We often experience uneasiness, anticipation, and excitement in response to new and stressful situations. For most people, this feeling passes once the situation has settled down or the event is over. For some however, this is just the beginning of a continuous cycle of anxious thoughts and feelings that don’t pass even when the event is over. In fact, their reaction to stress may seem out of proportion to some. Nevertheless, anxiety is not the end of the world, and there are many ways to manage it. Here are 5 useful tips for someone having a hard time dealing with anxiety.
- Take deep breaths
Panic attacks caused by anxiety make breathing rapid and shallow. This type of breathing makes it difficult to calm down. Deep breathing helps in bringing a panic attack under control. Try breathing in for 4 seconds, holding the breath for 7 seconds, then exhaling slowly for 8 seconds.
- Use the 5-4-3-2-1 method
The 5-4-3-2-1 method is a grounding technique useful when you feel overwhelmed and detached from reality. Perform each of the following steps slowly and thoroughly for effective results:
- Look at 5 separate objects and think about each one for a short while
- Listen carefullyto 4 distinct sounds around you and think about the source of the sounds
- Touch 3 objects and make a mental note of their texture, temperature, and what their uses are
- Identify 2 different smells around you and think about them briefly
- Name 1 thing you can taste and try to describe the taste
- Walk or do some light exercise
Exercise releases endorphins that relax your body and improve your mood. Regular exercise can help reduce the number and severity of panic attacks caused due to anxiety.
- Get enough shut-eye
Getting enough sleep and rest can be beneficial to your body when you are stressed. A good night’s sleep can help you bounce back and feel better. Please note that while sleep is beneficial for relaxation, sleeping for long hours for days together is not.
- Build Healthy Eating Habits
Avoid skipping meals and keep healthy, energy-boosting snacks on hand. Limit alcohol and caffeine, which can aggravate anxiety and trigger panic attacks.
The next time you are feeling overwhelmed due to anxiety remember that you are not alone and that “This too will pass”