A lump rises in your throat, your heart beats faster, and your hands begin to feel clammy - you physically feel yourself starting to freak out. It happens. Here are 5 well-researched methods for coming back to your center.

A lump rises in your throat, your heart beats faster, and your hands begin to feel clammy. Whether it’s the beginning of a panic attack, or just a general feeling of uneasiness, anxiety can leave you feeling far less than yourself.

Luckily, there are a multitude of ways to calm your mind and get yourself feeling fabulous again.

1. The 4-7-8 method.

Created by best-selling author and holistic doctor, Andrew Weil, M.D., this technique involves keeping your tongue behind the back of your top teeth while inhaling for four seconds, holding for seven, and exhaling for eight.

The method is repeated for a total of four cycles, resulting in what Dr. Weil calls, “a natural tranquilizer for the nervous system.” Learn more about this touted technique and see Dr. Weil perform it here.

2. Use your senses.

Another remedy can be found in re-focusing the senses. Begin by taking a deep breath, and naming five things you can see. Next, locate and name five things you can hear followed by five things you can touch, smell, etc.

This method will help ground you, counteracting that “spacey” feeling that often accompanies a panic attack. Additionally, it will draw your mind away from irrational thoughts by giving you alternatives to focus on.

3. Get mouthy.

Employing the senses even further (specifically that of taste) can be beneficial, especially when in a pinch. Sucking on mints/lozenges, chewing gum, or taking advantage of other non-prescriptive aids such as chamomile tea or Bach Rescue Remedy, are just a few quick, discreet, and tasty ways to remain calm.

4. Phone a friend.

As the anxiety-ridden know, it often helps to reach out to someone, explaining exactly how and what you’re feeling in the present moment. Though you may feel embarrassed, this approach is a sure-fire way to relax. Whether it’s a family member, therapist, or friend, these individuals will act as an instant source of strength and stillness; often talking you off that ledge of panic.

If you’re struggling to talk, you can text the Crisis Text Line by texting “Go” toTO 741-741. The line is 100% free and confidential. Here are additional numbers that may come in handy.

READ MORE  The Benefits of Diplomacy in the Workplace

5. Eat well to live well.

Those prone to bouts of anxiety need to treat themselves with extra care, including the utilization of proper dietary habits. If you find yourself on the verge of distress, try having a bite.

Different than stress or binge eating, the goal here is to supply yourself with the proper types of nutrition while keeping blood sugar levels (and the mind) stable. General guidelines include decreasing junk food, caffeine, and alcohol while upping your intake of nutrient rich foods; especially those that are rich in B-vitamins (ex. eggs) and Omega 3’s (ex. salmon).

Just because the anxiety monster is rearing its ugly head, that doesn’t mean you’re defenseless. Try the above techniques when the next battle begins and you’ll find yourself calm and clear-headed quicker than you can say “ahh!”