I struggle every single day with terrible, gripping anxiety. I know I am not alone in this. It's been pretty bad lately to where I struggle to do even medial tasks like going to the grocery store or just leaving the house in general. Since I struggle with terrible panic attacks and I know lots are affected just like me. Why not share with you some coping skills to try when in a state of panic. These skills sometimes help me. Remember, you are not alone. Do not feel bad about yourself. This only makes things worse.
Over 40 million adults are affected by anxiety just in America. Try not to push yourself too hard. You can only do so much when feeling anxious and that is ok. You have to know your limits. Sometimes, you have to voice those limits to your loved ones but it is ok. There is nothing wrong with you for feeling this way.
1. Turn on some calming music.
Anything upbeat that you associate with happiness. Try singing along if you can. It is proven by psychology that singing is, in fact, a mood booster.
2. Spend time with someone you love or hug a pet.
If you can surround yourself with a loved one. I know sometimes when I am feeling super anxious, I cannot even be around my mom but know that it's ok. Only you know what you need. Sometimes, seclusion is the key to bringing down anxiety. I know my fur baby is always what I need and animals are very good at helping. My baby is very receptive of me and knows when I am feeling anxious. I truly believe animals are sent from God and do nothing but make you feel better.
3. Try opposite reaction
Say out loud to yourself "I am okay. I can get through this." This sometimes helps me. Even if I don't believe the statement to be true. It's a good way to trick the brain naturally. Find a statement that gives you some hope to the future.
4. Take a nice hot bath and pamper yourself
Often I will try to create a spa day at home if I am feeling anxious. I will bathe, blow dry my hair and style it. I will paint my nails, do a face mask... Pretty much anything that is self-care and I almost always feel better anxiety wise after being done. Light a candle to have a nice calming smell.
5. Take some deep breaths
Meditating or even just closing my eyes while taking nice long breaths really does help the anxiety to come down. It's a psychological fact. It gets you out of the fight or flight mentality. It helps me to stop shaking when the anxiety is really bad.
6. Watch a happy movie or funny tv show
If you can concentrate this helps to take your mind off of the troubling thoughts. My go-to shows are The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and The Office. Both of them are on Netflix. For movies, I always feel good when watching a cartoon it's mindless and Disney always can get me out of a funk. Recently, during a panic attack, I watched Despicable Me and it really did help.
7. Make sure you have comfortable clothes on
Curl up in some comfy pajamas and curl up in bed. Sometimes, when you are anxious it's all about feeling safe. What is a safer place than in your own bed with your favorite pajamas?
8. Hold an ice pack or something cold
My therapist taught me this little trick. Something about it tricks the brain when you are having a terrible panic attack. It brings you back to reality. Try it... It worked for me.
9. Go to your happy place
Close your eyes. Take some deep breaths and go to a happy place. In psychology, this is called guided imagery. I always imagine myself on the beach. I think about the smells, the sand on my toes. It's a huge mood booster. If you can't do this because the panic is too bad. There are guided imagery apps and videos on Youtube you can listen to with a narrator taking you to places. It's really cool. Just type in guided imagery on Youtube. You will find hundreds of scenarios.
What are some things you do when having bad anxiety? I would love to know. I struggle day to day with bad anxiety. Let me know in the comments below.