May 21, 2016

13 things that help when you have anxiety or a panic attack

If you suffer anxiety you'll know that it can be pretty fucking horrible. I hadn't had anxiety for around ten years and then all of a sudden (well mainly because I was pushing myself too much) it came back and it's taken me a good few weeks to get on top of the panic attacks.

When I was in the thick of it and having panic attacks regularly, I found myself googling things like 'how to get over anxiety' and other various panic attack questions. I actually found it really helpful to do this and read through peoples comments on forums and other peoples 'success stories'.

I am going to write an in depth post about it at some point but I thought I would start by sharing some of the things that help me when I'm feeling anxious.

1. Breathe. I never understood it when I heard people going on about breathing all the time. I'd be like 'I think I know how to breathe' but I didn't. Sometimes when you have a panic attack or you feel anxious you hyperventilate, you don't even notice it but your breathing picks up and you get too much oxygen in your blood. Which is ironic because at the time you feel like you can't breathe.
But taking a minute to focus on taking a big breath in and a big breath out, slowing it down and coming back to the moment and focusing is the best thing you can do. This is the number one thing that helps me and always works. Sometimes it will take a while but it always calms my heart rate and reduces the anxiety.

2. Know that it's not going to last forever. Remember all those times you had a terrible panic attack and you thought it was never going to end, but then it did? Remind yourself of that. It will end, nothing lasts forever and you won't always feel like that.

3. Things I tell myself. I'm a huge believer in the law of attraction and if I let the anxiety take a hold, the feeling will only escalate. When you are having thoughts of anxiety you attract those kind of situations. I make a huge point of 'changing my mood' and deliberately focusing on happy times, things to look forward to, I think about my kids or go and play with them.

4. Make a mental list of all the things you're grateful for. This comes back down to the law of attraction too. It's very hard to feel sad or anything else but gratitude when you're thinking about all the blessings in your life. If you're going through a particularly bad time and find it hard to think of things to be grateful for, simply be grateful you are alive, be grateful for your family.

5. Go for a walk outside. I find going outside, being in nature really really helps. Trees are proven to have a calming effect on you. I like to take my dog for a big walk, play with her outside and walk around.

6. Identify your triggers. Chances are there are triggers that cause you to have a panic attack or anxiety (I know that it can be a real bitch and just come out of nowhere as well though) but if you identify these triggers and work on them (and by work on them I don't mean avoid them or try and cut these things out of your life) just try and get to the source of it and really think about why it causes you to feel this way.
7. Sing. Singing makes me happy (even though I suck at it) I think it must release some happy hormones or something. If I'm feeling anxious I like to turn up some music and sing out my favourite songs loudly, music and singing can be really healing, especially if I'm driving. It helps release some of that pent up energy too.
8. Drink some water. Being dehydrated plays havoc with your body and your mind. Hydrate yourself immediately.

9. Yoga. Yoga is a practice that focuses on the breath, it's a mind-body practice that really brings you back to the moment and teaches you to listen to your body. It reduces stress, lowers blood pressure and heart rate. I don't usually do this in the middle of a panic attack but I practise it regularly to de-stress and avoid anxiety and panic attacks. I've found that getting overly stressed and not taking time out to breathe and relax my mind properly is the main cause of my anxiety, so yoga and meditation is a great prevention method of anxiety for me.

10. Look at your diet. Again, not something that really helps in the middle of a panic attack but when trying to prevent anxiety it's one of the most helpful things. When I took a good look at my diet I found that I was healthy(ish), I mean I ate only organic food and had a lot of vegetables in my diet BUT I ate a shit tonne of sugar, caffeine and would often (accidentally) skip breakfast or lunch and sometimes both. I would be stressed at work and have 3 cups of sugary tea in a row, or eat a packet of mini eggs and forget all about eating lunch. Like seriously, no wonder I was having anxiety, from the sugar come downs alone. I also found that drinking alcohol made me feel anxious, I don't know whether it's the ethanol in it or the fact I'm getting older and can't handle it or if it's a trigger that something bad could happen when you're not in control that makes me feel that way but I decided I needed to cut it out, as well as sugar. The cutting out of sugar made me so much hungrier for real nourishing food and I began making breakfast a huge priority, making smoothies as well as eating poached eggs on toast or porridge. Again it comes back down to listening to your body and respecting that what you put into it, effects the way you feel and the ability for you to function properly.

11. Disconnect. Being glued to the computer or your phone can make you feel very disconnected to reality. It's a great distraction from your real problems to mindlessly surf the internet and scroll through pretty pictures on instagram, especially when you're feeling anxious. But taking a big break from technology and connect with yourself is an important step in feeling mindful and 'in the moment'. Most peoples jobs are computer based these days so if that's the case, limit your weekends to an our or two of internet time. Turn your phone and your laptop off and enjoy spending time in the moment.

12. Cuddle. Human touch is very comforting. Find your partner, your friend or your kids, even your pet and have a cuddle.

13. Other people go through this. I know this might sound silly but when I researched this and I found out that hundreds of people go through this, some of my favourite and most respected celebrities suffer with this and still lead incredibly successful lives, it did make me feel better. For example, people like
Contance Hall, Zoella, Oprah Winfrey, Amanda Seyfried, Ellie Goulding, Emma Stone, Lena Dunham have also suffered anxiety and panic attacks.
You're not weird and you don't need to go through it alone, talking to other people about this made m

I hope this is helpful for some of you xx



  1. They are some more than useful tips…thanks for sharing..
    Just passing by

  2. Thanks for your tips!! Great post!
    Love from {a lifestyle, fashion, beauty, and food blog}


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