Anxiety is something we all have. If we didn't, then we wouldn't know what was safe or not. Fight or flight mode wouldn't exist and it would be a very dangerous existence. With some of us, we have this in extreme amounts, debilitating amounts, life-altering amounts. It F*CKING sucks.
I have a lot to say but I will share more of that later on.
Here are my top 5 quick tips I use daily for when I am in what I call " Pre-Panic Attack" State. I hope you might find even one beneficial if you do have extreme anxiety.
These might be helpful tips short term or even long term.
How many times have you heard this? A LOT, why? Well because it REALLY works.
We know the drill: deeply breathe in through our nose from the stomach (mouth closed), hold and slowly release. Repeat. There are lots of methods of deep breathing, I specifically use the square technique. What I do is close my eyes if I am able to (depends if I am in public walking or driving) and envision a square, start at a corner and breathe in through your nose until you have reached the next corner of the square you are visualizing, hold for 5 or so seconds and exhale slowly through your mouth until the next corner is there. Repeat until you've finished going around the square as many times as you need. Deep breathing is so helpful and no one even knows when you are doing it so it can be done anytime, anywhere.
I ALWAYS have a set of headphones with me. I usually wear them when I go grocery shopping or wherever I might feel uncomfortable and feel too panicked.
You can play your favorite song, or white noise, ocean sounds, or even just for some silence when things are overwhelming. This is one of the KEY things that helps me calm down a little or keep myself distracted.
I have used this method a lot, suggested by a psychologist when I was going through some tough times.
Photos of someone or something you love to do. I use my Furbabies as my go-to. Looking at them will instantly switch your thoughts to positive and hopefully that will change your thinking to get you out of that gross scared, can't breathe kind of feeling.
Usually, when I am in my pre-panic attack state I need to do my breathing then I might do this step right away if it's really bad. I need to remember I am not in danger and I am just panicked and need to calm down. If I need to leave the room or the store or am even at home completely alone, I need to realize I am safe and go from there. If you are in a dangerous situation then that is a different scenario and you need to get to safety. Usually, it is just anxiety making me feel that way and I need to remember that and change my thinking so I can continue on.
Lastly, this makes sense but it is difficult. A very wise psychologist said this to me one day " How often when you are out and about are you worried about the way others are acting or how they look?" "Not at all" I reply. "Exactly, most people aren't even noticing you, they are just doing what they are there to do to or focused on themselves."
That was a crazy "ah ha" moment for me, of course, you feel like you are the center of the store or work or wherever you might be but that is anxiety talking. Most people are just doing their regular thing and not thinking about everyone else like people with extreme anxiety might be. So try to just let yourself know you are doing well, just breathe and take baby steps with what you need to get done for the day.
BE KIND TO YOURSELF
There are many types and levels of anxiety, as well methods that might work for other, these are just a few that I find the most helpful for myself when I need to breathe and be calm before I have a complete panic attack.
I hope you can take something from this, or even one of these methods.
Please share what you do when you are in this crappy mindset and need it to change.
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