Understand That Anxiety Is A Body Reaction
Number one, anxiety is a bodily reaction.
So, it is mind and body but its predominantly body so you get the flight or fight reaction, you get the rapid heart rate, the sweating, the trembling, the scared feeling, that adrenaline surge that goes through your body and then that kicks off the thoughts, the raving thoughts, the worries.
Everything that kind of comes together to bring that anxiety reaction.
So its usually the body reaction that comes first and then the body reaction kind of triggers the mind, as in the mind goes, Ooh, the body is reacting in quite a fight or flight manner. I will scan the environment and see what the threat is.
And if there is no imminent threat then the mind will make up a threat because thats what you need the equilibrium going and I know thats horrible but thats just the way your mind and your body works.
You cant have one without the other.
They will do what they can to support each other and give you a solid consistent story even if that means going through anxiety and going through a frightening time.
When Anxiety Strikes Without A Cause
Sometimes, we experience anxiety because of an anxiety trigger. People can be diagnosed with different types of anxiety disorders, each with specific symptoms and causes. Additionally, people can experience situational anxiety where something in particular causes anxiety symptoms to flare. A student might experience test anxiety severe enough to negatively impact performance or a parent’s anxiety might become heightened and nearly debilitating when he/she thinks about the various harm that could come to the child. The anxiety that is triggered by something can be painful, limiting, and downright awful, especially when one can’t avoid anxiety triggers. Equally painful, limiting, and downright awful is when anxiety strikes without a cause whatsoever.
Set An Intention Early
Many of us go from one activity to the next throughout our day without really considering how we are feeling, let alone how we would like to feel. For example, do you ever come home after a long day of work and think to yourself, I really want to relax and enjoy this evening?
Most likely you are far too busy or preoccupied to stop and ponder how you want your evening to be. However, by setting an intention early, you are more likely to get the results you want.
If you remind yourself each day that you are determined to have a peaceful evening, you are more likely to actually experience it that way.
Remembering to set an intention is easier when you mark a certain point in your day for it. For example, while driving home from work, you may be going over in your mind all the stress that you went through that day.
At a certain point during your drive home, such as when you drive over a certain bridge or pass a particular landmark, you can set the intention to let go of work stress from that point forward and enjoy the rest of your evening. Another option can be to set an alarm that reminds you to set your intention for a nice evening.
Regardless of what type of prompt works for you, get in the habit of setting your personal objective of how you want to feel each evening.
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How To Reduce Morning Anxiety
Your alarm goes off. Instead of waking up refreshed and energized, a very different feeling kicks in anxiety.
Anxiety is like an unwelcome visitor popping in when you least expect it. When you experience anxious thoughts or feelings in the morning, it robs your peace of mind and sets the tone for your whole day. Why do you wake up with butterflies in your stomach? How can you get rid of these feelings? Here are some ways you can address morning anxiety and improve your overall outlook for the day.
You Feel The Need To Escape
Although an anxiety attack can come on out of nowhere, when it hits, you immediately feel the need to escape the space, the situation, and everything around you.
“You feel an overwhelming need to escape the situation you’re in as the only way to feel better,” psychologist, Dr. Greg Kushnick, tells Bustle. “Once you remove yourself, you feel the difference. For example, you’re in a movie theater and you begin to panic about how many people you have to squeeze by in order to reach the exit in the event of an emergency. You get to the lobby and automatically feel less anxious.”
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Common Triggers For Anxiety
What triggers one person’s anxiety may not create the same response in someone else.
A break-up, concern about exams or work, or an argument with a friend can make you feel anxious, worried or scared.
Anxiety is an everyday feeling. But it can become a problem when there is no obvious reason for it. Or when anxious feelings persist for more than a couple of weeks.
What Is A Panic Attack
Panic attacks can be caused by heredity, chemical imbalances, stress and the use of stimulants .
Some people have only one or two attacks and are never bothered again. Panic attacks can occur with other psychiatric disorders. In panic disorders, however, the panic attacks return repeatedly and the person develops an intense fear of having another attack. Without help, this “fear of fear” can make people avoid certain situations and can interfere with their lives even when they are not having a panic attack. Therefore, it is very important to recognize the problem and get help.
Tips for dealing with a panic attack
- Realize that although your symptoms are frightening, they are an exaggeration of normal stress reactions and aren’t dangerous or harmful.
- Face the feelings rather than fighting them, and they will become less intense.
- Don’t add to the panic by asking “What if?” Tell yourself “So what!”
- Stay in the present. Notice what is actually happening rather than what you think might happen.
- Rate your fear level on a scale of 1 to 10 and watch it change. Notice that it doesn’t stay at a high level for more than a few seconds.
- Distract yourself with a simple task like counting backwards or lightly snapping a rubber band around your wrist.
- When the fear comes, expect it and accept it. Wait and give it time to pass without running away.
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Iii: Anxietyhead Games And Shortness Of Breath
Maybe you feel so stressed that its obvious that the stress is squeezing the breath out of you or maybe its not. If youre not sure, its time to ask yourself some hard questions: could that be me? Could I be choking myself? Almost literally? Dont underestimate this possibility.
Anxiety excessive worry, either too much, or too long, or both13 is a surprisingly potent and amazingly common cause of many odd symptoms. Shortness of breath and chest pain are among the most frequently reported.
Although its common, anxiety is badly neglected as an explanation for many problems. Even though its almost the same thing as stress, many people dont recognize that they are anxious, or they deny it or minimize it. And many people just dont know that shortness of breath can be caused by anxiety! It really can.
Theres no clear explanation for how anxiety causes shortness of breath, chest pain, or any other strange symptom: its just one of those things. And while anxiety can cause shortness of breath as a direct and immediate symptom, it can also probably cause trouble indirectly by chronically eating away at us in other ways, like creating the dysfunctional breathing pattern discussed above.
Review Your Triggers When You Are Getting Anxiety For No Reason
Sometimes, just being overtired can trigger anxiety.
Your body needs a lot of things to keep it functioning happily and normally and sometimes, little things such as a change in diet or a change in sleeping patterns can be enough to really throw your body off its balance and spark that fight or flight reflex that anxiety reaction that triggers all of this.
So I often will ask new clients, How have you been sleeping lately? Or, Have you been doing extra hours at work or is there anything else that could be making you extra tired in your environment?
So, some people find that their anxiety is exacerbated by too much dairy, too much caffeine is one that I get from my anxiety. Wheat is another big one, there are people that find that gluten can kick off their anxiety and theres no other reason for it except theyve eaten gluten that day.
Also, medications. Ive found previously in the past that there is an antibiotic called Keflex that gives me anxiety as its side effect. There have been times where Ive had no choice but Ive had to take Keflex and I just know that Im going to have anxiety for the week or for however long I have to be on those antibiotics.
You just sort of weigh up the risk like, Am I going to get on top of this infection and just deal with a little bit of anxiety for a while or am I going to potentially risk my health and run the risk of this infection getting worse?
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Tips For Helping Someone With An Anxiety Disorder:
- Make no assumptionsask the person what they need.
- Be predictabledon’t surprise the person.
- Let the person with the disorder set the pace for recovery.
- Find something positive in every small step towards recovery.
- Don’t help the person avoid their fears.
- Maintain your own life so you don’t resent the person with the disorder.
- Don’t panic when the person with the disorder panics, but realize it’s natural to be concerned with them.
- Be patient and accepting, but don’t settle for the affected person being permanently disabled.
- Say encouraging words such as: “You can do it no matter how you feel. I am proud of you. Tell me what you need now. Breathe slow and low. Stay in the present. It’s not the place that’s bothering you, it’s the thought. I know that what you are feeling is painful, but it’s not dangerous. You are courageous.”
- Avoid saying things like: “Don’t be anxious. Let’s see if you can do this. You can fight this. What should we do next? Don’t be ridculous. You have to stay. Don’t be a coward.” These phrases tend to blame the individual for the anxiety.
The Causes Of Unexpected Panic Attacks
Expected panic attacks are typically associated with a specific trigger such as crowds, flying or exams, whereas unexpected panic attacks have no apparent trigger and can seem to happen for no reason.
Panic attacks are typically experienced as a result of misinterpreting physical symptoms of anxiety. Heart palpitations may be mistaken for symptoms of a heart attack, breathlessness or feeling faint may be taken as a sign that a person is collapsing or dying, and the racing thoughts can lead a person to think that they are losing control of their mind.
These misinterpretations which a person may be unaware that they are doing can trigger a panic attack, which seems to appear out of the blue.
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Why Do I Get Panic Attacks For No Reason
Have you recently felt that you have had a panic attack for no reason? Do you get panic attacks and cant understand why they happen?
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders groups panic attacks into two categories – expected or unexpected. If you feel as though you have had a panic attack for no reason, it is likely that you have experienced one that would be considered unexpected.
Who Can Diagnose Anxiety Disorders
If your provider finds no signs of physical illness, they may refer you to a psychiatrist or psychologist. These mental health professionals specialize in diagnosing and treating mental illnesses. They may use specially designed interview and assessment tools to figure out if you have an anxiety disorder. Typically, the provider bases a diagnosis on:
- Your reported symptoms, including how intense they are and how long they last.
- Discussion of how the symptoms interfere with your daily life.
- The providers observation of your attitude and behavior.
Providers also consult the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders . The American Psychiatric Association publishes the DSM-5. Its the standard reference manual for diagnosing mental illnesses.
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Types Of Anxiety Disorders:
Generalized Anxiety Disorder is characterized by chronic and exaggerated worry and tension, much more than the typical anxiety that most people experience in their daily lives. People may have trembling, twitching, muscle tension, nausea, irritability, poor concentration, depression, fatigue, headaches, light-headedness, breathlessness or hot flashes.
Panic Disorder: People with panic disorder have panic attacks with feelings of terror that strike suddenly and repeatedly with no warning. During the attacks, individuals may feel like they can’t breathe, have lost control, are having a heart attack or even that they are dying. Physical symptoms may include chest pain, dizziness, nausea, sweating, tingling or numbness, and a racing heartbeat. Some people will have one isolated attack, while others will develop a long term panic disorder either way, there is often high anxiety between attacks because there is no way of knowing when the next one will occur. Panic disorders often begin early in adulthood. Many people with panic disorder also suffer from agoraphobia . See more on Panic Attacks.
Phobias are irrational fears. Individuals with phobias realize their fears are irrational, but thinking about or facing the feared object or situation can bring on a panic attck or severe anxiety.
Social Anxiety Vs Introversion
Its very important to understand that social anxiety disorder is not just introversion.
Introverts are people who prefer to spend time alone. They may feel drained after social interactions, but they do not have overwhelming anxiety and dread before attending a party or entering a room. Introversion doesnt have a negative impact on a persons quality of life, but social anxiety disorder can be debilitating.
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Is Social Anxiety Really An Empathy
For example patients with Antons syndrome, which can arise in blind individuals with cortical damage, may see exactly such strangers as Jim feels he is seeingand they cant be talked out of the belief that they are hallucinating. Oliver Sachs explained in Hallucinations, A patient with Antons syndrome, if asked, will describe a stranger in the room by providing a fluent and confident, thought entirely incorrect, description. No argument, no evidence, no appeal to reason or common sense is of the slightest use.
This possibility should further highlight what investigating looks like. You cant learn this vital information if the transaction plays itself out in the following way, as it almost certainly will between Jim and a chemical-oriented psychiatrist:
So, Jim, youre anxious, says the psychiatrist, looking at the intake form.
Excellent! Shall we diagnosis you with generalized anxiety disorder?
Great! Done! Now as it happens today I have yellow pills, orange pills, and blue pills. Let me tell you about these miracle workers
Cant wait to hear!
This wondering might sound like the following:
Jim, youve picked the audit as the main source of your anxiety. But what about the affair youre having and what about keeping the affair a secret from your wife? Isnt that likely implicated? Dont you think you might be suffering from a guilty conscience?
I dont feel guilty.
Oh. But you said earlier that you did feel guilty.