Anxiety attacks are fast paced. As a friend or family member of someone suffering from an anxiety disorder, it is important to help them find ways to slow things down. Here are some ideas for helping someone through an anxiety attack.
- Play A Sensory-Based Game. Anxiety is in the mind with physical side effects. Utilizing the senses can help shift the focus from fear based thinking to sensory integration. See how many things you can help someone notice with each of their senses and have them describe what they perceive in full.
- Take A Mindful Walk. Focusing on a simple task can be helpful for managing an anxiety attack. Walking mindfully is a practice used by monks in many religions, daily. Focus on each footstep, the environment around, and the feeling of movement. Going somewhere especially calming or beautiful is helpful as well. Monks often walk through gardens or mountains.
- Fact Check Their Fiction. Anxious thoughts are rooted in irrational fear. Though most of the scenarios someone comes up with during an anxiety attack are possible, they are not likely to be probable. Encourage your friend to share their thoughts and get them off their chest. Try to avoid being condescending or judgmental. Instead, you need to be objective and supportive. Show your understanding for how they might think their anxious thoughts could be true. Assure them that their thoughts and feelings are transitory and will evolve into something else soon.
- Have A Dance Party. With all that anxious energy, there needs to be some physical movement involved. Sitting still while stewing in anxiety usually causes more anxiety. Though they may be too anxious to do anything, find a fun activity that helps them get that energy moving. Throw on some favorite tunes, start a dance party in the car, or jump around in public. Whatever it takes to get them moving, start the trend. They will start to focus their energy on the physical task at hand rather than focus on their anxious thoughts and energy. Plus, the two of you will probably have a lot of fun.
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