Anxiety attacks can prevent people from forming lasting relationships, achieving success at work, or having a healthy home life. How do you stop an anxiety attack before it becomes a full blown episode? Below are 6 ways to reduce anxiety attacks to achieve a healthier lifestyle.
6 Ways to Decrease the Number of Anxiety Attacks
- Practice breathing exercises every day to help prevent panic attacks and relieve them when they happen
- Practice regular exercise, especially aerobic exercise, to help you to manage stress levels, release tension, improve your mood and boost confidence
- Eat regular meals to stabilize your blood sugar levels
- Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and smoking – these can make panic attacks worse
- Try a panic support group to get helpful advice about how to manage your attacks
- Try cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to identify and change the negative thought patterns that are feeding your panic attacks
Experiencing anxiety is a natural response to stressful situations. Your body uses anxiety to provide the extra energy and focus needed to overcome stressful situations. However, some people may experience more anxiety than normal or anxiety unrelated to a stressful situation. In these cases, anxiety is no longer helpful and may be disruptive. While there is no precise or entirely accepted definition for anxiety attacks, most people generally accept that an anxiety attack is an episode of anxiety that is normally disruptive and difficult or impossible to control.
Anxiety Attacks are Different than Panic Attacks
Panic attacks have a strict, clinical definition and describe an episode of extreme panic that is completely debilitating and impossible to control. Sometimes people mistakenly refer to panic attacks as anxiety attacks, while some may refer to minor ones as panic attacks. Those who suspect they may have a true panic attack should see a doctor for professional help managing the attacks. How do you stop an anxiety attack before it becomes a full blown episode?
While actual panic attacks may require professional help to control, anxiety attacks can often be increased without a doctor. There are several natural ways to prevent anxiety attacks that you can do by yourself at home.
What Does an Anxiety Attack Feel Like?
You may have feelings of impending doom, shortness of breath, chest pain, and rapid fluttering or pounding heart (heart palpitations). These panic attacks may lead to worrying about them happening again or avoiding situations in which they’ve occurred. While anxiety attacks can creep up on you out of nowhere, it’s essential first to understand exactly what an anxiety attack is. An anxiety attack is the sudden feeling of intense fear or anxiety and physical symptoms based on a perceived threat rather than imminent danger. Panic disorder involves repeated episodes of this feeling that reach a peak within minutes. The physical symptoms of a panic attack are caused by your body going into “fight or flight” mode. As your body tries to take in more oxygen, your breathing quickens. Your body also releases hormones, such as adrenaline, causing your heart to beat faster and your muscles to tense up.
What are some things that happen during an anxiety attack?
- Racing heartbeat
- Shortness of breath
- Muscle tension
- A choking sensation
- Tingling fingers
- Ringing in your ears
- You feel like you are having a heart attack or dying.
Time Frame of an Attack
These attacks usually last anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes, but timing can vary based on the person and symptoms. They appear fatal when you have them, but they aren’t dangerous and shouldn’t harm you.
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