Everyone gets them at some point in their life.
Anxiety attacks can be terrifying, making you feel like you’ve lost all control. Sometimes just the thought of having another attack is enough to trigger one. Attacks take away rational thought and can make it hard to even breathe.
But these attacks can be less extreme with these ten best ways to beat an attack.
There are many unpleasant anxiety symptoms such as shortness of breath, the feeling of impending danger, hot flashes, and even migraines and irritability.
If you are someone who suffers from anxiety attacks, try to work through it using these methods.
1) Focus your breathing
When you are having an anxiety attack, your fight or flight instincts can begin to kick in. Your heart races and you feel like it’s hard to catch your breath without hyperventilating.
The best thing you can do is to focus on calming your breathing. Forget everything else that you are thinking about and focus on taking slow deep breaths. This helps your body relax and reset after a panic attack.
Have a hard time centering yourself? There are many apps you can download on your phone that have breathing exercises. They often show a graphic that expands and deflates to the rhythm you should breathe to.
Some people find they have a lot of energy when they have a panic attack. They pace and squirm and can’t stop moving or else the anxiety will get worse.
If you’re one of these people, focus your energy into exercising. Exercising releases endorphins that make us happier and calm. You don’t need to be into hard-core exercising for this to work, simply start walking or running until you feel better. Put on an energetic playlist or music that makes you happy. Soon you will feel back to normal and ready to tackle whatever is going on in your life.
3) Distract yourself
Do you find that you hyperfocus on problems, leading you to have more anxiety and panic attacks?
Every so often, it’s best to distract yourself from what is wrong. Read a book, play a game, do some housework; anything that will take your mind off the thing that will send you panicking.
Once you’ve tamed your anxiety a bit, write a list of what is causing the attack in the first place. Then make a plan to fix what you can.
4) Listen to your favorite music
Music also releases feel-good endorphins. Certain music, like classical or instrumental can help us feel in a calm state of mind.
You may choose to listen to something calming, or you may find that you have a certain song that makes you happy every time you hear it.
Put it on, turn the volume up, and try to focus only on the music.
5) Use the ‘54321’ method
The 54321 method is becoming a favorite with therapists and clients alike.
The goal of this exercise is to ground you by having you focus on your surroundings.
Look around you and name:
5 Things that you see
4 things that you feel
3 things that you hear
2 things that you smell
1 thing that you taste
This exercise engages all your senses and is especially helpful for those that feel disconnected during an attack.
These are only some of the many tricks you can use to curb your anxiety. And while these methods can temporarily help bring you out of an attack, it is crucial to make positive life choices to prevent an attack in the first place.
You may not be able to change or control what you’re panicking about, but you can control your environment.
Grab a journal and make a plan to help prevent attacks in the future. Maybe this means making a better schedule and waking up at a certain time every day to spend time by yourself. Or, this could mean making lifestyle choices like changing your diet. Certain foods can make anxiety worse.
If you’re truly struggling with anxiety, it is always best to seek professional help. They can provide you with medication if you want or can help you establish positive habits and methods to curb your anxiety.
(h/t Better Change Project)