5 Natural Coping Skills for Anxiety Attacks

Have you ever experienced an anxiety attack?

If not, count yourself lucky.

If you have; what anxiety attack coping skills did you use?

About 40 million American adults (18%) have had at least one episode of an anxiety disorder in their lifetime.

A first anxiety attack can be terrifying, and it may feel like it is never going away — but it does pass.

Anxiety attacks are both physical and emotional and are caused by the body's reaction to threatening situations.

But don't worry — there are coping skills you can use to make them go away faster.

These coping skills can be used for any type of anxiety attack too.

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Mindfulness

The term mindfulness has become a bit of a buzzword these days, largely due to its association with meditation, which is often practiced alongside it (yet distinct from it). 

Because both mindfulness and meditation have been shown to increase one's well-being and reduce stress, they can be helpful tools in the treatment of mental health conditions such as anxiety disorders.

Research studying the effects of mindfulness on anxiety is promising enough that it's even being used as the first line in the prevention of relapse into depression.

Perhaps you've heard the above information before and think that you know all there is to know about mindfulness and how it can help you with your anxiety attack coping skills. 

However, many people are unsure about what exactly mindfulness means or how to best use this technique to manage their attacks.

Self-Compassion

According to Dr. Kristin Neff, a pioneer in the study of self-compassion and author of Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself, self-compassion involves three fundamental components: seeing oneself as imperfect and having common humanity; mindfulness, or being fully present with one's painful experience; and finally kindness and care.

When you can view your situation in this manner, you will be able to develop a greater connection with yourself that leads to deeper self-love. In turn, you will be better equipped to deal with life's setbacks without spiraling into an anxiety attack.

Lastly, keep in mind that self-compassion is about motivation and not about self-indulgence.

It is about self-improvement rather than criticism.

Gratitude

If you've ever read about someone who has an anxiety disorder or depression writing down their symptoms before bedtime—or if you are suffering from these conditions—you know how useful a gratitude journal can be.

It's an easy way to do something positive in your life while avoiding negative talk or thinking patterns that may keep anxiety or depression at bay. 

This personal reflection I had when I suffered from an anxiety attack will give some ideas about the importance of gratitude.

After a few weeks of self-reflection, it was time to give my gratitude journal a try. I started by focusing on the good things in my life. 

My family, friends, and coworkers are there for me when I need them, and they support each other through thick and thin.

They're all working toward our common goal of developing a better world—a goal that's worth working toward after all we've been through.

I can't take credit for creating this vision; history showed us that those willing to fight and not give up have made progress in the face of adversity.

I could go on about how grateful I am for clean air, running water, medicine, and sanitation practices—all things that we take for granted today but were virtually unheard of just 50 years ago.

But I won't bore you with the long list of good things going on every day around me because it's genuinely amazing to be alive at this point in history

Meditation

One great way to cope with anxiety is through meditation. 

A lot of people assume that meditation is just sitting still, but it's an exercise for your mind. 

There are different ways to meditate.

Some people like to focus on their breath or other sounds around them, some choose a mantra or phrase to repeat, and others simply observe their thoughts without judgment. 

Whatever method you try, if you can get into the habit of meditating regularly, it will help you cope with anxiety.

Laughter

Laughter is one of the best medicines. A good laugh produces a physical reaction in your body, much like that of aerobic exercise.

Laughter can often be contagious; if you're having trouble laughing on your own, watching others laugh can trigger your laughter response. Fake it 'til you make it!

Laughter has the power to reduce stress. It relaxes the whole body, boosts the immune system, and releases endorphins that make us feel happier and more relaxed.

Reducing tension is important for managing an anxiety attack or panic attack as tension can intensify feelings of discomfort as well as physical symptoms.

These Techniques Are Useful for Coping With Anxiety 

These techniques may be more useful than medication, though medication can certainly help too. 

Whatever you do, don't make the mistake that many people make and let anxiety control your life. 

As mentioned earlier, anxiety is a normal part of life, and most people experience it to some degree at least a few times in their lives.

Everyone will experience it in some form or another on occasion; what makes an anxiety disorder is when the amount of anxiety one experiences becomes so great that it begins to affect their daily activities.

If you have had recurring panic attacks or have struggled with chronic feelings of fear and worry for an extended period without any reason why you should feel this way, then you may have an anxiety disorder such as generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) or panic disorder. 

Conclusion

When you suffer from an anxiety disorder, finding the best anxiety attack coping skills can be tricky.

It's important to know what you can do to reduce anxiety attacks when they come.

Part of managing your anxiety attacks is learning how to detect the symptoms and signs of an attack.

It's also important to understand anxiety attack triggers.

In this article, we have provided you with some coping strategies for dealing with your anxiety attack and for reducing your overall intrusive thoughts and worries about having more attacks in the future.

Let us know how these tips help!

Resources 

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321510

https://www.healthline.com/health/mental-health/how-to-cope-with-anxiety

https://www.mayoclinichealthsystem.org/hometown-health/speaking-of-health/11-tips-for-coping-with-an-anxiety-disorder

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May 16th, 2022

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