03 Oct Effective Strategies To Help Manage Anxiety And Gain Control Over The Situation
I was having a conversation the other day with one of my ex-colleagues, Lee, when she mentioned to me that she just had experienced the scariest 30 minutes of her life.
Lee was supposed to represent her work team to do a presentation to the managers on their recently completed project to boost production efficiency and cost savings few days ago. Being a soft-spoken person by nature and not very fluent in English, standing in front of an audience to do presentation is something that is extremely challenging for her. She was relating to me how her heart had pounded so furiously that it felt like the ribcage can’t hold it back, she was almost gasping for breath and her knees felt like jelly.
Although she had done such presentations before, Lee was having a terrifying panic attack!
I did some reading up on panic attacks and realized that a panic attack and its symptoms of tremendous anxiety can happen suddenly, without warning as well. Though panic attack itself lasts only a few minutes, leaving you feeling frightened and uneasy, but it can create a lingering fear of not knowing when another panic attack might happen. And when this occurs repeatedly, people are said to have a panic disorder or anxiety disorder.
There are few strategies to help manage your anxiety and gain control over the situation, such as:
- Deep Breathing Slowly. Notice that when you are nervous, your breathing tend to be quick and short? This makes both the physical and mental symptoms of a panic attack worse.
- Stop and Think. When we panic, our thoughts start to wander around haphazardly, thinking of the worst and get out of control. Stop yourself at this moment and organize your thoughts and so you can decide what is needed to be done to get yourself calm.
- Positive Thinking. As your thoughts wander, negative thoughts start to flood in, this is when you have to push these negative thoughts out and take control of the situation. Pep talk yourself on how you had overcome and manage such situations successfully before to reduce the anxiousness.
- Muscles Relaxation. Identify and relax parts of your body that get most tense during a panic attack, such as the muscles of your jaw, neck, shoulders, back and legs. Anxiety causes your whole body to tense up, so do not allow yourself to stand rigid, muscles tensed, and holding your breath. If you feel that you are frozen and can’t move aany muscles, start with just moving one finger.
Repeat. The above steps have to be repeated as and when necessary because you might feel better, then feel another panic wave. It is ok if it did not work well the first time, just repeat these strategies again, as and when you need it.
If you are really overwhelmed, tell someone that you need to leave the situation. Be Kind to Yourself and ask for help, a little fresh air can do wonders. As you learn to manage your anxiety, you become more confident that you can take control in a panic attack and face each day breathing easier and better.
Have these statements been true for you? Don’t take my word for it. Review your own history of panic attacks and see.
P.S… Here’s a free audio to help you will overcome panic attacks fast!