Common Triggers Of Anxiety Attacks
It is difficult to pinpoint the exact cause of an anxiety attack. However, certain things are commonly identified as triggers for an attack. It may occur without prior warning due to stress from events, being in an unfamiliar situation, dreams, and even the actions of other people.
Heres a three-minute overview of anxiety attacks, which features:
- The basic definition of the condition
- Its symptoms
- Common treatments.
Even though anxiety attacks are often extreme physical and emotional experiences, they happen for specific reasons. If you are able to understand these reasons, you can gain control of your anxiety attacks instead of allowing them to take control of you. Learning the necessary strategies to control anxiety attacks can free you from their grasp.
Focus Your Attention On A Specific Object
If you prefer to keep your eyes open during an anxiety attack, then try focusing your attention on a single object. The object must be clearly within your field of vision. Note every possible detail about it. Do this until the moment of anxiety has passed.
This will help distract you from your anxiety while allowing you to focus on something that is stable. Because anxiety can go wherever you do, you may find it helpful to carry a comfort object around with you. This could be anything that you find to be soothing, as long as it is small enough to fit into your pocket or bagmaybe a smooth rock, a stress ball, a sentimental object, or anything else that you can hold.
Your object will then be the thing that you automatically engage with if your anxiety begins to flare up. Paying attention to your comfort object will shift your focus away from your anxious thoughts and onto the object, which will decrease your symptoms of anxiety.
Do Some Light Exercise
An exercise thats gentle on your body can help raise your endorphin levels. These hormones can help improve your mood and keep anxious thoughts at bay.
Doing as little as 5 to 10 minutes of aerobic exercise can immediately improve your anxiety level, but if you get into a regular exercise routine, you will be able to see more long-term improvements that decrease your general anxiety. Exercising on a regular basis will also help improve your self-esteem and confidence, which can have an additional impact on your anxiety.
Some benefits that doing exercise has on anxiety include:
- Burning stress hormones that lead to anxiety
- Exhausting your muscles, thereby reducing excess tension
- Releasing endorphins to improve your mood
- Forcing deep breathing
- Distracting you in a healthy way
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Talk To A Therapist With Experience In Anxiety Attacks
People often fear the worst when they’re having an anxiety attack. Most of the time, theres no underlying physical problem, such as a real heart attack. But you should get the medical all clear if you have repeat anxiety attacks, just to be sure you dont need additional treatment. Then find a cognitive behavioral therapist with experience treating anxiety to help you through.
Ways To Help Lower Anxiety Naturally
Overcoming a challenge takes strength and courage, so its a good idea to show up nourished and well-rested. Heres how to help lower anxiety naturally.
Taking care of yourself is key. Research shows that after a good nights sleep 7-9 hours is ideal youre likely to feel less anxious and more confident. Physical activity during the day will help you sleep better, but you know that! Eating real, unprocessed food lean protein, whole grains, legumes, fruit, nuts, veggies, the occasional piece of dark chocolate! will keep your energy level on an even keel. Fast food and processed snacks cause spikes and crashes in blood sugar that can leave you jittery. Here are 6 natural cures for anxiety worth considering.
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Calm Anxiety With A Sleep Schedule
Sometimes you dont know how tired you are until your eyelids droop during a business meeting. When you are tired, you are less tolerant, more irritable, and just plain moody. Anxiety causes sleep problems and sleep deprivation causes anxiety. So while you are trying to calm your anxiousness, make a conscious effort to improve your sleep patterns. Go to bed and wake up the same time every day. In addition to irregular bedtimes, caffeine and bright lights can also cause sleepless nights.
Is It Bad To Have Anxiety In A Relationship
If your relationship is causing you anxiety, here are a few things to consider. Anxiety in relationships is common: Especially if you are prone to worrying or are with a partner who doesnt communicate clearly, anxiety will be a part of your relationship, and that doesnt necessarily make it a bad thing.
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Make Stress Your Friend
Along similar lines, health psychologist and world-renowned speaker Kelly McGonigal makes the case for a positive rethinking of stress. In this talk, she explains, its not so much the stress itself that is harmful, as the way in which we think about it.
Instead of seeing stress as your enemy, you can make it work for you. Stress and anxiety are nothing but a sign that you care about something, and this care can be molded into something that wildly improves your performance instead of inhibiting it.
But isnt this just wishy-washy, think positive, smile-at-yourself-in-the-mirror-and-your-depression-will-go-away kind of pseudo-science?
Not really. McGonigal grounds her beliefs in pretty solid scientific evidence, ranging from observational studies to randomized trials, and her book The Upside of Stress, is studded with references to numerous studies which showed actual results.
One such study tested out a simple three-step process for dealing with stress and anxiety in the workplace, and yielded positive results. Here it is, as laid out by McGonigal:
The first step is to acknowledge stress when you experience it. Simply allow yourself to notice the stress, including how it affects your body.
The second step is to welcome the stress by recognizing that its a response to something you care about. Can you connect to the positive motivation behind the stress? What is at stake here, and why does it matter to you?
What You Feel Is Real
When I had my first anxiety attack at work, I waited until I got physically ill to ask to go home. I guess, to me, it didnt feel like mental symptoms were as palpable, significant, or real as physical ones. Only physical symptoms could validate my troubles and make me feel less guilty and embarrassed about admitting that I needed some form of help.
Thinking that mental health problems are, in some way, not as real as physical ones is not uncommon. This year, millions of Internet users have asked Google if mental illness is real, and the Internet abounds with public awareness campaigns from the government and non-profit organizations answering with a resounding Yes!
Anxiety disorders are real, serious medical conditions just as real and serious as physical disorders such as heart disease or diabetes, write the ADAA.
Not only that, but Anxiety disorders are the most common and pervasive mental disorders in the United States. In fact, the National Institutes of Health report that as many as 1 in 5 Americans are affected by anxiety disorders.
When I had my anxiety attack, my main worry was that my employer would think I was trying to skive my duties. If you feel the same, the good news is youre not alone. In fact, a recent survey on workplace stress and anxiety reports that 38 percent of those with an anxiety disorder do not tell their employers because they fear that their boss would interpret it as lack of interest of unwillingness to do the activity.
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Talk To Someone Friendly
Another very effective technique is to talk to someone you like and trust, especially on the phone. Don’t be shy about your anxiety – tell them you feel anxious and explain what you’re feeling.
Talking to nice, empathetic people keeps your mind off of your symptoms, and the supportive nature of friends and family gives you an added boost of confidence. If you’re suffering from a panic attack, it also helps you feel more confident that if something were wrong, you’d have someone that can watch over you.
Talk To Someone Who Gets It
If your feelings of anxiety are making it hard to function, you should speak to a health professional. But talking to friends can also help. I have friends who have an anxiety disorder too. When Im feeling really bad, I send them a message telling them how Im feeling.
They might have a new hack I can try, or they can point out something that might have acted as a trigger. But sometimes its just nice to vent to someone who knows how it feels to be in my shoes.
Practice Good Sleep Hygiene
Try to go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day weekends included.
Your routine before going to bed also matters. Consider giving yourself wind-down times. For example, 20 minutes with no devices. Instead, you could read a book or take a bath.
Avoiding potential triggers, like watching TV or scrolling the news on your phone, is key.
Creating a sleep routine will help you fall asleep faster and reduce the chances that youll lie awake, worrying about unfinished tasks or the next morning.
Can Anxiety Cause Chest Pain
You may be relieved to find that the answer is YES.
Chest pain is one of the common anxiety symptoms, along with a rapid heartbeat, sweating, nausea, and dizziness.
How Does anxiety chest pain happen?
People having anxiety or panic attacks are prone to hyperventilation caused by the fight or flight response. This contracts blood vessels and may cause considerable chest pain.
General anxiety disorder is usually accompanied by poorer digestion and bloating. Bloating can increase the pressure on the lungs and lead to chest pain.
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The symptoms of an anxiety attack will respond to anxiety-control techniques, like deep breathing and relaxation exercises.
Here is one powerful technique to get immediate anxiety chest pain relief:
1. Sit with your back straight and your hands in your lap or on your thighs. Close your eyes. While doing this keep the tip of your tongue touching the top of your mouth.
When you inhale do it through your nose. Exhale through your mouth. Ready?
2. Start inhaling slowly for 4 seconds . Push out your stomach and fill your lower lungs first. Then the rest of the lungs are filled.
Hold your breath until you count to 7.
Exhale comfortably for 8 seconds.
Try to imagine that all the anxiety is leaving your body while you are exhaling. You are letting it go.
Pause for 2 seconds without inhaling and do this one more time.
Repeat until you feel your chest pain gone. And it will be!
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Find A Therapist To Help You Cope
If anxiety impedes your ability to live a healthy, productive life, its essential to seek professional help to curtail the progressive nature of anxiety and panic disorders. There, you can help determine the root causes and take effective steps toward management. Psychotherapy which address mental disorders via psychological instead of medical means is a common treatment, notes Strauss.
There are often limiting negative beliefs that contribute to the genesis of anxiety, and psychotherapy can help the client track and challenge the automatic thoughts that accompany the emotions of anxiety and fear, she explains. Its important that one tries to learn the skills to cope with anxiety in addition to consider the use of medication. Treatment modalities like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy , Dialectical Behavioral Therapy , Internal Family Systems, EMDR, Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction and Interpersonal Therapy can all be used to help the client become increasingly more aware of what triggers anxiety.
Over time, you will be better equipped to identify these negative thought patterns as they arise, and be able to nip them in the bud, instead of having them spiral out of control.
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How To Stop Worrying Tip : Create A Daily Worry Period
Its tough to be productive in your daily activities when anxiety and worry are dominating your thoughts and distracting you from work, school, or your home life. This is where the strategy of postponing worrying can help. Rather than trying to stop or get rid of an anxious thought, give yourself permission to have it, but put off dwelling on it until later.
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What Makes You Anxious
Because anxiety is a type of fear, the things weve described about fear above are also true for anxiety.
The word anxiety tends to be used to describe worry, or when fear is nagging and persists over time. It is used when the fear is about something in the future rather than what is happening right now.
Anxiety is a word often used by health professionals when theyre describing persistent fear. The ways that you feel when youre frightened and anxious are very similar, as the basic emotion is the same.
Calm Anxiety By Trashing Your Anger
Anger is an intense and common emotion in the ADHD brain. We feel anger not only in the mind but also in the body. This intense emotion causes high levels of anxiety and leads to out-of-control behavior that you later regret. The next time you start to feel your blood boil when things aren’t going according to your script or you think you were treated unfairly, remember that your anger harms you as much as others when you lash out. Write down your feelings on a piece of paper, then rip it up and throw your anger in the trash along with your words.
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