Anxiety may seem like an untamable beast. It’s known to creep up when we least expect it, and it can sometimes make us feel defeated. I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder about two years ago, and I know just how daunting anxiety attacks can really be. I’ve gone through full on panic attacks, as well as small unexpected bursts of unease. I’m here to share with you a few tips on lessening your anxiety in the moment it strikes.
Seriously, these tips have worked wonders for me .
- Take control of your breathing.Anxiety will make your heart beat fast, your palms turn clammy, and your breaths get shorter and shallower by the second. Of these three things, the only one you can consciously control is your breathing pattern. If shallow breaths lead to a fast heartbeat, deep, slow breaths lead to a slower heartbeat, and a calmer you! Seems easy enough, right? Trust me, it is!Try this breathing technique:
Breathe in for a count of seven, hold it in for a count of 8, and breathe out for a count of 6. This breathing exercise has been proven to calm you down in a matter of minutes. The counting keeps your mind off of whatever has shaken you up, and as soon as you breaths become even and slow, you’ll find that your hands are no longer clammy and you suddenly don’t feel as alert.
This particular breathing technique has helped me so many times in the past, and will always be the first thing I recommend to anyone struggling with anxiety attacks.
- Hold an ice cube.I know, this one sounds really strange – but don’t click off this blog post right away. It has been proven that a sudden change in temperature will shock your body, and bring your mind back to the present. The moment you get a hold of your mind, it will become infinitely easier to deal with your fears and anxieties. It’s a weird one, but it does wonders.
- Make a warm drink, preferably one that isn’t caffeinated.Whether you opt for a hot chocolate, a warm cup of milk, or a decaf tea or coffee, this is one way to soothe your body as well as your soul. Warm drinks are comforting and cozy, and they send a signal to your brain to let it know that you’re safe. Slowly sip, slowly breathe, and you’ll see that you’ll slowly begin to feel calmer.
- Use essential oils.Essential oils have been my secret weapon this past year. If you suffer with anxiety, lavender essential oil should be the one thing you always carry with
you. I like to place a drop of it on a piece of cloth and press it up against my nostrils. The cloth acts as a filter for the air I breathe in, and the smell of pure lavender soothes my nerves almost immediately. It feels like a very subtle, delicate, and gentle high.
I hope that these four tips will help you when you need immediate relief from anxiety. Anxiety is a mental illness, and if you feel like you might be suffering, I urge you to seek help. Getting diagnosed, and talking to a professional about my mental state was the number one thing that got me up on my feet.
Stay safe, stay happy, and take care of your body and mind.