Want to know more about how you can stop an anxiety attack? Read How to Stop Feeling Anxious, Depressed and Emotionally Overwhelmed
2. Breathing Exercises
During an anxiety attack, we forget to breathe correctly. We either do it too slowly or too fast. That’s why it’s important to take deep conscious breaths. Slowly breathe in deeply and breathe out again completely to calm yourself down. The negative and scary thoughts that come with an anxiety attack need to be replaced by positive ones.
Let go of the tension in your muscles and relax. You will find yourself slowly becoming tense again, it is normal, just release that tension again.
While breathing, think about something funny that happened in the past or bring your attention to the present. You can try square breathing. Breathe in for 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds, breathe out for 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds. Repeat.
3. Migration Exercises
This one is simple, move from one place to another. You need space, you need to be able to breathe. Every wall is too close and claustrophobia is kicking in. Going from one place to the next will help you calm down. Look at the things in the distance, people are doing their day-to-day activities.
You are freaking out… But it is all in your head. Keep walking, you are in survival mode and you are fighting against the anxiety. Your heart is pounding and you need to release the energy that has been released by the adrenaline in your system. After a while, you will calm down naturally. Focus on your breath, breathe in for 10 steps, breathe out for 10 steps. Repeat.
4. Distraction Exercises
This is ideal when you are at home, but will not always work when you are in public. Find something that distracts you. At home, this can be an interesting video on the internet about whatever catches your attention. It can also be a movie, a beautiful song, or a tv-show. By distracting your thoughts, you are essentially stepping out of the vicious circle and you will slowly calm down.
This exercise is harder to do in public, however, most people can find the same distractions on their smartphones. The problem with distraction is that most people are so saturated with attention-grabbing advertisements and entertainment, that few things are effective in grabbing your attention anymore.
Another distraction that works great is eating something. Focus on the taste and count the number of times you are chewing before you swallow.
Want to know more about how you can stop an anxiety attack? Read When Your Anxiety Is Getting The Best Of You, Read This
5. Counting Exercises
Distracting yourself long enough is challenging. But a counting exercise is so basic, you’ve done it since you were a child. Counting to 100 over and over again can help you redirect the focus. Beware that you need to count slowly.
1… 2… 3… take your time, do it in a calm manner and you will trick yourself into becoming calm.
6. Mental Exercises
These exercises are helpful if you haven’t had a lot of anxiety attacks or if you feel like you want to take anxiety on head first. Anxiety attacks are mostly present in the mind. It is trying to protect you. Your brain is reacting to your increased heart rate, sweaty palms, or whatever symptom is making you anxious. It is misinterpreting it as dangerous.
But these symptoms don’t mean that you are actually in danger and in need of this anxiety. Becoming calm will stop the symptoms, but how do you become calm?
“It is only a symptom, it shall pass”
You need to realize that these symptoms are present because you are overthinking your symptoms. It will pass. Understanding that it is only temporary will help you become calm again. Get back to reality and understand that you are not going to die, you are not having a heart attack and you are only experiencing these symptoms because of your thoughts. You are in a vicious circle of anxiety. Step out of it.