How To Calm Yourself Down From An Anxiety Attack
Panic attacks can be debilitating. You may feel like you’re having a heart attack or even dying. Calming yourself during a panic attack can seem impossible. If you experience feelings of anxiety frequently, it can help to have an anxiety relief game plan in place.
- Notice what’s happening
The faster you can identify the stress response as a panic attack, the faster you can regain control and manage your symptoms.
- Label your thoughts
The act of labeling and describing our thoughts in detail pulls us out of the emotion center of the brain and into the prefrontal cortex. This will help make it easier to reframe your emotions so theyre not so overwhelming.
- Get to a safe place
If youre expending a lot of emotional energy trying to appear okay, leave for a place where you feel safe. Whether that’s the bathroom, an office, your bedroom, or just outside, you’ll feel better if you’re trying if you’re not trying to look fine.
- Reduce stimuli
Particularly for highly sensitive people, excess stimulation can result in panic attacks. Take steps to reduce the input in your environment. Turn off the radio and the ringer on your cell phone. Put your fan on silent, close the window, and turn off the lights. Take a few moments to bring your attention to your body and a few deep breaths.
- Let someone else tell you what to do for a bit
Pour A Few Drops Of Lavender Essential Oil
There are different theories as how and why lavender oil calms you down. Some scientists believe that lavender stimulates the activity of brain cells in the amygdala similar to the way some sedatives work. Others think molecules from essential oils interact in the blood with enzymes and hormones. Research backs its soothing results. A study published in the American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine measured the responses of 17 cancer hospice patients to humidified essential lavender oil aromatherapy. Results reflected a positive change in blood pressure and pulse, pain, anxiety, depression, and sense of well-being. I sometimes use lavender oil to sleep better.
What Happens When Youre Bumped Out Of The Resilient Zone
Its natural part of life to get bumped out of your zone of resilience due to stressful events, trauma, or re-triggering of past trauma. When that happens you can get stuck in your high stress zone or the low zone. What does that look like?
In the high stress zone, its common to feel or notice:
Learning to recognize when youre in your Resilient Zone, Low Zone, or High Zone will empower you to manage stress and the after-effects of trauma more effectively.
Micro-Action: As you move through the coming week, if you wish, pause at different times during the day to get to know your own zones. Tune into whether youre in your Resilient, Low or High Zone, and the associated sensations. Notice the sensations in your body. Are they pleasant, unpleasant or neutral?
If you find yourself in the Low or High Zone, use one of the 10 Help Now! Skills shared below to bring you back into your OK Zone.
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Staying Calm Leads To Better Focus
When you are stressed, you often get distracted and lose focus. You lose your train of thought. You forget what you were trying to do. You make mistakes. You say the wrong things, and so on. This makes you feel bad. This makes you feel like you’re a failure.
Therefore, staying calm when you know you’ll be stressed will help you focus. This gives you control over the situation. It allows you to think more clearly. It enables you to think about what you are doing. It allows you to make decisions. It helps you make choices. It enables you to decide which decision is best for you.
How To Calm Down Quickly
Something sets you off, and before long, you feel stuck in an endless loop of intrusive thoughts, pondering every possible thing that could go wrong. Your body tenses, your breathing quickens, and you can hear your heartbeat pounding in your ears.
When you feel anxiety kick in like this, its time to calm yourself down. The first step is awareness. Its a good idea to learn to recognize the first signs of anxiety and get to work right away before experiencing an episode.
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Surround Yourself With Positive People
You probably have a few people in your life who can make you feel stressed just by being around them. While its not always possible to cut these people out of your life entirely, when youre under pressure try to spend more time with friends and family who are helpful, positive, and will lift you up rather than drag you down
Combat Stressful Situations By Closing Your Eyes
Aron says that 80 percent of sensory stimulation comes in through the eyes, so shutting them every now and then gives your brain a much-needed break. She also says that she has found that highly sensitive persons do better if they can stay in bed with their eyes closed for nine hours. We dont have to be sleeping. Just lying in bed with our eyes closed allows for some chill time that we need before being bombarded with stimulation.
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What Is The Resilient Zone
Once stress has hijacked your body and brain, you want to get back to your Resilient Zone as soon as possible. What is the Resilient Zone?
CRM describes the Resilient Zone as a state of well-being in mind, body, and spirit. Youre in your Resilient Zone when you feel capable of handling the stresses of life. Its also called the OK Zone, a term that works especially well when sharing these skills with children. And some of my friends in the CRM teacher training here in Hawaii dubbed it the Aloha Zone.
The Resilient Zone isnt the same as a happy zone. You may feel happy and content at times when youre in the OK Zone, but you can also feel challenged. Difficult emotions like anger, annoyance, sadness, or fear can arise.
The difference is, when youre in the Resilient Zone, you dont feel overwhelmed, disabled, or swept away by events, triggers, or your associated emotions. You feel able to handle whatever arises.
Some people have big zones of resilience. Others have small ones. Its different for every individual depending on many factors from genetics to environmental stresses to previous life experiences that may have made you more vulnerable.
Heres the good news. By using the skills taught in CRM, you can gradually strengthen your Resilient Zone, so stress and trauma impact you less.
How To Calm Yourself Down When Depressed
When you’re feeling depressed, it can be overwhelming. Depression has a habit of compounding. It steals your energy, making it harder to do the things that you know would make you feel better which makes you feel more depressed. Having a go-to list of ways to feel better when youre down can stop depression from gaining momentum.
Exercise and physical well-being have a well-documented effect on mood. Increasing your heart rate releases endorphins, the feel-good hormones in the body, and lowers your blood pressure. If you’re feeling depressed, try any physical activity you enjoy. You could take a quick walk, book a fitness class, or even dance to a fun song.
- Do something small for yourself
When we’re down, it’s easy to forget to handle the basic necessities. We may not have the energy to tackle these things or might not see the point. Take a shower and eat something small. Even if you don’t feel 100% better, you will feel more accomplished.
Ever had a moment where something silly made you laugh, even when you were in a really bad mood? It can be a turning point in your mood. Keep a go-to list of TV shows, comedy specials, or other resources for when you need a good laugh to get out of a bad mood.
- Reach out for help
If youve been diagnosed with depression and youre feeling off, reach out to your therapist. An LCSW or counselor can teach you how to manage your emotional health. Having someone in your corner can make a world of difference.
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Simple Ways You Can Create A Calmer Life
Learning how to calm down doesnt just involve learning ways to calm down during a moment of acute anxiety or panic. One of the best ways to manage your stress and anxiety is to be proactive, so that you experience fewer moments of anxiety overall.
What does that mean? It means living your life with intention, and practicing certain techniques including the ones that might come in handy during an anxiety attack on a regular basis.
Here are some things you can incorporate in your day-to-day life to be calmer overall, and so that, when you are inevitably faced with the common stressors of life, you will have experience in how to calm down.
- Practice breathing on a regular basis try different techniques and incorporate them into your day.
- Write down your worries and fears you can do this at night right before bed, you might even sleep better.
- Exercise regularly even a walk down the block will help keep your anxiety in check overall.
- Reduce caffeine and sugar these are stimulants that can irritate your nervous system.
- Mediate even five minutes a day can have an impact on your mental health.
- Talk it out have a friend or two you can confide in when the anxiety starts creeping in.
- Learn to say no this can be to situations, people that are triggering, or who arent kind or compassionate.
- Learn to say yes to self-care, mental health days, and hobbies and interests that nourish your spirit.
Set Yourself Up For Healthy Sleep When Stressed And Anxious
If you try all of these steps and still struggle to sleep soundly, consider reaching out to your doctor or a sleep expert for support. Treatments for a generalized anxiety disorder or a sleep disorder can vary significantly.
One mental health treatment, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia , is an evidence-based therapeutic technique that looks at the interplay of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that can impact sleep.
Your sleep and anxiety are interconnected. Finding ways to better manage one will ultimately help you find relief with the other.
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Simple Grounding Techniques For Calming Down Quickly
One of the tools I teach my clients to utilize when they feel anxious is called Grounding. When your mind is racing mind, grounding brings you back to the here-and-now and is very helpful in managing overwhelming feelings or anxiety. It is a great way to calm down quickly.
Grounding basically means to bring your focus to what is happening to you physically, either in your body or in your surroundings, instead of being trapped by the thoughts in your mind that are causing you to feel anxious. It helps you stay in the present moment instead of worrying about things that may happen in the future or events that have already happened but you still find yourself going over and over them in your head.
There are many ways to ground yourself when you feel anxious and overwhelmed and I decided to describe the 7 grounding techniques that I have found work best for myself and my clients.
Go And Be In Nature And Get Some Fresh Air
Natureis really amazing way that can help you to rest, relax and also it is great for dealing with when you are stressed. It can renew yourself and it also helps you to learn what you want to do in your life and with your life. It is a little bit like a reset button and makes you think about your priorities and, at the same understand who you are.
Being innaturegives you more energy to deal with everyday things and not only that, you reconnect with yourself and it is so great for your well-being.
The other thing to remember is that sometimes you just need nothing else than just fresh. Did you ever think that air circulation and temperature in a room can increase your anxiety or even anger?
These kinds of conditions can even cause a panic attack.
Even just feel minutes outside your office space can make you feel better. Fresh air can help you to calm down, but not only that. Change of environment and scenery can be good for you and sometimes interrupt your anxious thoughts and make you feel better.
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Sigh To Help Yourself Be Fully Present In The Moment
During the MBSR class, we would take a few mindful sighs between transitioning from one person speaking to another. You breathe in to a count of five through your mouth, and then you let out a very loud sigh, the sound you hear your teenager make. I was always amazed at how powerful those small sighs were to adjust my energy level and focus.
Spend The Whole Day Alone
If you get recharged by spending time alone, youre going to have to eventually just give yourself the space to recuperate and work through your stress alone.
Send the kids to their friends house for the day, kick the husband out to go play sports with his friends, whatever you need to do to get that one day of solitude.
And when you have it, plan for it.
Are you going to lounge around all day in your pajamas?
Are you going to get something done that has been stressing you for out forever?
Are you going to indulge in all of your favorite foods that your family isnt invited to share?Do what you need to do and enjoy the time spent alone.
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How To Calm Yourself Down At Work
Work can be a major source of stress and anxiety. Unfortunately, when we’re at work, it’s not always possible to just leave and get a massage or go for a run. Developing skills to help you calm yourself at work can improve your communication with your colleagues. It can boost your productivity and your satisfaction with your career.
- Take a break
If you work in an office even if its a home office a change of scenery can do you good. Take a quick walk or run some errands. Breaking from your routine will naturally give you some emotional and physical distance to process why you’re upset.
- Do something not work-related
If you find yourself triggered or upset during a meeting , try doing something else. In virtual meetings, go off-camera, color, draw, or squeeze a stress relief ball. For in-person meetings try massaging the palm of your hands or flexing your toes one by one. You can also practice mindful, deep breathing without anyone noticing.
- Set up a soothing workspace
If work is a source of chronic stress, set it up to be anxiety optimized. Declutter your desk, keeping only what makes you feel good or inspires you. Try adding a supportive mantra, an essential oil diffuser, or a small plant to your workspace. Move close to a window if possible.
Hanging Out With Friends
Relationships matter even for us introverts, says Stone. Research also tells us that isolating is one of the worst things for anxiety and depression.
So, consider making time for friends, family, and other social engagements.
Put yourself in social situations at least weekly as a part of your self-discipline to help you build community over time, says Stone.
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Practice Deep Breathing Exercises
Three deep-breathing techniques that Khanna recommends are alternating nostrils, implementing a seed mantra, and using bumblebee breath.
Another calming exercise is square breathing , a simple, yet powerful exercise for reducing overwhelm. Inhale two, three, four. Hold two, three, four. Exhale two, three, four. Hold two, three, four. The focus on the sensation of your breath and your concentration on counting should help you calm down.
Growing research reveals that deep-breathing exercises like these can actually trigger neurons in your brain that tell your body to relax. Researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine and the University of California have identified 175 brain cells that work with your breath and as such have the power to calm your mind.
How To Calm Down When Stressed
Sometimes it is not easy to calm down when you are stressed and full of anxiety, it seems that you cant even think clearly and your mind is clouded. So how can you get ready for your exam or meet a deadline in your work/job? You simply cant.
If you calmed down, you are also much better to understand your stress and what stressful situation you are experiencing in the first place and you can address the situation much better and help yourself to deal with stress much better in the long run.
So here are simple ways how you can help yourself. There are more than these five ways to calm yourself down, but here we talk only about five of these ways that could help you deal with stress.
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