Anxiety is a pain when it rears its ugly head. And rear it, it can when anxiety turns in to a panic attack that may be coupled with: sweating, shaking, feeling short of breath, dizziness or feeling like you’re losing control to name a few. When you’re in that moment, it can be hard to step back and look at what’s going on so you can analyze the situation. Quieting anxiety can be helpful in order to deescalate those feelings and recover a sense of control.
One way you can do this is to make a list of things you can do to help support and calm yourself. Here are some ideas that you might find helpful:
- Write down what is causing the anxiety in order to analyze it (example further below)
- Take a nap
- Get outside in nature
- Try guided meditation
- Read a favorite book
- Listen to music you love
- Look at Pinterest
- Watch funny videos
There are so many more ideas available on the internet, plus you can personalize it based on what has worked for you in the past. I recommend printing the list out and keeping it available where you can constantly see it. You can keep a copy in your sock drawer, on top of your dresser or on your phone. The purpose of seeing it often is to reminder yourself that you do have tools and can turn to them for relief at any time.
Writing down the anxiety trigger may be challenging for some. I have found it to be a helpful tool when I need to objectively write down the facts and remind myself that I can handle the situation. Back in March I was scheduled for back surgery and spent the two weeks prior cramming in work to clear my schedule for the appointment and the recovery. All was going well until I had nothing left to do a few days ahead of time. That’s when my brain decided to panic.
At that time, I didn’t have this list and I forgot all of my coping skills. So I ended up a heaping mess crying over what I thought could happen or go wrong, that I didn’t feel tough enough and couldn’t handle the thought of surgery and that I wanted my mother to take care of me. I’ve reflected on this situation often to see what I could have done differently and here is an example of what I would have written down at that time:
Feelings vs. Facts
- Something could go wrong in surgery (Feelings) / If something came up, there are plenty of trained and capable staff available to handle the situation (Facts)
- I’m not tough enough for surgery (Feelings) / I don’t have to be tough and can express my feelings and emotions as I need to (Facts)
- I want my mother to take care of me (Feelings) / I could call my mother and ask her what she would be comfortable helping me with (Facts)
If making a list isn’t your thing, take a break and laugh; find videos of cute animals. Blow some bubbles even if that means you have to break out the dish soap to make some. If you love herbal remedies, check out my post that includes a recipe for Anxiety Relief Tea. The point is to remember you have the power to change any situation.
Until next time, discover the power of the quieting your anxiety.
- Everything You Need to Know About Anxiety. (n.d.). Healthline. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/anxiety-symptoms