5 Ways to Help Yourself Through an Anxiety Attack

The bare bones of this post are of one I wrote a couple of years ago when I was just coming out of my first huge bout of anxiety. It was a post that really helped other anxiety sufferers especially Mums so I wanted to update it. Having anxiety can be crippling and when you are in the full throws of an anxiety attack it can be scary. I have taught myself ways of dealing with it after lots of research and most of the time manage to calm myself down. Here are my 5 ways to help yourself through an anxiety attack.

As always with my anxiety posts please remember I am not a professional, this is all from my personal experience.

Breathing – Don’t underestimate breathing, after all it sounds so simple doesn’t it? When I feel my breathing getting quick or a bit out of control. I breath in for 5 seconds, hold it for 5 seconds and breath out. Doing this not only helps to control your breathing but it also gives you something to focus on rather than the thing that is making you anxious. Dizziness is one of my biggest symptoms of anxiety, this wasn’t something I understood at first until I realised I was hyperventilating. Once I manage to slow my breathing down I really feel a difference.

Distraction – Distraction is my biggest way of getting through an anxiety attack. If I feel it coming on I change what I’m doing if I can. It can be as simple as putting some music on or maybe read a few pages of a book. Singing or reading out loud can help too. Sometimes it is the physical symptoms of anxiety that make me panic more so changing what I’m doing tends to help. Cleaning is a good one for me as it gets me moving and thinking about what I am doing.

Talking – At the beginning of my anxiety experience I couldn’t talk about it. I was ashamed that I wasn’t coping and if I was having an anxiety attack with other people around then I tried to cope with it alone. But I wasn’t alone. People wanted to help and nobody judged me for it. Now if I am feeling anxious I tell someone that I am with. Just saying it out loud and knowing I don’t have to deal with it alone or if I need to leave they know why helps enormously. This is something I have found comes with time but it does get easier to be able to admit to feeling anxious.

Practice Grounding – Grounding is a technique I use all of the time now. I found out about it from a friend and it works wonders for me. Sometimes when you are having an anxiety attack you can feel out of your own body or distanced from the situation that you are in. The grounding exercise below is one I found on Pinterest. I keep it on my phone all of the time and use it when I feel things getting a bit out of control.

Acceptance – One of the hardest but most worth while techniques to use when you are having an anxiety attack is to accept it. It has taken me a long time to be able to do this successfully. However, now if I feel anxious in a certain situation. I know what the physical symptoms mean, I know there is no danger to me. So in my head I just think ‘this is just anxiety’ and I let it be there. You would be surprised how quickly it can go away if you just face it. Don’t let it scare you. You are in control.

So there we go, my anxiety hacks. I hope they help anyone that is struggling a little bit. Always remember you are not alone with mental health. If we keep talking about it it will be normalised.

 

 

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24 Comments

  1. November 17, 2015 / 10:17 am

    As someone who has also dealt with anxiety, I totally agree with every single one of these coping strategies! I am so glad you shared these, as I know they will be helpful for anyone in the midst of this struggle. Thank you so much for sharing. #twinklytuesday
    Elizabeth recently posted…Teacher Tuesday: the phrase I want to stop using in my classroomMy Profile

  2. November 17, 2015 / 2:47 pm

    These hacks are all things I use daily. The only one I would add to the list is diet. Cutting out caffiene, and avoid sugar rushes, or low blood sugar levels (i.e dont binge on cake and remember to eat a healthy breakfast) can also help reduce anxiety. #TwinklyTuesday xx
    Tracey Abrahams recently posted…A Bit Of Everything Linky – Week #6My Profile

  3. November 17, 2015 / 7:19 pm

    This is such a great list! Sleep and acceptance help me so, so much to manage anxiety. When I feel anxiety coming I tell myself not to run or fight and just invite it in instead. I find this diminishes the fear and power. Thanks for sharing #twinklytuesday

  4. November 21, 2015 / 11:11 am

    I haven’t had post natal anxiety, but have always had a tendency to anxiety and panic attacks, and I tend to use distraction the most. Very good advice. #thelist
    Silly Mummy recently posted…Only the Weak Are Cruel *My Profile

  5. November 23, 2015 / 4:02 pm

    Thanks for sharing – as a new mum I seem to be constantly feeling anxious about something (am I doing this right, is that ok etc etc) I’m finding reading and writing blogs a great help (distraction!) Plus getting outside for a walk in the fresh air and daylight is a wonderful tonic (seems to have been dark and drizzly ever since my daughter was born – craving those bright autumn days again). Good to know I’m not alone.
    AmyLovestoSew recently posted…Maternity MakesMy Profile

    • November 24, 2015 / 9:48 am

      Ah yes, I had a winter baby too. I think that contributed to the beginning of my anxiety as I couldn’t get us outside as much as I would have liked. Sending hugs xx

  6. November 23, 2015 / 8:58 pm

    I suffer with crippling anxiety, worse since the birth of my last child. I am almost at the end of another round of CBT and have found it really helpful this time in dealing with my anxiety. I have gone from having several panic attacks a day to having less than one each week, something which a few weeks ago felt impossible!! I use a lot of the techniques you mention, for me focusing on my breathing is probably the most effective. Thank you for sharing!! #justanotherlinky
    laura dove recently posted…The end of an eraMy Profile

  7. November 24, 2015 / 1:16 pm

    Well done on opening up and sharing – Writing about such things can give you perspective I find and I hope this helped you. Heres to a good day today #fromtheheart
    Lisa Savage recently posted…Make You Feel My LoveMy Profile

  8. November 30, 2015 / 5:41 pm

    I was JUST on another blog reading a post about how anxious all new mums generally feel. I love your tips because I think they apply whether you suffer from anxiety attacks or are just generally nervous. I found my hypnobirthing tapes were quite useless at removing the pain of birth but great preparation for remaining calm once the baby had arrived! Thanks for sharing #fromtheheart
    Julie recently posted…Advice from the heart #12My Profile

    • December 1, 2015 / 5:10 pm

      Lovely comment, thank you. Definitely would work for anyone feeling a bit overwhelmed! xx

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