When in Doubt, Water
There is no quick fix for anxiety. I'm sure y'all know that by now. However, there are things that can help in the moment and some of them help pretty quick.
The best one I know? Water.
Here's a couple examples of how it can help.
If you're having a panic or anxiety attack, try drinking water (I will say that's easier if there's someone with you to bring you water). But often, the first step to ending an anxiety or panic attack is to calm your breathing. If you can slow your breathing, you can slow your heart rate and begin to lose the sense of panic.
You know what you can't do when you're drinking water? Breathe. You can't. So while you're getting a drink, you're not breathing, which can help you slow your breathing.
Also, the water can give you something to focus on. It's a tactile thing in the real world and can work as a grounding tool to remind yourself where you are.
Washing your hands can be helpful, too. Maybe it's just me, but holding my hands under water is very calming. Again, it's a grounding tool. If you're focused on the feel of the water, the texture of the soap, and the sound of it rushing over your hands, you'll be less focused on your anxiety.
I only realized very recently how wonderful water is when it comes to anxiety. The last few weeks have been overwhelming and I've found myself very anxious many times. My boyfriend always asks if I want a drink of water. If I say no, he asks if I can take a drink anyway.
I don't know why he started doing this. But he knows it helps even when I don't think it will. Because I trust him and he asks very nicely, I'll usually take the water.
Now, I don't sip some water and magically feel all better, but it does help. It's grounding, it's calming, it forces you to slow down and focus on one thing.
So next time you're feeling overwhelmed, anxious, or feel the beginning of a panic attack, try getting a drink of water. I guess you can use any beverage, but you're probably not drinking enough water, anyway. Try to focus on the temperature of it, feeling, sound, and taste of it. Engage as many of your senses as you can in that water.
Do any of you do this? Does it help you?