10 Step Guide to Ease Panic & Anxiety

10 Step Guide to Ease Panic & Anxiety

(The first 5 steps include a powerful breathing technique, and meditation that can heavily reduce anxiety and panic)

1. Check/scan your body to become aware of how you feel throughout the day.

  •  If there is anxiety or panic, give it a number on a scale from 0-10 (10 being the highest level of anxiety and 0 being none)
  • You can understand anxiety and panic as an alarm system for the body. When I ignore how my body and mind feel, and I go into autopilot mode, it triggers anxiety and panic to set off “false alarms."

2. What is the location of the anxiety or panic in the body?

  • Where are you feeling the sensations?
  • Take a mental note of where the sensations are popping up and work on releasing any judgement or the need to change the sensations. Simply, observe them and thank them for alerting you to the need to tune in to yourself.

3. Close your eyes and take six long deep breaths. 

  • Inhale slowly and deeply while watching the oxygen move to the areas of anxiety and panic in the body.
  • Extend the exhale a couple seconds longer than the inhale.
  • Repeat these words: “I breathe in awareness and I exhale tension. Feeling more relaxed as I breathe.”
  • At the end of the six breaths, check your body for your now feeling and repeat this technique as needed. 

4. After completing the breath work, touch the part of your body that is experiencing the anxiety and panic. 

  • Imagine that your hands are the hands of your most trusted loved one.
  • Allow your hands to send healing, loving energy to that location on the body.
  • If the location happens to be the middle of your back or some area you can’t reach, wrap your arms around yourself and feel the healing energy of a self hug. 

5. Scan and check your body again.

  • Has the level of anxiety and panic changed at all?
  • Repeat this process as many times as you need to bring the anxiety down. It may not go away completely, but at least enough for you to think and feel clearly.
  • Other emotions may be brought up by using this technique. That is the point! You can use the same breathing technique to flow through whatever emotions come up! 

(The next 5 steps are tools to implement into your daily life, that can dramatically reduce anxiety and panic)

6. Recognize that thinking about the past and the future is a catalyst to anxiety and panic. 

When you are present to the here and now, you have nothing to fear. Practice this awareness throughout the day and recognize when your mind has been off in a daydream. Bring it back to the time and place you are in. To help yourself, try noticing different details in your environment. If you are with someone, work on really seeing and hearing them with fresh eyes and ears. 

7. Expand Your Perspective. 

Whether you obsessively worry about only yourself or only others, you are narrowing your mind and increasing your chances of anxiety and panic. When you put yourself and your problems into a larger context it naturally eases your feelings of anxiety and panic. Try including yourself as one of billions of people in the world to see what you're going through in context, and also feel connected to the whole. If recognizing billions of people is too overwhelming, you can begin by expanding your awareness to family, community, or country. 

8. Do things that allow you to feel more. 

Methods to feel more are; engrossing yourself in writing, reading, music, or being quiet and still with as minimal distractions as possible. The more present and aware you are to the activity, the more capacity you have to feel and release. Oftentimes, anxiety and panic block our ability to feel some deeper and possibly more challenging emotions. Feeling those deeper emotions can decrease your level of anxiety or panic.

9. Find a meditation practice that works for you! 

Every person is different, but one thing is certain. We need a practice that helps to focus and calm the mind while also allowing us to be more sensitive to our bodies. The more emotionally insensitive and stuck in the mind you are, the more anxiety and panic you feel.

10. Minimize use of unhealthy stimulants.

Examples of unhealthy stimulants are certain media, drugs, alcohol, sugar and unhealthy foods. Choosing healthier options becomes much easier to implement when you start to practice the previous nine steps, but you can also self-sabotage by not supporting yourself with healthier lifestyle choices. Everything you consume affects you! It is up to you to do your best to choose people, places and things that support your health rather than attack it.