Does Stress Get You Down? Overcoming Anxiety and Panic Attacks
How can you work on overcoming anxiety and panic attacks? Getting stressed out before a final paper is due, or before giving an important presentation at work is normal, and it’s not necessarily a bad thing. It helps us be productive and often times gives us the extra push to get everything done on time. But there are times when stress gets to be too much, and rather than helping us, it causes a feeling of anxiety, like you’re trapped and there’s no way out. People experience anxiety and panic attacks differently. Some people feel like they can’t breathe, like their heart is going to pound out of their chest, they may get nauseous or dizzy, they may have chest pains, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, etc…Anxiety can be scary, especially if you feel like you don’t know how to stop it. Luckily, there are some simple ways to keep it from taking over your life.
In some cases, an anxiety attack can escalate and turn into a panic attack, where you feel like you’ve lost all control and feel like you’re going to die. Needless to say, panic attacks aren’t helpful- they don’t make us more productive and they don’t serve any real purpose. Luckily, we can learn to beat these panic attacks by following a few different strategies and techniques. Below you’ll find a few tricks that may help you while overcoming anxiety and panic attacks.
Tips for overcoming anxiety and panic attacks
-Take care of your surroundings: A stressful environment can affect you quite a bit. If you live with people who are continuously fighting, you’re stress levels will probably be higher. There are many cases of children who suffer from anxiety because their parents argue constantly. If you live in a situation like this, with constant unrest and arguments, try to talk to the people fighting and see if there is any solution. Social relationships are a big part of anxiety, which you can read more on in our article about social anxiety.
-Find a quiet getaway: If you’re having a panic attack or you can feel an anxiety attack coming on, find a quiet place and try to calm down. If you can’t find a place to relax, close your eyes and take 10 deep breaths. Slowing your breathing and getting your heart rate down are quick ways to feel relaxed so you can get to a quieter place. Try to also visualize a quiet, relaxing place. Maybe imagine that you’re on a warm beach, or on a quiet mountain top. Bring up whatever mental image helps you feel relaxed and peaceful.
-Find the source of your anxiety: Anxiety and stress aren’t always caused by fights or loud noises. There may be other causes to your panic attacks, like even too little noise, internal problems, or just because. All of these things are normal. If you need help figuring out what is the actual cause of your anxiety, I suggest that you see a specialist to find out where it comes from.
- Overcoming Anxiety and Panic Attacks
-Be conscious of your body: If when you have anxiety you start shaking or moving nervously, try to sit still and calm yourself down (this would be a good time to implement the slow, deep breaths). We tend to get nervous and fidgety during panic attacks, which only makes us more nervous and on-edge.
Identify when you’re having a panic attack: If you’re having one of these attacks, you might enter a state where you feel like you’re dreaming, where you can’t see or hear anything going on around you. When you feel yourself reacting like this, rather than letting yourself have the panic attack, remind yourself that it won’t kill you and it’s just a panic attack. Repeat that to yourself and make yourself believe it.
If you’re not able to overcome these attacks, talk to a doctor or specialist to make sure that you don’t have any other medical condition. Many people suffer from anxiety and panic attacks and have learned how to overcome it. Keep calm and remember that everything has a solution.
Molly is a writer specialized in health and psychology. She is passionate about neuroscience and how the brain works, and is constantly looking for new content from interesting sources. Molly is happy to give or take advice, and is always working to educate and inspire.
This post is also available in: Spanish