Today I want to try something a bit different, compared to what I would normally post. Lately, I have been having a lot of anxiety attacks, more than I usually have and I have had a difficult time dealing with them. Therefore, I have been reading a lot of blog posts and articles about how other people deals with their anxiety and panic attacks, just to see if I can get some new tips and tricks which I can use. Since I find it interesting and helpful to read how other people deal with anxiety, I thought “why don’t I share with people how I deal with it?”, who knows maybe someone will find this helpful. So, here is what I do:
- Positive Thinking – The first thing I do when I feel the signs of an anxiety attack or have an anxiety attack is telling myself “Take 5 slow and deep breaths and remember that this feeling is only temporary and you are and will be okay, just remember to breath!”
- Breathing – As mentioned above, one of the first things I focus on is my breathing. Normally I would either do a guided breathing exercise or I would take 5 slow and deep breaths or lift my shirt above my nose and breath inside my shirt. I use the different techniques in different situations all depending on how strong the anxiety is and where I am. If I am in a public place or around people, I don’t feel comfortable around, I tend to just try to do 5 slow and deep breaths. However, I do prefer to do a guided breathing exercise, if it is possible. And breathing inside my shirt helps me a lot when the anxiety or panic attack is very strong.
- Distracting – The one thing I have found to be the most effective technique is distracting my mind, right now I use wither audio books or music as my top distracting methods. This is probably not the healthiest way to deal with anxiety, but it sure is effective. For me at least.
- Writing – Another thing which is also very effective for me, is writing. I have read a lot of people use different types of creative activities to get through anxiety attacks, and some people like talking, other people like to paint or draw their way through an anxiety attack. For writing really helps, right now I am having an anxiety attack, or at least I had one when I started writing this, because of the thunderstorm outside. But for me writing helps me express everything which is going on inside my head, and that is really nice, because I no longer have keep it inside myself. Another positive thing I experience when writing down what is going on during my anxiety is that I can reflect on what is going on, and really helps me.
- Therapy – Going to therapy is probably one of the most important things I do in order to help me with my anxiety. If you are struggling with anxiety, and you have the opportunity to talk to a therapist, then I will recommend you doing that.
- Rational Thinking – Lately I have found out that thinking rationally about the anxiety will help me, sometimes. This is something I do when I am with my therapist, and it really helps when she does it with me, but I am still learning how to successfully implement it when I am alone. When I am experiencing an anxiety attack or a panic attack, facts and rational thinking CAN help me to feel a bit calmer. I will give you an example of how I use this: the other night I was feeling very anxious and had a panic attack, all because of a fear of being bitten and killed by a shark. When something like this happens, I always try to ask myself questions like, “how likely is it you are going to be bitten by a shark? Are there any sharks in Denmark? Are you going to the beach or a place with sharks?”. After answering these questions, I made the fear shrink a tiny bit.
- Researching – The last thing I try to do, is researching the topic of the anxiety attack or panic attack. This only works in some cases for me, for example: when I was having a panic attack about being bitten and killed by a shark, I spend an hour doing research about sharks in Denmark. Or when I had a anxiety attack because of a thunderstorm yesterday, where I read everything I could about thunderstorms, and I began to understand how it works. I have found out, that understanding the thing I am feeling anxious about makes it less scary. However, I cannot use this technique every time I feel anxious, or at least I don’t know how to use it all the time.
Just keep in mind that no one experiences anxiety the same way (at least I don’t think so?), and what works for me, might not work for you!
If you could tell me how you deal with anxiety and panic attacks, it would be awesome if you could share them, either by writing it as a comment or maybe put a link to a blogpost or article about how to deal with anxiety as a comment.