How to Get Over Anxiety When It Strikes


It's 3 o'clock in the morning, and you're wide awake.

While the world sleeps around you, your thoughts begin to race out of control. They come at you from every angle, all jumbled up in a mess of reminders, things to do, and questions about what the future might bring. You do your best to get your thoughts under control, but it's too late.

Trembling, heart pounding in your chest, you settle in for another restless night's sleep.

If this sounds like you, you're probably far familiar with the devastating consequences of anxiety. Many people downplay their exotic behavior or accept it as just the way things are. After all, there is still a stigma associated with seeking help for mental health problems … especially in western cultures.

Anxiety affects hundreds of millions of people across the world, and unfortunately, most of them do not know how to deal with it. Like many other mental health issues, it strikes at unpredictable times; you'll be getting through your day just fine, and then out of now, the symptoms will appear unexpectedly. Because so many people do not know how to control their intrusive thoughts during these sporadic anxious moments, they often turn to substance abuse, drugs, binge eating, or other "emotional band aids" to dull the effects of their condition.

If you want to avoid the stress and these undesirable consequences, here are a few tips how to get over anxiety when it arises:

Stop trying to overpower your anxious thoughts with logic . Most people think they can simply overpower their emotional feelings with their conscious thoughts. How many times have you tried to make your intrusive thoughts go away by thinking them really hard? The issue with this is you're trying to fight primal, emotional states with logic … it just is not effective. A better approach is to accept theothersome thoughts when they appear and focus your energy on the methods described below.

Try deep, conscious breathing . Anxious thoughts can lead to a tight feeling in your chest and a shortness of breath. Fortunately, something as simple as practiced breathing can slow down your heart rate and ease the tension in your body. It may sound obvious, but in the middle of one of these anxiety attacks it's easy to forget. Try 10 breaths with a 4-4-4 count (Inhale for 4 seconds, hold the breath for 4 seconds, and exhale for 4 seconds). Remember to breathe from your diaphragm, not your upper chest.

Clear your mental desk . Take out a sheet of blank paper and write down everything you're thinking about at this moment. It does not matter if your thoughts are silly, mundane, or downright scary. The important thing is to get all of them down on paper, because this helps you distance yourself psychologically from your thoughts. For an even more effective twist, cross out all the ones you wrote down that you can not control.

Try aromatherapy, chamomile tea, or indulging in other simple pleasures . It's hard to beat a warm bath with spotted bath salt or a great-smelling candle (lavender, in particular, is known to be effective in relieving tension). Sometimes all it takes to turn back a bout of anxiety is making yourself something warm to drink, turning on your favorite comedy show, or calling an old friend for a chat.

Learning how to manage your anxious thoughts when they arise gives you power over them and can do wonders for your peace of mind. If you want to rid yourself of this mental health condition for good, however, you should embrace a holistic approach to identify the root cause of your condition and take proactive measures to cure it.