I may have recovered from my eating disorders and depression but I still suffer from anxiety and panic attacks from time to time. I know that I am not the only one who suffers from them so i thought I would write some of my tips on how to cope when you feel yourself getting anxious or a panic attack. Of course what works for each person is individual but maybe it will help!
When I get anxiety it can often be caused by over thinking, So then trying to not think as much or get stuck in my head and thoughts I do something that will distract me from my thoughts. If I’m at home that can be cleaning,making food or going for a walk or calling someone. Even playing candy crush can help or some type of mind game that makes me think and concentrate.
Also, finding out what caused the anxiety. Was it worry or stress or just a sudden anxious feeling? If the anxiety was caused by over thinking and worrying then remind yourself that worrying won’t make anything better. Worrying will just make you suffer twice. Trying to think about what caused the anxiety and what you can do to stop it can help you feel less anxious in the future.
My second tip is to just sit and breathe. Even if I know what caused the anxiety and know I shouldn’t worry or feel anxious it doesn’t always help, So then I try to find somewhere quiet and alone and just sit and breathe for a while. Sometimes I count and keep counting until I feel more calm again, other times I sit and analyse items such as pick one item in the room and describe it in my mind. It’s a way of distracting myself and stopping the thoughts that will send me into panic mode.
And as already mentioned above, calling someone can help or sitting and talking to someone. Also going for walks. I personally can’t workout at the gym if I’m anxious as I am far too much in my own head and thoughts and instead if I’m at the gym and start feeling anxious I almost always have to leave because I can’t focus on my workout and just forget proper form and what exercises as well as I lose motivation to actually workout if I’m starting to get an anxiety or panic attack. But walking helps and it can help me to think more clearly!
Writing or drawing can also be helpful or doing something with your hands and something that requires focus will get you out of your own mind and thoughts !
Know that the anxiety will pass, maybe it will linger and you will feel that uncomfortable feeling for a while but the strongest peak of those feelings don’t last long and the important thing is to just sort of “ground yourself” with different techniques so that you can deal with those feelings and not do something reckless or something you will regret.
I don’t personally believe I will recover from my anxiety disorder (not clinically diagnosed so just anxiety I guess! Never self diagnose so really I should go to a doctor!), however I can learn to cope and deal with the feelings in my own way. Do know that there is professional help if you need it and don’t be ashamed to reach out for help!
I’ve found that the more I’m honest about these bad days and struggles the easier it is to cope. Hiding when I’m struggling or have anxiety won’t help and just adds guilt or shame when I shouldn’t feel that way!
If you have any advice or tips on dealing with anxiety, comment below!