If you have never woken up from a dead sleep with your heart pounding and your chest tight drenched in sweat from anxiety. Or felt the panic rising out of no where? If you haven't I am so happy for you. But also if you haven't you can probably never truly relate to what panic & anxiety is like. That being said, anxiety can strike at any given moment without warning. Or it can be something that that is with you all day everyday. The thing with anxiety is that you never really know. You never know if you are going to wake up panic stricken at 2am or not be able to leave the house because your anxiety level has gone through the roof. But how do you deal? How do you overcome and get through the day?!? It really depends. Everyone with anxiety is going to deal differently. But let's look at a few different options that have worked for me.
- Deep Breathing - may sound cheesy but this has become by go-to when I am really anxious. If I can focus on my breathing and get my mind off of what is causing me to be anxious most of the time I can ward off the full blown panic attack. This will also help to lower my heart rate which will also help to lower the panicking feeling I'm fighting. About 6 months ago I started using The Calm App to help deal with anxiety and it has really helped a TON.
- Take A Time Out - this technique goes right along with the above. If I am in a situation where I feel really anxious and am starting to panic I always start with trying to take some deep breaths but if that doesn't work I try to take a moment and step away. Take a moment and do something different to get my mind off whatever is causing me to panic. If I am at home when this happens I take a moment and try and do some stretches or a little yoga. If I'm not at home and can I will pop in my ear buds and listen to the first song on my play lost. Basically I do whatever I can to get my mind off the panic causing situation.
- Stay off social media - this is important all the time not just in time of panic. Although usually the opposite is what truly happens. When people need a "break," from reality they grab their phones and go straight to social media. Doing so may actually be causing more harm than doing good. Licensed Marriage and Family Counselor Rebecca Burton says, "Staying continually plugged in means you are susceptible to the anxiety-provoking events of the day, whether it's that a good friend is ill or a large-scale disaster is unfolding." For many social-media can definitely lead to a never ending game of comparing yourself to others in one way or another. So it's best to just unplug, especially during times of anxiety or depression for that matter, so you can take some time to focus on yourself without the Influence of others.
- Use of medications when needed - sometimes anti anxiety medications are just necessary. It's not something you should be ashamed of, if you have to go that route. It doesn't make you any less of a person or make your journey any less because you made the choice to take medication. And don't let anyone make you feel badly for doing so.