Anxiety disorders affect one in eight teenagers in Michigan, and 80% of them do not get the treatment they need for their condition. Whether you are dealing with mild anxiety or severe anxiety disorder, there are some tricks you can use at home to calm yourself down and reduce your symptoms during a panic attack.
Note that these at-home anxiety therapy techniques work best in combination with professional anxiety counseling, where you can learn even more ways to conquer your emotions and prevent panic attacks from happening. If you would like to set up an appointment with an anxiety therapist in Michigan, contact Metro Detroit Counseling at (248) 269-9783.
Tell Yourself You Are Having A Panic Attack
If you have had panic attacks before, you probably know the symptoms right now. These vary from person to person, but they usually consist of rapid heartbeats, racing thoughts, difficulty breathing, difficulty concentrating, etc. Many patients say that severe panic attacks feel like heart attacks, or at least what they would expect a heart attack to feel like.
When you start to feel the symptoms of a panic attack, tell yourself that is what you are about to go through. This sounds simple, but telling yourself that you’re having an anxiety attack will actually help you get through the attack faster and more easily – if it ever happens at all. The most important thing to remind yourself is that you will not die from a panic attack. No matter how miserable the symptoms may be, they will pass. You will be better. This will all go away.
Practice Calming Breathing Techniques
Anxiety attacks are a combination of mental thoughts and physical experiences. It’s easier to control the physical effects in the moment, and doing so will naturally calm your mind. Practice breathing in through your nose for 4 seconds, then breathing out your mouth for 4 seconds. Do this slowly, and try to keep yourself as calm as possible. You may also take a 2 second pause in between breathing in and breathing out where you just hold your breath in place. This will work to reduce your heart rate and your anxiety symptoms.
Another good technique to use is to imagine you have a bowl of soup in your hands. Visualize it to the point that you can actually smell it when you close your eyes. Inhale the scent of the soup for 4 seconds, and then calmly exhale for 4 seconds. The added image of the soup is another way to trick your mind into focusing on something other than the panic attack, which should calm your body as a whole.