Anxiety is defined as an emotion caused by inner turmoil and often accompanied by nervous behavior. Feelings of anxiousness and apprehension, nervousness or dread when experiencing something particularly stressful are common. These are feelings that everyone has and they are normal.
However, there are times when anxiety becomes overwhelming and an anxiety attack ensues.
Anxiety attacks occur when we can’t process the level of anxiety we are experiencing.
According to the Anxiety Centre, symptoms of an anxiety attack can include:
- A feeling of overwhelming fear
- Feeling that you are going crazy or losing control; that you are in grave danger and you might pass out
- A surge of doom and gloom
- An urgency to escape
- Trembling or Sweating
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pressure or pain
- Turning pale
- Feeling detached from reality
- Week in the knees
- Burning skin
- Pins and needles
- Hot and cold flashes
- Numbness and tingling sensations
According to the Anxiety Center anxiety attacks, or panic attacks, can last from a few moments to hours depending on how frightened a person is and how they are reacting. The attacks themselves are not harmful. Even though the symptoms can seem severe they are not fatal or harmful to the person experiencing the attack.
But how do you end an anxiety attack? According to everydayhealth.com, you can counteract an anxiety attack by using the methods described below.
- Arm Yourself with Information: The way to stop an anxiety attack is to recognize an attack before it gets full blown then practice the skills you need to get through it. Research and find the strategies that work best for you then employ them during this time when you feel an attack coming on. Often times breathing techniques can help.
- Accept the Attack: We tend to want to force the attack to stop which will only make matters worse. According to everydayhealth.com, your first step is to simply notice your symptoms and accept that you are having an attack.
- Take Notes: Jot down what you are experiencing. This will help you to put your attack into perspective and not let it get so overwhelming.
- Breathe: Breath deep and slowly from your diaphragm. Shallow, quick chest breathing will just escalate your attack.
- Relax: Mentally force your stiffened muscles to relax.
- Talk to Yourself: Give yourself permission to have the attack and remind yourself that it will be ending soon. Take control of the attack in this way.
- Return to the Present: Our first instinct is to flee the scene but don’t. Stay put and calm your anxiety levels. After you have calmed down, then decide to stay or go.
- Seek Help: If you experience reoccurring attacks, seek professional help from your doctor.
If you do have reoccurring attacks, you may have an anxiety disorder which needs to be treated by your doctor. Please seek medical attention and a treatment that will be right for you.