What to Do After an Anxiety Attack?

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Introduction

An anxiety attack can be a distressing experience characterized by intense feelings of fear, worry, and physical symptoms like rapid heartbeat or shortness of breath.

These episodes can significantly impact an individual's mental and emotional well-being, highlighting the importance of addressing post-anxiety attack care.

After an anxiety attack, it's essential to focus on self-care and recovery to help manage lingering symptoms and prevent future episodes.

This article will explore effective strategies and practices to consider after experiencing an anxiety attack, emphasizing the significance of post-attack care in maintaining a healthy mindset and coping with anxiety effectively.


Anxiety Therapists in Colorado

Bonna Machlan, Ph.D., LPC, CAS

Bonna Machlan, Ph.D., LPC, CAS

Colorado
(719) 452-4374
Kimberly Nefflen, LPCC

Kimberly Nefflen, LPCC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 602-1342
Leigh Harlan, LPC

Leigh Harlan, LPC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 602-1342
Maria Roncalli, LPC

Maria Roncalli, LPC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 203-7021
Arias Gonzales, MS, LPC, NCC, EMDR-Trained

Arias Gonzales, MS, LPC, NCC, EMDR-Trained

Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Vanessa Curran, LPCC

Vanessa Curran, LPCC

Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Deb Corbitt, LPC

Deb Corbitt, LPC

Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Joel Harms, MA, LPC

Joel Harms, MA, LPC

Colorado
(720) 449-4121
Kristen Yamaoka-Los, LPC

Kristen Yamaoka-Los, LPC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 481-3518
Shannon Hamm, LPC, CCTP

Shannon Hamm, LPC, CCTP

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 452-4374
Chelsea Bruntmyer, MA, LPCC, NCC

Chelsea Bruntmyer, MA, LPCC, NCC

Colorado
(719) 696-3439
Andreea Felea, LPC

Andreea Felea, LPC

Colorado
(719) 602-1342
Brooke Moraski, LPCC, NCC

Brooke Moraski, LPCC, NCC

Colorado
(720) 449-4121
Sherry Rice, LPCC, ADDC

Sherry Rice, LPCC, ADDC

Colorado
(719) 452-4374
Melissa Peterson, LPC

Melissa Peterson, LPC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 345-2424

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Grounding Techniques for Regaining Control


Grounding Objects


Carrying a small object in your pocket can be a comforting grounding technique during moments of anxiety, providing a tangible source of reassurance and stability.

Those grounding objects include a smooth worry stone, a favorite keychain, a small vial of calming essential oil, a textured piece of fabric, a personalized piece of jewelry, or a miniature photo of a loved one.

These objects serve as physical reminders of safety and can help redirect focus from anxious thoughts to the present moment, offering a sense of control and comfort in challenging situations.


Engage the Senses


Engaging the senses can be a powerful strategy for grounding yourself in the present moment, especially during times of heightened anxiety.

By utilizing sensory cues, you can effectively shift your focus away from distressing thoughts and reconnect with your immediate surroundings.

Examples of sensory engagement include inhaling calming essential oils like lavender or chamomile to promote relaxation, listening to soothing sounds of nature or gentle music to create a sense of tranquility, savoring a warm cup of herbal tea or hot cocoa to provide comfort and warmth, feeling the texture of a smooth worry stone or a soft piece of fabric to bring tactile awareness, and observing the colors and details of a calming image or object to stimulate visual senses.

These sensory experiences can help ground you in the here and now, fostering a deeper sense of calm and presence amidst moments of anxiety.

  • Inhaling calming essential oils (e.g., lavender, chamomile)
  • Listening to soothing sounds of nature or gentle music
  • Savoring a warm cup of herbal tea or hot cocoa
  • Feeling the texture of a smooth worry stone or a soft piece of fabric
  • Observing calming images or objects to stimulate visual senses




5-4-3-2-1 Technique


The 5-4-3-2-1 technique is a simple yet effective grounding exercise to help bring your focus back to the present and alleviate anxiety.

Start by identifying and verbally naming five things you can see around you, such as a painting on the wall or a tree outside.

Then, shift your attention to four things you can touch, like the texture of your clothing or the surface of a desk.

Next, listen for three sounds in your environment, whether it's the hum of a fan or birds chirping.

Proceed to identify two scents you can smell, whether it's a familiar scent in the room or a whiff of fresh air.

Finally, focus on one thing you can taste, such as the lingering flavor of a mint or a sip of water.

This sensory exercise helps ground you in the present moment by engaging your senses and diverting your mind from anxious thoughts.


Deep Breathing


Engaging in deep breathing exercises is a powerful technique to promote relaxation and center yourself during moments of anxiety.

By focusing on slow, deliberate breaths, you can effectively calm the nervous system and redirect your attention to the present, fostering a sense of calm.

To practice deep breathing, find a comfortable seated position and inhale deeply through your nose, allowing your abdomen to expand fully.

Pause briefly as you hold your breath, then release it slowly through your mouth, allowing your body to unwind with each exhale.

Practice this sequence multiple times, focusing on the steady cadence of your breathing.

Examples of deep breathing variations include diaphragmatic breathing, box breathing, 4-7-8 breathing, and alternate nostril breathing, each offering unique benefits for relaxation and stress reduction.


  • Diaphragmatic breathing
  • Box breathing
  • 4-7-8 breathing
  • Alternate nostril breathing


Self-Talk

Positive self-talk involves offering compassionate and affirming statements to challenge negative thoughts and promote emotional health.

By consciously replacing self-critical or anxious thoughts with reassuring phrases, you can cultivate a more supportive inner dialogue.

Positive self-talk includes affirmations like :

  • "I am resilient and capable"
  • "I choose to focus on what I can control"
  • "I am deserving of love and kindness"
  • "I trust in my ability to overcome challenges"
  • "I have the strength to face this moment with grace"
  • "I am worthy of peace and happiness"




Seeking Professional Support

If you find that your daily functioning is significantly impacted by persistent feelings of anxiety, depression, or overwhelming stress, it may be beneficial to seek professional support.

Symptoms such as persistent sadness, difficulty sleeping, changes in appetite, intrusive thoughts, or avoidance behaviors could indicate the need for therapeutic intervention.

Consulting a healthcare provider, such as a primary care physician or a mental health professional, can provide you with a comprehensive evaluation to determine the most appropriate course of action for your mental health needs.

It's essential to remember that seeking professional support is not a sign of weakness but rather a proactive step towards self-care and emotional resilience.

Therapists and counselors are trained to provide guidance, support, and evidence-based interventions to help individuals navigate through challenging emotions and situations. 


Building a Support System

Building a strong support system is crucial for maintaining mental and emotional well-being during challenging times.

One effective way to strengthen your support network is by openly communicating with trusted individuals about your experiences and emotions.

Sharing your thoughts and feelings with friends, family members, or a therapist can provide a sense of relief and validation, allowing you to feel heard and understood.

In addition to personal relationships, exploring support groups or online communities can offer a sense of belonging and camaraderie with individuals who may share similar experiences.

Joining a support group focused on mental health or specific challenges can provide a safe space to connect with others, share coping strategies, and receive encouragement from individuals who truly understand what you're going through.

Online communities offer convenience and accessibility, allowing you to engage with a diverse range of perspectives and resources that can further enrich your support system and provide ongoing encouragement and understanding.


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Complete this questionnaire to discover service providers that match your requirements! No need to provide contact information.


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Conclusion

After experiencing an anxiety attack, it's important to prioritize self-care and seek appropriate support to aid in your recovery.

Remember to practice self-compassion and patience as you navigate through the aftermath of an anxiety episode.

Reflect on the strategies that helped you during the attack, such as deep breathing or seeking a safe space, and incorporate these techniques into your ongoing self-care routine to manage anxiety symptoms effectively.

For those struggling with persistent anxiety issues, Overcomers Counseling offers specialized support and guidance tailored to individuals facing challenges related to anxiety.

By connecting with trained counselors at Overcomers Counseling, individuals can access personalized therapy sessions, coping strategies, and a supportive environment to address their anxiety symptoms effectively.

Seeking professional help through organizations like Overcomers Counseling can empower individuals to overcome anxiety and regain control over their mental health, leading to a more fulfilling and balanced life.

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July 14th, 2024

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