Know that feeling of your heart beating faster in response to a stressful situation? Or perhaps, instead, your palms get sweaty when you’re confronted with an overwhelming task or event.
That’s anxiety — our body’s natural response to stress.
If you haven’t recognized your triggers yet, here are a few common: your first day at a new job, meeting your partner’s family, or giving a presentation in front of a lot of people. Everyone has different triggers, and identifying them is one of the most important steps to coping and managing anxiety attacks.
Identifying your triggers can take some time and self-reflection. In the meantime, there are things you can do to try to help calm or quiet your anxiety from taking over.
If your anxiety is sporadic and getting in the way of your focus or tasks, there are some quick, homeopathic remedies that could help you take control of the situation.
If your anxiety is focused around a situation, such as being worried about an upcoming event, you may notice the symptoms are short-lived and usually subside after the anticipated event takes place.
Question your thought pattern
Negative thoughts can take root in your mind and distort the severity of the situation. One way is to challenge your fears, ask if they’re true, and see where you can take back control.
Practice focused, deep breathing
Try breathing in for 4 counts and breathing out for 4 counts for 5 minutes total. By evening out your breath, you’ll slow your heart rate which should help calm you down.
The 4-7-8 technique is also known to help anxiety.
Whether they’re in oil form, incense, or a candle, scents like lavender, chamomile, and sandalwood can be very soothing.
Aromatherapy is thought to help activate certain receptors in your brain, potentially easing anxiety.
Go for a walk or do 15 minutes of yoga
Sometimes, the best way to stop anxious thoughts is to walk away from the situation. Taking some time to focus on your body and not your mind may help relieve your anxiety.
Write down your thoughts
Writing down what’s making you anxious gets it out of your head and can make it less daunting.
These relaxation tricks are particularly helpful for those who experience anxiety sporadically. They may also work well with someone who has generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) when they’re in a bind too!
However, if you suspect you have GAD, quick coping methods shouldn’t be the only kind of treatment you employ. You’ll want to find long-term strategies to help lessen the severity of symptoms and even prevent them from happening.
If anxiety is a regular part of your life, it’s important to find treatment strategies to help you keep it in check. It might be a combination of things, like talk therapy and meditation, or it might just be a matter of cutting out or resolving your anxiety trigger.
If you’re not sure where to start, it’s always helpful to discuss options with a mental health professional who might suggest something you hadn’t thought of before.
Identify and learn to manage your triggers
You can identify triggers on your own or with a therapist. Sometimes they can be obvious, like caffeine, drinking alcohol, or smoking. Other times they can be less obvious.
Long-term problems, such as financial or work-related situations, may take some time to figure out — is it a due date, a person, or the situation? This may take some extra support, through therapy or with friends.
When you do figure out your trigger, you should try to limit your exposure if you can. If you can’t limit it — like if it’s due to a stressful work environment that you can’t currently change — using other coping techniques may help.