If you suffer from anxiety or panic attacks, you probably have heard all sorts of lifestyle advice on how to reduce your symptoms. Sleeping better, eating better, and exercising more can all lessen the severity of anxiety symptoms in some cases. However, what about controlling it in the moment? What can you do when you feel your anxiety getting more intense, or realize a panic attack is approaching?
There is no simple trick that will allow you to snap your fingers and make your anxiety vanish. If there was, everyone would be using it. There are, however, a few tricks you can use in order to make the anxiety less intense in the moment, helping you regain some control.
1 – Accept what is happening
It’s hard to notice that you are panicking when you are in the midst of it. Just taking a moment to acknowledge that you are indeed feeling anxious can help you better manage the condition. Close your eyes and list your symptoms. Where do you feel the anxiety, and how does it manifest itself? Stomach irritation, shaking hands or legs, mental fogs, and a flow of negative thoughts and emotions are all common symptoms of anxiety.
By listing and paying attention to the symptoms, you get a better sense of how anxiety is affecting your body. And even though you can’t control these symptoms, just understanding and labeling them is enough to help bring your stress levels down. Anxiety is a pain, but at least it’s a familiar pain, and it’s much easier to relax when you know you’re facing an old problem, rather than a new one.
2 – Reach for good memories
Feelings of weakness and inadequacy are often associated with anxiety. You can help fight those off by systematically reaching for memories that prove that those feelings aren’t true. Think back, see if you can find five good examples of times where you didn’t let anxiety stop you; when you succeeded despite being anxious. Write that list down and put it aside.
The next time anxiety hits you hard, try to recall the items on that list. Focusing on those positive moments will both help silence the negative thoughts, and give you the motivation to push through. You’ve conquered anxiety before; you can do it again.
3 – Do calming exercises
There are a wide variety of exercises you can do in order to calm your mind in the moment. The simplest one is to take deep breaths and focus on your breathing. That should help you calm down your body and mind.
Other types of exercise focus on bringing your attention back to the present. Anxiety is often a future-oriented emotion, so focusing on different aspects of the room you are in now can be helpful. Try noticing how many blue objects are in the room, or listing three sounds you can currently hear.
Finally, if you anticipate a stressful day ahead, consider starting your day with some natural calming substances, like CBD. If you are afraid of how CBD might interact with other medications, check out this Cibdol guide.