What to Do When Anxiety Starts to Kick In


If you’ve ever felt anxious, you know how scary it is. It starts with one single negative thought and turns into a flood of thoughts that build up tension and negativity. Your breathing quickens, your heart starts to pound, and you can hear it in your ears. It feels like you’re going crazy.

But trust us, you’re not. This is just an anxiety attack. And there are a few tricks you can use at the moment that will shift your focus and calm you down. Read on to learn more about what anxiety is and how to manage it both short- and long-term.

What Is Anxiety?

Anxiety disorder is fairly common, as it affects 30 percent of adults at one point in their lives. Anxiety is defined as a feeling of fear, nervousness, or worry in anticipation of an event or uncertainty of an outcome. It is a normal function in our body that warns us of potential danger.

Experiencing stress during public speaking, for example, is normal. But when it becomes an everyday issue and starts affecting your life, relationships, and even your health, then it becomes a problem.


Having a few deep and slow breaths is a way of telling your body to relax. And in the moment of an anxiety attack, that’s exactly what we need — to calm down and simply be present, not thinking about anything, just focusing on the breath.

You might find the 4-7-8 breathing technique useful. You need to breathe in for 4 seconds, then hold your breath for 7 seconds and exhale slowly for 8 seconds. You can do this until you feel calmer.

Get Out of Your Head

There is a simple exercise that can help you get out of your head and focus on the outer world: use your fingers as your name:

● 1 thing you can taste
● 2 things you can smell
● 3 things you can touch
● 4 things you can hear
● 5 things you can see at that moment

Try it out and see how it makes you feel.

Is That Really Important?

We tend to worry about everything, even the things that will not matter tomorrow. So take some time and think if the thing you’re worried about right now will matter in five days, five months, or even five years. It can help you get a different perspective on your worries and give you that much-needed peace of mind.

You Are Not Your Thoughts!

Negative thoughts do not define you. It’s just your brain running wild trying to protect you from all the bad things that can happen. And the truth is, there is a very small percentage of those things ever becoming a reality. So it’s just so much work for nothing. And it’s much healthier to worry about things when they happen than before they manifest. Otherwise, you’re going to worry twice, and that’s just not good for you.

Long-Term Anxiety Management

Now, let’s talk about how we can work on downsizing the grip that anxiety has on us.

Face Your Anxiety

There’s no other way of dealing with anxiety than facing it directly. It might take some time, and you’ll have to try a few things to see what works for you in order to get a better hold of it. Here are some essentials for effectively facing anxiety.

Always Check with Doctors

There’s always a possibility that anxiety is just a symptom of something bigger. So regular checkups should be a priority. If you ignore the main cause, it doesn’t matter if you do every anxiety management exercise we mentioned. This should be a number one rule for life in general, not just when anxiety kicks in. It will definitely rule out some health-related anxiety thoughts.

Sleep, Eat, Exercise

Getting enough sleep, having a healthy diet, and exercising regularly are crucial to combating anxiety. This triad is the pillar of most issues today, so these should be the first things to start working on.

● Going to bed early in a dark and quiet space is the best option. Try to eliminate any stimulants that can affect your sleep.
● Caffeine and sugar can stimulate your anxiety, so they should be cut off or reduced from your diet.
● When it comes to exercise, it is proven that physical activity reduces feelings of anxiety. You just need to get the green light from your doctor, and you’re good to go.

Take Care of Yourself

You can have a bubble bath or some tea time while reading a book, but still, the most important thing about taking care of yourself is learning to say no. Not setting boundaries can be the root cause of all your anxiety and stress. Know your limits and remember that your needs are equally important as everyone else’s.

Remove It from Your System

Try talking to someone about it, or simply journal it. Different voices can help us see a different perspective on the issue and help us better understand the problem we are dealing with. Or maybe you just need to get it out of your system, and pen and paper are perfect for venting. After that, you can leave it aside and go along with your day.

In Closing

This is not something you master overnight; it needs some time and patience. So be patient with yourself. Be kind and understanding. Talk to yourself as you would with your best friend. It might take some practice, but it will be worth it. So take a deep breath and start having that conversation.

About The Author

Sarah is a life enjoyer, a positivity seeker, and a curiosity enthusiast. She is passionate about an eco-friendly lifestyle and adores her cats. She is an avid reader who loves to travel when time allows.