What is the best way to cope with anxiety?
thanks for reaching out.
As you may be aware, anxiety comes in many forms from social anxiety to separation anxiety to everyday general anxiety to more. Fortunately the form your anxiety takes matters less than your triggers for your anxiety, which from what you're saying, large crowds could certainly be a trigger as could public speaking.
Once you have identified your triggers it then becomes a process of management, how can you personally best manage your anxiety, because what works for one person will be different for you personally as no two people experience anxiety in the same way due to the sheer amount of symptoms that come along with anxiety. (Over 100 listed symptoms).
The reason I say management over avoidance is simply because if we avoid we are really just kicking the can down the road for later which is of course beneficial in the moment but later it's still anxiety or it's a panic attack. Management leads to still being able to live the lifestyle you want while maybe adjusting things you do or how you do them.
Without knowing more context it would not be ethical of me to highlight what to do, nor would it be ethical of me to say ok do this or that, that would be best explored in the therapy space between yourself and your chosen therapist. However there are tools that can be effective for anxiety.
Some involve distraction which works like a magician pulling a rabbit out of a hat in terms of a hey look over here while the thing that is triggering the anxiety is over there type of scenario. Such tools of course involve breath work, breathing in for so many seconds holding it and then breathing out, in through nose out through mouth, that one helps to get us breathing and breathing correctly because when we are anxious we tend to hold our breath which can cause an anxiety response in of itself.
Some such tools involve thinking distractions, because when we are anxious we tend to start over-thinking about many subjects and we start to clutch at straws but not really get anywhere except for more anxiety. These involve things such as counting or listing and can be cars, countries, movies, objects or things from your favorite hobby and more. They work by focusing the brain on logical thought and grounding us in that one thought allowing anxiety to pass.
There are also tools that engage all of your senses, seeing, hearing, smell, touch, taste, called the 5 senses technique but is essentially another way of grounding ourselves in the moment.
There are also Mindfulness tools, one being a book called "I am here now" by the mindfulness project, which has a variety of activities in that if we can do either during panic attacks or anxiety or before can have a calming effect.
That is a few possible options for you for dealing with it in the moment, however it cannot be underestimated of the benefit of the therapy space on getting to the bottom of why you might have anxiety and how to deal with it going forward etc.