- Force deep and very slow breaths even if it feels a tiny bit like you can't breath
(don't do so to the point where you're sufficating, but a minor discomfort is perfect normal (for me, since the intended effect is
to be able to bypass your want to retract and panic) and okay. The intended effect is to slow the heart-rate which tricks your brain
to calm down)
- Inhale thru the nose, out the mouth.
- Breath out through your mouth slowly, feel free to breath in more quickly but don't do that too fast either
- Take slow movements
- Sit up straight, don't lock up your shoulders (this reminds your brain that you're alright instead of instinctually locking up and reinforcing the anxiety)
- Exhale super deeply until you can't exhale anymore, as if you were squeezing out all the oxygen from a bottle. This will allow your deep breaths to do more and be able to oxygenize your blood better, assisting in slowing your heart rate
The idea of mindfulness is that you stay present in the moment. This doesn't mean you CAN'T think of the past or future, just that you acknoledge that they are not right now, etc etc. (AKA no rumination, that's basically the entire trick around most anxiety). The things I do to help with this:
- Verbally (out loud, albiet whispering, if things get very bad and I'm around others) or mentally state what's happening around you. Just that. Remove as much bias as you can and add as much simply noticable detail as possible, explore all of your senses. EG, if you're feeling anxious about something you care about said to you:
"I am in a room with yellow paint, I am touching my phone which is cool to the touch and is black. There's little noise arround me except the birds chirping outside and some car noises from the road below. I am at the place in which I live, and someone I care about expressed something about me that I interpreted as negative"
- After this, follow up with more emotional awareness: "I am sad because I want this person to be there for me, and care about how they feel about me.". Try not to add any form of forward looking in this time "I don't want them to leave me" is the quickest way to rumination and panic
- Finalize these statements by being objective, but don't remove your emotions from this: "In the end, I know that they care about me. They have been around me for a long time and I can understand that sometimes people are simply upset with one-another. Things will very likely work out, and if things get any worse, I have a support group that I can go to in order to cope with this further". It's okay to acknoledge the future in these statements, so long as you focus on the positive and potential recovery. Remind yourself that you always have some form of safety net, but also remind yourself that things will most likely be okay in the senario as they are currently