You know that feeling. Shaking, breathlessness. Butterflies in your stomach. Maybe the thought that something terrible is going to happen. You may even have already had a panic attack.  These feelings are awful and they’re called anxiety. Why do you feel that way, and how can you try to shoo those butterflies away?

 Anxiety is normal. We worry about making a business presentation, or if someone we’re attracted to will smile back at us. But when anxiety becomes excessive or immobilizing, or doesn’t seem to have an origin, it’s a problem. Examples include being afraid to leave the house, checking something over and over again, or inability to speak with someone. Here are some simple strategies to help you cope with anxiety in the moment.

 1.     Breathe, taking long, deep breaths.

2.     Visualize a relaxing scene like a sunset or the ocean

3.     Drink water or a soothing cup of herb tea

4.     Distract yourself with a movie or TV

5.     Take a brisk walk around the block


If you are having serious anxiety and/or panic attacks, speak with a licensed psychotherapist. You can discuss what triggers your anxiety, if you know, or explore deeper psychological themes which may be creating your anxiety.