Although it is common to become anxious about a major event or change in lives, nearly 40 million Americans struggle with an anxiety disorder that is more than just occasional concern or fear. Anxiety disorders can range from a generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), an extreme concern that you can’t control, to panic disorders, like unexpected episodes of terror, tremble, shake, or sweat.
For anxiety disorders, it is important to consider strategies, such as speech therapy or medicines, that can help manage or reduce anxiety in the long term. However, everyone can benefit from other ways to reduce stress and anxiety with lifestyle changes, like eating a balanced diet and reducing alcohol and caffeine.
Therefore, you should take steps when panic begins to remain. Try out these 10 expertly supported proposals to relax your mind and help you regain control over your thoughts.
1. Stay in your time zone
Fear is a forward-looking state of mind. “Remain back now,” says Tamar Chansky, Ph.D., a psychologist and writer of Free Yourself from Anxiety rather than thinking about what is going to happen. Ask yourself: right now, what is happening? Am I safe? Do I need to do it right now? If it doesn’t, make an “appointment” later in the day to discuss your questions so that the far-off possibilities don’t throw you off track, she says.
2. Relabel what’s going on
Panic attacks will sometimes make you feel like you are dying of a heart attack. Remember: “I’m going to have a panic attack, but it’s safe, it’s temporary, and I don’t have to do anything,” says Chansky. However, note that it is actually the opposite of the imminent death sign— the body activates its fight-or-flight response, the mechanism that keeps you alive, she says.
3. Check the facts of your thoughts
Chansky says that people with anxiety sometimes focus on worst-case scenarios. Consider about how practical they are to counter these issues. Say you’re worried about a big show at work. Instead of thinking, say, “I’ll bomb,” for instance, “I’m nervous, but I’m ready. Many things are going well, and some may not, “she says. Moving into a new pattern of thinking about your fears helps your brain develop a logical way of dealing with your anxious feelings.
4. Check the facts of your thoughts
Chansky says that people with anxiety frequently concentrate on worst-case scenarios. Consider about how practical they are to counter these issues. Say you’re nervous about a great performance at work. Instead of thinking, for example, “I’m going to bomb,” say, “I’m nervous, but I’m confident. Many stuff will be perfect, and some may not, “she says. To rethink your fears helps to train your brain in a logical way to deal with your anxious thoughts.
5. Breathe in and out
Deep breathing allows you to relax. While you might have heard of particular breathing exercises, Chansky says you do not have to think about counting a certain number of breaths. Alternatively, emphasis only on standardized inhalation and exhalation. She says that will help slow down and re-center the mind.
6. Follow rule 3-3-3
Look around and name three things you’re seeing. Then name three sounds. Then name three sounds. Eventually, transfer your body’s three pieces-your foot, your hands or your back. If you feel your brain going 100 miles an hour, this trick will help focus your mind, getting you back to the current moment, says Chansky.
7. Do something.
Pause, pace, throw a trash off your desk— any behavior that breaks your thought train helps you regain a sense of control, Chansky suggests.
8. Stand up straight
“When we’re nervous, we cover our upper body–in the place of our heart and our lungs, hunch over it,” says Chansky. Pull your shoulders back, stand or sit with your feet and raise your neck to provide an immediate physical response to this natural reaction. It makes the body feel that it is back in control, she says.
9. Stay away with the sugar
When you’re depressed it may be tempting to try something sweet, but this chocolate bar can do more harm than good, because research has shown that eating too much sugar may exacerbate your anxiety. Instead of entering the sweetheart, drink a glass of water or eat protein, Chansky says, which gives the body a slow energy to recover.
10. Demand a second opinion
Call or email a friend or family member and deal with their problems, Chansky states. “It can allow you to better see what it is by saying it aloud to someone else.” It can also help to put your worries on paper.
11. Watch a funny video
This final strategy could be the simplest yet: Check out your favorite or funny TV show. Laughing is a good remedy for an anxious mind, says Chansky. Research shows that laughter can have many benefits for our mental health and well-being; one study found that humor can lead to lower anxiety (or more than) exercise.