Although it attack different people in varying degrees everyone is susceptible to anxiety attacks it is our body's natural response to fear or stress. However as well as causing physical and emotional distress, such as racing heartbeat, sweating, nausea, dizziness, when they attack without warning they can be apprehensive and overwhelming.
If you are feeling at a loss on how to control and manage an anxiety attack or feel that is inhibiting your potential growth and robbing you of the chance to be the very best you can be, then read on. Below there are a list of some simple things you can do to combat anxiety when it attacks without warning:
It is possible to train yourself to tap into the first signs of anxiety as it begins creeping in because it may usually manifests itself in your breath so that your breathing becomes shallow and erratic. Taking very deep breaths can have an amazing calming effect when you are very anxious. As you focus your mind on breathing, close your eyes and inhale deeply through your nose and exhale through your mouth. Doing this for as little as a few minutes will helping to quieten your thoughts and regaining more control of your body.
It maybe impossible to remain calm if you stay in the stressful environment or situation for long. If you can or as soon as it's possible remove yourself from the stress inducing environment and or situation and divert your brain and attention for a few minutes. This does not mean that you ignore it completely as you will have to confront the cause of your fears sooner or later, but taking a time-out from the source of your agitation for a while will be good for your mental health and overall wellbeing. Prepare your favourite meal. Listen to your favourite songs. Or take a short walk and practice connecting to your breath. Just do anything that will take your mind off the situation for some time.
Create the worst case scenario
Sometimes, your worst fears are fuelled by your imagination. They may seem very real and credible when you are anxious, but when you look back on them afterwards, you realise that they are nothing short of ridiculous. You have to train your brain and be bold in challenging your negative and irrational fears when you are feeling anxious. Worry and anxiety are often attached to the past or future based, focus your attention to the present moment.
Ask yourself what the worst thing that could happen? Tell yourself that, " The past is over, gone and have no control over you", "You are more than capable of handling anything that comes your way in the future". Remind yourself that this is just a temporary feeling, and that you are in control. When you critically analyse your fears and see how impractical they are, then you will have an easier time battling anxiety.
You can also use your five senses of smell, taste, touch, sight or hear to help concentrate your mind to the present moment.
It is often said that a problem shared is a problem half solved, and the saying holds true even for anxiety. When you feel your anxiety getting the best of you, you don't have to deal with it in isolation, reach out and talk it over with someone you trust such as a family member, a close friend, a counsellor or life coach. Oftentimes, saying your fears out loud has a way of shrinking and dismantling them, and you may start feeling that you can actually overcome them.
As huge believers and advocates for self-care it goes without saying that taking care of yourself
is our go to to combat feelings of anxiety and stress as these may undoubtedly harm your physical and mental health over time. Scheduling regular time to practice self-care will ensure that you are able to manage anxiety if or when it strikes. You can do this by getting started on our free 7 Days of Self-Care course here and by ensuring you're getting a minimum of 8 hours of restful sleep each night by avoiding alcohol and caffeine before bed, meditating, eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and by doing anything that makes you feel good and uplifts your mood.
Whilst there is no guarantee that the anxiety will completely go away, following the tips above may ensure that the anxiety levels subside and that you learn valuable strategies of what to do when you feel the pangs of anxiety settling in.