Anxiety attacks can be devastating, immediate, and come on without warning. Even those who have consistent panic attacks can be caught off-guard by the immediate ferocity that they can provide. The good news is that you can do something about these anxiety attacks through the use of mindfulness meditation.
These 5 tips can help you stay in better control, defeat anxiety, and ultimately win the day:
Tip #1: Identify the Source of Your Anxiety
A good question to ask yourself when you feel anxious is “What has triggered my anxiety?” Pause when you feel that anxiety and examine your environment, your thought patterns, and the stressors that are in your life. Anxiety triggers can be internal, external, or a combination of both. Without recognizing the trigger, you’ll never be able to stay in control!
Let’s say you have a dear friend who has the on-going problem of falling asleep at night. You spend the day hanging out with this friend. The focus of your conversation throughout the day with this friend is about how he cannot fall asleep at night. You might even discuss the various methods he has used to get to sleep without success. By the end of the day, you find yourself having trouble falling asleep and feel anxious. In this case, the anxiety you are feeling was triggered by the memory of the conversation.
Tip #2: Get Out of Your Environment
When an anxiety attack appears, the tendency that many have is to sit and dwell on this panic. When this happens, the anxiety attack deepens because dwelling on this emotion creates a negative spiral that can lead to the breakdown of any installed mental barriers. Get up, go grab some water, or just go outside and take a deep breath. By changing your environment, you’ll be able to potentially break the cycle of the anxiety attack.
Focus on your senses. What are you seeing? What are you smelling? What are you hearing? By focusing on your senses, it takes you away from focusing on the anxiety at hand. By focusing on your senses, it will help you bring your awareness to the present moment.
Tip #3: Use Meditation Techniques To Gain Control
Breathing is one of the most critical components of meditation and it can also help you be able to lessen the ferocity of a panic attack. Pause for a few minutes and focus attention on your breathing patterns. Count 1, 2, 3, 4 in your mind when inhaling. Count 1, 2, 3, 4 when exhaling. Do this as many times as needed. As you do so, you will find your racing thoughts will begin to slow down and eventually. You may even find a moment of clarity during this exercise!
Tip #4: Remember a Recent Calming Experience
Anxiety attacks tend to become more frequent and more ferocious over time because the mind and the body are training themselves to expect them. Because they are expected, the uncontrolled emotion must become greater to have an impact! If you can, remember a place where you were able to calm yourself down and stay in control. The more recent the memory you have of this calming experience, the more effective it will be. Why? Because just as an anxiety attack can train the mind, so can calming experiences.
Tip #5: Seek Out a Conversation
Just being able to talk about bad things with a trusted loved one who won’t judge you is often enough to break the cycle of a panic attack. Don’t dwell on the bad things because that could initiate another trigger, which would then simply prolong the anxiety you’re experience. Talking helps the mind process information and by processing information, the focus won’t be on the anxiety, but what to do with that anxiety!
Do you have strategies that help you cope with an anxiety attack? Please let a comment with us to share what has helped you so that together we can navigate through anxiety attacks and hopefully eliminate them one day!