Stop Right There: Preventing Anxiety Attacks

This article was written by a guest author.
Photo Credit: Unsplash

When you struggle with anxiety, coping with anxiety attacks comes with the territory. When you feel one coming on, it’s difficult to stop. But don’t worry — there are things you can do to prevent them! When you practice deep breathing, limit your news exposure, use a weighted blanket, and seek therapy you can fend off the pending anxiety attack.

Deep breathing

Deep breathing has been shown to positively impact the autonomic nervous system, the cardiovascular system, and more. In fact, an abundance of cultures worldwide have used deep breathing for stress relief and relaxation for actual centuries.

The two types of breathing are diaphragmatic (deep abdominal breathing involving the diaphragm) and thoracic (fast, shallow breathing without using the diaphragm). The former can help your body calm by allowing the lungs to completely fill with air. The latter doesn’t allow the lungs this luxury, only allowing some airflow and causing anxiety.

Often, you can find relief in only a few breaths. The next time you feel an attack coming on, stop, sit, close your eyes, and take three deep breaths in. If that doesn’t help, try one of these techniques from Headspace.

Limiting news exposure

It’s important to stay informed on global events, but too much can be overwhelming. Watching nerve-racking news can cause anxiety, depression, and fatigue. Even having it on as background noise can affect you.

Make a rule for yourself about news intake. Maybe you only watch an hour a day, only watch in the evening after work, or use social media to catch up. You can also tell your family that news talk isn’t allowed at the dinner table unless it’s positive.

Make sure you’re getting your news from reliable sources so you don’t have to spend more time seeking out the correct information. Once you’ve discovered the true facts, step away for the rest of the day or night. Staying informed is one thing, but being in constant distress over the state of the world is quite another.

Creating a stress-free home office

If you work from home, it’s important to create a space that is comfortable and inviting. A cluttered or cramped home office can be stressful and make it difficult to focus on work. Instead, take some time to declutter your workspace and add personal touches that make you feel relaxed. For example, you might want to add a few scented candles or an air purifier to help reduce stress. You might also want to add some greenery to your office. It’s also a good idea to bring in some ergonomically correct furniture to increase lumbar support and lower stress. By creating a calming environment in your home office, you can help reduce anxiety and increase productivity.

Using a weighted blanket

Weighted blankets use pockets of pellets to create light pressure on the body. This is called deep pressure stimulation. As explained by Mela, there are many benefits with a few being:

  • Enhanced oxytocin
  • Release of dopamine and serotonin
  • Reduced levels of cortisol
  • Reduction of anxiety and stress
  • Enhanced calm
  • Happier mood

These benefits can all reduce the chances of an anxiety attack taking over.

Once you’re under your blanket, give it a minute or two to take effect. Focus on your breathing and do your best to calm your body. In just a few moments, you’ll start to feel more relaxed.

Weighted blankets can be expensive, but you can make your own to save some cash.

Improve your diet

The link between what we eat and how we feel is well-established. Eating a healthy diet helps to ensure that our bodies are getting the nutrients they need to function optimally. This can help to reduce the symptoms of anxiety and promote a sense of wellbeing.

There are a number of kitchen products that can help you eat healthier. A good-quality chef’s knife can be a great tool for preparing healthy meals, a set of mixing bowls is also a helpful kitchen tool for eating healthy, and a food scale can be a useful tool for making sure you are eating the right amount of food. Whenever investing in kitchen products, read detailed reviews to ensure you’re purchasing high-quality items

Go to therapy

Therapy has been somewhat stigmatized in our culture, but it shouldn’t be. It can influence the way you think, feel, act, relate to others, handle stress, and make healthy choices. It also gives you a listening ear for you to vent to.

It will take a few sessions to build trust, but once you’re comfortable therapy will become something you look forward to. You can share your thoughts and feelings in a safe space without judgment. Plus, a skilled therapist will offer anxiety-reducing tools specific to your needs.

Don’t let anxiety attacks control your life. Instead, practice deep breathing, limit your news exposure, design a stress-free home office, use a weighted blanket, and try therapy. In time, you’ll be able to easily defeat your anxiety attacks before they even start.

If you’re suffering from addiction, Fit Recovery can help you recover by optimizing your physical and mental health. Start the healing process today!


  • Chris Scott

    Chris Scott founded Fit Recovery in 2014 to help people from around the world dominate alcohol dependence and rebuild their lives from scratch. A former investment banker, he recovered from alcohol dependence using cutting-edge methods that integrate nutrition, physiology, and behavioral change. Today, Chris is an Alcohol Recovery Coach and the creator of an online course called Total Alcohol Recovery 2.0.

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