Throughout the past 12 years of living with my G.A.D diagnosis I’ve developed different techniques to calm, center, and steady myself during an episode of anxiety or a full on panic attack. Some of these practices came from therapy sessions, and others just from trial and error on my own. Either way, I’m sharing these with you in hopes that some of these tips may work for you!
1. The Senses Game
This is a centering technique. It always makes me feel very present and focused on what’s happening around me and not what may or may not happen in the future. Here’s how it works: you think of five things you can SEE, four things that you can touch, three things that you can HEAR, two things that you can SMELL, and one thing that you can TASTE. By the time I get through with this exercise I’ve usually calmed myself and began to regain my racing mind. You can switch up the count down any way you want, as long as you stay focused.
2. Distract yourself with entertainment
Refocusing my energy on art and entertainment while I have anxiety tends to help me release some of that anxious or nervous energy that I have. I’ll turn on a light hearted movie or show (GLEE is one of my favorites for when I’m anxious) and focus on what’s happening on the screen. If you try to watch something very intense while you’re anxious, you’re going to make things worse. Also, music is an amazing anxiety reducer. Put on some calming tunes and lay down to focus on your breathing.
3. Get artsy
I love to write and do DIY projects. When I feel myself about to spiral, I try to pick up a pen and write down what I am feeling, or focus my energy on creating something new.
4. Talk to someone
Sometimes all you need is someone to listen to your thoughts and fears, and to reassure you that everything will be okay. Try CALLING a friend or family member that you know has your back. If you know someone that also deals with anxiety issues call them and talk to them about it.
5. Get Spiritual
If you are religious or spiritual you need to pray. Pray for peace of mind and peace within your spirit. Talk to you pastor or spiritual advisor about scriptures and literature to read when you are struggling with your anxiety.
If your anxiety every gets to the point where you feel depressed and you want to harm yourself you need to get professional help. There are so many resources out there to help, and all you have to do is ask for it.