You feel the familiar sense of anxiety take over. You don’t know what causes it, but you need to calm down, and fast!
First of all, know this: you are not alone.
Anxiety is a common problem in today’s world and the number of affected people appears to be increasing.
According to the American Anxiety and Depression Association, more than 3.9 percent of the population is affected by this common mental illness. Calming down and managing anxiety requires effective coping skills.
How many times has your doctor told you to calm down and get rid of stressand would the anxiety decrease? It is not always as easy as relieving daily pressures, as stress is an unavoidable part of life. Fortunately, more research has been done on this common ailment, and groundbreaking findings are helping people cope.
Many people know that they feel horrible and have feelings where they want to jump out of their skin, but they don’t know what is going on inside their body. When you feel anxious, it is due to an increase in stress hormones in the body. Your body was created with a fight or flight mode that helps protect you from danger.
Suppose you are walking down the street and you feel someone approaching behind you. By sensing danger, your body will increase stress hormones so that you can get out of the situation quickly. Adrenaline and cortisol give the body the ability to act and react in ways that are not typical.
Have you ever heard of someone having super powers for a minute and lifting a car from a mechanic who fell off a jack? According to Threadgill ScienceA situation like this occurred in 2006. Kyle Holtrust was an 18-year-old who was excited about his new sports car. He was under a Chevrolet Camaro working to improve his car when the jack slipped.
Tim Boyle was a resident of the Tucson, Arizona development. He saw the incident and ran to help. He lifted the teenager’s 3,500-pound car and put it to safety.
How is it possible for a single man to lift a teenager’s car and pull it out from underneath? This is not the only case that this source refers to. Another case of hysterical force was cited that occurred in Lawrenceville, Georgia, and this time involved a woman.
Tony Cavallo was working on a 1964 Chevrolet Impala. When the connectors underneath this vehicle failed, his mother, Angela, ran to his side. She used astonishing force to lift the car high enough to allow onlookers to get her son to safety.
Under normal circumstances, these two people would never be able to lift vehicles to free these people. However, when their body’s fight or flight system was activated with a rush of adrenaline, they had enough hysterical strength to save a life.
The same surge of hormones that gave these people this power can also paralyze you if no threat is present. The body goes into overdrive without cause, and a high state of these hormones can cause you all kinds of problems. When your cortisol and adrenaline levels are too high for too long, anxiety sets in.
Common symptoms of panic and anxiety attacks
If your anxiety reaches an explosive point, you will have a panic attack. Panic disorder and anxiety go hand in hand, and according to American Anxiety and Depression Association, about three percent of the population suffers from this disorder.
Unlike anxiety, panic is where the body is at its breaking point. The tension builds to the point of panic. These attacks can last between 3 and 20 minutes, depending on the severity, and present with a wide range of symptoms.
Panic can cause these symptoms:
- Chest pains
- Difficulty breathing
- Choking sensations
- Feelings of impending doom
- Shaking chills
- Fast heartbeat and palpitations.
- Muscular weakness
- Feeling like you’re going to faint
- Distorted reality or derealization
- Feeling trapped and needing to escape
Ways to calm down when your anxiety strikes
Now that you understand anxiety, you must learn to calm down. You may not even know why you are anxious, but your body’s hormones ramp up. The key is to calm your body enough to identify that there is no danger, and you can do this in a number of ways.
First, you must tell yourself that there is no threat. Second, you need to bring your system back to reality. There are ways to lower your hormone levels and calm yourself down, but it takes time and skill to learn effective coping techniques. Here are five ways to calm down when you have anxiety.
1. Rhythmic breathing
Hyperventilation during panic is common, but deep breathing will lessen the sensations. When you gain control of your breathing, you can lessen uncomfortable sensations. As soon as you feel the tension of panic beginning, begin rhythmic breathing.
Begin by taking a deep breath for a count of five. Make sure you allow yourself to feel the breaths entering your body and flooding your spirit with fresh oxygen. Then, hold your breath for a few seconds and release it for a count of five.
Many people hyperventilate because their breathing becomes erratic when faced with panic. So by doing this rhythmic breathing method, you are calming down to a better state.
2. Use internal dialogue
The feelings of impending doom that accompany anxiety can make you feel like you’re dying. Use internal dialogue, you can remind yourself that you are not dying. When panic starts, say the following out loud:
- This is just a panic attack and it will soon be over.
- I am not having a heart attack and these feelings will soon go away.
- I just need to calm down and wait for these feelings to pass.
- I’ll be fine.
When you use self-talk to remind yourself that you will not pass out, that you will not die, and that you will be fine, then you lessen the power the attack has over you.
3. Connect to yourself
Grounding exercises are great for people who lose touch with reality for a few seconds when their panic is at its worst. You need to find your center again, and you can do this by examining your surroundings.
Remember the number four, as you want to indicate four of your senses to ground yourself.
Pay attention to things like these signs:
– Indicate where you are and what you can see.
– Observe the things you can listen to, such as television.
– Are there any odors in the atmosphere such as burning candles or dinners in the oven?
– Is there an object that you can touch with your hands, such as a blanket or other soft items?
– Some people find it beneficial to remove their socks and shoes and feel the ground between their feet. Just getting outside and getting some fresh air may be enough to stop the attack.
4. Use lavender
Although many essential oils can help you panic, lavender is one of the best. Simply inhaling the vapors of this sweet fragrance can help you relax. Many people keep this essential oil on their wrists throughout the day.
When you feel an attack coming, you can take out your lavender and use it to help you get into a better space. Other scents used in panic include vetiver oil, rose, Ylang-ylang, bergamot, and chamomile. Aromatherapy is a strong defense against anxiety.
5. Dip your head in cold water
This may seem like one of the most radical treatments of all, but it works. When you start to feel the urge to run and your heart races, grab a bowl of water and put some ice in it. As soon as your face meets the ice water, it will stop your attack.
Why did this happened?
Your body is unable to feel two sensations at the same time. So when your head is in the water, the cold sensations are enough to lower your heart rate and bring you back to reality. Many people feel relief the moment they lift their head out of the water again, some the moment they plunge into the icy bath.
Unfortunately, this is not a technique that you can do anywhere other than at home. Therefore, you will not be able to use it to generate anxiety or events that happen at work. However, some people even report that they carry a cup of ice with them when they drive.
When they start to feel anxious, they simply rub an ice cube on their wrists or the back of their neck. While it seems like a bit of a drastic method of therapy, you will do anything to stop the grip of panic once it takes hold.
Although anxiety makes you feel like an island to yourself, it is a fairly common problem. Learning practical coping skills, you can stop an attack when it starts and, over time, decrease the number of these incidents you experience.
Keep in mind that not all coping skills will work for you. You will have to try different things until you find the ones that keep you grounded to calm you down. The good news is that panic doesn’t last forever and soon the attack will end.