Why Wont My Fear Go Away And Leave Me Feeling Normal Again
Fear may be a one-off feeling when you are faced with something unfamiliar.
But it can also be an everyday, long-lasting problem even if you cant put your finger on why. Some people feel a constant sense of anxiety all the time, without any particular trigger.
There are plenty of triggers for fear in everyday life, and you cant always work out exactly why you are frightened or how likely you are to be harmed. Even if you can see how out of proportion a fear is, the emotional part of your brain keeps sending danger signals to your body.
Sometimes you need mental and physical ways of tackling fear.
Learn The Sedona Method Of Overcoming Stage Fright And Anxiety Attacks
, your mind and body react strongly, and you experience a range of distressing thoughts, feelings, and sensations, writes Janet writes Esposito in Getting Over Stage Fright. You feel dread in the pit of your stomach, and a feeling of intense fear and foreboding comes over you. Your mind starts to race and you wonder if you can somehow get out of participating in this event. Your chest tightens and your heart starts to beat rapidly as you contemplate what is up ahead. You imagine how incredibly overwhelming all of this is going to be, and you start to feel trapped and helplessand then frustrated and upset with yourself for having these reactions.
Esposito says at some point in this scenario we need to see ourselves heading into the abyss of the hell of stage fright. Instead of allowing ourselves to fall in we take a step back.
You pause and take a slow, deep breath and recall the method of releasing and letting go, writes Esposito in Getting Over Stage Fright. Rather than condemning yourself for having these thoughts and feelings, you give yourself full permission to be exactly where you are in this moment, no matter how bad it feels. Then, after a few moments of full, unconditional acceptance of where you are, you gently and slowly ask yourself the following questions, giving yourself time to fully experience each question: Could I let this go? Would I let this go? When?
Practice Muscle Relaxation Techniques
Along with hyperventilating, muscles tension or tremors are common symptoms of anxiety attacks. They are also uncomfortable, helping to further increase feelings of anxiety.
Consciously relaxing your muscles can help stop an attack early. Start with something small like a finger, then work your way up to your way up and throughout the body.
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Memorize The Notes And Tempo
Knowing your music by heart isnt the answer to overcoming an anxiety attack on stage, but it can help. I didnt know my music well enough. If Id known my notes better, I may have been able to rely on automatic memory to carry my performance.
But, I know a musician who memorized her piano concerto backwards and forwards. She knew her notes and tempo cold! She was confident and prepared when she walked on stage. And yetwhen she sat down at the bench and started playing in public at the recital, she froze. She forgot most of the notes, and she actually had to stop playing in the middle of the piece and walk off stage. That was how bad her stage fright or performance anxiety was.
The worst part? She didnt expect to feel so anxious about performing music on stage. She really thought she was prepared. She was ready to do an excellent job.
So, while memorizing your music can help you overcome an anxiety attack on stage, it will not protect you from the dreaded consequences of stage fright.
Knowing The Signs Of An Anxiety Attack
The first anxiety attack someone has usually catches them off guard. The signs of an attack are often so intense that the person does not know how to react at the time. Since they become more anxious about being anxious, symptoms worsen. Many tend to think that they are having a heart attack or a stroke.
An anxiety attack can sneak up on you, and the symptoms can hit you quickly. Knowing what the signs are will make it easier for you to calm down. Some signs of an anxiety attack include shortness of breath or heavy breathing when thinking about a particular scenario. Sounds seem louder, and lights seem brighter than the norm. The heart may beat very fast or irregularly. Many people suffering from anxiety attacks experience dissociation, feeling as if they are watching themselves from outside their bodies.
When someone is anxious, they may display an extreme change in emotion, such as an unstoppable need to cry, scream, laugh, or yell. The person may need to get away from an uncomfortable situation immediately, even if it results in losing a job or ruining a relationship. Physically, someone having an anxiety attack can have an uncontrollable shaking or other movements of a hand, foot, or another body part.
In many cases, those who suffer from severe anxiety worry about having a panic attack. This condition can escalate the symptoms and bring on an anxiety attack. Learning coping mechanisms from therapy can stop anxiety before it even starts is extremely important.
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Remember That It Will Pass
During a panic attack, it can help to remember that these feelings will pass and cause no physical harm, however scary it feels at the time.
Try acknowledging that this is a brief period of concentrated anxiety, and that it will be over soon.
Panic attacks tend to reach their most intense point within 10 minutes of their onset, and then the symptoms will begin to subside.
Strategy #: Avoidance Feeds Panic
Think of a situation that makes you panickyIll bet you white-knuckle it until you cant stand it anymore, and then quit, which makes you feel better.
But consider this: While quitting does make you feel better in the short-term, it also reinforces the idea that what youre doing was truly dangerous, and getting out is what saved you. This makes sense if youre feeling panicky about swimming with sharks while you have a nosebleed, but it doesnt make sense if youre feeling panicky about crossing a parking lot, sitting in a restaurant, or riding the subway. You must be willing to endure a little anxietyemphasis on little never more than youre ready forso your brain can round the corner and start getting bored.
But you dont have to jump in with both feet. Aim for inducing about a 3 on a 1-10 scale. You need to start with some anxiety, in order to give you something to work with. Experience the 3, and then wait it out. Your anxiety might escalate to a 4 or 5 at first, but if you stick with it rather than quitting, it will go back to a 3, then a 2, and then a 1.
Try it out. Do the thing youre scared of, a little at a time. Your brain will get bored, but you have to let it get over the hump. Then you can move on to the next step. As you master more and more situations, even the things you thought would be 9s or 10s will start to look easier.
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If You Think You Have Panic Disorder Self
Many individuals with panic disorder realize they have the disorder after a trip to the emergency room , as panic attack symptoms can easily be mistaken for a heart attack or stroke. An ER can only offer short-term relief or provide a referral to mental health services.
Many people who are concerned about panic disorder visit their primary care provider . Unfortunately, according to Gruner, PCPs can sometimes mistreat panic disorder by prescribing benzodiazepines, such as lorazepam or klonopin . However, current research shows that benzos are a counterproductive long-term treatment approach.
Benzodiazepines can reduce your anxiety in the short-term, but people can become dependent on them to the point where they dont feel safe without it. They usually attribute progress to the benzo, so it can make treatment progress difficult, says Gruner.
Gruner advises individuals to be wary if their PCP prescribes benzodiazepines. There is increased awareness among PCPs now with the problem of prescribing benzos to people with panic disorder, but its not perfect, says Gruner. So, its worth educating yourself about effective treatment before meeting with your PCP.
Ideally, a PCP would recommend a therapist or psychiatrist. A cognitive behavioral therapist who has experience with anxiety disorders is an ideal choice.
How Do You Practice Being Mindful
Take a few minutes off your busy schedule and focus on your breath. How does it feel as you breathe in, your chest rises and falls? Focus on that sensation as you breathe in and out. If your mind strays, return to this moment. You want to feel this moment, how good it feels to be alive.
If you dont reap the benefits, keep trying, and eventually youll know what works for your mind.
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You Have The Power To End Anxiety Attacks Anytime You Want
Since anxiety attacks are caused by specific reasons, we can end them by addressing those reason. For instance, voluntary anxiety attacks are caused by overly apprehensive behavior, such as worry and imagining the worst. If you imagine you are in grave danger, your body will respond as if it actually is in danger.
Moreover, if you think you are safe and in a peaceful environment, your body will also respond as if it actually is.
Therefore, you control how your body responds by the types of thoughts you think. If you want to feel calm and relaxed, think calm and relaxed thoughts. Then, wait for your body to respond accordingly.
Keep in mind that once stress hormones are in the bloodstream, they will have an effect until your body uses them up or expels them. Similar to how it takes time for the body to burn off the effects of caffeine, which is a stimulant, it will also take time for the body to burn off the effects of a stress response.
But if you remain calm and patient in spite of how stimulated your body feels, it will use up the stress hormones and youll gradually feel better again.
Strategy #: Practice The Symptoms Youre Afraid Of
I know, I knowinducing the physical sensations you experience during a panic attack on purpose is the last thing folks with panic want to try, but hear me out.
Interpreting the symptoms as dangerous throws fuel on the fire. Symptoms snowball and over a matter of moments, you find yourself in the midst of a full-blown panic attack.
Therefore, by intentionally bringing on the very symptoms youre afraid of, you can practice having them outside the context of an attack. Eventually, youll stop seeing them as threatening. Youll learn your body can handle a racing heart or a tight throat. When you practice having your own symptoms, youre always in the drivers seat and youll get the chance to habituate, or as I like to say, your brain will get bored.
So if youre worried about a pounding heart, set a timer for one minute and knock out some high knees or burpees. Terrified of feeling dizzy? Set that timer, sit in an office chair, and spin around and around until the time is up. Shortness of breath feels awful? Breathe through a coffee stirrer for one minute. Lightheadedness? Lie on the floor for a minute and then stand up quickly to induce a head rush. Do you get a sense of unreality when you panic, like the world is a dream or nothing is truly real? Get really close to your hand or a wall and stare at it for a minute. It gets a little freaky, which is exactly the point.
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Accept That Getting Over Stage Fright Is A Long
This is the most disappointing tip on how to overcome anxiety attacks on stage: it requires sustained, gentle effort. Stage fright is a biochemical, emotional response to a perceived threat, and it will not be stopped by a couple of deep breaths and positive visualizations before a performance. Musicians need to train their brains and spirits to overcome anxious feelings while performing, and it sadly doesnt happen overnight.
Some performers and musicians practice saying, What would it feel like to let go of this feeling? They find freedom in imagining how they would perform if they werent so anxious about being on stage. If I let go of my stage fright, Id feel happy and even joyful about playing my flute! Id be relaxed and secure, calm and free. Id connect with the music and put my soul into the notes.
Wouldnt that be lovely?
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Fear is one of the most powerful emotions. It has a very strong effect on your mind and body.
Fear can create strong signals of response when were in emergencies for instance, if we are caught in a fire or are being attacked.
It can also take effect when youre faced with non-dangerous events, like exams, public speaking, a new job, a date, or even a party. Its a natural response to a threat that can be either perceived or real.
Anxiety is a word we use for some types of fear that are usually to do with the thought of a threat or something going wrong in the future, rather than right now.
Fear and anxiety can last for a short time and then pass, but they can also last much longer and you can get stuck with them. In some cases they can take over your life, affecting your ability to eat, sleep, concentrate, travel, enjoy life, or even leave the house or go to work or school. This can hold you back from doing things you want or need to do, and it also affects your health.
Some people become overwhelmed by fear and want to avoid situations that might make them frightened or anxious. It can be hard to break this cycle, but there are lots of ways to do it. You can learn to feel less fearful and to cope with fear so that it doesnt stop you from living.
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Stay In Your Time Zone
Anxiety is a feeling of dread about the future. In order to cope with anxiety, Tamar Chansky, Ph.D., psychologist, and author of Freeing Yourself from Anxiety, suggests focusing on the present. Ask yourself: Whats going on at the moment? Is it safe? Should I do something now? You might wish to schedule yourself an appointment later that day to revisit your worries so those far-off scenarios dont derail your plans.
Find A Therapist To Help You Cope
If anxiety impedes your ability to live a healthy, productive life, its essential to seek professional help to curtail the progressive nature of anxiety and panic disorders. There, you can help determine the root causes and take effective steps toward management. Psychotherapy which address mental disorders via psychological instead of medical means is a common treatment, notes Strauss.
There are often limiting negative beliefs that contribute to the genesis of anxiety, and psychotherapy can help the client track and challenge the automatic thoughts that accompany the emotions of anxiety and fear, she explains. Its important that one tries to learn the skills to cope with anxiety in addition to consider the use of medication. Treatment modalities like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy , Dialectical Behavioral Therapy , Internal Family Systems, EMDR, Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction and Interpersonal Therapy can all be used to help the client become increasingly more aware of what triggers anxiety.
Over time, you will be better equipped to identify these negative thought patterns as they arise, and be able to nip them in the bud, instead of having them spiral out of control.
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Effective Solutions For Preventing Panic Attacks
Putting an end to panic disorders should be at the top of your list. You should never be too busy for developing a healthier mind and a more energetic body. Most people who experience intense episodes only try to find ways on how to cope with panic attacks as oppose to curing it completely.
As long you try to manage your anxiety, it is simply unlikely that it will ever go away. Its best to be persistent with the techniques and tips we teach here until you have taking full control and eventually learned how to eliminate your worries and fears to the point that it doesnt tamper with your lifestyle anymore.
Additionally, its very important to work on a complete cure because ignoring your symptoms may only worsen and intensify your anxiety. As you may or may not know, depression, stress and anxiety can lead to other physical and mental illnesses if not treated right away
Some people for instance start to develop ulcers just from being stressed, worried or simply because they didnt sleep well, so imagine the person whose overly stressed or depressed? Clear evidence shows that our bodies react negatively to all types of anxiety, so much so that we start to become vulnerable to all kinds of other illnesses both physically and mentally. This is a scientific fact!
There are certain procedures that you can apply starting today that can significantly help you get back on track in life and be worry free. In the next few steps, you will learn about:
Get An Emotional Support Animal
An emotional support animal, such as a dog, may be what you need to help you cope with your anxiety attacks. If you love dogs, you know that theyre loyal companions and will follow you around wherever you go.
This is what you need when having an anxiety attack. You need someone to help you calm down, and your emotional support dog will do so. If you need medication, you can train your dog to fetch your meds.
Emotional support animals are better than human companions in many ways, but arguably the best is that they dont judge. They can even detect your anxiety attack before it strikes. If they cant help, they can lead someone else to your position to help you out.
Also, having an emotional support dog that loves to cuddle will help you calm down. The presence of such a dog will help calm your heart rate and ultimately help you feel at ease. They are also distracting as they need to be cared for.
Youll need to walk that dog, play with the dog, clean after it, etc. All these activities will help your focus on something else other than your anxiety.
Can you choose any animal as your emotional support animal? No. You cant have a lion or polar bear running around your house as an emotional support animal. Preferably, you want a domesticated animal such as dogs, cats, snakes, spiders, miniature horses, rabbits, parrots, etc.
Choose an animal that youre comfortable with as you want a support animal that contributes to your wellbeing.
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