How to Stop Anxiety Attacks.
A Quick Guide to Calm Yourself.
I’ve had my fair share of Anxiety Attacks over the years. Luckily, little by little, I’ve picked up things that I can do to calm myself and take back some control when I feel an attack coming on. I feel like it’s important to know your ‘triggers’ and the different symptoms of your anxiety attacks. That way, you can preempt an attack coming on so you can nip it in the bud
Everyone is different but whenever I start to feel my breath get shallow, my thoughts go into overdrive and all the other symptoms of an anxiety attack, I do these things and they work for me. It’s worth trying them out (and let me know if they help you).
as always, I’m not a doctor or medical professional - this is all from my own experience.
The first thing that helped was to know what anxiety is and understand that it won’t kill me. Knowing this helped me to stay away from the major health anxiety that can come with an attack. Some people feel the heart palpitations, sweats, tight chest and start catastrophising - thinking that they’re having a heart attack or something worse than an anxiety attack.
You won’t die. It’ll pass. Ride it out.
Remind yourself that it’s OK to have Anxiety, lots of people have it and you’re not alone.
It sounds simple but your breath can control so many emotions and bodily responses. Take a few minutes to concentrate on your breathing and follow along with the gif. Try to fill your lungs up as much as you can. Your heart-rate will slow down and you’ll get back to living your best life in no time.
You can click on the gif to enlarge it a little if you need to.
This is a good habit to get into. When I realise my thoughts are running away from me, I start to run through these and don’t stop until the attack has finished doing it’s business.
It can feel a bit stupid to be honest but you don’t have to say it out-loud. Just sit somewhere and start to reel off the questions to yourself and answer them. Over and over.
List 5 things you can see right now.
List 4 things you can touch right now.
List 3 things you can hear right now.
List 2 things you can smell right now.
List 1 good thing about yourself right now.
Keep going until you’ve calmed down and your anxiety attack has passed.
If it helps, I made some hi-tech editable PDFs with grounding techniques and a worksheet you can fill in here.
OCCUPY YOUR MIND.
Don’t let your thoughts consume you. It’s easy to sit in silence and let your mind catastrophise over and over. Try to occupy your thoughts with other (more positive) things. I’ve tried starting a conversation with someone (about something unrelated) and trying to focus on their answers helps. Or just small things like playing with my dog, watching TV or even blogging - anything that will occupy thoughts and move them away from the overthinking, anger, anxiety etc.
It could be as simple as putting on your “happy Spotify playlist” (here’s mine). Music is amazing for me and sitting with my headphones for a while can pull me out of an anxiety attack and boost my mood if I’m feeling down.
MAKE A LIST.
I’ve done this once or twice when I had a few attacks in India and it helped in the moment. Making a list can act as a kinda “brain dump” and get all of your anxiety out on paper. Then you can address it the next morning and get on with your day. I ended up waiting a few days to make sure my anxiety had passed then deleted half of it lol.
I know you probably hate me for suggesting that but it’s proven to work. I know that if I’m in the middle of an anxiety attack, the last thing I want to do is get my running shoes on and head outside. I look at this like, if your anxiety attacks are getting worse or more frequent, you really should try to develop some sort of exercise routine.
It doesn’t have to be a full gym sesh, it can be a long stroll, short walk with the dog, quick jog or some yoga stretching.
I’ve included a video of beginner yoga poses to try. I’ve been following Dean from Man Flow Yoga for years now and the programs and workouts have really helped me with my flexibility and the gains in the gym 💪😂