I am currently writing this on an airplane. Quick fact about me, I hate flying. I have severe anxiety about, well many things, but flying is certainly top of the list. A year ago, I never would have been able to write a blog post on a plane. However, now I can. Today, I want to share a few tips to ease anxiety that have helped me.
Through books, articles, and lots of trial and error I have discovered four ways to ease my panic attacks. I hope in sharing them with you, you are able to face some of your anxieties.
If you suffer from anxiety or panic, try these things to snap yourself back to reality. Please remember, it is okay if these tips to ease anxiety do not work for you. You are on your own journey, so do not get frustrated if what works for me does not work for you.
1. Go through your senses
I have been doing this exercise for a long time, and it works. If you start to feel panicky, pick a spot in front of you and stare at it. Do not look away. Now, either out loud or to yourself, list five things you can see. These are things you can physically see in front of you or in your peripheral vision. Again do not look away from that spot in front of you. After that, list five things you hear, feel, and smell. Listing these things will help bring you back to what is actually happening. Whatever is stressing you out is probably imagined in your head. Focusing on what is actually happening in real life will push those imaginary thoughts out.
2. Try this easy meditation
I recently read this tip in Women’s Health magazine. It helped me relax on the flight I am currently on, so I think it is a winner. Touch your thumb to your index finger and say “peace” (out loud or to yourself), then touch your middle finger and say, “begins”, next touch your ring finger and say “with”, finally touch your pinkie and say “me”. Repeat this as many times as you need. This will quiet your mind and help you focus on the now.
3. Simple hand motion
This next tip is from the book, Heal Your Drained Brain by Dr. Mike Dow. By the way, I recommend this book to anyone who suffers from anxiety or depression. Rub your hands together as fast as you can until they start to generate heat. As soon as you feel that warmth, place your hands over your eyes. The warmth will relax your muscles and calm you down. The action of creating heat with your own hands will remind you that you that “you have the power to change your present state. You can change the temperature of your hands in the same way that you can change how your mind is operating in the present moment.”
This may sound simple, but breathing is difficult when you are feeling anxious. You will have to force your breathing to slow down. Inhale for five seconds, hold for five seconds, exhale for five seconds, and hold for five seconds. Do this ten times.