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How to Calm An Anxiety Attack

Anxiety has become one of the most common mental health disorders. While anxious feelings are a normal part of life, they shouldn’t consistently interfere with daily life. 

There is no joy when you feel your heart race, your hands get sweaty, your vision becomes blurry, and feeling the dreaded brain fog. Your body responding to perceived fear can trigger a full anxiety attack. While there may not be any real danger present, your brain is telling your body it needs to be afraid. 

Thankfully, anxiety attacks are manageable. You just need to find what techniques work for you. Here are a few to try. 

How To Calm Anxiety Attacks

Focus On Your Breathing

When anxiety hits, your breathing will likely become more shallow and rapid. The beauty of breathing being an automatic process is that you don’t have to think about it most of the time. The downfall of it being automatic is when your body enters a period of stress, you tend to forget to breathe properly.

Take a moment and focus on your breathing technique. You want to focus on slowing down the pace and taking full breaths. Think about breathing down to your belly. Maybe even visually noting your stomach expanding with each breath can be helpful.

If this seems hard, try using a box breathing technique. Breathe in for four counts, hold that breath for four counts, exhale for four counts, and hold for four counts until the next cycle. 

Check In With Your Mind And Body

Much of anxiety stems from your mind’s perceived loss of control. Once anxiety hits, your brain races forward into a spiral. 

To combat that, do a check-in with your body. Simple grounding exercises can be the trick to jolt your brain back into the present moment. A good starting point is a 5-4-3-2-1 exercise, which can be done anywhere and anytime. 

Five: What are five things you can see around you?

Four: What are four things you can feel or touch?

Three: What are three things you can hear?

Two: What are two things that you can smell?

One: What is one thing that you can taste? 

Feel free to change the order if that makes more sense to you. But easy enough of an exercise to distract your wandering mind. 

woman sitting in a car looking out the windshield

Get Your Body Moving

There aren’t many things in life that a little exercise can’t help. Studies have proven that even light or small amounts of exercise can reduce anxiety levels and many other mental health issues. Exercise triggers an increase of endorphins and serotonin, the happy chemicals in the brain. 

If you feel anxious, take a movement break. Any bit will help. Go for a walk. Ride a bike. Do yoga. Go for a run. Lift heavy things. 

If you struggle with frequent anxiety, schedule routine exercise as a calming mechanism. Join a gym or schedule group fitness classes. 

Limit Caffeine And Alcohol

Many people have vices they turn to, especially in times of anxiety. For some, it is that morning coffee (or tea). It might be a glass of wine at night for others.

When you’re struggling with an anxiety attack. you should limit your caffeine intake. It can actually be counterproductive. Caffeine can increase your anxious energy and give you jitters. 

Alcohol may be a quick fix, but it actually won’t fix your anxiety. If you’re not careful, it could become a whole different problem. Limiting intake of these two can help you in moments of need. 

If you’re struggling with anxiety, try giving these tips a shot. If they aren’t cutting it for you, there are other options available. Consult us today for a more in-depth discussion about anxiety therapy.

Anxiety has become the most common mental health disorder. While anxious feelings are a normal part of life, they shouldn’t consistently interfere with daily life. 

There is no joy when you feel your heart race, your hands get sweaty, your vision becomes blurry, and feeling the dreaded brain fog. Your body responding to perceived fear can trigger a full anxiety attack. While there may not be any real danger present, your brain is telling your body it needs to be afraid. 

Thankfully, anxiety attacks are manageable. You just need to find what techniques work for you. Here are a few to try. 

How To Calm Anxiety Attacks

Focus On Your Breathing

When anxiety hits, your breathing will likely become more shallow and rapid. The beauty of breathing being an automatic process is that you don’t have to think about it most of the time. The downfall of it being automatic is when your body enters a period of stress, you tend to forget to breathe properly.

Take a moment and focus on your breathing technique. You want to focus on slowing down the pace and taking full breaths. Think about breathing down to your belly. Maybe even visually noting your stomach expanding with each breath can be helpful.

If this seems hard, try using a box breathing technique. Breathe in for four counts, hold that breath for four counts, exhale for four counts, and hold for four counts until the next cycle. 

Check In With Your Mind And Body

Much of anxiety stems from your mind’s perceived loss of control. Once anxiety hits, your brain races forward into a spiral. 

To combat that, do a check-in with your body. Simple grounding exercises can be the trick to jolt your brain back into the present moment. A good starting point is a 5-4-3-2-1 exercise, which can be done anywhere and anytime. 

Five: What are five things you can see around you?

Four: What are four things you can feel or touch?

Three: What are three things you can hear?

Two: What are two things that you can smell?

One: What is one thing that you can taste? 

Feel free to change the order if that makes more sense to you. But easy enough of an exercise to distract your wandering mind. 

Get Your Body Moving

There aren’t many things in life that a little exercise can’t help. Studies have proven that even light or small amounts of exercise can reduce anxiety levels and many other mental health issues. Exercise triggers an increase of endorphins and serotonin, the happy chemicals in the brain. 

If you feel anxious, take a movement break. Any bit will help. Go for a walk. Ride a bike. Do yoga. Go for a run. Lift heavy things. 

If you struggle with frequent anxiety, schedule routine exercise as a calming mechanism. Join a gym or schedule group fitness classes. 

Limit Caffeine And Alcohol

Many people have vices they turn to, especially in times of anxiety. For some, it is that morning coffee (or tea). It might be a glass of wine at night for others.

When you’re struggling with an anxiety attack. you should limit your caffeine intake. It can actually be counterproductive. Caffeine can increase your anxious energy and give you jitters. 

Alcohol may be a quick fix, but it actually won’t fix your anxiety. If you’re not careful, it could become a whole different problem. Limiting intake of these two can help you in moments of need. 

If you’re struggling with anxiety, try giving these tips a shot. If they aren’t cutting it for you, there are other options available. Consult us today for a more in-depth discussion about anxiety therapy.

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