As someone who has suffered from anxiety attacks since they were a teenager, I have learned a few ways to help stay and remain calm. While none of these tricks will cure an anxiety disorder, being able to manage it can help on your road to recovery.
Also, if you have any tricks you use to calm down from anxiety, share them in the comments below!
1) Understand Your Body
Straight forward. But this is still useful to understand. Sometimes when you finish eating a meal, you notice your body feeling a bit different.
This may sound pretty obvious, but trust me, you really notice the changes happening when you have anxiety issues. You get chest pain, heart rate goes up, feel like you are about to pass out, food coma incoming!
But this isn’t just for eating, this is whenever you notice your body reacting to anything. The room all of a sudden gets way too hot, but you start to think it’s just you and freak out.
You notice your back hurts all of a sudden, must be a tumor right? NOPE! Your back just hurts. You’re probably getting older, and are not prepared for the changes that happen as you age. Understanding those changes can help relax us a bit more and give you peace of mind.
2) Avoid Caffeine
This one is hard for me to even type out. But if you love coffee like I do, then try loving it a little less. Because caffeine is anxiety’s best friend. And when you take a sip of your favorite cup of Joe, you’re inviting an anxiety attack into your system as well.
Caffeine affects your central nervous system. And instead of getting into scientific data or information, it makes your body be more aware. It does this by increasing your heart rate, blood pressure, jitters, and alertness. It kicks off your flight or fight, and when you don’t see an actual threat, your body reacts by simply over stimulating your responses while you are just trying to relax.
Ironically! You can also get anxiety from caffeine withdrawals! Crazy right? It is finding the perfect balance of too much caffeine, or too little of it. Or even finding an alternative. Some people suggest tea, or decaf, but if you’re like me, you can say screw it!
You can keep enjoying your coffee, BUT understand the interactions it has on your brain and learn from them. Even therapist sometimes use caffeine on their patients who suffer with anxiety because it helps the patient feel how their brain changes in a safe environment.
If you are noticing you constantly have anxiety after you have 6 cups of coffee, you might want to reduce your intake.
3) Watch Porn
This isn’t a troll. This was something someone suggested to me once. AND IT WORKED!
While this is something you can’t just do whenever, it is still something you can practice when you’re in private. When the world feels scary, you think you’re about to pass out, you’re scared to leave the house in fear that something bad will happen, well just get your laptop and watch someone get banged into tomorrow.
It sounds silly, but it is that silliness that makes this work. You’re in such high alert, that countering it with another strong feeling such as being horny can calm you down. Because that is all it is, it is a feeling. You can get your body to turn on in a different way.~
Fun fact! Did you know masturbating can help get rid of headaches? So if your anxiety is causing headaches, them double win!
4) Reason With Your Thoughts
Basically, be a crazy person who talks to themselves.
Sometimes you just have to sit down and reason why you are feeling the way you are. Are those reasons logically valid? Is that something you should be worried about at that time? Why are you feeling this way? What is the probability that something bad would happen to only YOU at this moment, and no one else?
Being able to reason with your anxiety can help you gather your thoughts, realize you’re having an anxiety attack, and go back to what you were doing.
Use logic to combat fear.
5) Slowly Fix Your Problems
Once you reason with yourself and start to see where your problems could be stemming from, slowly fix them.
Tired of your room reflecting how you feel on the inside? Clean it up!
Always broke? Get a job! Have a job but still broke? Budget!
Bored? Hobby. No friends? Sucks to be you. Just kidding, use MeetUp and find people with similar interest and hang out with them.
Once you start fixing areas of your life, you begin enjoying it more rather than being scared of it.
Create a goal list, kinda like New Years Resolution, but think of smaller scale. What is one big achievable goal you want to accomplish this month? Take that one goal, and break it down into smaller achievable goals and work on each one every week. While not an instant gratification method of fixing everything, you will see a better quality of life for yourself once you start achieving said goals.
6) Low-Fi Hip-Hop Music
Low-fi music is lower beat music that counter parts music you would generally hear on the radio. It is meant to relax the mood rather than increase it. The mellow beats within low-fi is for a calmer reaction to whoever is listening to it. Perfect for those who have trouble dealing with anxiety.
Fear not my fellow reader! I will provide a link to a popular playlist for you to get started on your low-fi journey.
Click me for epic calm music
7) You’re Not Gonna Die
Bottom line, you’re not gonna die. I mean, you will one day. But not today. You’re just having an anxiety attack. And the thought that always comes to mind when you are having anxiety is the thought of death taking you for absolutely no reason. I REPEAT, YOU’RE NOT GONNA DIE! It is just easier to go to that conclusion of just dying on the spot. But again, reason with yourself. It is irrational that you just die. If you are experiencing other symptoms other than those of anxiety, then you should go see a doctor to get peace of mind. If you don’t have insurance or think it is an emergency, then go to urgent care to quickly get examined. The sooner you can get confirmation that you are in fact NOT GONNA DIE, the better you will feel.
8) Avoid WebMD
YES! DON’T EVER GO ON WEBMD!!!!!
I swear, the name of this website should be changed to ParanoiaLOL. This website is the bane of anxiety’s existence. Possibly the worst thing you could do for yourself. Just don’t. Even if you do think something is seriously wrong for you, don’t go on WebMD. Go to the hospital. WebMD, while it is a nice idea, it just doesn’t work too well in practice.
You have bump on leg, WebMD what it could be. Boom you now discovered you may have a rare disease that has only been documented 5 times of human history that has no cure and you’re doomed.
Don’t stress yourself out more by scaring yourself with a bunch of scary symptoms. Talk to a doctor. A therapist. Just don’t talk to your Google Search bar and click on the first WebMD article that pops up. It isn’t worth it.
Hope you found some of these tips useful. I tried to stay away from the normal “do yoga” or “learn to breathe” techniques that everyone always tells you about. While useful information, it is too obvious.
Some of these tips are easy to do like watching porn, but others might take some time. But preventive measures for your anxiety is the best way to manage it and get it under control.
Again if you have any tips you want to share, let me know in the comments below!
If you are experiencing extreme anxiety along with depression, then give this number a call. Reach out to someone to talk to as soon as possible.
National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255
Photo Credit: Abenius