Managing Anxiety

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Anxiety is one of those things that often accompanies ADHD.

Attention Deficit Disorder never travels alone; it always brings a friend or two. Depression, learning disabilities and anxiety are some of the more common ones.

I have a daughter who suffers from anxiety (and I’ve experienced it myself at times) so I know how crippling it can sometimes be.

Here are a few ideas for getting through or shortening a panic attack. Naturally, if these attacks impact a large part of your life, you should consider seeking professional help.

Practicing measured breathing can sometimes fight off a panic attack. You breathe in deeply and slowly for a count of 5, hold the breath for a count of 5, slowly release for a count of 5, hold again and then start over. Do this 4 or 5 times. Be sure your breathing is slow and deep and concentrate on breathing and counting.

Pop a strong mint, like an Altoid in your mouth. Sometimes a strong surge of flavor can be enough to distract your mind and break the attack.

Similarly, a whiff of a fragrance can distract your mind enough to recover. I would suggest an essential oil rather than perfume. Essential oils are natural and offer healing benefits; most perfumes are chemicals. Lavender, peppermint, wild orange, bergamot and lime are all good choices. You can also find blends that will work.

Practice meditation on a regular basis. With some practice, you can slip into that zen like state with very little effort, like when you are feeling anxious.

Consider herbal teas and supplements. Chamomile and lemon balm tea are both calming. Valerian root (works really well but smells terrible), Passion Flower, and Kava are all good choices. Don’t drive while taking these until you know how they affect you. Also be sure to check with your doctor if you are on medications.

A regular yoga practice is another way to help cope with anxiety. Yoga is a calming practice that focuses on breathing and relaxation. With a little practice, you can call forth your yoga like state to ward off or stop a panic attack.

Finally, be aware that if you are taking medication for ADHD it can make anxiety worse. Talk to your doctor. They may be able to find a happy balance for you.

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Lacy Estelle

Lacy Estelle is the writer of and the Podcast host for An ADD Woman.

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