If you’ve been dealing with anxiety attacks, you might feel like you spend all of your time dreading the next incident. You wish that you would never have to suffer through another attack.
Yet you don’t know how to stop them from coming on. You may even assume that you just have no choice but to deal with frequent anxiety attacks. Thankfully, there are ways to prevent anxiety attacks from coming on, and stop an attack in its tracks when you notice the first signs.
By making healthy lifestyle changes, getting the hang of deep breathing techniques, and learning how to cope when you’re faced with triggers, you can begin living your life again without a crippling fear of anxiety attacks. Here are a few simple methods you can use to prevent anxiety attacks.
A lack of exercise can greatly exacerbate your anxiety. Emotions are stored in the body, and exercise gives you an outlet for processing distressing feelings. You don’t need to make time for long workouts each day, or push yourself to the point of exhaustion. Simply make an effort to move your body more often throughout the day.
This might mean taking a walk on your lunch break, doing gentle yoga before bed, or going for a run through your neighborhood at the end of the workday. Exercise will allow you to release the tension in your body.
Get More Sleep
Did you know that a lack of sleep can actually lead to higher levels of anxiety? If you already suffer from anxiety attacks, it might be tough to get enough sleep. Your stress might keep you up at night.
You might have nightmares that are connected to the same triggers which set off your attacks. But setting a regular, healthy sleep schedule and sticking to it can work wonders for your mental health. When you’re well-rested, you might find that you experience lower levels of anxiety throughout the day, decreasing your chances of another anxiety attack.
Slow, Deep Breathing
What if you feel an anxiety attack starting and you don’t want to resign yourself to it? Just because you can feel the symptoms beginning doesn’t mean you need to suffer through an attack.
Instead, you may be able to calm yourself down through slow, deep breathing. By slowing down your breath, you can soothe your nervous system and create a sense of stability.
Do you find that certain situations tend to trigger anxiety attacks? Maybe being in a particular environment brings on your symptoms, or perhaps reminders of past trauma are the culprit. Sometimes, gradual exposure can help you heal.
If you’re interested in pursuing exposure therapy, you will want to work with a qualified therapist with plenty of experience in this area. They can help you slowly acclimate to situations that once set off anxiety attacks.
Check In With Your Senses
When you notice the symptoms of an anxiety attack starting, you might find that simply checking in with all five of your senses helps you recover and avoid a full-on attack. That’s because focusing on what you can taste, touch, see, hear, and smell allows you to ground yourself where you are, rather than being overwhelmed by your fear.
Think about how your feet feel on the ground, the textures you feel under your hands, and the objects you can see directly in front of you. Narrowing your focus can be surprisingly calming when you’re anxious.
Are you struggling to prevent anxiety attacks? Working with a therapist can help. Reach out to us today to discuss your options for scheduling your first session.