Anxiety Attacks – Helping Yourself First
In chaos, we tend to lose the grip of ourselves and become so impulsive that we are bound to commit some mistake. Since January 2020, we have been living in a situation of constant panic as the COVID-19 is now a global pandemic. This situation is quite risky for people who have anxiety attacks and they can’t contain their feelings. So, to help them, here is something that I’ve decided to talk upon.
In considering self-help treatment for anxiety attacks, the first thing you need to do is get a proper diagnosis from a healthcare professional. Once diagnosed, you can then decide on your treatment. And more and more people are turning to self-help treatment for anxiety attacks, rather than using mind-numbing drugs. Here are 5 things to help you treat your condition without drugs.
1 – Understand What Causes Anxiety Attacks
Anxiety attacks are triggered when someone with already higher-than-normal levels of anxiety suffers a peak of additional stress. This can be something as simple as driving in heavy traffic, shopping in a crowded environment, being in a crowded lift, preparing for an exam, etc. What happens is that this additional ‘spike’ of stress adds to your overall anxiety levels and pushes you ‘over the top’.
Your unconscious mind wrongly perceives this as a life threatening situation and, as it is primed to do, sets in motion a serious of chemical and other physical changes to your mind and body to help you either fight the ‘danger’ or run away to safety. This is called your body’s ‘fight or flight’ response and has been with us since primeval times.
But of course, there is no external threat, all you’ve had is a rise in anxiety. But your unconscious mind doesn’t have time to check out the reality, it just assumes the worst-case scenario (which it’s programmed to do) and triggers its fight or flight response. The chemical and physical changes result in the symptoms you experience during an anxiety (panic) attack.
2 – Get to Know the Symptoms of An Anxiety Attack
The following are typical symptoms to be aware of: – tight chest / throat, dizziness, nausea, hyperventilation, rapid heartbeat, difficulty breathing, tingling fingers, sweating, trembling, feeling of being detached from surroundings, feeling of impending doom.
It is important to remember that these are just the symptoms associated with your body’s flight or fight response to a ‘perceived’ dangerous situation that doesn’t in fact exist. So, you aren’t having a heart attack or about to die. Try to remember this if you begin to feel the onset of symptoms. Even repeat it to yourself. It will help to reduce the intensity and length of the symptoms.
3 – Always Avoid Stress Where Possible
There are certain things in life which you can’t avoid, but you must avoid unnecessary stress. Stress occurs through people, relationships, situations, etc. There are some you can’t control, so don’t try. But their others you can control and so you need to get rid of these stressful situations.
For example, if certain people not important to you are stressing you out, stay right away from them. If there is a relationship that causes you anxiety and stress almost daily, then you need to seriously consider if it’s worth continuing. If there are situations like driving to work that constantly stress you out, can you use public transport? can someone drive you? etc.
The workplace is a great source of stress. Are you working hard rather than working smart? Do you continually take on more than you can reasonably handle? Do you work voluntary overtime in order to pay for things that really aren’t that important in the scheme of things? Try to reduce you hours and don’t take on more work than you can handle.
4 – Be Positive During an Anxiety Attack
A positive attitude is just so important when you have anxiety and suffer anxiety attacks. Especially during an attack, a positive reaction to the onset of an attack can seriously limit its length and intensity. Anybody who has suffered an attack knows that it isn’t easy to do this, but those that have managed know that it is true.
You now know that an anxiety attack cannot harm you. You now know what the symptoms are and what causes them. In other words, you have all the information you need to meet your next attack head-on with a positive attitude.
5 – Eliminate Your Fear of Another Anxiety Attack
This is the most important thing you’ll learn in coping with anxiety attacks. Remember above you learned how a rise in stress on top of your already high anxiety can trigger a ‘fight or flight’ response which causes you to experience the symptoms as an anxiety attack? Well your ‘fear’ of having another attack act in the same way…
Everyone who has suffered an anxiety attack has a conscious or subconscious fear of another. And no wonder the symptoms are terrifying! But this fear builds on your already higher-than-normal anxiety levels, so raising your overall anxiety even higher. By itself, or in conjunction with an everyday stressful event, this fear can trigger your body’s fight or flight response, so producing an anxiety attack.
This vicious cycle of; anxiety > anxiety attack > fear > more anxiety > anxiety attack > more fear > even more anxiety > anxiety attack > and so on, must be broken to prevent further anxiety attacks and cure your general anxiety.