Sydney is a contributing health writer and editor who enjoys shedding light on health topics, making information available to anyone who wants it, and ending stigmas or lack of access to care and treatment.
February 4, 2021
If you suffer from anxiety attacks, you know they can be debilitating and scary for yourself and even those around you. Learning how to calm anxiety and manage your symptoms is a great starting place for anyone suffering from anxiety.
Part of any treatment plan for anxiety attacks is figuring out how to deal with them when they happen, and how to prevent them from happening in the first place. Consider these 10 tips on how to calm anxiety down and prevent anxiety attacks from happening.
The first thing you should do to calm your anxiety is take control of your thoughts. Be aware that what you’re feeling is anxiety and if you can, pinpoint what triggered the attack.
Once you do that, remind yourself that feelings are not facts and that this will pass. Remind yourself how powerful you are and that you’ve survived every negative feeling you’ve experienced in the past.
A useful recommendation by top psychologists is to rate your anxiety attack compared to previous attacks you’ve had on a scale one to ten. This trick increases your mindfulness and makes you self aware as you analyze your state of being.
You’ve probably heard this one before, but top scientists and psychologists keep coming back to breathing techniques for anxiety because they work.
Focus on your breathing by taking a deep breath in through the nose, hold it for a few seconds, and then audibly release the breath through your mouth. When you do breathing exercises, your body releases a feel-good chemical that gets rid of cortisol, lowering your stress levels.
Bringing more oxygen into your lungs also helps your muscles relax if you are experiencing chest tightness.
You may be experiencing an anxiety attack due to pent up emotion. If you’ve seen a therapist, they’ll likely suggest that you healthily express your emotions. Working out is a great way to bring an anxiety attack down.
All of that energy you’re creating by being anxious needs somewhere to go – a quick jog around the block can do wonders. Getting your body moving can not only help alleviate anxiety and panic attacks, but it can reduce the frequency as well.
If you’ve ever looked up how to calm anxiety, you’ve likely seen a thing or two about grounding yourself. This is a great way to bring yourself back to reality, especially if you’re dealing with dissociation. There are a number of different ways that you can ground yourself, all of which involve using your senses.
Start by looking around the space you’re in and name five things you can touch, smell, taste, see, and feel. This will help you feel more present and give your mind something to focus on. If that doesn’t work, think of a food, animal, or a band that starts with each letter of the alphabet.
Sometimes anxiety attacks can hit us out of nowhere, but often they’re caused by a trigger. It’s important that you have access to a safe place if you’re feeling out of control. For many people, it’s their own house, but this might not always be an option. If you’re in a public space, go to your car, a bathroom, or any private area to allow yourself to calm down.
If you’re in a place where you don’t have many options to remove yourself from the situation, go to a safe place in your head. Visualize your bedroom, your pets, and anything else that may make you feel comfortable.
Distracting yourself is a great way to calm anxiety attacks. It allows your brain to focus on something else. This could be as simple as putting on a podcast, watching your favorite movie, or inviting a friend over.
You could also use hobbies like painting, soccer, or photography as distractions. It’s important to note that distractions should be used temporarily and not to mask any underlying trauma.
Another common way that you can calm anxiety attacks to the curb is by using a natural supplement. Talking with your doctor is essential, especially if you’re taking medication. There are a bunch of different anxiety supplements on the market. Natural flowers and herbs like ashwagandha, Rhodiola, GABA, and valerian root are some of the most common ones used.
If you’re taking any type of medication, it’s important to seek advice from a licensed doctor before taking anything that could interfere with how your medicine works.
We hear all the time how important sleep is for our physical health. It’s just as crucial for our mental health. If your anxiety attacks are getting really bad, you just might need to get some rest. All too often a lack of sleep can lead to anxious feelings and those anxious feelings can keep us from sleeping.
If you’re able to get a good night’s rest in or take a quick nap, you just might feel a lot better upon waking up.
Water plays a major role when it comes to calming down during anxiety and panic attacks. Taking a cold shower or a dip in a cold body of water can halt these negative feelings in their tracks. It’s called hydrotherapy, and it’s often used to help your brain focus on something else, since your body reacts naturally to the change in temperature.
On that same note, taking a warm shower or bath can make you feel comforted and calm. Lastly, making sure you’re hydrated can prevent an anxiety attack before it even starts!
Last but not least, EFT tapping, also known as “emotional freedom technique,” has been known to prevent anxiety attacks.
The process involves following a guide online or it can be done during an in-person therapy session. You use your fingers to tap on specific points on the top half of your body. As you lightly tap on these acupressure points, you recite or listen to emotionally-charged statements.
If you’re interested in trying this technique out we recommended talking to a licensed therapist about it. EverydayDr is proud to be partnered with PlushCare, an award winning telehealth company offering online therapy at an affordable price. You can speak to a therapist online about potentially trying out this therapy method to combat your anxiety attacks.
Anxiety and panic attacks can be frightening. You may feel a sense of impending doom and might think that the feeling will never subside. This is normal in these circumstances and using one or more of the tips above can help you feel better.
If you’ve ever had an anxiety attack, you know just how debilitating they can be. Whether you’re facing a triggering situation or the anxious feeling is coming out of nowhere, people everyday face attacks like these.
In fact, in a study done by the Cleveland Clinic, it was found that every year 11% of Americans have at least one panic attack. You don’t have to struggle with an anxiety disorder to experience an anxiety attack either.
Maybe you’re feeling uncontrollably nervous before a performance review at work or you find yourself in a dangerous situation. Whatever the case may be, there are things you can do to calm your anxiety before it turns into a full-on attack.
If you ever feel out of control or have a concern about hurting yourself or someone you love, seek medical attention immediately.
Online doctors and virtual therapy appointments have been rising in popularity since even before the pandemic. These virtual options are increasingly popular among anxiety patients because they remove the barriers that may prevent someone with anxiety from starting therapy.
For example, if you have anxiety about leaving your house, you can now get treatment without having to leave. Or if you have anxiety about your finances, you can now get affordable treatment online.
You can schedule an appointment online for fast and affordable treatment from a board certified doctor or therapist. Our sister company PlushCare allows you to get appointments with top doctors and therapists from the comfort of your own home.
Book an appointment with a top doctor here.
Book an appointment with a top therapist here.
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