6 Ways I Deal with Anxiety

Holly Huntress
6 min readNov 27, 2021

This is a step away from what I usually talk about. (For those of you who have been with me for awhile, this is an old post from my original blog. I decided it to repost it here now that my old blog is gone.) This is an important topic for me.

Backstory :

I learned some great tips for quelling anxiety while I was attending therapy. When I first started going to therapy, (I am not presently attending sessions) I had no idea what to do in those moments when anxiety took hold of me. I ended up curled up in a ball crying on multiple occasions because I didn’t understand what was happening and why. So, I went to the doctor, she gave me a referral to a therapist, and off I went.

Though this process seems simple, and it was, it actually was pretty emotional. This meant I had to admit to myself that I had an issue that I could not handle on my own; I had to ask for help. I loathe asking for help, even when I know I should. Even after all of this, I still have difficulty asking for help.

When it actually came to attending therapy sessions though, I looked forward to them. I finally got to talk about me and my anxieties without feeling like the person I was telling was either bored, scared, or not understanding. It was very freeing. The only problem with the type of therapy I went to, was that it was solution based. I don’t remember exactly what they called it. It meant that I was only there for a set amount of time. If I had improved by a set date, then my sessions would end.

In the few months that I was able to attend therapy sessions, I did learn quite a lot about how to manage and deal with my anxiety. I feel like therapy should be much more long term. I will probably end up finding a long term therapist. But for now, I am managing pretty well on my own. In my post about writing and anxiety (see it here), I mentioned that flying causes anxiety for me. This has not always been the case. I used to fly fine with no issues. Since my anxiety came on full force, I have been experiencing anxiety attacks mid-flight.

As I mentioned in my other post: “My anxiety attacks look/feel like this : I start feeling lightheaded, and like I’m going to pass out. This causes me to think that something else is wrong. Like, I’m going to be sick, and so I start getting more anxious, and my heart races. A newer symptom that I have been having is chest pains. The last time I was on an airplane, my chest pains got worse as my anxiety flared. My thoughts jumped right to heart attack. No one around me knew that I was in the midst of this anxiety attack, until I told them.”

Tips that I have learned and seem to work:

1. Reach out for help.

This is one of the tips for quelling anxiety that is so hard for me. During my last anxiety attack while I was on an airplane, I told my husband about it. This is a HUGE step for me. I am a suffer in silence kind of person. It really helps to have someone that you can pull in and just say, this is what’s going on, be here if I need you. Even though I didn’t want anyone to do anything for me, it helped just knowing that someone knew what was going on, in case I did need the extra help.

2. Walk away from the situation.

If you can, walk away from the situation that is causing anxiety. Just take a break. If you’re on an airplane, it’s kind of impossible to walk away from the situation. Otherwise, if you can take a break, take a break. If I’m feeling anxiety in a social situation, it’s easy to just excuse myself to go to the bathroom. I can recollect myself and my thoughts, and maybe do some deep breathing away from everyone. It can really help to take a step back and think about what exactly is causing the anxiety, and why. (A lot of times just acknowledging that I am having anxiety and knowing that there is really no reason for it, helps to lessen the impending attack, though not always.)

3. Deep breathing.

I know this one seems pretty overused and obvious, but sometimes it really helps. One of the things that happens when I am experiencing more intense anxiety is my breathing becomes short and feels like I cannot get enough air. Taking deep breaths help with these moments. It doesn’t completely eliminate the anxiety, but it does lessen the impact of it.

4. Meditation.

This is one of the better tips for quelling anxiety when you are on a plane (or anywhere really). Meditation can really shift your thoughts away from those negative thoughts, and it can help you retrain your mind. When I first started meditating, I was worried that it would give my mind too much freedom to think my negative thoughts. So, I do guided meditations, which is when they talk you through it. The talking helps to keep my mind focused on the meditating. When my thoughts do wander, I bring them back by counting my breaths.

5. Thought replacement.

This is something that my therapist had me do because my anxiety was based in negative thoughts. What she had me do, was whenever I was having repeating negative thoughts, I had to come up with a replacement for them. So, say I was thinking today’s going to be a terrible day, I’m not going to make it through the day. I would try to replace this thought with something like today might be hard, but I have the ability to get through it and make it a great day. (These are just random examples, not the actual thoughts I was having, but you get the idea).

I thought that this idea was not going to work. My negative thoughts were going to come and no amount of trying to replace them was going to help. BUT, it actually worked with some of my negative thoughts. Not all of my negative thoughts were gone obviously, but a few that were really pestering and anxiety causing, were replaced and now when they come back, I have something else to think to push the negatives away.

6. Distraction.

This kind of goes along with meditation, because I feel like meditation can be considered a distraction. But, this is my go to when all other tips fails on quelling my anxiety. I like to put on a comedy to watch, and that helps distract me from negative thoughts. I cannot watch anything serious when I am feeling anxious, because it can fuel my anxiety a little. If I am in a public place and I need a distraction, my phone comes out and I scroll through Facebook, or Instagram. Then I can tune out whatever is causing my anxiety. This is definitely a really short term, immediate solution for the problem. It does nothing to help me with my anxiety long term, but it works for me in the moment.

To Conclude

These are 6 tips on quelling anxiety that help me. I know that everyone experiences anxiety in different ways, and these tips may not be useful for some people. However, I just wanted to get my experience with these things out there so it may help someone. (Also, what I went through what was classified as CBT [Cognitive Behavior Therapy], hence the changing of the thought patterns, so if you have any interest in learning more, you can look into it.)

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Holly Huntress

Author and content creator. My books - the Broken Angel series & Unbound - can be found on Amazon!