5. Relax your body – Relaxing the body shuts off the stress response since the body can’t go in both (arousal/relaxed) directions at the same time. The more relaxed you make your body, the faster the body uses up and expels stress hormones, which will bring an end to the feelings associated with an active stress response.
Relaxing the body also offsets the muscle tension caused by the stress response. You can read more about that under the ‘muscle tension’ symptom.
6. Distract yourself – As we mentioned earlier, most anxiety attacks are caused and fueled by thinking anxiously. Distracting your attention can prevent anxious thinking. As you prevent anxious thinking you also prevent voluntary anxiety attacks.
There are lots of ways to distract yourself, such as counting, calling a friend, organizing materials on or in your desk, playing a game, reading a book, and so on. Anything that distracts your mind away from anxious thinking will indirectly end stress responses and anxiety attacks. The better you are at distracting yourself, the faster anxiety attacks end.
You might also want to distract yourself with more sensory experiences, such as with cold water, ice, strong tastes, touch, and so on. Strong sensory experiences are more distracting. Anything that takes your mind away from the sensations associated with the active stress response and thinking anxiously will assist in ending anxiety attacks.