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How to get rid of anxiety and panic: Effective techniques to help you calm down

How to get rid of anxiety and panic: Effective techniques to help you calm down Illustrative photo (Photo: Freepik)
Author: Daria Shekina

Stress, anxiety, and panic - these are the feelings that are hard to avoid in today's conditions. Dealing with constant background anxiety makes it difficult to focus on daily tasks, work, or spend time with loved ones. Therefore, the first step is to help yourself manage these feelings. The national mental health program "How Are You?", shares self-soothing techniques for handling stressful situations.

Slow breathing technique

Close your eyes. Feel the floor with your feet. Take a deep and slow breath through your nose, counting to three. Inhale deeply into the bottom of your lungs. Now exhale slowly through your mouth, counting to six.

Repeat this at least four times. If you feel discomfort, stop.

Usually, in stressful situations, people tend to have shallow breathing. This slow breathing technique helps regain control in such situations.

Shake off stress technique

Stand up and lift one leg. Vigorously shake it as if something is stuck to the sole of your foot. While doing this, try to relax the leg. Now do the same with the other leg.

Then do it with your arms one by one. While doing this exercise, imagine that you are shaking off all the accumulated negativity.

Repeat the exercise several times.

Pebble technique

Clench your hands into fists, as if they were two pebbles. Hold them like this for seven to ten seconds. After that, relax them for 15-20 seconds.

Now, do the same by tensing your entire body. You are now one big pebble. After a few seconds, relax.

Pay attention to whether any individual muscles remain tense. If so, do the exercise specifically with them.

Finally, relax your entire body completely. Try to feel a wave of relaxation spreading throughout your body.

What not to do when dealing with stress

To truly help yourself and not worsen the problem, avoid:

  • Trying to improve your mood with alcohol, cigarettes, narcotics, coffee, sweets, overeating, etc.
  • Postponing life and goals.
  • Isolating yourself from people and experiencing stress alone.
  • Releasing negative energy through yelling and arguing.
  • Blaming yourself for problems.
  • Dwelling on the past and criticizing yourself for actions and thoughts.
  • Giving up and not fighting.
  • Waiting for the stress to disappear on its own.

To avoid self-destruction, think about your values and the person you want to become. This will help you work more effectively with the problem.