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How to handle anxious moments when we are outside home, in a busy place?

20 Answers
Last Updated: 02/20/2018 at 8:43pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Jessica McDaniel, LPC, LCPC

Licensed Professional Counselor

I have been practicing cognitive behavioral psychotherapy since 2007 with a diverse group of adult clients with various diagnoses, all races, and socioeconomic classes.

Top Rated Answers
March 25th, 2015 12:14am
I have felt this often and I understand how terrifying it can be. It helped that I informed my parents and friends about my anxiety attacks in advance. I told them how the attacks make me feel and what symptoms I experience. This way, if they happen and my parents and friends are around, they can help me deal with the symptoms. Otherwise, some tricks I use are to find a quiet place, like a bathroom stall or outside. Then I sit on the ground and try to catch my breath. I tell myself that I am having an attack and that I just need to breath steadily because it will be over soon. Then I try to think of something that makes me happy, which in my case is my pets. It helps keep me focused and relieves the panicked feeling. Do your best to find a quiet place, off to the side and just know that you will get through it. All the best :)
May 20th, 2015 10:31am
Make a strategy for coping with this anxiety. Figure out what coping methods work for you and put them to work, whether that be with music, breathing exercising, or a mantra that you repeat in your head. I highly recommend downloading the free app This Is Sand. It’s basically an app for making sand art but, though it doesn’t seem to have been designed for it, it has a really, really good effect on anxiety. It can even calm panic attacks for me, and it’s helped a lot of people with their anxiety. (Plus you can make cool sand art with it!) I also like that, because it’s a regular app and not designed specifically for anxiety, you can use it in public without anyone getting suspicious about what it’s for and making you answer questions you don’t want to. And please remember to take good care of yourself when you get back home after being in these stressful places, because anxiety is draining and it's important to practice good self care.
January 24th, 2015 7:44pm
Try to deep breathing or imagine some safe place where you feel calmed and happy. Close your eyes or listen to musin on your MP3. Do not drown in it.
January 25th, 2015 2:21pm
Try to focus on something in the environment, maybe watch the people around you or interact with somebody. The aim is to stop thinking about your anxiety.
February 9th, 2015 7:42am
Hmm... Take a deep, fulfilling breath then look at everybody in the eyes. Tell them who's boss! It's okay to be nervous outside the comforts of your own homes. Huh, but think about it... All those people are out of their own homes, too; could it be possible that they are just as nervous as you? If so, how's your worry now? :D
April 9th, 2015 4:28pm
I talk to people who are there for me and can help me I have parents and teachers who would be glad to help me out.
May 21st, 2015 4:12am
Take a deep breath. Relax. If you feel overwhelmed, go to a quiet place and calm yourself down with breathing and meditation.
June 3rd, 2015 11:28am
A good way to control the physical symptoms of anxiety are: breath in deeply for 7 seconds, retain the air for 7 seconds, breathe out slowly for 7 seconds. Repeat 3 times, or as many as needed until you feel calmer.
June 3rd, 2015 11:47pm
There are many different ways to handle anxious moments, simple techniques include 3 deep belly breaths, counting to 10 slowly and/or keeping a thought and feeling record.
June 12th, 2015 11:49am
I learned that being mindful helps me handle anxiety even in busy places. I focus on my breath, if I'm walking I focus on taking the next step, whatever I'm doing I give it my full attention. Engaging the senses also helps me calm down. I focus on my surroundings and notice colors, shapes and textures; I try to identify noises and smells and so on. These activities keep me in the present moment and help me reduce stress and anxiety whether I'm home or in a crowded place.
July 14th, 2015 1:28am
A few methods I use: 1. Focusing or distracting myself with something on my phone. IE: a simple game, reading an article, texting someone I'm familiar with or feel safe with. 3. Try to focus on the present moment or something in the crowd or scenery and count. Sometimes counting over and over til 10 helps because you can pretty much make it through anything for 10 seconds. 4. Tuning it out with music and humming helps a lot with my anxiety. (humming not needed). 5. Practicing your deep breathing til you're feeling a little more calm. Focus on your breathing. 6. Think to yourself that everyone in this crowd is suffering from their own problems. 7. Positive thoughts: This will pass, I'm going to be okay. I've done this before and I can do it again.
November 30th, 2015 3:47am
take deep breaths, count backwards from any number you want. imagine yourself in a safe place, such as your room or beach.
January 11th, 2016 3:56pm
Breathing is absolutely essential in managing anxiety! And the cool thing is no one can tell when you are taking deep breaths if you are in public!
January 19th, 2016 1:29am
Remember that everyone is living their own individual lives. That everyone has their own problems and that it is very unlikely for them to even be paying you any attention. Deep breaths, happy thoughts, and a positive state of mind.
May 23rd, 2017 9:16pm
Often I struggle with this, and especially because it seems to amplify my anxiety wondering if people are looking at me. Mostly I will just breathe slowly, and try to rationalise with myself that - 1, nobody is noticing me, and nobody is judging me. and that 2. nothing bad is going to happen
July 3rd, 2017 5:25pm
I find breathing techniques help when feeling anxious and try to go to a quite place .it's helpful if you have someone to talk to
October 9th, 2017 6:15pm
I think it's important to: first, collect all your thoughts. Second, try to think about them as realistically as possible,and finally, don't freak out. Try to clean out the negative thoughts in your head, and (if possible) replace them with positive ones.
January 1st, 2018 2:36am
First, find a spot that is less crowded and busy than the spaces around you. Make sure that you are not in the way of others around you so they don't disturb you and you feel more comfortable. Take a moment to take deep breaths, try to regulate your breathing by breathing in through your nose and then out through your mouth. Keep breathing in slowly as a way to help pace your thoughts. When feeling anxious it is normal to feel like your thoughts are racing through your brain. To help slow these thoughts down make sure to first clear your head when breathing deeply, for a moment try and listen to the environment around you. Once you feel calmer than you did whilst starting, think about what caused you to feel so anxious. If thinking about the issue makes your head race again go back to breathing. Do this until you retrace your steps and realise why you reacted the way you did. Think up of a solution, even if it be short term until you can fully deal with it when in a comfortable and safe environment.
January 2nd, 2018 3:46pm
The first thing I do when I start of feel anxious in a public space is to be aware of what is making me anxious. I then don't go deeper into my thoughts or feelings, that's for a less public time. I search for 5 things I can see in my surroundings. Then 4 things I can feel, like my clothes or a chair. Then 3 things I can hear, 2 things I can smell and one thing I can taste. This distracts me from what was upsetting me and also makes me feel like I have control over the situation and my surroundings.
February 20th, 2018 8:43pm
I use muscle relaxation, this means getting used to manually relaxing your body, practice by tensing and relaxing your muscles to recognise when they are tense. Once you can recognise the feeling you can manually relax your body. Furthermore counting is another way to distract yourself. count up to 50 using the 8 times table or try spelling something without vowels. this means your brain has to spend more brain power focusing on the task rather than what is scary. Finally in really bad situations I use grounding. 5 things you can see 4 things you can feel 3 things you can hear 2 things you can smell 1 thing you can taste. This allows you to focus your anxiety outward rather than internally. this can relax you due to realising the situation (usually) isn't as frightening as you originally thought it was.