Anxiety is something that I suffer with on a daily basis and will probably live with for the rest of my life. I used to get panic attacks quite frequently but after having anxiety for around 9 years, I've learnt quite a lot of techniques to distract myself when I can feel them coming on. Panic attacks are horrific, by far the worst thing that has ever happened to me and I know how scary it is especially when it's your first one and you have no idea what it is. These techniques work for me so I'm really hoping you'll be able to find at least one that works for you too!
- Go outside - focus on the clouds and the outdoorsy sounds around you. It'll help you feel less trapped and the change of scenery will distract you.
- Think about how many things you've already overcome - often when we get panic attacks we feel silly and half of the time we're not even sure what we're panicking about! Just lie down and think about all the other panic attacks you've had and all the great stuff you've achieved in life. This panic attack will not win, you can beat it.
- Pinch yourself - I know this sounds ridiculous but this is actually the most effective way for me to stop a panic attack from coming on! Whenever I start feeling a little odd, I'll either pull a strand of my hair or pinch myself - not very hard but hard enough to feel a little bit of pain. It stops my mind from panicking and puts it on to the physical pain I'm feeling instead.
- Tweet about how you're feeling - there are tons of supportive people on Twitter who can relate to exactly how you're feeling and will offer you so many words of wisdom when your anxiety is at it's worst. It'll make you feel 10 times better knowing you're not alone.
- Paint your nails - This is a pretty difficult task to do when you can feel a panic attack approaching, you might be shakey and it'll take serious skills to paint your nails but stick with it because you'll be using 100% of your concentration meaning that that pesky panic attack is going awaaaay.
- Quotes, quotes and more quotes - I have a whole load of quotes I stole from Pinterest saved on my phone. Whenever I'm having a bad day, I'll read ten or so and they'll instantly improve my mood.
- Ring someone who understands - this is one for when you're alone! Don't ring a friend who doesn't understand anxiety and will just tell you 'you're fine' and to 'stop worrying'. Ring someone who's suffered with panic attacks before, just knowing they're at the end of the phone will be a comfort even if you just spend the whole of the phonecall crying.
- Rescue Remedy - My mum introduced me to the Rescue Remedy pastilles but it also comes in a spray. I tend to keep a tub of the pastilles in my bag for when I'm feeling particularly anxious. There isn't any sort of medicine in Rescue Remedy, it's all natural ingredients so I don't know how it works but it does!
- Get more sleep than usual - I know it's all well and good saying go to sleep earlier particularly if you have trouble sleeping because of anxiety but a good nights sleep will make you feel calmer and more rational. I tend to notice my anxiety is at it's worst when I lack sleep.
- BREATHE! - Make yourself a cup of tea, hot chocolate or any other drink that takes your fancy and sit yourself down on the sofa and breathe. Breathe in and out until your heart stops racing and after a couple of minutes you should feel a lot more relaxed.
I really hope these tips were useful to you, please let me know if they are! Do you have any other tips for dealing with panic attacks?