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How To Cope With An Anxiety Attack

Anxiety attacks are slightly different from panic attacks. Panic attacks often occur out of the blue. You aren’t sure what has caused them, and they’re often more severe. Anxiety attacks generally intensify over a period of time and is linked to the anxiety you’ve been feeling. The symptoms can also last days, rather than the initial panicking. Because the symptoms of anxiety attacks can sometimes last for days, it makes them very debilitating.

I’ve been dealing with anxiety attacks alongside panic attacks since I was 13 and often felt at my wit’s end. But through going to therapy, I’ve learned how to keep the symptoms under control.

The main thing to keep in mind with anxiety attacks is they are linked to what is going on in your life. For example, I went through a phase where I felt immense anxiety going to school. It got to the point where I’d start putting my uniform on and feel a wave of anxiety course through me. I’d feel sick, start shaking, and get hot flashes or chills.

Before I visited a location where I’d previously felt anxiety, I would consciously think of happy things that had happened there. For example, I had one of the worst anxiety attacks I’ve ever had in my Product Design classroom. And the very next day, it was all I could think about. However, when I implemented this technique, I would remind myself of all the pranks the class played on the teacher. Or when my best friend and I got locked in the store cupboard, and all the inside jokes we had.

Doing this re-associated the location with good memories, and helped me put the thought of any recent anxiety attacks out of my mind. This doesn’t always work, sometimes my mind is hell bent on panicking and feeling anxious. But on the times that I do manage to succeed, it really helps make me feel more positive. It also meant that going forward wouldn’t be as hard. All I have to do is remember the positive memories I attach to a specific location.

This was probably the most effective technique I used when learning to control my anxiety attacks. It enabled me to feel more comfortable in my day to day life without the constant reminder of my previous anxiety attacks. I even gained the confidence to go out more because I knew I had the power to adapt my thinking to avoid having an anxiety attack.

Like I said, this doesn’t always work for me. The first few times I tried it, I wasn’t successful. The reason for this is that I put too much pressure on myself. I wanted to be perfect first time. And because I was so stressed about getting it right, I wasn’t paying attention to my thought process. As a result, I got myself into a tizz and it resulted in an anxiety attack. But the more I practiced, the more my mind calmed down and I was able to visit a number of places with little incident.

The important thing to remember when trying to stop anxiety attacks or trying to stop feeling anxious is patience. Recovery doesn’t happen overnight. Sometimes things do get worse before they start to get better. As long as you persevere, there’s nothing that can stop you from overcoming anything.

How do you handle your anxiety attacks? Leave a comment below!


Photo by María Victoria Heredia Reyes on Unsplash

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Photo by Lesly B. Juarez on Unsplash

Photo by Oliver Cole on Unsplash



Edited by Viveca Shearin


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  1. When i felt an anxiety attack coming up i immediately got up and started walking around my room to get the feeling back in my legs,I breathed deeply and kept repeating I was in control, I think it worked I mean I felt it recede and I think that helped keep a full blown attack at bay, at least it did for me.

  2. What do you think I should do if I know I’m going into a particular situation and I know, just from past experiences, that before I go into this situation I will undergo an anxiety attack. This type of thing has happened to me before and occurred just a few days ago. I was forced to cancel what I had to do because of the attack and I must try again next week, but I know I will experience another attack. What would you do in my situation?

    • Hi Tiernan, I know exactly what you mean. Because you’re expecting anxiety your body will already be anxious before you even enter the situation. Unfortunately anxiety takes a lot of work to solve so there is no quick fix, however, there are some things I’d do in this situation that could calm you down. I would try and accept the anxiety. Personally I find if I say to myself ‘ok, I know you’re anxious, thats fine, we’re fine,’ then I do feel a little better. Sometimes trying to suppress an emotion can make you feel it more. It’s like when you think, ‘I’m not going to think about that anymore’, and then all your brain does is think about it. Accepting that something makes you anxious can also take away the power that the anxiety has over you.

      I’d also take something with you that’s comforting, music, pictures or small trinkets. For me, I’d probably wear my mums perfume so I didn’t feel as alone. The only good thing about knowing what triggers your anxiety is being ready for it. If theres anything that helps calm you down, a TV show, a film, a book, some music, yoga or deep breathing, then ensure you do those activities beforehand. You want to go into the situation feeling as calm as you can. Those are the things that I would do in your situation. I hope you found this helpful! And good luck with what you’re doing! I’m sure you’ll do great!:)

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Written by Ash Osborne

Writer for Psych2Go, currently studying Creative Media at College. Hoping to encourage more people to talk about mental health.

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