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Global Mod | Serious Health Hazard
Jul 12, 2022

Written by @Dot, I am just being the voice so more people can understand it.​

Okay, so you are having an anxiety episode.

We have compiled a list of different coping mechanisms and ways to calm down through mind and body - from cognitive strategies to physical methods to different things that might impact/help through your biology. Different things work for different people so hopefully something here covers most types of overwhelm.

Youtube videos:

A short guided meditation to bring you out of your head and grounding back into your body.

Following and learning this technique can be a good coping mechanism.

Breathing and voice exercise for despair and overwhelm starts at 3:30

If you cant watch a youtube video right now:

If panic has been triggered then leave the trigger and find somewhere quiet and safer if possible.
Triggers can be anything from sights, sounds, smells, people, places and social situations.

2. Control your breathing.

There is a good chance that your chest and upper body is frozen up, because your body is protecting itself from threats.
Breathing in through your nose and out through mouth for 5 seconds each.
Breathing in through the nose, helps to stretch out inner muscles that are cramped up through stress, and breathing out through the mouth helps relaxation.

3. Distract and move.

Get out of your head and into your body, an example to this is the 5-4-3-2-1 technique.
Works better when you are moving and interacting with your environment but it can be done sitting if you are not able to.

1. Find 5 things that you can see and name them out loud
They can be anything interesting or generic.​
2. Find 4 things that you can feel
Focus on 4 different sensations and what they feel like - from weight to temperature, to texture etc. It could be a warm blanket, a plushie, some leaves of a plant or cold temperature of door handles. Just allow yourself to feel and experience them all.​
3. Focus on 3 things that you can hear
These sounds can be traffic to clock ticking to breeze outside - just be aware of your environment.​
4. Find 2 things that you can smell
Find 2 things and focus on what they smell like - from coffee to candle to a highlighter. Take some moments to process and experience these smells.​
5. Find 1 thing that you can taste
This could be chocolate or a piece of cheese or any snack - just focus on the flavours.​

4. DBT technique - Water TIPP skill (4 steps)

Try splashing some cold water onto your face to help ground you.​
1. If that does not work then get a bowl of cold water - with ice if possible but not essential - take a breath and put your face into the bowl of water for 20-30 seconds or however long you can. This triggers a mammalian diving reflex which helps to reset your nervous system to calm down.​
2. If needed, do intense exercise for a short period to burn off some adrenaline.​
3. Return to some paced breathing - slow, deep breaths​
4. Progressive muscle relaxation
try mindfully tensing all of your muscle groups at once… and then dropping your weight back into the ground or into your chair. As you travel from head to toe engaging all of your muscle groups simultaneously or one area at a time, pay close attention to the sensations in your body.

5. Connect

Find a trusted person who you can connect with in person or who you can call.

If there are not any people then stroking or cuddling a pet, or alternatively try calling a hotline and talk to someone there.

6. General Self-Care

Check in with yourself in general - have you eaten enough? Had enough water? Are you short on sleep? Setting boundaries and being emotionally honest where possible? Have helpful steps in place to organise general life admin? Even issues like overheating can trigger panic attacks.

A daily body scan can help connect with bodily/emotional feelings and sensations which can help identify when attacks are building up, hence treating them earlier or preventing them altogether.

Daily free online Mon-Fri guided mindfulness sessions are also available online.

Information on general well-being management can be found by searching online or in the Mental Health Worksheets & Digital Resources Megathread and information on different therapy methods for anxiety attack sufferers is also available.
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