Anxiety is uncomfortable: Even if you don’t deal with full-blown panic disorder, your nerves have probably crept up on you at some point—and it’s a pain to deal with. Your palms may get sweaty, your breathing becomes shallow, and your heart starts racing.
If these feelings become overwhelming and difficult to manage, you might have an actual anxiety disorder—which is effectively treated by therapy, medication, or a combination of both.
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But if you struggle to keep your nerves in check from time to time—say, worrying before you go on a first date or struggling to fall sleep before a big presentation at work—you don’t have to pop a pill to overcome your anxiousness. There are plenty of ways to cope when all you can think to do is freak out: Here are 16 science-backed tricks that will help you calm down.