Learn How To Manage Your Anxious Thoughts
Anxiety doesn’t come out of the blue. When you have anxiety attacks, it’s often because your mind tends to spiral into negative thoughts – often without your control. Sometimes you can control this anxiety by keeping these thoughts at bay and learning to dismiss triggers that cause you anxiety.
For many, this is easier said than done. But there are many different strategies you can try that may be effective. These include:
A Question Checklist
When you feel anxious, have a checklist on hand of questions to ask yourself about that anxiety experience. The longer the checklist, the more you’ll find that your thoughts become more realistic. Questions that you can use include:
- Is there a reason to believe something is wrong?
- What evidence is there that something is wrong?
- Is there a chance I’m blowing this out of proportion?
Affirmations not for everyone, but those that do use them find them to be very beneficial. Affirmations are things that you say to yourself to make yourself feel better. These include:
- I’m okay. This is just anxiety and I will get passed this .
- I have a great life and I’m looking forward to tomorrow.
- My anxiety won’t control me.
Getting Used to Physical Symptoms
The latter is known as “exposure therapy” and there are countless ways to create exercises that will habituate you to your panic attack triggers.
Learning To Be Assertive
Being assertive means communicating your needs, wants, feelings, beliefs and opinions to others in a direct and honest manner without intentionally hurting anyones feelings. A person with an anxiety disorder may have trouble being assertive because they are afraid of conflict or believe they have no right to speak up. However, relating passively to others lowers self-confidence and reinforces anxiety. Learning to behave assertively is central to developing a stronger self-esteem.
How To Subdue A Panic Episode In 9 Steps
Here is something you can try to treat the pre-described symptoms,
It is a series of simple breathing techniques aimed at helping your body override its natural fight-or-flight response .
The following may be performed sitting down, standing up, or lying down. You can do this whilst on a crowded commute into work, when youre in bed, during a stressful work meeting, or basically in any situation where it is safe to switch your attention to yourself for a few minutes.
To feel less panicky, do the following:
This simple breathing exercise is effective because when you are feeling stressed, your breathing pattern changes. When we feel anxious, out natural physiological response is to breathe too much in short shallow bursts.
The above abdominal breathing exercise makes you conscious of how you are breathing.
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A Guide To Overcoming Panic Disorder
About 10 to 33 percent of people will experience at least one panic attack this year. Even if youve never had a panic attack, you probably know what they are like. A pounding heart, sweating, trembling, dizziness, chills.
Only 2.7 percent of people who experience a panic attack in a given year will meet the criteria for panic disorder, which is a type of anxiety disorder characterized by recurrent and often unexpected panic attacks.
An individual with panic disorder also worries about experiencing future panic attacks. In other words, panic disorder is the fear of panic attacks, or the fear of fear. Such anticipatory fear can cause significant distress and negatively impact an individuals daily life.
High Degree Emergency Responses Are Supposed To Feel Strong
Recognize your body is doing what its supposed to in response to thinking you are in danger .Many people go to great lengths to experience the rush of the stress response . So a high degree stress response isnt a bad thing, but the bodys temporary emergency survival mechanism in action. We can shut it off anytime by using the above strategies.
Even though an anxiety attack may feel like it is out of control, it actually isnt. Using the above strategies can put you in controland every time. While it may take courage and practice initially, all of us can control anxiety and anxiety attacks. Knowing how to control anxiety attacks, and becoming practiced at it, eliminates them.
Moreover, even though you may feel you are in danger from an anxiety attack, you arent. An anxiety attack is a common response to believing you are in danger, but not the actual cause of being in danger.
Panic Attack Disorder is one of the easiest anxiety disorders to eliminate when you know how. No one needs to suffer needlessly. You can eliminate anxiety attacks naturally by knowing how and through practice.
Chapter 6 in the Recovery Support area contains many sections on how to overcome Panic Disorder, as well as how to extinguish many of the fears often associated with anxiety attacks.
Dont suffer needlessly! You can overcome anxiety and panic attacks. Weve all done it. Countless members and therapy clients have done it. So can you! It is within your ability.
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When To Seek Professional Help
While self-help coping strategies can be very effective, if your worries, fears, or anxiety attacks have become so great that theyre causing extreme distress or disrupting your daily routine, its important to seek professional help.
If youre experiencing a lot of physical symptoms, you should start by getting a medical checkup. Your doctor can check to make sure that your anxiety isnt caused by a medical condition, such as a thyroid problem, hypoglycemia, or asthma. Since certain drugs and supplements can cause anxiety, your doctor will also want to know about any prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, herbal remedies, and recreational drugs youre taking.
If your physician rules out a medical cause, the next step is to consult with a therapist who has experience treating anxiety disorders. The therapist will work with you to determine the cause and type of your disorder and devise a course of treatment.
What Does An Anxiety Attack Feel Like
Some common symptoms associated with a panic attack include:
- Heart palpitations
- Feelings of being detached from oneself
- Fear of losing control
Panic attacks typically begin suddenly, without warning and they can strike at any time. You may have occasional panic attacks, or they may occur frequently. If you have recurring panic attacks and worry about future panic attacks, you may have panic disorder.
Panic attacks may come on suddenly and without warning at first, but over time, theyre usually triggered by certain situations.
For some people, a panic attack might not look like anything more than a moment of zoning out. Even in cases where symptoms are not physically apparent, anxiety could still be wreaking havoc internally.
Panic attacks can be draining and disheartening, and experiencing them regularly can certainly take a toll on your physical and mental well-being. There are several different strategies that can help you regain control over your anxiety, and may help you stop a panic attack in its tracks.
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Benzodiazepines By The Numbers
Benzodiazepines have become more popular over time.
According to the Food and Drug Administration , U.S. outpatient pharmacies dispensed around 92 million benzodiazepine prescriptions in 2019.
According to a 2016 study in the American Journal of Public Health, the number of U.S. adults filling prescriptions for benzodiazepines increased by 67 percent from 1996 to 2013.
A 2018 study in Psychiatric Services, a journal by the American Psychiatric Association, found evidence of increasing use and misuse of benzodiazepines in the United States.
During the previous year, 12.6 percent of people ages 18 and older, or more than 1 in 8, used benzodiazepines. Over 17 percent of them misused the drugs, meaning they took the drugs without a prescription, for longer than prescribed, with opioids, or in other ways that werent approved by a doctor.
What Is A Home Remedy
Any treatment that you can perform from the comfort of your own home can be seen as a home remedy for anxiety. Herbal supplements are an example of a common home remedy. People seeking to treat their anxiety may use herbs such as:
These are believed to be somewhat effective at reducing anxiety in certain cases – more than any other type of natural supplement. In addition, there are many vitamins that are also highly beneficial for anxiety. Magnesium is perhaps the most valuable, 25% of the country is magnesium deficient and that deficiency may cause anxiety and anxiety symptoms . Vitamin B12 and Vitamin B1 may also be valuable according to some nutritionists. You can add these vitamins in food or in supplement form. In the rest of this article, however, we’ll look at behavior-based remedies for coping with anxiety.
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Recognize That Youre Having A Panic Attack
Take away the fear that you may be dying or that impending doom is looming, both symptoms of panic attacks. This can allow you to focus on other techniques to reduce your symptoms.
It is not always possible to avoid triggers for a panic attack, but if you know what triggers it, this can help you understand that it is a panic attack and not something else.
How Common Are Anxiety Disorders
The World Health Organisation estimates that 1 in 13 people have an anxiety disorder. This means that there are more than half a billion people living with a highly treatable mental illness.
What does this mean for you?
If you are experiencing prolonged anxiety, you are not alone. It is common for people with an anxiety disorder to feel isolated and misunderstood. The good news is that anxiety can be effectively managed with the right type of guidance from a health professional.
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Why Do Panic Attacks Happen
Before we talk about what you can do to stop a panic attack, it is important to talk about some of the basics. Understanding what a panic attack actually is and why it happens may help you more easily accept your struggles as they come.
Anxiety happens when you are under stress, feeling tension, having worrisome thoughts, or experiencing certain physical symptoms like heart palpitations, shortness of breath, or feelings of being detached from oneself.
The worries associated with anxiety can be about really anything, including school, work, friends, family, or relationships. While some degree of anxiety and worry is a normal part of everyday life, persistent symptoms may indicate an anxiety disorder.
More intense physical manifestations of anxiety are considered panic attacks, and an attack can last for several minutes or even several hours.
The specific symptoms that a person experiences during a panic attack can vary, and in fact, different people may experience entirely different symptoms. No two people are exactly the same, and panic attacks can manifest in many different ways.
Complementary And Alternative Treatments
Some people find that complementary and alternative treatments, such as massage, acupuncture, or chiropractic care, help their anxiety symptoms. A 2018 systematic review of 13 mostly small studies suggests that both acupuncture and electro-acupuncture may ease anxiety.
While some studies report promising results, there is no conclusive data showing these treatments work. So people trying alternative remedies should use them as a complement to other treatments, not substitutes for care.
Other alternative therapies may also have some benefits in treating anxiety.
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What Is An Anxiety Attack
An anxiety attack is a high degree stress response activated by either overly apprehensive behavior or by the involuntary action of a chronically stressed body.
In other words, anxiety attacks have two main causes:Voluntary anxiety attacks: When we worry something terrible might happen and the body responds with a high degree stress response.
Involuntary anxiety attacks: When the body activates a high degree stress response all by itself due to the adverse effects of chronic stress.
Calming Step : Focus On Breathing
Your breath affects your mental state, so breathing is a crucial part of stopping a panic attack.
During a panic attack, your breathing speeds up, a signal that your body is in fight-or-flight mode, Dr. Josell says. Rapid breathing sends a clear signal that youre in danger, but slow, deep breathing helps to turn off the fight-or-flight response.
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How To Know If You Have Anxiety
While there are more serious panic disorders, phobias and anxiety conditions including post traumatic stress disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder , more generalized anxiety can often be classified by some of the following symptoms:
- Uncontrollable worry that causes distress
- Realizing that even seemingly inconsequential things like completing chores causes stress
- Feeling irritable
- Difficulty sleeping
To Relieve Anxiety Talk Out Loud To Yourself
Give yourself permission to have an anxiety attack by saying the words out loud. Remind yourself that the attack will end, and it wont kill you or cause you to faint.
Carbonell says that understanding the physiology of fainting and reminding yourself of it is important. People faint when their blood pressure drops. A anxiety attack can make you feel like youre going to faint, but you wont because your blood pressure doesn’t drop during an attack. Remind yourself out loud of truths like these to counter your fears.
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Fear Kept Our Ancestors Alive
Why do we feel anxiety when theres no real danger?
MentalHealth.Org has our answer:
Early humans needed the fast, powerful responses that fear causes, as they were often in situations of physical danger however, we no longer face the same threats in modern-day living.
Despite this, our minds and bodies still work in the same way as our early ancestors, and we have the same reactions to our modern worries about bills, travel and social situations. But we cant run away from or physically attack these problems!
So back in our cave man days, the people who felt high anxiety and fear, and reacted to things quickly were the ones that stayed alive.
We are now living in a world where our physical well-being doesnt get threatened as much , so although anixety is normal its no longer necessary in order to stay alive. This is key. Understanding that you dont have to feel this way all the time is going to help you overcome it.
Natural Remedies For Anxiety
If you visualize activities like exercise and meditation when you think of natural anxiety remedies, youre on the right track. While certain medications can be prescribed by a psychiatrist for severe anxiety disorders, there are options you can try at home which may offer reprieve:
- Take a walk, exercise or otherwise stay active since it can shift your brains focus off anxiety. Moving your body decreases muscle tension, which can contribute to anxious feelings. Plus, raising your heart rate can change your brain chemistry, increasing the availability of serotonin and gamma-aminobutyric acid .
- Limit alcohol, caffeine and smoking, which could potentially increase anxiety and depression.
- Prioritize sleep to recover and prepare for challenges ahead. Deep sleep, or non-rapid eye movement slow-wave sleep, can help to calm and reset a restless mind, as heart rate and blood pressure drop.
- Practice mindfulness and meditation to ground yourself and alleviate anxious symptoms.
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What To Do When Someone Else Is Having A Panic Attack
This section will provide some tips on how to help a person having a panic attack.
First, try talking them through a few of the methods above. For instance, help them find a peaceful spot, encourage them to take slow, deep breaths, and ask them to focus on a nearby object.
If you do not know the person, introduce yourself and ask them if they need help. Ask them if they have had a panic attack before, and if so, what helps them regain control.
People can also try the following tips when someone else is having a panic attack:
- Try to remain calm. This will help them relax a little more.
- Suggest moving to a quiet spot nearby and help them find one. Sitting down in a comfortable place can be very effective, as it allows them to focus on their breathing.
- Remind the person that panic attacks always end.
- Stay positive and nonjudgmental. Avoid validating any negative statements.
- Try having a gentle, friendly conversation to distract them and help them feel safe.
- Avoid telling them to calm down or telling them that there is nothing to worry about, as this devalues their emotions.
- Stay with them. If they feel that they need to be alone, make sure they remain visible.