Handling Anxiety Attacks

Anxiety attacks can be seen as an abnormal and irrational panic over trivial things or accidents or for no reason at all. Attacks usually occur without warning and a person can simply burst into fear. Triggers can cause anxiety attack – like getting stuck in the elevator or being called to recite in the class – but in other cases, attacks come out of the blue. An anxiety attack is disproportionate reaction to the situation or the problem at hand, leaving the person excessively fearful, or sometimes incapacitated, which affects life, relationships, happiness and peace of mind.

Symptoms of Anxiety Attack

A person undergoing an episode of anxiety attack shows the following symptoms:

• Heart palpitation (increase in heartbeat)
• Hot flashes or chills
• Hyperventilation
• Surge of overwhelming panic
• Feeling detached or unreal
• Trembling or shaking
• Trouble breathing
• Feeling of losing control, going crazy; or fear of dying
• Choking sensation
• Nausea or stomach crams
• Sweating
• Dizziness
• Chest discomfort or pain

Handling anxiety attacks

Anxiety attacks usually peak within 10 minutes and rarely last for half an hour. But during this time, a person can totally lose control of himself and show symptoms mentioned above. To handle this attack, a person must:

Relax – Although it is often impossible to relax during an attack, it is very crucial not to submit yourself to your emotion. Breathe. Deep breathing helps calms and relaxes your mind and body. During an anxiety attack, focus your breathing to slow down your heartbeat. This also diverts your attention from the attack which helps you recover faster. Take some time and practice deep breathing exercises even if you are not stressed or feel anxious.

Think positively – Again, during an anxiety attack, it is often impossible to relax or even calm yourself, but you have to be in control. Push more positive thoughts to your head. Instead of thinking that others will humiliate you or you are going to faint because you cannot take the pressure, think of the good things. Do no anticipate that something bad will happen because in reality, there isn’t. Keep in mind that the more you think negatively, the more anxious and panicky it is going to be.

Think that it will be over soon – and it will. Anxiety attacks do not last for more than an hour so there is no reason for you to think and feel that your world is over. You don’t have to be mindful of the time. You don’t even have to count every minute that passed. What you should be doing is be conscious that it will not going to last forever.

Start an exercise program – We have heard that exercise has lots of benefits both to the body and the mind. It is also a great stress buster and anxiety reliever. Experts agree that as little as 30 minutes of exercise, 3 to 5 times a week is enough to lower the level of stress and reduce the chances of having episodes of anxiety attacks.

Talk to someone you trust – It can be your friend, your wife (husband), a relative or a therapist. Often, having someone who listens and understands what a person is going through will make a lot of difference. This is because it allows you to bring out your emotion rather than keeping it to yourself.