If you experience sudden onset anxiety, you are not alone. The American Psychological Association (APA) found that U.S. adults who reported anxiety symptoms jumped more than 25% after 2020. If you suffer a sudden anxiety attack, the first to do is try to take a few deep breaths. The Counseling Center at the University of Toledo says that getting more oxygen to the brain can calm the fight or flight fear response, helping you feel safer and think more clearly. Medical News Today offers a handful of gentle and effective breathing exercises to help calm a pounding heart and loosen tense muscles. 

Lighting incense, a scented candle, or smelling calming essential oils can help you feel more relaxed and slow racing thoughts. Healthline recommends soothing scents like lavender, chamomile, or sandalwood to help further calm your body and mind. If you can, grab a pen and write your thoughts down on paper. Writing can help you get out of your mind and make the situation seem more manageable. 

These simple exercises can work in a pinch. However, you should talk to a therapist or counselor if you think you may have an anxiety disorder. And even if you only experience anxiety symptoms sporadically, talking to a therapist versed in cognitive behavioral therapy can help you cope when you need it most.

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