Editors Note: This is a guest post by Tony Regan. A survivor with many wounds left from over 30 years of battling crippling anxiety, social phobias and depression. I come from a broken family of 7 and to this day we each still struggle with many of these ailments, to some degree. I currently live in Western North Carolina with my 2 sons and my wife; it’s my family that keeps me centered. My goal is to reach other men that are battling these same issues and to provide support, encouragement and lessons learned from my own life. I have a simple blog up at www.tonysreviews.com that is part sounding board for me and part tool for others seeking help. In the near future I will include videos and podcasts in an effort to provide more content for those seeking it.
5 simple tips for controlling anxiety attacks
I operate with the mindset of efficiency; I hate fluff or un-necessary stuff in the way of getting to the core of whatever it is we seek. I don’t like extraneous details nor do I like when people sugar coat things. Just give me what I want, the core information.
Something’s do need the extra fluff, but in the premise of what I’m about to deliver we don’t. I believe in a no B.S. policy and I try to cut to the chase immediately.
With that said, I have 5 tried and true tips for dealing with anxiety or panic attacks, whether it’s a mild case or extreme case, it doesn’t matter.
The thing most important in what I’m about to tell you is attitude. You must have a receiving attitude, one that gives full concentration on the following tips and doesn’t halfheartedly do them or discredit them.
So here are your 5 tips for dealing with or controlling anxiety attacks:
Yes breathe. Learn to breathe through your anxiety.
This may seem like common sense but an attack shortens your breath. Find resources on deep breathing exercises and do them regularly.
This one tip alone can give you great success.
Start writing your attacks or episodes down in a journal.
Do this at the time of the attack if you can. You’ll begin to see patterns emerge and from those you can analyze and learn your anxiety triggers.
You need to write every day, even on the good days without any anxiety.
Put your thoughts to paper, it will help you understand what’s happening, it may take a while for you to see this but it will come.
Limit things in your diet that may serve as precursors or factor into what may make it easier for anxiety to take place.
These include caffeine, nicotine and too much sugar.
If what you put in your body puts you on edge or in a nervous state then you need to limit it or better cut it out of your diet if you can.
During an attack you may be tempted to smoke or down something with caffeine in it but that only ramps you up and puts you in the anxiety zone.
4) Re-frame your thoughts
This one is hard I’ll admit but with practice it can make all the difference.
When anxiety attacks put you in that place of erratic thoughts you need an immediate stop gap or fix. You need to learn to re-frame your thoughts or perspective, to use logic or even create an alternate view.
Using logic you see yourself through the eyes of others, do they see what I see? Can I take their view in the moment of an attack? Can I see this for what it is, with accuracy and without emotion? Is this moment going to kill me? Is it truly worth what I’m feeling now or doing to my body? An hour from now will this matter at all?
For me, I sometime use the anger alternative. I don’t recommend doing this all the time, it’s unhealthy, but it works in extreme cases.
I intentionally make myself angry inside, I get mad at myself for acting and feeling like an anxious person, and I get keyed up and go on the defensive but in a constructive way. This works every time because when I’m pissed I don’t feel anxious. You can’t feel anger and anxiety at the same time so pick your poison.
If you do this method make sure you find a way to come down from the anger afterwards, breathing and exercise will help with this.
5) Get moving
If at all possible when an attack happens you need to get that negative energy out of your body. Exercise in any way you can.
For me, I’d run up 5 flights of stairs at work and then walk back down them.
That helped me tremendously to get rid of that peak anxiety where my heart was about to come out of my chest. If you can get a few minutes to find a place to do jumping jacks or push-ups then by all means do it.
Your body will thank you by slowing your heart rate and regulating your breathing.
In addition, with regular daily exercise you’ll see your anxiety attacks diminish as well so it’s a great thing to do for your physical and mental health.
There you have it, 5 simple steps to help you to control anxiety when it comes to you.
If you use these and use them with the attitude of persistence and patience you will eventually get to the point to where your anxiety will no longer be an issue. It may not disappear completely but it will decrease to a minor inconvenience that you’ll hardly notice anymore.
The key to these simple methods is being proactive, don’t just accept that your anxiety is going to happen and you are powerless over it. You must OWN it then you must CONTROL it, not the other way around. Don’t let anxiety own or control you.
These steps have helped me manage my own anxiety and I routinely use them as I need them.
My desire is that men everywhere will take the simple steps like these to better control their lives and become a stronger version of themselves!
If you liked this post check out Tony’s blog for more help and tips on dealing with anxiety and depression. And don’t forget to subscribe below!