HOW TO CALM DOWN AN ANXIETY ATTACK?

panic attack at work

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How to calm down an anxiety attack
How to Calm down an Anxiety Attack

TABLE OF CONTENTS

    INTRODUCTION – HOW TO CALM DOWN AN ANXIETY ATTACK.

    In today’s society, people are experiencing more and more pressure from the outside world. It could be anything from relationship stress, work stress or family stress. As a counsellor, I have put together six helpful approaches to help when an anxiety attack happens. Anxiety attacks, also known as panic attacks, can be overwhelming, bringing intense feelings of fear, discomfort, and a host of physical symptoms that can make you feel like you’re losing control or even having a heart attack. But there’s hope.

    Understanding how to manage these attacks can significantly reduce their intensity and frequency, empowering you to regain control over your life. This blog post offers six practical tips to help you calm down during an anxiety attack, drawing on expert advice and proven techniques.

    1. Recognise and Accept.

    The first step in calming an anxiety attack is recognising it for what it is. Understand that an anxiety attack is a heightened response to stress or fear, not a sign of personal weakness. Accepting that you’re experiencing an attack without judgment can help reduce its intensity, as resistance often exacerbates symptoms.

    2. Practice Deep Breathing

    Deep breathing exercises can be efficient in managing the symptoms of an anxiety attack. Slow, deep breaths help decrease the heart rate, stabilise blood pressure, and promote a sense of calm. Techniques like the 4-7-8 method, where you inhale for 4 seconds, hold your breath for 7 seconds, and exhale slowly for 8 seconds, can be particularly beneficial.

    3. Focus on the Present

    Grounding techniques that bring your focus to the Present can also help calm an anxiety attack. This can be achieved through sensory engagement. The 333 Rule and the 54321 grounding technique are on my YouTube channel. These grounding methods help divert your attention from the source of anxiety to your immediate surroundings.

    4. Use Positive Affirmation

    Positive affirmations can help shift your mindset during an anxiety attack. Repeating reassuring and calming phrases such as “I am safe” or “This will pass” can help reduce the panic and provide a mental anchor until the feelings subside.

    5. Seek Comfort in Movement

    Engaging in gentle physical activity, like walking or stretching, can help release the built-up tension that accompanies an anxiety attack. Movement can also redirect your mind away from anxious thoughts and provide a natural outlet for stress.

    6. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.

    Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a highly effective approach for treating anxiety and panic attacks, primarily due to its focus on the interconnectedness of thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. This therapeutic method illuminates how negative and irrational thoughts can lead to distressing feelings and maladaptive behaviours, creating a vicious cycle that perpetuates anxiety and panic.

    The core principle of CBT is that our thoughts about a situation affect how we feel and behave. For instance, if you interpret a situation as dangerous or threatening (thought), you will feel anxious (feeling) and may avoid similar situations in the future (behaviour). This avoidance, in turn, reinforces the original thought, creating a feedback loop that can escalate anxiety and lead to panic attacks.

    CBT techniques aim to break this cycle by challenging these negative and often distorted thoughts. The process involves identifying these thoughts, evaluating them critically to determine their accuracy, and discarding them if they are irrational or baseless. This is often achieved through a technique known as cognitive restructuring, where you learn to replace negative thoughts with more realistic and balanced ones.

    For example, if you’re prone to thinking, “If I go to this party, I will make a fool of myself, and everyone will judge me,” CBT would challenge you to examine the evidence for this belief. If there’s no substantial evidence to support this thought, you’re encouraged to discard it and replace it with a more realistic statement, such as, “Not everyone will be focused on me, and it’s okay to make mistakes. It’s an opportunity to learn and connect with others.”

    By systematically challenging and replacing irrational thoughts, CBT helps reduce the intensity of anxiety and panic attacks. This process not only alleviates immediate symptoms but also equips individuals with the skills to manage future episodes of anxiety, fostering long-term resilience and mental health well-being. (My CBT workbook can be a great help)

    CONCLUSION – HOW TO CALM DOWN AN ANXIETY ATTACK.

    While anxiety attacks can be frightening, they are manageable with the right strategies. Recognising the attack, practising deep breathing, staying grounded in the Present, using positive affirmations, and finding comfort in the movement are all effective techniques that can help you regain control during these intense moments. Lastly, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy can be one of the best remedies for anxiety and panic attacks.  

    Go to my YouTube channel, and you will find several videos to help stop anxiety attacks. Remember, it’s always okay to seek professional help if your anxiety feels too much to handle alone. With time and practice, you can navigate these challenges confidently and efficiently, moving towards a calmer, more centred you.

    https://lindamcowan.com/30-days-to-reduce-anxiety

    How to calm down an anxiety attack
    How to calm down an anxiety attack