For those who suffer with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, anxiety attacks are extremely familiar. They have different triggers and effects on the body each time. Mostly, they make you feel stuck in your snowballing thoughts. Here are five ways to conquer those attacks.
As basic as it may seem, the simple meditation technique will help you come back to the ground after an anxious episode. Focusing on your breath is harder than you think. You have to tune in intimately to the way your body moves, pulls in air and releases it. How does your stomach feel? Your chest? For at least five big deep breaths, breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. For a little more focus, hold your breath for five seconds after inhaling and exhale for three seconds. Not only will this clear your head for a moment but remind you tat you’re alive, breathing and well.
Another focusing method is touching base with each of your senses. Anxiety attacks take you on a mental trip far away from your reality and into the deep thoughts of your mind. Breathe for a moment and identify five things you see within your vision looking forward. Then, identify four things you can feel and three things you can hear. Yes, faint white noise counts. Finally, try to point out two things you can taste and one thing you smell. This exercise is a go-to for taking back the power of your mind and thoughts to make you in tuned with your body. Also, you’d be surprised the things you can smell and taste with nothing on your palette.
Mindfulness is a therapist’s number one guide to combating anxiety. Write down how you’re feeling or just a whole bunch of questions you already ask yourself in your head. You may not realize it in the moment, but you have the power to answer those very questions. Noticing what’s going on in your mind and body is the first step to calming the storm. In addition, you should explore where the feelings come from and what triggered your anxiety attack in the first place. Once you take note of that, you’ll feel powerful to handle the next wave.
Before your last anxiety attack you might’ve had one already. And one before that. Truth is, anxiety doesn’t just up and leave. Sometimes attacks happen out of the blue or subtly without much chaos. However, it’s helpful to remember that you got over the last attack. And the ones before that. So, while you sit still and feel your heart beating, recall the moment you sat in the very same place but more importantly the fact that you overcame it. You must give yourself credit for lifting yourself out of those situations. Record a log of it in your journal to remind yourself how strong you are.
Walking away is never easy. You could be at the dinner table, with friends you invited over or isolated in your room. The energy you feel in that one position will continue to traumatize your mind and body. Move! Take a quick walk down the hall or to the bathroom. Even outside. Shake up your atmosphere and disrupt your thoughts so they don’t swallow you. It’s so much easier said than done but plenty of people have no problem getting up and simply walking away for a few minutes.
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