These are some of the things that i have used to help me get through bouts of anxiety.
This isn't medical advice or anything, these are just some ideas that have worked for me.
As it gets closer to the Christmas/Holiday season, anxiety may be triggered much more easily so hopefully some of the tips can help you out too.
1. Calm Yourself Breathe slowly and calmly or will it make it worse?!
Breathing nice and slow can soothe your mind and body and assist in calming the intensity of anxiety.
BUT sometimes focusing on breathing can be an additional source of anxiety!
My personal experience has been that sometimes when i try to just breathe in a relaxed manner i can begin to feel stress, thinking things like -
ahh i can't breathe, i can't get a deep breath, i feel like i am suffocating etc...
This always happens to me! So instead of relaxing me i become obsessed with breathing and become more upset. Kind of defeats the purpose.
So if this popular idea of focusing on your breathing just ends up upsetting you like it does me, then don't do it. Do something else.
Instead, I just focus on something else like a word or a mantra (sometimes i just mentally repeat words like calm calm calm, or relax relax relax, patience etc...), a prayer, a saying, reading uplifting or encouraging quotes or any other mental activity which distracts from the overwhelming feeling of anxiety. I find this technique soothing and calming.
Often when i focus on a chant or a mantra the deep breath comes naturally and I feel better. The most effective thing I have found about saying a chant, mantra, or word is i make sure i repeat the words calmly and slowly, and it helps calm down the racing feelings inside of me.
p.s. i have a journal of handwritten quotes and it is a great source of encouragement and distraction for me.
2. Exercise to release excess energy.
Even going for a brisk walk helps. It helps to release pent up energy.
Anxiety is often caused by the activation of the fight or flight mechanism and our body needs to vent this energy and stress.
If you are feeling dizzy or light headed, obviously you should be careful and probably sit down.
Doing some kind of exercise in a seated position can help.
In such instances where you feel woozy you can also find other ways to release energy such as drawing, scribbling, coloring, painting or writing.
Do something that helps distract you from the discomfort and pain of anxiety.
I like to color and draw and doodle and paint and sometimes write or read. Watching movies or surfing the internet....anything that helps keep my mind off my anxiety. Sometimes the anxiety feels really intense and all i can really do is sit quietly and wait for the episode to pass. Judge for yourself what is best for you.
4. Find your inner strength.
Trust that you can get through this.
Be your own cheerleader. You got this!
If this has happened before, remember you survived and these feelings will eventually pass.
If you have never experienced feelings like this before, take comfort in knowing it will pass and it won't kill you.
It just feels extremely uncomfortable for awhile but it eventually fades.
5. Have Patience.
Let the distress run its course. Don't fight against it as this only makes it worse.
Remember an anxiety attack or a panic attack won't kill you.
You just need to let it run its course.
6. Be aware of triggers and stressors.
Learn what sets you off and try to reduce their influence in your life.
Or if there is a problem that is setting it off, work toward solutions.
Sometimes there is no trigger you are aware of and it just comes over you and happens.
Just accept that sometimes we don't know why and don't stress about it.
7. Think Positive.
Remember to have love, patience and compassion for yourself.
Focusing on positive mental feelings such as love or compassion helps us to feel like we have a friend in ourselves, one who understands and is patient with us. Be your own source of comfort.
Accept that you feel anxiety and stress and don't feel ashamed or weak or weird.
It happens to lots of people and probably right now someone is going through the
same thing as you. Mentally connect with that idea and realize you are not alone.
The more you can accept that anxiety is happening and not fight against it the easier it will be to cope. Let it run its course. This will help prevent you from aggravating your anxiety even further.
9. Take care of yourself.
Anxiety is a miserable experience both physically and mentally.
Be gentle and nurturing with yourself.
Once the anxiety has passed take some time to recover from it.
I hope these tips helps you cope with your anxiety.
If you feel overwhelmed please talk to somebody especially a medical professional or someone close to you that can help.