Steps You Can Take to Prevent an Anxiety Attack

by Sophie Letts of

Millions of people in the country suffer from anxiety disorders, and many of those people struggle with anxiety attacks. Attacks can be chronic or can come without warning or a history of them. When you arm yourself with knowledge and strategies though, you can prevent these attacks and improve your quality of life. 

Get Outside Support

One way to help manage your anxiety is to build up your network of support. Having a strong social support network could help improve your mental wellness. Cultivate healthy friendships and strengthen your bonds with family members to get that emotional help when needed.

Spend Time Outdoors

People with mood disorders and anxiety may benefit from spending more time outside. You can also get several other health benefits from being outdoors each day, such as a decreased cancer risk, lower blood pressure and better emotional balance.

Exercise and Eat Healthier

Some people find relief from their anxiety by incorporating regular exercise to their schedules. It’s best to choose activities that get your heart rate up, such as a brisk walk, running, kayaking, swimming, biking or dancing. Training your heart can help alleviate a racing cardiac rate during an anxiety attack. Be sure to also revamp your diet and focus on eating healthy, nutritious foods to get the most benefits from exercise.

Avoid Certain Substances

Anxiety sufferers should eliminate certain substances that can trigger attacks. Smoking, vaping and drinking alcohol may be contributing factors to anxiety, so those habits should be avoided. Consider limiting caffeine intake as well.

Try Focused Breathing or Meditation

Calming and techniques and mindfulness can help regulate mood and manage nervous feelings, especially when they become a daily habit. Intentional breathing and meditation practices have been linked to reduced stress and anxiety. Meditation can help you change your perspective and manage strong feelings and stressful moments.

Reduce Job Stress

Stress from the job is often a contributing factor in anxiety. If you are overwhelmed with problems at work, this may put you at a higher risk of having an anxiety attack. If your job is contributing to your stress and tension, consider going back to school and making a career change. Choose an online program to give you flexibility and convenience. This way you can learn at your own pace and continue to work in your current job as you learn a new trade or earn a degree.

Work With a Professional

If you have a history of anxiety attacks, it’s also a good idea to find a good therapist or mental health professional. There should be no shame or feelings of inferiority when considering talking to a professional. A therapist can suggest techniques specific to you, to manage your feelings and prevent more attacks.

Know Your Triggers

As you develop more self-awareness concerning your mood disorder, you may be able to identify your triggers. Triggers are situations that can provoke or initiate an anxiety attack. Knowing triggers can give you an understanding of why you have these attacks.

Have a Plan

The last tip is to develop a plan to implement when you have an anxiety attack. Have tools in your pocket that you know work so that your anxiety isn’t self-perpetuating. If you choose to see a therapist, talk to your therapist about strategies that might aid in de-escalation and methods that can alleviate the symptoms. 

If you’ve been sexually harmed and would benefit from advocacy, counseling or referrals, find your local sexual assault program or contact our Helpline.

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Our Helpline will put you in touch with  a trained crisis support specialist who can talk with you about your safety, your situation and provide immediate intervention, general support, or can give resources to find long-term support. All assistance is strictly confidential, anonymous, and free.
For emergencies find your local sexual assault center and their contact hotline at’s “Need Help” link. Most center staff have returned on location. Hospitals continue to evaluate their policies and procedures for safely administering forensic medical examinations (rape kits); contact your local center for guidance and options.

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