Hello! My name is Sarah, I am a Time to Change Champion. I have had anxiety since the age of 11 and also suffer with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Through therapy, I have learnt to implement various tools to help me control my anxiety, panic attacks, and feelings of discomfort, and through trial and error I have found the ones that fit best for me and would like to share them with you. I hope they will help in some way. However, I appreciate they may not work for you, and that is okay, they are purely suggestions.
Suggestions for controlling anxiety
1. Challenge the anxiety
A technique I have learnt over the years is, when I am in a panic or anxious state, is to ask myself a question, for example, “Is this a situation I have no control over?”, or, “Is this something I can take action on?”. This brings me back to the present moment, and it also gets my brain to begin focusing rationally.
By slowing your breathing down, this helps prevent the uncomfortable physical symptoms. Try to get a slower and more stable breathing rhythm by breathing in for three seconds, holding your breath for two seconds, and then breathing out for three seconds.
3. Positive Statements
When I am in a panicked state, I tend to repeat either out loud or in my head positive coping statements. Its important to find which one sits best with you and you feel comfortable saying. The most common one I use is “my anxiety will naturally pass, and like all emotions I feel, this will not last forever”.