While it is common to get nervous about important life events or life-changing decisions, for those suffering from an anxiety disorder, these feelings can soon spiral out of control. If you have ever battled anxiety, you may very well relate to the sudden feeling of panic, fear and nervousness.
Why do we need the five-second hack for anxiety
Imagine that your mind is stuck in a continuous loop of worrying and no matter how hard you try, you are not able to break that cycle. It can be a really scary place to be in as it does not take much time for generalised anxiety to escalate into a full-blown panic attack.
This is exactly why it is crucial to arm yourself with coping strategies to deal with those fearful thoughts and anxious situations right away. While it is strongly advisable to consult an expert to tackle anxiety disorder and complications stemming from it, here are the most effective five-second strategies which may come handy during uncomfortable situations.
Three hacks to cope with anxiety
1. Reverse counting
If you feel the anxious thoughts crawling up, start reverse counting from five (loudly if you can) to one. It will help you regain control of your thoughts and stop the anxious train of thoughts. Repeat it as many times as needed.
2. The rule of three
The moment anxiety starts to take hold, look around and name three things that you can see loudly. It can be a woman, a tree or even a metro station. Moving forward, name three sounds that you can hear clearly and say it out loud. These actions will help in interrupting your anxious thoughts and help in recentering your mind.
3. Say it out loud
The main motive behind this hack is to break the loop of worrisome thoughts and distract your mind.
If you feel panic crawling up, start saying positive affirmations loudly to understand what is happening. It is important that you do not just think but say those words out loud to distract yourself.
You can try telling yourself “I am just nervous and this feeling will go away,” and “Right now I have some feelings I don’t like. However, they are disappearing. I will be fine.” You can also try saying “As I focus on the task, my anxiety will go down,” and “ I’m going to be alright. My feelings are not always rational. I’m just going to relax, calm down, and everything will be alright.”