If you are struggling with anxiety, you may be looking for tips on ways to manage it. There is a wide range of things that can help with anxiety, and while feelings of panic and terror should not be ignored, there are ways you can send helpful messages to your brain that it is safe and can come down from high alert.
Here at New Leaf Counseling, we created a list of tips to help you handle anxiety in a healthy way.
Too many people find unhealthy ways to cope with anxiety, such as temporarily putting a halt to panic with alcohol, binging food, or numbing with television only to feel worse once the coping wears off.
Try to find healthier ways to practice self-care, such as picking up a new hobby, using adult coloring books, or writing in a journal.
These practices can put your mind into a different place and hopefully stop a panic attack before it gets too bad.
Learn How to Stop Panic Attacks
It’s essential to understand when trying to stop a panic attack, that it takes a little trial and error until you figure out the methods that are going to help you as an individual. Every person is different so a technique that helps one individual may not be as beneficial to another individual. Here at New Leaf, we listed some different methods you can try when you feel a panic attack coming on:
Count Backward From 100
Counting back from 100 gives your brain a different focus. Picture the numbers decreasing in your head while counting down to help your brain think of something else
Say “NO!” Out Loud
Sometimes just acknowledging a thought or fear by saying “no” to it will make it lose its power. Too often we get bogged down with racing thoughts, concerns, and fears, but if we take a moment to picture the thing that is making us anxious and speaking to it, it can make it feel less scary or overwhelming.
Listen to Music
Try laying down, closing your eyes and listening to a calming song- nothing too loud or fast-paced. Focus on the words and think about how they apply to your life. This practice will give your brain a new focus.
Who are your trusted people? Call one of them up to talk you through your panic attack. Sometimes talking to our favorites can center us and bring us back to reality, calm our brain and let it know, “you are safe.”
Try Natural Remedies For Anxiety
While you should still consider anxiety medication if your doctor suggests it, the following natural remedies can also be a huge help.
An excellent treatment to help with anxiety is essential oils. They are extracted from flowers, herbs, and plants and used as a way to calm you down and keep away panic and anxiety. Certain essential oils are better for anxiety because they create a calm environment and reduce the number of panic attacks you experience. You can add some drops to a bath at night, use an essential oils diffuser, or even make tea with some of these oils.
Here are some of our favorites essential oils to use for stress:
The healthier you are on a physical level, the healthier you will be on a mental level. Cutting back on stimulants like alcohol and caffeine can be very helpful, but you should also look for other ways to improve your health.
Things, like eating better and focusing on proper nutrition, and getting regular exercise, will help tremendously with managing your anxiety daily.
An excellent way to combine sunlight and exercising is to go for a walk outside, go hiking, or find another outdoor activity. Even if you don’t want to exercise outside, getting more physical activity is helpful in calming anxiety. It gets your blood pumping, distracts your mind, and can help de-stress as well.
Proper nutrition is essential to treating your anxiety naturally. One of the more essential nutrients to make sure you get each day is your omega-3 fatty acids. Try to aim for 2-3 grams of omega-3s every day. They will help to lower stress chemicals, which can then reduce your anxiety and risks of panic attacks. You can take a supplement, but it is better to get nutrients from natural food sources. For omega-3 fatty acids, this includes fish like salmon and tuna, as well as whole grains, flax seeds, and walnuts.
Another nutrient that helps naturally treat your anxiety is vitamin D. The best way to get more vitamin D is actually through sunlight. When the weather is nicer, there are a lot of ways to fit in some extra sunlight, whether you take your lunch break outdoors or you go for a walk in the afternoon before the sun goes down. However, when sunlight is lacking in the winter season, it is beneficial to take vitamin D supplements. Vitamin D helps more with overall feelings of happiness and energy levels. When the weather is nicer, there are a lot of ways to fit in some extra sunlight, whether you take your lunch break outdoors or you go for a walk in the afternoon before the sun goes down.
Know When to Seek Help
Lastly, anxiety isn’t something that you should have to suffer through. If it is keeping you from social situations, affecting work or school, or impacting your personal relationships, it is probably time to seek professional help. Talk to your family doctor, a therapist, counselor, or anyone else that has experience with anxiety and panic attacks. Here at New Leaf Counseling, we would be honored to walk with you through managing and healing from anxiety.