5 Strategies to Calm Your Anxiety Quickly
When you live with an anxiety disorder, any moment can become one that creates a slow-rising panic within you. Life is normal one second and the next, you feel your chest tighten and your heart begin to race. You may begin to hyperfocus on future events and find yourself getting lost in “what-ifs.”
To make matters worse, you may then begin to berate yourself for allowing the panic to get the best of you and begin to believe that all of those what-ifs are indisputable facts.
Luckily there are many powerful tools and techniques you can use to manage your anxiety effectively.
The minute you feel a panic attack coming on, the first thing to do is stop and gain control of your breath. Deep, slow breathing sends a signal to our brains that everything is safe in our environment. Controlled breathing is one of the most powerful ways to activate your body’s relaxation response. It will take your mind and body out of “fight or flight” mode and put it instantly into a calm and relaxed state. Calming GIFs can help you access this relaxation. Click here to try out one of my favorites: https://images.app.goo.gl/4xeu1g46jiz2JEWR8
Accept That You are Anxious
It’s important to always remember that anxiety is “just a feeling.” You are having an emotional reaction to a string of thoughts. And like all feelings, it is temporary and can go as quickly as it came.
Let’s be clear, by accepting your anxiety, you are not resigning yourself to a life of eternal misery. You are not throwing in the towel and trying to suddenly like your anxiety. Nope. You are simply taking away some of its power and being intentional about living a more mindful existence.
Your Emotions Cannot Kill You
Being unable to control your emotions can feel scary, especially when the anxiety manifests as physical discomfort. You might experience jitters, lack of concentration, or at its worst, that feeling that you are having a heart attack. Rest assured, you are not having a heart attack, this is your brain playing tricks on you, trying to get you to believe that you are in physical danger. But you are not in physical danger. You are having an episode based on emotions and it will pass. Remind yourself of that as many times as you need to.
Question Your Thoughts
When you experience anxiety or panic your mind begins to throw out all sorts of outlandish ideas at you, hoping some of them stick. These thoughts are intended to keep the panic going.
Before you take any of these thoughts as reality and truth, question them. For instance, if your mind throws things out like, “No one here likes me. I am for sure going to screw this up. I probably left the stove on. And I’ll no doubt get stuck in bad traffic on the way home and maybe even get a flat so I will then be stranded, and on and on and on…”
Questions these ideas. Are you TRULY not liked by everyone around you? Most likely not. Are you really going to screw up? Probably not. Traffic? Well, maybe, but a flat tire? Chances are no.
Always question your thoughts. You will usually find the majority aren’t very realistic or probable.
Picture somewhere serene that brings you peace and calm. Maybe this is your grandparents’ old house or your favorite bench on the park around the corner. Just picture it in your mind’s eye and really put yourself there. See it, smell it, feel it. Feel how calm it feels to be in this space that is perfectly comforting and safe.
Use these techniques the next time you find your anxiety increasing. They should help you feel much calmer much sooner.
If you would like to explore treatment options for your anxiety, please get in touch with me. I’d would be more than happy to discuss how I may be able to help.