Anxiety and panic want to keep you trapped.
They want to hold you with their grubby paws and keep you rooted to the same spot.
When anxiety and panic are consuming you, it’s deciding to take a small step in a different direction that will produce a different result.
Small steps are all it takes.
It’s the small steps that will take you in a different direction and make all the difference for you.
These small steps will break the pattern of anxiety and panic, so they no longer have a hold on you.
The next time anxiety and panic are trying to grip you, give these 17 small but powerful steps a try. They could produce a very different result for you.
#1: Point your body where you want your mind to go
When you get anxious and panicky, you naturally want to stay in the same spot. By doing that, you’re allowing all the worrying thoughts to consume you. Get up. Go do something. Anything but stay in the same spot. When you change your physical state, you change your mental state.
#2: Close off the ‘what if…’
What if… what? Don’t jump from one what if scenario to the next. Finish off the what if… Rational thinking will tell you things rarely ever get as bad as your worrying thoughts will have you believe.
#3: Become present
The past has gone. The future hasn’t happened yet. The only thing that is real is this moment, right now. Let this profound appreciation melt your trouble away.
#4: Go for a walk, jog, run or drive
This is a reminder of point #1 because it’s the most effective. Go see what nature can offer you. Breathe in the air. Go for a drive, even if you have nowhere in particular to be. Anything but stay rooted to the same spot.
#5: Go people watch
Get out of the house and go to a cafe or some other public place. Just sit and observe. Take in your surroundings and get out of your head.
#6: Put your headphones on
Silence is a breeding ground for worrying thoughts. Listen to some music – any music. Let it influence your mood.
#7: Get away from negativity
Is someone (a toxic person) increasing your anxiety and panic? Get away from them. Distance yourself from them until you feel you’re in a better mental place to deal with them (if you have to).
When you internalise your anxiety and panic, it makes it ten times worse than it actually is. Talk about how you’re feeling. Speak to a friend or family member. If you need someone impartial, speak to a counsellor.
#9: Watch some comedy
You might not feel like laughing, but that’s the point. You’ve got to make an effort to change your state of mind if you want a different state of mind. Put your favourite funny film or comedian on, and let the laughter in.
#10: Get angry
Anger is an emotion that will supersede anxiety and panic. Get angry. Tell the internal bully you’re no longer willing to put up with the BS.
#11: Get grateful
Like anger, gratitude is an emotion that supersedes anxiety and panic. When you’re grateful for what you have, rather than worrying about what you haven’t got, that is a powerful state of mind.
#12: Let go
Immediately embrace the fact that you don’t have 100% control. Let go of that need to control. Set it free.
Keep It Simple, Stupid. Anxiety has a habit of overcomplicating everything. Have you taken a second to really appreciate what you’re getting anxious and panicky about? Is it worth it?
#14: Lower your expectations
You’re a perfectionist. You want things to be perfect. Yet, they never will be. Let go of the perfectionism and accept that what you do and who you are is good enough.
#15: Stay away from Dr Google
Doctors come in all shapes and sizes, good and bad. There is no worse doctor than Dr Google. He has the worst case scenario and diagnosis for any anxiety-related symptom you can type. Stay away from his surgery.
#16: Don’t care as much
Sounds a little cold, but being highly anxious and panicky means you’re caring too much about something. Try not caring as much.
#17: Remember who you are
You’ve got through 100% of your problems. It’s why you’re here. Don’t let anxiety or panic convince you that you’re weak. You’re not. You’re strong. Stronger than you give yourself credit for. Remember that the next time anxiety and panic tries to mess with you.