Stress and anxiety are two sides of the same coin. Stress is the less scary one. Stress is the one that we need to ensure optimal performance in life. When the stress increases to the point of being overwhelming are the point when the coin flips to anxiety. Anxiety, on the other hand, is much more serious and can have severe repercussions on, both, the mind and the body.
Understanding Anxiety and Anxiety Disorder
When the human body perceives any danger to itself, it enters a state of heightened awareness and activity, preparing itself to deal with the threat. The body prepares to either fight the danger or take flight from it. Anxiety is one of these responses to the body. In healthy amounts, anxiety helps to keep a person alert and motivated. However, anxiety becomes dangerous and unhealthy when it starts to interfere with everyday activities and relationships.
What is an Anxiety Attack?
People who suffer from anxiety disorders may experience extreme fear or panic. These moments of intense fear combined with certain physical symptoms is an anxiety or panic attack. Most anxiety attacks strike a person suddenly and can sometimes feel like a heart attack. Although they come all of sudden without any warning, many times anxiety attacks are triggered by something.
The duration of the anxiety attack and when the symptoms start to reduce is not definitive and varies from person to person. The same person may have anxiety attacks for different periods on separate occasions. Although, usually an anxiety attack does not last longer than 30 minutes.
Some symptoms of an anxiety attack include:
- A sense of deep and overwhelming fear or panic
- The sensation of losing control
- Nausea & cramping
- Heart palpitations or increased heart rate
- Trembling of the body
- Troubled breathing.
These are just the general symptoms and it is possible to have some other symptoms as well.
How to Deal with Anxiety Attacks?
One of the most common symptoms of an anxiety attack is hyperventilation and a sensation of having trouble breathing. So if you feel an anxiety attack coming on try to breathe deeply. The simplest trick is to inhale slowly, while counting to 4, hold it in a second and then exhale to a count of 4 again.
Close Your Eyes
If you think that the anxiety attack you’re experiencing is due to a trigger or visual stimuli, close your eyes. Keeping them closed can reduce sensory overload and help you to calm down.
When gripped by fear and panic in an anxiety attack, your body and muscles will start to get tense. If not physiologically, psychologically, you may feel like your body is getting stiff and tense. So try to relax your muscles slowly. Do it one part of the body at a time.
Grab Some Lavender
Lavender is a popular method of relieving stress and soothing the body. So make use of lavenders to keep yourself calm. You can make use of its properties by having some lavender tea. A more popular method of using it is in the form of essential oils. Breathe it in when you feel an anxiety attack coming on.
Hold on to Something
When it comes to anxiety attacks, it can help to have something to hold on to. Use something as a grounding force. It can be something physical like an object. For some people, repeating a sentence or some kind of a mantra can be relaxing.
The tricks in the articles can be used to reduce symptoms and pull yourself through. But the fact that one may be experiencing anxiety attacks is a sign that there’s something bigger and deeper. When it comes to mental health, it is extremely important to get the right help. Not taking the time to care for your mental health can start to affect not just your physical health but also affect your relationship with others around you.