Anxiety attacks are personal to everyone. That is why we are giving you the 8 best and most effective ways to counteract an anxiety attack when you do not know what to do. These tips will help you overcome your situation more quickly and prepare you for other unexpected attacks.
1. Acknowledge The Situation
Trying to ignore an anxiety attack is something that should be avoided when experiencing an attack. According to an licensed clinical psychologist, Dr. Sharone Weltfreid, not acknowledging the fact that you are experiencing an anxiety attack may do more harm than good. You see, reminding yourself that you are going through an attack and that it will eventually pass, is a thought that you must strive for under these conditions. This will allow you to not only receive that mental calm, but also allow you to practice being in control of an anxiety attack if it occurs in the future.
Just remember that this is temporary and it will pass!
2. Remove Yourself From The Situation
If you are out and about and experience an anxiety attack, make sure to remove yourself from the situation. The situation which could have possibly caused your attack might even add more fire to the flame if you do not act accordingly and take a time out from the situation and from those around you.
Removing yourself to an area that you are alone and can calm yourself from the pressures of that situation is the best way to allow this experience to pass. In other words, it can alleviate the extra stress of judgement or fear. Make sure to relax your breathing, and ease your mind in order to help prevent it from worsening. Do not feel bad from wanting some space for a little bit, this is your way of prevention!
3. The 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 Method
The 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 method is a popular method to help you eradicate an anxiety attack quickly. Here we will explain each step in order to face that attack.
First, you need to name 5 things that you see around you, it can be anything as long it is within your eyesight. You need to also name 4 things that you can touch, this can be anything as long as it is within your vicinity. You must name 3 things that you can hear, this can be any external noise such as your stomach rumbling. You must name 2 things that you can smell, this can be the smell of a wooden pencil. Lastly, you must name 1 thing that you can taste, such as a sandwich you had for lunch or gum.
These steps will help take your mind off of the idea that your anxiety might be worsening or it will never go away.
4. Relax Your Breathing And Muscles
The first place you feel tension during an anxiety attack is in your muscles. This tension can also restrict your breathing. During these circumstances you should try your best to relax your breathing first because you can dangerously restrict your breathing if your anxiety attack worsens. In order to do so, you must slow your breathing by inhaling and exhaling slowly. You must strive to exhale longer than you inhale because this means that you are in fact coming down from your attack.
Next, you should focus on your muscles, the tension in your muscles can cause your anxiety to spike. You should try to do a light stretch in order to alleviate the tension in your muscles. Remember, your goal is to reduce the tension in your muscles. When you have achieved that, you should experience less and less anxiety.
5. Exercise Lightly
Anxiety can be a by-product of anger. Dr Kim Peirano gives a metaphor for the unreleased anger that can cause an anxiety attack. Think about a tea kettle with no hole to release the steam as it is boiling, that can be the anger that is building up inside of you! Your first instinct is to fight this feeling you harbor by shutting down, but what can actually help is exercising in order to release the steam or anger and anxiety that has built up inside of you. Exercising can include anything that gets your heart pumping and your blood moving. So, a nice jog or a little dance can bring you down from the anxiety attack!
6. Eat A Well Balanced Meal Or Snack
In order to keep things balanced within yourself during these moments, it is important to eat a well balanced meal or snack. Make sure to stick to healthy foods and most importantly remember to stay away from caffeine and alcohol that can make your anxiety attack worse! Vegetables or fruits can really ease your mind and divert your attention to the process of eating. So, make sure to not skip out on any meals!
7. Talk To Yourself
Anxiety attacks are experiences where you sometimes need someone to help you through the moments. But sometimes, you have no one around you or you would prefer to deal with your attack on your own. That is why it is important to talk yourself through these moments to allow room for some self therapy. By talking to yourself you can reassure yourself that this anxiety attack is temporary and will in fact flee after a couple of moments. By hearing those words out loud, you are more prone to experiencing that calm more quickly.
Hearing yourself say the words “I am okay” and “this is temporary” will have a greater effect on you than trying to calm yourself quietly. Remember to stick to positive and calming phrases because you will see a greater result!
8. Create A Calming Playlist
Having a playlist where you can access songs or podcasts that are calming and therapeutic can greatly hinder the force of the anxiety attack. Having a helpful playlist on hand can help you not only this time around, but whenever you do in the future. By having more access to options on how to solve the anxiety attack you are more prone to figuring out what works for you and what does not. Music is a must!