Sudden anxiety can be frightening and challenging to deal with, and if you’ve ever had it happen, it’s something you hope never to repeat. Following are five ways to deal with a moment of sudden anxiety.
Don’t squelch the first twinges of anxiety, but try to identify their source.
If you feel severe or sudden anxiety begin, you’ll be tempted to ignore the feelings and keep doing what you’re doing. Don’t try to ignore or resist the feelings, but step into them. The moment the anxiety begins, ask yourself what’s happening, and see if you can identify what’s causing the sudden anxiety. If you can, fix the immediate problem; if not, get away from what you’re doing and find a quiet place until the anxiety goes away.
The sooner you can identify and remedy the immediate problem, the faster the anxiety will fade.
Many people tend to hold their breath when they have sudden anxiety, which makes the problem worse. Take a deep, cleansing breath in through your nose—you should feel your abdomen expand—and blow it out forcefully and completely through the mouth. Keep on deep breathing, and you’ll feel your anxiety lessen.
Let the anxiety wash over you.
If the first twinges develop into a full-blown bout of anxiety, let it happen. When you can accept the anxiety, it will go away much faster than if you try to fight it. Think of it as a rush of water that will envelop you for a moment and then fade away.
Don’t leap to conclusions.
Often, people having sudden anxiety let their minds wander and imagine all kinds of possible scenarios. They may think about someone dying, or losing everything they have, which of course increases the anxiety. Clear your mind, as much as you can, and don’t let your thoughts move to places or circumstances that frighten you.
Remember that it’s not forever.
Anxiety passes on its own, but you need to make sure you don’t cause yourself greater harm. Relax as much as you can. That is easier said than done, and if you have frequent anxiety, practicing these steps will become second nature over time.
Do you have any tips for dealing with sudden anxiety?