Battling anxiety can be absolutely debilitating. When feelings of anxiousness or a panic attack strike, it can cause you to completely lose focus on whatever you’re doing for the day, whether it be work, everyday life, or just something recreational. Once you’re in the midst of a really powerful attack, it can be extremely difficult to calm down and regain control of your thoughts for the rest of the day.
I used to think I was the only one who dealt with such extreme amounts of anxiety, but over time I’ve realized that so many people around me (including several of my readers) also suffer from this same thing. Since I’ve been dealing with it for such a long time, I’ve discovered a few different things that help give me the upper hand when tackling panic and anxiety.
10 TIPS FOR BATTLING ANXIETY
- No caffeine. I’ve learned, over time, that caffeine does not affect my body in a good way. Every time I drink coffee, tea, or soda I feel really jittery afterwards, and this usually triggers a panic attack. Now that I’m living on my own, I don’t buy any soda and only have decaf tea and coffee in my kitchen.
- Eat clean. As with the caffeine, I’ve noticed that when I eat bad, I feel bad (shocker, right?). Sugars and carbs just make my body feel horrible, but when I eat healthy, natural foods, I feel amazing, both physically and mentally.
- Get your sleep. On days when I’ve only gotten a few hours of sleep, my mental state is in complete disarray. Sleep is so important for our bodies to recuperate and for our minds to remain clear. Lack of sleep usually makes me irritable, and way more sensitive to feelings of anxiety and stress.
- Find your zen. In the midst of a powerful attack, I find that slowing my breathing and thoughts is the quickest way for my to regain control. Meditation, as well as practicing breathing exercises, helps me so much with this. I like to imagine that I’m floating in the middle of a still pond all by myself, and allow that thought to slow my breath and relax my muscles.
- Stay active. Physical activity does so many good things for our minds and bodies, it’s a wonder we’re not all addicted to working out. Staying active releases endorphins, which make us feel happier and more positive. Having these happy feelings makes it much less likely for us to suffer from anxiousness. I’ve been doing a bit more walking lately, and I always feel like I’m in a much better place, mentally, after I break a sweat.
- Get help. In some instances, you might need to seek medical assistance for your anxiety. There is absolutely nothing wrong, weak, or embarrassing about getting help for any type of mental condition. I was so incredibly nervous about visiting the doctor to get help for my panic attacks, but it was one of the best things I’ve ever done for my health.
- Create a safe space. One thing that can really help is to create a space in your home that you can retreat to that is safe, calm, and quiet. For me, that space is my bedroom. I’ve tried to keep the decor and furniture minimal so the room never feels busy or cluttered. When I’m feeling a panic attack coming on, I can retreat to my room where I feel calm and practice some quiet meditation until I feel relaxed again.
- Find balance. I think that in order to have a better mental state, you need to have a good work/life balance. If you’re constantly working your butt off and never give yourself time to rest, you’re going to burn out and have unnecessary added stress, which can cause extra anxiety. Hard work is awesome, but periods of rest are equally important for a healthy life.
- Reach out. Having a close friend or relative you can reach out to when you’re having a panic attack can be such a huge help. They can talk you through any scary moments, and it’s really comforting to have someone else there that can hold your hand through it all.
- Distract yourself. When all else fails, I find that doing something to distract myself usually does the trick to get through an attack. Some of my favorite things to do are to watch a movie I’ve never seen, play games on my phone (thank God for Candy Crush), or watch ASMR videos on Youtube.
Do you suffer from anxiety and panic attacks? What works best for you to help keep it under control?