by Gabriel Gonyea, Gravity Blankets Community Member
Picture a snowball rolling down a large hill. As it tumbles, it gains momentum and before you know it, all you see is a white boulder.
Anxiety is the same way in many respects. We often sense the pressure building within ourselves, and it eventually feels unstoppable.
But what if we caught anxiety in its early stages: Before it got out of hand?
I’m not going to lie to you, sometimes panic will set in too quickly to be prevented. However, the better we get at catching anxiety right away the more it will allow us to use coping tools than if we had waited too long.
Here Are 6 Simple Yet Effective Ways To Deal With Anxiety Before It Gets Out Of Hand:
- Accept Your Anxiety: Be Mindful
- Deep, Thoughtful Breathing
- Talk To Someone You Enjoy Being Around
- Laugh Sincerely
- Distract With Something Tangible
- Use Your Gravity Weighted Blanket
1) Accept Your Anxiety: Be Mindful
Anxiety thrives in chaos, so the more momentum it gains only makes things worse.
One great way to stop this is to accept our anxiety and practice mindfulness. When we take a moment to just admit, “I’m starting to feel off” we can begin using coping skills to get away from the chaos.
Imagine the snowball again, it’s difficult to stop once it reaches the bottom of the hill, but what if we were further up the hill? It would be much easier to catch. Anxiety is the same, and this skill requires us to accept what we are feeling.
The second half of acceptance is mindfulness; meaning, we don’t judge ourselves. We just live in the current moment. So, take in what is going around you. Is it warm out, cold out, is there a gentle breeze brushing against your cheek?
Let your senses do the talking, and try to focus on the calming things around you. One great way to achieve mindfulness is to take deep breaths.
2) Deep, Thoughtful Breathing
One simple yet effective way of dispatching Snowballing Anxiety is to take slow, deep breaths. Try it for yourself!
First, take ten fast, shallow breaths and notice the slight panic that accompanies. Then take 5 slow, deep breaths. Can you feel the calming effect it has?
This calm state is only heightened when it is accompanied by thoughtful breathing. Thoughtful breathing is a lot like meditating and can be done anywhere.
When we are trying to stop anxiety, we should be thinking about every little detail as we breathe. Focus on if your shoulders rise or fall as you inhale or exhale. Let your chest rise and fall. Feel the pace and keep it.
When done correctly, we can feel a complete change in our mind and body. Keep this tool close by!
3) Talk To Someone You Enjoy Being Around
Do you have someone who is just all around pleasant to be with? Whether this is through their humor or great listening skills, it can bring a lot of relief!
In the day and age where getting ahold of someone is at the tip of your fingers, I have found this strategy to be quite effective.
Communicating early on with people can prevent anxiety attacks! When it comes to mental health, there is a near-universal law that involves some type of community.
Having support from people we care about makes us feel better, and it doesn’t have to be a gigantic group either! Although many of us (myself included) can have anxiety so severe that even the thought of going out is too much, we still often respond well to talking with someone close.
So, talk to someone you enjoy! Even if it takes you away from what you are currently doing. It doesn’t have to be a long conversation, just enough to settle your anxiety!
4) Laugh Sincerely
Anxiety isn’t a laughing matter because it can be devastating and scary. Ironically enough, laughing can be one of the most effective ways to deal with it. Whether it be turning on your favorite sitcom or talking to a friend who makes you chuckle, this tip will help prevent Snowballing Anxiety.
If we are laughing with sincerity, it is harder to have panic attacks. This has to do with our bodies and feelings being conflicted.
This means, if you are experiencing the “snowball” start to roll faster and faster you may feel anxiety creeping up. But if we are, for example, told something funny and our body reacts with laughter, our feeling of discomfort may change as well.
Laughing sincerely isn’t letting out a fake laugh. It means that we are purposely searching for something that brings us true enjoyment! Letting out a joyful belly-laugh is a great way to slow down anxiety.
5) Distract With Something Tangible
Using distraction is a simple way to settle your emotions because getting our mind off the troubling thought is half of the battle. This coping strategy is most effective before things get out of control.
One simple distraction is to find something entertaining to fidget with. This can really be anything you want! In fact, there are even apps for assisting with anxiety. And many of these can be pulled up on demand.
Distracting is all about changing your focus, and this is why it is such a great tool to fight off early uneasiness. Because when we switch our mind to something else it allows us to use other coping mechanisms.
We are talking about simple yet effective ways to stop Snowballing Anxiety, and distraction is the perfect fit.
6) Use Your Gravity Weighted Blanket
When it comes to anxiety prevention, using a Gravity weighted blanket is on the top. Imagine those moments when you are at home, and you cannot stop worrying about an upcoming event.
Maybe you are hosting a party, or you have an upcoming job interview that is stressing you out. These are common and real-life causations of anxious thoughts, so how does the Gravity Blanket help? Simple, take a break from those stressful thoughts, and lay under a blanket that actually feels like it is reassuring you!
The fact of the matter is this blanket has been scientifically tested to help reduce anxiety and improve sleep. Just having the blanket alone encourages us to take breaks and relax.
The Gravity Blanket is great at stopping anxiety in its tracks. When you feel panic building, take a moment to lay under your weighted blanket for 10-15 minutes. You will find it exquisitely relaxing!
Your life doesn’t need to look like that snowball rolling down the hill for eternity. That’s not a healthy way to live. Instead, take action and work on these six tips to help you with your anxiety before it truly starts.
With time and practice, you’ll start to become a pro at coping with anxiety. You deserve to live a life free from uneasiness.
Learn more about Anxiety through our Six Steps To Anxiety Management Course!
Liked this blog post? You can read more from Gabriel Gonyea and his own blog here.