When anxiety kicks in, it can feel overwhelming. Our thoughts are racing. Our breathing speeds up. Our heart rate goes up. Our most basic instincts are telling us to fight, flee, or freeze. There are times when this is really important - if, for example, we are confronted with a real threat to our safety, we need that response to launch us into action to save our lives. The challenge comes when we have that same reaction to things that aren’t a threat to our survival.
When we struggle with anxiety, we are often faced with a lower level of fight/flight/freeze on a more regular basis. There are many ways to handle this anxiety. One of my favorites, especially in public, is Five Senses Grounding. Grounding techniques help us reconnect to the present moment. When we are connected to the present moment, it slows the anxiety response and allows us to more clearly see our situation and come up with a plan of action.
Five senses grounding is relatively simple. Take a few deep breaths (in through your nose and out through your mouth), then focus on: