ANX­I­ETY AT­TACK HACKS

Hav­ing a mo­ment?! No wor­ries. These tricks will stop your freak-out in its tracks

Cosmopolitan (Australia) - - Body -

YOU’RE RUN­NING LATE

This seems like a su­per­frus­trat­ing sitch that you have no con­trol over, but it’s not so bad! ‘Your own thoughts, like, This traf­fic is end­less or My boss will flip, of­ten cause stress,’ says clin­i­cal di­rec­tor of the Ross Cen­ter for Anx­i­ety, Greta Hirsch. ‘Your brain is con­fus­ing pos­si­bil­ity with prob­a­bil­ity.’

TRY THIS Drown out neg­a­tive mes­sages by lis­ten­ing to a playlist you find calm­ing or en­gag­ing. Bet­ter still, sing along. ‘When we use our vo­cal cords, it sends a sig­nal to our brain that we’re OK,’ says panic and anx­i­ety coach Kelli Walker.

YOU CAN’T SLEEP

First, don’t look at the clock. Watch­ing min­utes tick by cre­ates the op­po­site phys­i­cal re­sponse (a rush of adren­a­line and cor­ti­sol, rapid heart­beat) of the re­lax­ation you need to doze off, says Hirsch. Sec­ond, don’t grab your phone. ‘Screens cue our brains to get up and get mov­ing,’ says Walker. TRY THIS In­stead of fight­ing it, ac­cept that you’re not sleep­ing but you are rest­ing, and med­i­tate on how awe­some that is, sug­gests Hirsch. ‘Take deep breaths as you re­peat thoughts, like, My bed is amaz­ing, I love the feel of my blan­ket.

YOU’RE IN A SPAT

Fights with a part­ner or best friend can easily es­ca­late from mildly dis­tract­ing to all­con­sum­ing since our in­stinct is to over­anal­yse. ‘Don’t equate not call­ing with not car­ing – maybe he’s in a meet­ing, maybe she’s sleep­ing in,’ says Hirsch. ‘It just sends your anx­i­ety up and your mood down.’

TRY THIS As­sign a spe­cific worry win­dow. ‘Take a walk with a co­worker, and make that the 15 min­utes when you fo­cus on the is­sue,’ sug­gests Hirsch. ‘Then, that’s it.’ Not only does ac­tiv­ity ex­pend en­ergy, but a scenery change will do you the world of good.’

YOU’RE NER­VOUS

When your hands are shak­ing be­fore an in­ter­view or your heart is racing pre–first date, re­mem­ber that anx­i­ety isn’t just nor­mal in these sit­u­a­tions, it’s good. ‘Anx­i­ety mo­ti­vates us,’ says Hirsch. ‘Oth­er­wise, we wouldn’t pre­pare; we’d just show up in gym clothes.’

TRY THIS Lit­er­ally chill out: For a few min­utes, dip your hands in cold wa­ter or hold a cool drink on your tongue. ‘This trig­gers the va­gus nerve, which sig­nals the body to calm down,’ says Walker. Now go crush it, girl.

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