets. If you are allergic to pets disregard this, but if you aren’t this one might be your solution. Get yourself a pet. If you aren’t allowed to have pets in your house hold look into a service animals (click here) . I can not express how much animals help ease your anxiety. There presence helps fill the gap that you might be feeling when you are alone, they are great companions. When you are having an anxiety attack that will be absolutely clueless and just want to play with you. Going back to #11, they are great for distracting you. Such a cute puppy dog face is not so easy to say “no” to. Unless you are a bad owner, they insist on being taken outside. A simple walk to the park or even sitting outside on your front lawn playing with your dog is a step closer to easing your anxiety. Pets are great support for those who suffer with mental illnesses, also known as the unseeable. (Click here)
14. Tea. Chamomile with Lavender tea is the all mighty of anxiety remedies. Not only that but the smell is so calming. When drinking this you also have to an accepting mentality that it’s working. Be positive. Nothing much but drink it and let the warmth of the drink and the smell of the lavender sooth every inch of your body.
15. Yoga. Every time I go in to my monthly doctor visits, I always get recommended yoga. It helps with your breathing and keeps you calm. I guess I shouldn’t call this yoga, but rather stretches. There are some specific positions that will help remove tension from your body and make you feel good. I recommend you get a yoga mat, blanket, or even do it on the floor and do it outside. I mention going outside a lot because it is so soothing. While doing these positions focus on a positive mentality. Repeat step #1 and step #2. This is an article on some good yoga positions for anxiety, click here. Here are some of my favorite positions:
- Downward Dog. This yoga position is so mentally pleasing. You are curled up and you simply become one with your body.
- Cat Pose. This one is perfect to help with your breathing. You lift your spine up when you inhale and you bring it down when you exhale.
16. Medication. Not everyone is on medication, but if you are take your medications. In my case, I only take mine once a day at 8pm and that’s about it. There are some other over the counter medications that work magic. I am personally not a fan of having to take pills, but anxiety has a mind of its own. If none of these other steps help you, talk to your doctor and DO YOUR RESEARCH on the following over the counter medication:
- Natrol Stress Anxiety Day and Nite Formula
- SOURCE NATURALS® GABA CALM MIND NATURE’S WAY®
- CALMAID® NON-DROWSY
17. Go outside. It is well known that taking a walk for at least 30 minutes a day will help ease your anxiety. Connect yourself with the sound of nature. I personally like to lay in my backyard and listen to the bird chirp and on windy days I love the sound of leaves brushing against each other. Go on a hike. Walk to the park. Watch the clouds move across the sky. Breathe in some good ol’d oxygen (while we still have it). More on how nature eases anxiety read this article: click here.
18. Make yourself comfortable. This is a weird one, so let me explain. Having your hair down during an anxiety attack is very frustrating. I don’t know if it’s because you become a little more aware of your body or what. As well as being to cold or to hot. The heat is a big trigger for anxiety attacks, but personally, my anxiety gets triggered with the coldness. So put on some sweaters or take off some clothes. If you are laying in bed and you feel to crowed in your room, go outside. If you are at a party with to many people, either leave or go to a part where there are fewer people (take a friend and/or stay safe). Point is get comfortable and you’ll find that it will help you quite a bit.. Going back to #9 and #10, if making yourself comfortable requires going to your happy place or isolating yourself, do it. It doesn’t matter if you inconvenience anybody, because they can’t see what’s going up in your brain.
19. Don’t be afraid. Going back and being a little more specific on #7, stop thinking about your anxiety attack. Theres a huge possibility that you are getting an anxiety attack because you are thinking about having one. I do that all the time, sometimes I even tell myself, “you’re going to have an anxiety attack at 3am when your dad leaves to work.” You are triggering yourself. Don’t.
20. End. Finally, realizing that with every beginning there is an end. I know that it might feel like you are going to die because of how much fear you are putting yourself through, but you aren’t. It’s all in your head, and that’s not on you. Whether you believe in God or not, things happen to us for a reason. Our strengths are tested and sometimes it might feel like the world is on your shoulders. But you have to realize that it’s just a rainy day there will soon be a rainbow. Whether it takes 2 hours or 2 years, there will be an end. I personally hate being told this, but it’s true, YOU AREN’T ALONE. So many people go through anxiety on a daily basis. Some people choose to fight it as should you. It might feel like the end of the world when your heart is racing, but it’s not. You are strong. You are beautiful. You are not anxiety. It’s time you take your mind back, baby.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.
– Isaiah 43:2