Tips to Manage an Anxiety Crisis
I am sure many of you have been in this situation. You have to give a presentation or attend an event where you will need to mingle with strangers and your anxiety crisis is spiraling out of control.
You’re an anxious wreck, feel trapped, and wish you could get out of it somehow. You’re experiencing an anxiety crisis.
In this post, I describe how to get through this situation. However, I need you to make sure that you don’t end up here again.
Without working on your anxiety, you will find yourself in crisis in the future again, because you won’t have developed strategies to manage that feeling of impending doom.
So, make a long-term plan in addition to dealing with this short-term anxiety crisis.
Repeat Positive Affirmations
Now, write out a list of positive affirmations. Go with the opposite of what you are thinking right now.
Change “I can’t do this” to “I am strong and capable.”
Once you have a list of 20-30 affirmations, start repeating them to yourself.
Don’t let your mind veer off into negative thoughts.
Your goal is to keep repeating positive things to yourself until your brain starts to hear those things in place of the negative things you’ve been telling yourself.
If you’ve done positive affirmations in the past and they didn’t work, you might not have been doing them often enough.
Focus on relaxing your body.
Find a spot to lie down or sit in a comfortable chair. Take slow deep breaths in through your nose from your abdomen. Slowly exhale. Relax every muscle in your body and sink down into the bed or chair.
Picture a calming scene or a favorite memory. Keep going until you feel fully relaxed. Find a relaxing spot, release tension from all parts of your body, picture a pleasant scene, and breathe deep.
Sip Soothing Tea
Has your mindset changed? Keep going. Settle down with a cup of a soothing beverage like chamomile tea.
Get Some Exercise
Find a quick but vigorous workout online or go for a jog around the neighborhood. I also like going to Youtube for workouts.
Give it your all for 5 minutes and really get your heart rate up. If you don’t have physical limitations, something that involves jumping or running is best. Do jumping jacks in your living room, it doesn’t matter.
Go on a Gratitude Rampage
Go on a gratitude rampage. The basic idea is to flood yourself with thoughts of everything that is going well in your life. Repeat as many positive thoughts of gratitude as you can, until you find your mood start to shift. Say them out loud in your car or some other private space.
If you’re having an anxiety crisis about a performance, you might look on Youtube or google inspirational audio recordings. I’m not talking about meditation here, I’m talking more of a pep talk. Save the meditation for when you have more time. Right now we want to convert your anxiety crisis into excitement.
Every time you find yourself panicking over impending doom, whatever that may be, rotate through more exercise, relaxation, affirmations, gratitude, and motivational videos.
You can adapt this plan to fit your lifestyle and what’s going on in your life. Maybe you walk outside during your workday or do gratitude rampages in the shower. If you’re housebound, you can still do all of this at home.
The idea is to focus on one area at a time until you start to feel a shift. It’s not a lot, but it’s enough to move you away from the catastrophic thinking that will make any anxiety crisis worse. You will be surprised how just five minutes of one of these activities might change your mindset.
Remember though, this is a short-term fix. If you are dealing with having an anxiety crisis on a regular basis and haven’t sought help, I suggest talking with your doctor.
If you’re afraid to reach out, there is also online therapy such as BetterHelp if you don’t feel comfortable going to in-person therapy.