Contrary to what many people think, anxiety is more than just overthinking. Like depression, anxiety also has many faces. It’s more than just worrying about what will happen next or the smallest inconvenience. Even getting asked by a waiter at a restaurant can trigger panic attacks.
Having anxiety is tough and can be terrifying, especially when you’re out in public. But, fortunately, there are ways how you can stay grounded. Here are some of them.
When you’re experiencing a panic attack, your “fight or flight” response is triggered. When this happens, the anxiety coach from https://dontpanicdothis.com/ says your heart rate and breathing are accelerated. Hence, you might feel it hard to breathe, or sometimes you might feel like fainting.
To control your heart rate and turn your breathing back to normal, one of the things you can do is to breathe in slowly, deeply, and gently through your nose, filling your diaphragm or lower belly for a count of four. Then hold it in for seven seconds and exhale through your mouth. Repeat this until you feel better.
Find A Focus Object
When you’re suffering from a panic attack, your mind can get really clouded, which can make it challenging to relax. Hence, another way to clear your mind is by focusing on a comfortable object.
Once you find a focus object, use your senses to focus. This will keep you distracted. Aside from merely looking at it, touch it and manipulate it too.
Because it has your attention, your mind will eventually stop thinking about your worries. As a result, it’s easier to return to the present.
Sing A Song
Believe it or not, but singing a song can also help you during panic attacks. Don’t worry; you don’t have to be good at singing for this. Even a nursery rhyme will do.
When you’re singing a song, your mind focuses on thinking about the lyrics, melody, and rhythm of the song you’re singing. Because of this, you’re able to divert your attention from your worries.
Singing a song is also like a breathing exercise. Since you’re controlling your breath, you can slowly decrease your heart rate.
Use Your Senses
When you’re in panic mode, you need to divert your attention to something else to stop thinking about your worries so you can relax. To keep yourself grounded during a panic attack, you can also use your senses – all of them.
Even when you’re just starting to feel like your anxiety is creeping in, you can use your senses right away to prevent your anxiety from worsening. Look around you and see 5 things you can see, 4 things you can hear, 3 things you can touch, 2 things you can smell, and 1 thing you can taste at the moment.
Aside from making your mind preoccupied trying to find what else you can see, hear touch, smell, or taste, remembering the number of things you need to identify will also distract you. The best part of it is that this makes you aware of your surroundings and even get to appreciate them more.
Name Things Around You
Another way to distract yourself is by naming the things around you. For this trick, you can pick whatever category you want, such as names of places, animals, destinations, etc. Then, name as many things from that category as much as you can. This will keep you grounded by keeping your mind busy, thinking about what else to mention from that category.
Challenge Negative Thoughts
Panic attacks can be triggered by different things. It could be your appointment that’s making you anxious, the people around you, etc. Regardless of what the reason is if you’re feeling like you’re starting to overthink, challenge your thoughts. Ask yourself what’s making you feel anxious. Then, keep digging and asking yourself why.
For instance, you’re worried about your doctor’s appointment. Ask yourself why you’re worried. If it’s the interaction you’re worried about, ask yourself why is it making you worried – is it because you’re afraid of what your doctor will think of you? Then, ask yourself why it’s making you feel that way.
Try to break down your thoughts before you jump to the worst thing that could happen. Doing this lets, you become more aware of your feelings and lets you recognize irrational thoughts better.
People don’t always have full control of everything that’s happening around them. But, you can control what gets into your mind. If you feel like your anxiety is beginning to impact your life, it’s probably time to seek professional help.