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We normally think of flash cards in regards to children’s learning. But there’s a reason why they’re so popular... it’s because they work. Flash cards help you remember information through the use of visual cues. In this case, these flash cards will help you remember the steps you need to go through to combat an anxiety attack. You can either create physical flash cards or electronic ones that you can carry with you wherever you go.
Card #1: Breathe
Breathe in through your nose for 5 seconds, hold it for 5 seconds, then breathe out through your mouth for 5 seconds. Repeat this process at least five times.
Card #2: Identify the Problem
What is on your mind?
Card #3: Analyze the Problem
Why is it on your mind?
Card #4: Allow Yourself to Feel
What emotions are you experiencing right now? Accept your emotions and allow yourself to experience them, even if they’re unpleasant.
Card #5: Find a Solution
Is there anything you can do about this problem right now, in this moment? If so, get started on it right away! If not, come up with a plan of action! If there’s nothing you can do about it at all, take a moment to remind yourself that it’s completely out of your hands.
Card #6: Talk to Someone
Talk to a trusted source about your problem, whether that’s a friend, a family member, significant other, or a counselor. You’ll be surprised at how much relief you’ll feel by getting it off your chest. If you don’t have time to do this step right this second, make a commitment to do so in the near future.
Card 7: Return to the Present Moment
Anxiety happens when you’re living in the future instead of the present. In order to bring yourself back to the present moment, focus on your senses. What do you see, touch, hear, smell, and feel in this moment? This is really one of those steps that you need to practice day-by-day, minute-by-minute.
Reviewing these cards whenever you have an anxiety attack will get you into the habit of dealing with stress in a healthy and constructive way. For more tips on how to combat anxiety, click here.