4 Best Methods of Coping with Anxiety Attacks

coping with anxiety attacks

We have all experienced anxiety, and at normal levels, it does not prevent us from attending to our daily concerns. However, when anxiety becomes serious and crippling enough to get in the way of our day-to-day interaction with others and in performing our jobs and duties, that’s when it becomes a huge problem. Also, you don’t have to be always on the edge to be classified as one who is suffering from anxiety—sometimes, you’re probably just unable to sleep on most nights, or you tend to jump whenever you hear a distant gate slammed. In any case, from mild to severe cases, coping with anxiety attacks is something that you should not delay—after all, these four ways of managing anxiety can be done right away.

1. Learn to recognize when you’re having an anxiety attack

The most common manifestations of an anxiety attack are the pounding chest, hyperventilation and a sense of impending doom. During such an attack, our sense of danger may be over-excessive and does not reflect reality. The first means of managing an anxiety attack, therefore, is learning to recognize that it is only an attack—tell yourself that you’re still in control, and whatever over-acting sense of danger you’re feeling is just that—a feeling, an anxiety, and ultimately, a false alarm. Your house won’t be razed to the ground just because you “probably” left the iron on. You must realize and remember that many of the things we feel and sense are actually harmless, and you only need some perspective to get out of it.

2. Make deep breaths

When you realize that you’re having an anxiety attack, stop what you’re doing and make deep breaths. In fact, deep breathing is one of the quickest and most effective ways of coping with anxiety attacks—the positive effect can be felt immediately, such as calming you down or eliminating that “tunnel vision.” Deep breathing can also control your hyperventilation and lower your blood pressure, which in turn can enable you to calm down yourself. One good deep breathing technique is what we call the 30-second deep breathing exercise: stand or sit still, breathe deeply and slowly, inhaling through your nostrils and exhaling through your mouth. Repeat this up to six times within 30 seconds, and you’ll immediately feel the difference.

3. Use muscle tension to your advantage

Another easy yet effective way of coping with anxiety attacks is using muscle tension: tense your whole body or different parts of your body, hold the tension for a few seconds, then release it. You’ll immediately feel relaxed and more “in control.” If it doesn’t work the first time, repeat a couple more times, or as often as necessary. Doing this also works well with deep breathing.

4. Meditate

Engaging in meditation is more a long-term solution than a quick fix, but it is definitely extremely effective in coping with anxiety attacks. It treats anxiety right at its root causes by boosting the brain’s production of certain neurochemicals that help stabilize our mood. For instance, meditation is known to boost our GABA levels, which significantly mitigate the anxiety, tension and other damaging impulses. Moreover, meditation also works well in helping you get deep, restful sleep as it also increases your body’s production of melatonin—and note that this melatonin increase is achieved without taking any drug. Stress and anxiety depletes our melatonin levels, so boosting melatonin levels by meditation can enable you to manage your anxiety attacks better than ever. Eventually, with regular meditation, as well as performing all the other tips in this article, you’ll be able to live a happier, anxiety-free life.


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