There’s a large difference between an anxiety disorder and occasionally feeling anxiety that is caused by situational stress. The unfortunate thing about an anxiety disorder is that there is often no rhyme or reason as to why you are feeling anxious or unsettled. Many people with an anxiety disorder would agree that often it is unnecessary and irrational. This doesn’t stop an anxiety disorder from putting a damper on your daily life and everything that you do.
Write it out
Are you able to identify what it is that has triggered your anxiety or panic attack? Is it work, family, your health, school, or something else that you can place? Write it out. Having a journal that is dedicated to helping you work through your anxiety is a great way to displace some of the feelings of uneasiness that you are experiencing. Even if you can’t pinpoint what has triggered your anxiety, writing out about what you are feeling in that moment will not only alleviate some of your symptoms, but it will also help you pinpoint your anxiety triggers with your therapist in the future.
Give yourself a time out
Often, removing yourself from your current situation for even just a few minutes is what your body and mind need to recenter and refocus. Do a few easy stretches, listen to soothing music, meditate, ask a loved one to rub your back, or just sit by yourself for a few moments.
Take a deep breath and touch your surroundings
Sit down on the floor. Place both of your palms on the floor beneath you. Feel the textures against your skin. Breathe in. Breathe out. How does the floor feel? Focus on your breathing. Count each inhale and exhale. Let yourself feel grounded where you are. Reminding yourself that you are indeed here, and acknowledging your surroundings is a great grounding technique to help you recenter and calm down.
Have a healthy snack
Being hungry can exacerbate feelings of anxiety. As long as food isn’t a trigger for you, go ahead and get yourself a small, healthy snack.
Go for a walk
Getting exercise is important for not only your physical health, but for your mental health. Even if it is just going for a short walk, it will help you gain perspective, and the endorphins that you get from this light exercise will boost your mood and make it easier to manage your feelings of anxiety and stress.