I think it's important to start off by saying I'm not a doctor and I do not have any sort of medical degree. I am however a human (shocker!) and have felt anxiety now and then. The tips below are ones I practice when anxiety and fear try to take over.
Being a performer and a teacher (dance/yoga) there are moments before the music comes on or the lights dim that your heart beats a little faster or your chest seems to tighten. These are the moments that our bodies return to our natural habit of fight or flight. While fight or flight might be useful when we were being chased by a larger prey, getting ready to perform might not be the best place for it.
These are the moments I practice yoga, breath work and meditation for. Sure, there are other benefits; but it's when anxiety, fear, or panic kick in that I see the most benefit in my own life.
1. Take a Breath
Once you've noticed your heart beating faster and anxiety start to push it's way to the top of the to-do list try to focus the mind on breathing.
In my own opinion this type of focus is both a breath work (pranayama) and meditation technique. Using the breath as the focal point for the mind starts to push that anxiety aside. Then of course, if you've ever taken a few breathes you know it begins to create a calming sensation as oxygen begins to flow through the body.
If you can't seem to focus on the breath, close the eyes. Some times decreasing outside distractions are all we need to focus inward.
This past weekend I had the pleasure to attend one of my favorite dance events in New York state, Super Fun Dance Camp! Surprise Lake Camp in Cold Spring, NY becomes a meeting ground for dancers and musicians twice a year. It's only about an hour up from NYC and about 3 hours from Albany.