Anxiety is a topic I could talk about for hours, as it has taken up several years of my life. I have worked through numerous methods to help ease the disconcerning feeling and hope I am able to help at least one person find something that works for them.
The biggest thing I realized through endless research on the topic is that everyone needs a different anxiety-fighting concoction to help them win the battle. Here are some non-medical tools I found work for me:
This may sound cliche but with the right therapist it can be really helpful. I’ve gone to several counselors, but the free one on my college campus was the most helpful.
One of the most helpful tips she gave me was to focus on something I could see, hear, and feel around me. This made me connect with the present moment and distract my thoughts from an oncoming panic attack.
Calm is still my favorite. This is a great tool to use while walking or driving to work. It can also be used in an emergency situation to soothe a panic attack.
This is a short podcast based on Christian Science (this is not scientology). It provides an uplifting spiritual message each day that can be applicable to anyone’s situation.
I always loved YouTube and it was a large component of my fight against anxiety. I found one video of a girl explaining her anxiety in the exact way I was experiencing it. She made me feel like I was not alone and showed me what it looked like to gain control.
This may be obvious, but it plays a huge role in managing anxiety. A doctor told me exercising three times a week is the minimum needed to make an impact.
I used to have terrible anxiety at work. I would pull up Longreads or The New Yorker to distract myself for a moment without having to leave my desk.
This sounds weird but I’ve had professionals tell me other people use this trick too. Rehydrating can refresh your brain and help your body fight off a panic attack.
Last but not least, if absolutely nothing is working leave your current situation. I’ve left social situations, work, and class because I could not stop my panic attack. Usually, removing yourself for a moment allows you to sort it out and return later. Sometimes just the fear of others around you noticing is enough to propel an attack. In my experience, most people are understanding and will respect your need for a moment of solitude.