My father-in-law faced a daily battle with anxiety, and unfortunately despite medicating it never seemed to go away. He found himself caught in an endless cycle of worry. It diminished his quality of life greatly.
My husband has dealt with anxiety as well. So I know very well the struggle someone faces when they suffer from anxiety disorders and how helpless loved ones can feel.
When someone experiences an anxiety attack, their bodies may respond with physical reactions. This can include a racing heartbeat, increased blood pressure, and chest pain that can feel similar to a heart attack.
All of these physical responses are triggered by intense feelings of anxiety. While it is a normal response to be anxious in certain situations, the body’s physical reactions may be more intense during an anxiety attack, making it difficult to cope with the situation.
I have a very dear friend who suffered for 3 years from terrible allergies. They just appeared one day without warning and they interfered greatly with his daily life. He went to an allergist, had all the shots to test his allergies, and took the medications and nothing changed.
He removed all the carpeting in his home, changed his mattress and sheets and detergent, and eliminated every possible item in his home and clothing that could be causing his allergies. Nothing changed for 3 years.
Finally, an urgent care physician assistant recommended an anti-anxiety medication. One week after starting to take that medicine, his allergies simply disappeared. He has been allergy free for 10 years.
The physical response to an anxiety attack can manifest in many different ways. You, with the help of a mental health professional, can look for the right treatment plan for your anxiety.
Table of Contents
What You Can Do Today About Your Anxiety
First, a little disclaimer. If you feel like you want to hurt yourself, please stop reading here and call emergency services immediately. Trust me. If you feel this way, it’s time to reach out. Further, if you are dealing with clinical anxiety, I recommend you talk to a clinician specializing in this area.
I’m not a trained professional. I have simply dug up as much research as possible to hand you some tips that you may find helpful.
With that out of the way, let’s dig into everything I could pull together on dealing with anxiety.
21 Ways To Recover From An Anxiety Attack
The first step in recovering from an anxiety attack is acknowledging that you are having one. This can be very difficult because it requires being honest with yourself. There is no shame in admitting you have a medical condition and make no mistake about it, any type of panic disorder is a problem that requires medical help.
The problem that we all face is the question, “What is it going to take for me to recover from my anxiety or at least have the sense that I have joy in my life?” I did some in-depth research and came up with a list of 21 little-known things you must take into account when trying to cope with anxiety.
So, what is the best way to recover from anxiety and regain confidence? The best way to recover from anxiety is to go to work on the beliefs surrounding the thoughts that result in your experiencing the (often debilitating) body sensations and worries that come along with anxiety.
1. Understand The Relationship With Other Emotions
When it comes to overall happiness, it is said that there are 4 building blocks that must be kept in check in order to experience joy.
So, one of the keys to creating a life that is fulfilling and filled with joy is to go to work on your own anxieties and create a road map to deal with them if they constantly set you back.
Unfortunately, misery loves company when it comes to the four blocks mentioned above, and it can feel like a slippery slope sliding into a convoluted mess of all four.
Where can we begin? Let’s look at what drives anxiety.
2. Learn What Drives And Fuels Your Anxiety
The answer is simple, yet complex: Our thoughts. When it comes to anxiety, our thoughts can often become repetitive and overwhelming and cause us to spiral into a feeling of being overwhelmed. We may think that we are losing control of our lives or that the world is spinning out of control.
This is called ruminating, and it can create a cycle of doom. We become more anxious, which leads to more worrying, which leads to more anxiety; the cycle goes on and on. This can lead to fear or even depression, as these negative thoughts continue to accumulate and become bigger and more powerful.
Now, we can’t stop thinking so the key is to replace negative thoughts with positive ones. We need to break the cycle of doom by acknowledging and accepting our fear and anxiety (without giving into it) and then refocusing on more positive thoughts.
Knowing and believing that the negative thoughts going through your mind are not real. They are just that – thoughts. And we have the power to choose how much influence they will have over our lives.
We can also try to identify what is driving and fueling our anxiety in the first place, whether that be an overdue project, a difficult relationship, or a traumatic experience. One way to do this is to practice mindfulness.
Mindful practices can help us become aware of our thoughts and feelings in a non-judgemental way, allowing us to identify the root causes of our anxiety and come up with constructive solutions.
Another factor can fuel anxiety or other mental health conditions. It’s important to speak to your physician to explore potential causes, as well as discuss safe and effective treatments.
3. Learn What Triggers Your Anxiety
You need to get clear on what triggers your anxiety. The first moment it occurred for instance is a good place to start. What were the circumstances?
If you start there, and you know exactly that first moment, you will gain access to attempt to rewrite the script of the story. Usually, when we experience traumas that result in the incessant anxiety loop, we make up a “story” in our heads about what happened.
We repeat the story until it is hard-grained and we see it as fact. Even now, you might resist me telling you that you were the one that gave the trauma the meaning you assigned, even if you feel it was out of your control (which it most likely was).
Gaining power around it, however, is all about taking action and rewriting the story now from a new perspective. Looking at a situation from a happy place, or even just being able to reflect with an open heart and mind can help gain a deeper understanding.
Begin (maybe a journal entry) or recount what happened from a purely factual perspective. Leave out all of the reasons it happened, why you were a victim, etc.
Simply look at it for what really happened nothing more.
4. What Are The ABCs Of Dealing With Anxiety?
Dr. David Thomas, a psychotherapist from Tampa, FL mentioned in his YouTube video about recovering from anxiety and the importance of using what he calls the ABC model:
What is the ABC model?
The ABC model is an acronym which stands for:
A – Activating Event – What triggers the anxiety
B – Beliefs – More specifically evaluative beliefs
C – Consequence – What you do as a result of the anxiety, lack of concentration, muscle tension, avoidance, etc.
The goal here is to challenge the beliefs that are driving the thoughts that produce the anxiety, distinguish irrational thinking and grow from it.
5. What Role Does The Subconscious Mind Play?
Often we are not aware of what drives us. Discovering what is going on in the subconscious mind is as easy as understanding a very important principle. What we do is a result of what we believe.
So, if I am unwilling to leave the house when it is raining, I must hold a specific belief about being outside when it rains. When you unpack it, you can uncover the belief that is driving the behavior.
During your next panic attack, sit down in a quiet place and really look at why that is happening, you may be able to uncover the belief that is driving the behavior.
Once you isolate the belief, you can start asking questions about how rational the belief is. Sometimes I find it helpful to imagine someone else having that belief. What would I tell them?
This can help to give you a more objective viewpoint on your anxiety.
6. How Can We Better Understand The Mind So We Can Work On Our Anxieties?
I understand that getting your head around how the mind works can be difficult. One of the reasons for this is that we don’t really have a good picture of the mind (what it is, or how it works).
My most recent mentor, Bob Proctor, introduced me to this concept. He said, “If I were to ask you what color your front door is, you could close your eyes and go to your front door in your mind and describe in elaborate detail exactly what color your front door is, where there are inconsistencies in the paint, etc. “
Bottom line is that our mind thinks in pictures.
But if I were to ask you to describe to me the “mind,” chances are you might draw a bit of a blank. You may be inclined to suggest the brain, but your brain isn’t your mind any more than your hand is.
Your brain is a piece of the puzzle, not the collective identity of the puzzle. Your mind is the puzzle.
A couple of years ago, I was introduced to a way of visualizing the mind that is extremely powerful. It made all the difference for me in understanding how the mind works, how it operates, and more importantly how you can go to work on limiting beliefs or beliefs that don’t serve you.
I recently used this to completely transform my appearance. At the time of this writing, I have lost over 25 lbs, and learned to do pull-ups and even a chest-to-bar pull-up.
My waist is the tiniest it has been in ten years, and I have realized that my external appearance is a reflection of how my mind operates and how I feel about myself on the inside.
Up until now, countless people have told me how to lose weight, get in shape, etc. but for some reason, I was powerless to make it really happen. Up until now, I had tried everything, and I’m not joking. I’ve seen a weight loss doctor, had multiple gym memberships, and multiple personal trainers, used appetite suppressants, starved myself, and even was bulimic at one point.
I suffered from food addiction and for the first time in my life, food doesn’t control me. Further the limiting belief of, Kat, you aren’t worth it, and you don’t have any value, has been shelved.
I look in the mirror now and like what I see, and I don’t have to convince myself why I “should” like myself.
What made this type of quantum leap possible? Short answer: the StickMan.
Let’s look at the following illustration. I am going to share with you about how I have come to know the StickMan, and how it affects every aspect of your life.
The concept of The StickMan was created by Dr. Thurman Fleet.
7. How To Understand The StickMan?
My mentor Bob Proctor taught me how this works, and now I am going to share it with you.
The basics of how this works is as follows:
Do you see the antennas sticking out of the top of the image’s head? Those represent the 5 senses. Each one is like a six-lane highway delivering information to your conscious mind at all times.
Your conscious mind is the reasoning mind. Here you can make decisions about what you accept and don’t accept. Over time with enough repetition, the information filters from your conscious mind into your subconscious mind.
The subconscious mind is the “executive factor” and executes on what lives there. Just like the Bible says, “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks,” you can look at this the same way.
Whatever lives in your subconscious mind (your heart, your spirit man), drives your behavior and manifests what the body does.
For me, I had to realize that my self-image had to change away from the chubby/fat girl with the food addiction with no value to the woman I have always secretly dreamed I could be but had convinced myself that there were too many obstacles standing between me and that ideal image.
8. Understand Your Inner Dialogue
As we discovered how things that are dripped on the conscious mind for long enough eventually make it down to the subconscious, it’s important to recognize what your internal thought life is like and what you tell yourself on a regular basis.
Maybe you say something like. Oh, I’ll never be good enough. Or, I will suffer from this anxiety forever. Or, I’m doomed.
Once you identify some of these “stories” we repeat to yourself, the idea is to change them. Create new habits and stories you tell yourself.
9. Breathing Exercises Are A Simple Way To Relieve Anxiety Symptoms
Taking deep breaths can be a really helpful tool when recovering from an anxiety attack. This type of exercise is designed to help you relax and focus on your breathing, which will in turn relax your body and reduce the physical symptoms of anxiety.
Try out some deep breathing exercises, or take some time to practice alternate nostril breathing. Both of these techniques involve slow and steady breaths that can help you to relax, reduce stress and manage anxiety symptoms.
10. Get Moving And Get into The Flow State
Exercise is a great way to deal with anxiety when you are in a stressful situation. It helps you release endorphins and clear your mind of worries. Even if you don’t have time for a serious workout, take a few minutes during the day to get moving, increase your heart rate and get some fresh air. You can do some yoga stretches, go for a short walk or jog, or even just dance around the house.
This helps to get you out of your head and into the flow state, which is a great way to reduce stress and anxiety levels. Plus, physical activity can help improve your mood and make you feel better overall.
11. Be Aware Of The Common Physical Symptoms Of Anxiety
Here we are talking about common symptoms that many people experience when plagued by anxiety. Here is a short list and by no means does it include everything.
- Lump in your throat
- Tightness in your chest
- General sense of being uneasy
- Feeling like something dreadful happened
12. Learn How To Deal With The Physical Symptoms
Often the best place to start is to acknowledge that these feelings are telling you a lot about what is going on in your subconscious mind. You will need to accept the feelings and understand that these body sensations that you are experiencing don’t actually mean that anything bad is happening.
When you feel these sensations, ask yourself what you aren’t noticing, and then explore your 5 senses and see what they are telling you.
What are you hearing (in addition to the body sensations and symptoms you are experiencing). Pretending the symptoms aren’t there isn’t a good strategy. Acknowledge the body sensations and thank them for letting you know that you should be on alert. Then focus on what “else” you are feeling.
13. Learn How To Reprogram Your Mind
Remember when I mentioned to you that the ideas that we hold in our conscious mind for long enough eventually begin to make their way down into our unconscious mind?
That little tidbit holds the key to what is necessary to reprogram your mind.
It’s something called: Spaced-Time Repetition.
Start consciously holding in your minds-eye what it is you want. While at first, you may resist it, you will find that over time, it will find its way into your subconscious.
Look don’t take my word for it. Consider for a moment how much big companies pay for advertising, over and over again. I am sure you would agree with me that by now most people know what a big mac is. So why would advertisers continue to advertise over and over again?
It’s REPETITION. Repetition turns into indoctrination, and indoctrination that has transferred into your subconscious results in you making choices about what you are going to eat when you are just getting off of work and somehow managed to miss lunch altogether.
That’s why –
I recommend “writing the script of your life.”
Make a dedicated effort to write down what you want your life to look like 2 years from now. Describe it in as much details as you can imagine. This is a great time to be a little absurd.
For me, I wrote down a weight goal and pasted a picture of a bikini model up on my office wall.
Guess what I noticed the other day?
I had colored my hair almost exactly like the bikini model in the photograph on my wall.
Coincidence? Nah, not when I look at it every day. It’s just that I didn’t realize I had done it until I noticed it when my husband were talking about the image the other day.
It’s pretty cool how the subconscious mind drives the body to take the actions it takes.
Use this to your advantage.
Once you have written down your life script, now you will want to engage in the repetition part. Read it every day. Dictate it onto your smart device and listen to it on the way to work every day (possibly several times per day).
Commit to doing this for 45 days, and see if you don’t notice shifts in your life
14. An ELF Can Guide You On Discovering What To Change
In addition to the ABC method, Dr. David Thomas introduced the idea that you can use the ELF acronym to challenge your beliefs and eliminate irrational thinking.
ELF stands for:
E (Empirical Data) Big word for: Is this Fact or Fiction?
L (Logical?) Does it make sense to have this thought?
F (Functional) Does it keep you out of danger?
Dr. David Thoma
Let’s dive into an example. I’ll use my own weight loss as an example. Consider that I grew up in an impoverished area. Food was scarce. There were times we simply didn’t eat.
Evaluating your beliefs using E.L.F
For me access to food became everything. After we had moved to the U.S. and even when food was in abundance, I ate as if it were going to be my last meal for a while and I might not have access to food for a while.
The thought was: “Food is scarce.”
Distinguishing Fact From Fiction (Empirical Data)
Looking at the (empirical data) fact or fiction aspect, I’m surrounded by food and access to it.
So this is indeed fiction given my current circumstances.
Deciphering Whether It Is Logical
Is it logical for me to continue thinking that food is in limited supply? While it may be understandable, there really isn’t a moment these days where I couldn’t hop in the car and go grab a bite to eat.
So given these circumstances, this isn’t logical.
Does the belief that food is scarce protect me somehow? Does it further my survival? Does it keep me safe?
In this case, no, not at all. It used to serve me when I was young, but carrying this into adulthood has been more detrimental than anything.
So, once again, it does not serve a purposeful function.
15. Believe That You Are In Control Of Your Thoughts
One of the things to recognize is that you have created your own thoughts and shaped your own behavior. No one did it, but you. So if you feel stuck, you CAN get unstuck.
It’s important to take responsibility for your thoughts. Recognize that although it may feel like you are a prisoner to the Uber driver of your mind, locked in and someone else has the keys, you can take back control.
The first step is taking ownership of your thought life. This is a good place to start working with a counselor.
Run down the ELF list and evaluate your beliefs, then through repetition start forming new beliefs.
16. Learn To Decrease Exponential Negative Thinking
Consider that thoughts are magnetic in a way. Negative thoughts tend to attract more negative thoughts and vice versa. When you find yourself tied to the negative thought train, call a time-out.
It’s time to reshape what you are thinking about. I do this with my gratitude journal.
At one point, I wasn’t happy in my marriage. I was considering starting over. The negative thoughts were piling up. I began to only see the negative in my life surrounding my marriage.
I’ll spare you the details, but what I did to change it was that I sat down every day and began to list things about my marriage, for which I was thankful.
It completely changed my perspective. As I explored the things that were positive, I began to notice more positive aspects of my married life.
Here’s what I mean:
- Look around the room or area you are in right now.
- Take note of everything that is “brown” in color.
- Now grab a piece of paper and a pen.
- While keeping your eyes closed, scribble out everything that you saw that was orange.
The concept here is that when you focus on one thing, you tend to focus on one thing.
17. The Role Of The 5 Senses In Coping With Anxiety
Just like I’ve eluded to previously, it’s hard to focus on “other” things when you are hyper-focused on one thing. If you are hyper-focused on your anxiety, it’s going to be tough to notice other things that are a positive attributes of your life.
One way to get around this is to push pause on your hyper-focused anxiety and start asking yourself these questions:
- What am I hearing right now? (besides what is triggering the panicked feelings). Write it down somewhere. (Writing engages the thinking mind). Are there birds? Is there music? Is there the sound of planes, cars, etc.?
- What am I seeing right now? Is it dark? Is it light out? Try to see how many things you can identify.
- What am I tasting right now? Maybe you can taste the residual of your coffee or soda?
- What am I feeling right now? Is there anything touching my skin? Is it a breeze? Is it cold? Is it hot? Is it soft? Is it course?
- What am I smelling right now? Is there a scent of perfume?
I think you get the idea here. Be as elaborate as possible. Then think of things you wish you could hear, see, taste, feel, or touch right now. Change your environment.
Remember you have control of yourself and your environment. This is essential to building great self-confidence.
18. What Is Neuroplasticity And Why Is It Good News For Someone Suffering With Anxiety?
When I found out about the concept of neuroplasticity, I felt relieved.
Neuroplasticity is the ability of the brain to form and reorganize synaptic connections, especially in response to learning or experience or following injury. “neuroplasticity offers real hope to everyone from stroke victims to dyslexics”
This means that the brain is capable of creating neuro-pathways and create “workarounds” for problems you might be facing. A treatment method that is gaining popularity because of its effectiveness these days is Neurofeedback Therapy.
What Is Neurofeedback Therapy And How Does It Help With Anxiety?
Neurofeedback therapy is a form of biofeedback that involves monitoring the brain’s electrical activity in real-time. It uses an EEG (electroencephalography) scan to measure several different frequencies and responses and then provides feedback using visual or auditory cues.
This feedback helps you recognize patterns in your own brain activity so that you can begin to understand how your nervous system works and learn ways to manage it more effectively.
Neurofeedback therapy helps with anxiety because it allows you to become aware of the physical sensations associated with anxiety, as well as the thoughts and feelings that accompany it.
By being aware of these patterns, you can then begin to take control of them and develop new strategies for managing your anxiety.
You can also learn how to change the way you respond to triggers, allowing you to better regulate your emotions and limit the feelings of anxiety.
19. The Great Benefits Of A Support Group
When it comes to dealing with an anxiety attack, one of the best things you can do is find a community of people who have gone through similar experiences as you.
Support groups provide a safe place for you to share your struggles and get advice from others that are going through the same thing. It’s a great way to build relationships, get support, and learn more about how to cope with anxiety.
It’s also important to remember that no matter what others may think or say, you are not alone in your struggles. Being surrounded by a supportive group of people can help to make you feel less isolated and remind you that you’re never alone.
20. Essential Oils For Treating Anxiety
If you’re looking for a natural way to ease the symptoms of your anxiety, essential oils might be just the thing. Different essential oils have different effects on the body and mind, so it’s important to find out which ones work best for you.
For example, lavender oil is known to help reduce stress levels and promote relaxation. While chamomile oil has calming properties and can be used to reduce anxiety.
21. Don’t Hesitate To Seek Professional Help
If your anxiety is severe, don’t hesitate to seek help from a mental health professional. Anxiety can be debilitating and it’s important to get the right treatment in order to manage it effectively.
Your doctor or therapist may suggest cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) or medications such as anti-depressants and anti-anxiety drugs. They’ll also provide you with tips and tools to help you cope and manage your anxiety better.
Anxiety attacks can be overwhelming and it’s completely normal to feel scared or overwhelmed by them. But there are steps that you can take to help yourself recover from an anxiety attack, and eventually gain control of your emotions again.
Signs That Your Anxiety Can Be Managed
This is where I recommend you approach your situation with a ton of grace. See where things are shifting for you. I remember when I started to employ some of the methods I discussed above, there were people who said, it couldn’t be done.
The owner of my gym told me, “Yeah, you just want to look good for your wedding.” Once you get through that, we will never see you in this place.” My husband told me that he believed the same thing. His reasoning was that he had seen the pattern in the past.
I held my ground and told him, “I’ve changed on the inside. You don’t know me anymore. You might not be able to see it, but I know I’ve changed.” That was over 4 months ago and 8 inches off my waist ago.
Look for the little wins. Visualize your having what it is that you want. You want peace. You want calmness of mind. See yourself as already having it.
If you have this on repeat in your mind, you will notice other similar thoughts grouping together.
Each morning when I get up I write down 10-20 things I’m thankful for. This gratitude journal has shifted my focus from what I don’t want to what I love about my life.
Words and ideas truly can shape your life and your present circumstances.
Here are some great books and products that can help you learn to deal with anxiety attacks.
52 Stress Less & Self Care Cards
The Anxiety Journal
Sterling Silver Anti Anxiety Ring
Anxiety – The Missing Stage Of Grief