1) Slow down.
Even if you don’t want to. Even if you don’t have the time. Force yourself, you will probably have to, but do it. You can, and will, come up with a million reasons not to, but ignore all of that and slow down. Sit with your breath. By doing this you have just taken back control of the downward spiral. It might feel small and weak and barely enough to keep you afloat but do it anyway. It’s a start.
2) Put yourself first.
Whatever decision you need to take, whatever choice you might need to make, make it with yourself in mind first. Do what is best for you. You matter.
I want you to say it,
Write down your thoughts. Sometimes our minds can feel so crowded and messy. It can be a confusing place. Putting your thoughts on paper can provide a small amount of relief. For me, doing this almost feels like I’m taking my thoughts and worries out of my head. It helps me feel a little bit lighter. It separates me from the things holding me down.
4) Listen to a song.
Really listen. Pick any song and just sit with it. When I’m anxious my mind is all over the place and doing this, really listening to the words of a song, helps me focus. It gives me something out of myself to focus on. It might seem frustrating at first but push through it. Let the music consume you. Let it push everything else out.
5) Go for a walk.
Extract yourself from the situation you are in. This is something particularly helpful if your anxiety is brought on by another person, by a fight, by a conversation. Walk away. You might want to stay and dig your heels in but that rarely helps you feel better. Do what you need. If you need space, take it. All that research about nature being calming actually has some truth behind it. Go out and just be outside.