I totally understand how you feel! I am no expert on anxiety or anxiety disorders, but here’s some things that I’ve learned/things that have helped me:
1. Stay away from drinks with caffeine and alcohol, as well as tobacco products and drugs. All of these can make anxiety worse and trigger anxiety attacks.
2. If anxiety disturbs your sleeping patterns, try taking one dose of melatonin at night an hour before bed. Your brain produces it on it’s own anyway, this just gives you an extra boost of it. It’s all natural and non-addictive. Valerian root is also a good herbal relaxer as well.
3. Drinking herbal tea is a great way to relax. Try ones like chamomile, lavender, vanilla, and peppermint.
4. When you’re feeling really anxious, do something that involves your full concentration. People with anxiety tend to get easily distracted. Try reading a book, writing, drawing, painting, etc. By doing something where you need to be focus, your mind tends to wander less into anxious thoughts.
5. Try this breathing exercise once a day. Without changing the rhythm of your breath, close your eyes and keep breathing. Just focus on the feeling and sensation of breathing. If your focus shifts into the other feelings and sounds around you or other thoughts, slowly pull yourself back to thinking about breathing. Imagine inhaling positive energy and exhaling negative energy (sometimes this helps if you imagine it in colors: breath in white, breath out black). The more you do this, the more you become relaxed and focuses.
6. Make a list of things that make you anxious in order of least anxiety causing to most anxiety causing and bracket them in groups of degree of anxiety (mild, moderate, severe). Star the ones that could easily be done on a day to day basis. (For example, if taking a test or going to the doctors make you anxious, don’t star those because those are special circumstances. Star something like driving or making eye contact because those you can do on your own any day.) Pick one from the mild or moderate category each day and try it out. Keep a journal of what you were thinking and physically feeling and why you were thinking or feeling that way. Put check marks next to the ones you did and do different ones the next week. Seeing the check marks will give you a sense of pride and accomplishment and boost your confidence. Also, you can’t get over your fears if you don’t ever face them. When an opportunity comes up to do the ones you couldn’t, take it. Don’t do the ones you labeled as severe until you really honestly think you’re ready.
7. After doing the breathing exercise above for a few minutes, imagine yourself in a situation that causes you anxiety. Imagine yourself doing a thing that makes you anxious but imagine it in a way where things are going fine. If you start to physically feel anxious, “pause” the scene and go back to the breathing exercise. Go back to the scene and pick up where you left off, still imagining the scene as being a positive experience. “Pause” and go back to the scene as many times as needed. When the scene is finished, do the breathing exercise for a few minutes to fully focus and calm down. Do this once a day too.
8. If you’re having an anxiety attack, remove yourself from the situation and find a quiet and comfortable place to wait for it to pass. Take a friend your trust if you need to. Support can be very helpful in waiting for it to pass. While you wait for the anxiety attack to pass, close your eyes and take long, deep breaths: inhale for six counts, hold for seven counts, exhale for eight counts.
9. Exercise daily. It helps burn off that jittery feeling. And eat healthy. A healthy body equals a healthy mind.
10. Talking to someone about your thoughts and feelings helps because bottling them up can make you even more anxious. Go to a friend or family member you trust, or even a psychologist who specializes in psychotherapy. My ask box is always open if you need it!
*I hope this helps a little bit!!