8 Ways to Deal with Panic,
Anxiety and Anger Now
There is nothing worse than feeling like your heart is going to burst out of your chest from a panic attack, anxiety or anger. What do you do when you feel like you’re going to explode because you’re so angry? Or you feel that extra heartbeat you get in the midst of panic attacks? How can you even think clearly when your body is filled with fear and flight mechanism?
I’ll tell you how with eight quick and simple tricks you can do right now, wherever you are, to quickly get yourself under control when you’re angry, in road rage, upset with a spouse, partner, boss, friend or family member. Don’t count on your significant other or a partner to calm you down. You need to learn techniques to calm yourself down because face it, you’re often alone when you’re freaking out, right? Sure, it’s great to go to a therapist, but in the moment, there is no therapist available. These are ways to deal with panic, anxiety and anger right now.
That’s right. Big belly breaths. Just suck it in and I don’t mean hyperventilate, I mean inhale deeply and expel all the air and then do it again and again, a bunch of times. Just breathe in and out. Big belly breaths.
Second, Breathe and Count
Those first few breaths got you a little bit under control. Now start counting count. Breathe in for 6 counts, hold for 6 counts, breathe out for 8 long counts. Do it again, and again. Expand your lungs. Take the air in. It refreshes the mind and body.
Third. Relax. Be Queenly or Kingly
When you’re in a state of uproar, your entire body tenses up, so you’ve got to let it relax. Drop your shoulders. Right now. Even while you’re reading this, drop them. Sit up. Hold yourself like a Queen or King and pull yourself together. When you let your breaths out, let your body parts relax … shoulders, tense fingers gripping the wheel, fidgety feet or hands, clenched jaw, just breathe into that tenseness and begin to relax. Keep breathing and straighten yourself up. Walk like a Queen. Walk like a King. Don’t fidget. Breathe. Relax. Sit up! Rise above your moments of struggle
Fourth. Hear, See, Smell
Now, look around. Name what you can see, out loud or quietly, but say it. What can you hear, see, smell? Call out what you see and hear as it will quickly bring you back to the moment and get you out of your head where your panic, anxiety and anger live. Get back to the here and now. Call it out. Look around and name what you see, hear and smell. Snow, ice, flowers, the wind in my hair, the smell of exhaust, birds, clouds, lines in the road, backyard, plants, artwork … whatever you can see, hear, smell, just name it and get yourself out of your upset-place and get back to this moment.
Fifth. Repeat One Word
Have a go-to word or a phrase that you can use to calm yourself down. Hot Springs! Ice Cream! Sex! Jesus! Buddha! Say the one word over and over and over again until the repetitive rhythm permeates your mind and you begin to think of that word, and something other than what you’re struggling with.
Six. Boost your Cool
These suggestions have helped you to cool down and should have only taken you a few seconds, literally. Now boost yourself up. You were just in the midst of a major panic attack and now you’ve calmed down a bit. So, use your words as a mantra, repeated again and again; say positive, affirming, encouraging words out loud. I will overcome this. It was a mistake. I forgive that ridiculous driver. I’m sorry for hollering at my partner. I will turn this mess into a message. I’m thankful I got through that.
Seven. Quick Meditation
Now, stop, breathe and think. Meditation can be as easy as sitting still (or pulling the car over) and breathing and thinking about your surrounding environment, repeating a mantra, cooling down and getting your mind and body to return to neutral. Here’s a tip: Install a meditation app on your devices as there are probably z’illions of apps available.
You can quickly click a button to open the app and choose from a myriad of meditations, some as short as 30 seconds, 3 or 6 minutes and some much longer. Or just choose sounds, crashing or soothing waves, birds, nature, animal sounds or tropical sounds, you name it, you’ll find it in an app. Try several apps and settle on one or two you know you’ll use. It’s worth it to take 30 seconds or six minutes and listen to a guided meditation or nature sounds. You know you want to calm down.
You’ve taken steps to calm down, but it’s not over yet. You’ve righted your ship, you’ve listened to some meditative music or words or simply meditated for a few minutes on your own and you’ve returned to feeling like yourself again. Don’t let the moment pass or brush it under the rug. Now, you must go and make it right. If you caused anyone else to hurt when you were hurting, get right with them. Say you’re sorry. Ask for forgiveness. Make it up to them with actions, not just words.
Don’t blame anyone but yourself for your upset or your panic; embrace what happened in order to learn from it. The keyword is forgiveness. If you’ve really blown it, it’s your responsibility to woman up or man up, apologize, forgive and move forward with grace and humility. Forgive. Forgiving yourself and others is the best way you can love yourself and move on.
Cultivating an attitude of mindfulness throughout the day can help reduce these strong emotions. Breathe, think, talk out loud, compliment yourself, think of others, practice random acts of kindness, do something to get yourself out of your own mindset. You just had a panic attack, or were overcome with anxiety and worry or you just lost your temper in an epic tantrum. Anxiety, panic and anger all cause the body to release a flood of chemicals into the system and the brain simply cannot handle the overload. Mindfulness tips like these will help you get your panic, anxiety and anger under control in the moment you find yourself in an uncomfortable position.
Later, much later perhaps, you’ll be able to enjoy that hot springs, or a yoga class or a walk in the woods, but when you’re in the midst of an intense emotional feeling, these 8 ways to deal with panic, anxiety and anger will help you now.
Of course, diet, exercise, therapy and sometimes even medication can help with the worst of these traumatic times. Keep it in balance and remember that your first big, deep belly breath will begin to help you feel better immediately.