Coping With Panic Attacks and Anxiety- 18 essential tips
Coping with panic attacks and anxiety can be made so much easier by following these simple tips that will help everyday to combat the stress and thinking patterns that fuel anxiety and panic / continued. (See also page 1 / page 3 / page 4 / page 5 )
3. Practice checking breathing, body tension and thoughts regularly throughout the day.
Use a trigger that happens often e.g. putting down the phone, opening a page on the computer, giving change to a customer, whatever is frequent, to remind you to:
- check your breathing (make sure you are not holding your breath and that you are breathing down into your abdomen, breathing out and letting go of tension as you do),
- check your thoughts – are they negative, repetitive, encouraging, etc. If they are unwanted or unhelpful you'll find tips in this article on how to let them go.
- check where you're holding tension. On some level there is always resistance and contraction in all anxiety – open up, let go, practise relaxation techniques of some kind everyday. There is a often a lifetime’s habit to be undone.
The more you can do this whilst you are coping with panic attacks and anxiety, the more quickly you will recover.
4. Write your worries down
- It can be enormously helpful to write down your thoughts about a stressful situation. This is a very effective way to focus your thinking and stop the continual circling of thought which is repetitive and leads nowhere.
- On the whole it's preferable to write rather than talk to a friend unless your friend is skilled at helping you move forwards through a problem. You want to avoid the tendency to go over and over the same territory getting nowhere and making your friend feel anxious too!
- Writing can really help to turn your thinking around whilst you are coping with panic attacks and chronic anxiety. Give yourself encouragement and be your own best friend.
5. Use the God Box
- Do the best you can and then surrender the outcome to fate/a higher power/God/your higher self/your guardian angels/the intelligence of the universe – whatever concept works for you.
- Hold the feeling that this power is helping you whilst you are feeling anxious or coping with panic attacks. Read here for more info about how to use the God Box.
- Trust that if it is for your highest good, it will occur and allow it to happen in its own good time.
- Remember the famous serenity prayer and use it often:
Grant me the serenity to accept what I cannot change;
the courage to change what I can
and the wisdom to know the difference.
6. Allow time to restore balance
- The body is in such a state of physiological disarray by the time you are experiencing chronic anxiety or an anxiety or panic disorder, it has gone beyond the realm of simply a state created by thought.
- The body needs to restore balance and it can take some time.
- You just have to allow it the time to do this without restimulating the anxiety.
- You may well experience the bodily sensations of anxiety for a while even if you’re not having anxious thoughts.
- The best thing, as always, is to just accept these sensations, ignore them as much as possible and get on with something else.
- It is no different from the pain of a wounded leg. It has to have time to heal. You don’t lift up the bandage every few minutes to see how it’s getting on. You don’t poke it to see if it still hurts. You know that this will slow down the healing. Maybe there are some things you don’t do anymore in order to protect your leg while it heals but there are still going to be some things you have to do which will make it hurt a little more sometimes. You still have to move about a bit - life goes on. If you focus on the pain all day it will become unbearable. You will find however that if you’re occupied you might not even notice it for a while.
- Coping with panic attacks and anxiety states is no different. So you don’t want to keep checking yourself to see if you’re feeling better or letting all your attention be consumed by the pain.
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