9 Symptoms of Anxiety Attacks and How to Overcome the Anxiety?
The feeling of your heart about to explode, your mind racing endlessly with thoughts which seem out of control.
You may feel out of breath or unable to breathe with apparent chest pain. Lights are too bright, hands may get sweaty; these are all signs of an anxiety or panic attack.
Do you suffer from anxiety or experience anxiety attacks?
This dreadful, awful feeling can cause physical symptoms which can convince one they are having a heart attack or dying, often leading to an emergency room for help.
This article will help you understand the feeling to overcome and manage the sensations of an anxiety attack.
What Does an Anxiety Attack Feel Like?
Symptoms of an anxiety attack share many of the symptoms of severe health issues including heart attacks.
When this occurs, it is important in the case of a heart attack to know if it’s a real emergency or if you may be experiencing anxiety.
Many physical and mental symptoms of anxiety can help you designate the difference between that and a more severe health issue.
It helps to know what the symptoms are and the steps you can take to manage them as needed.
Physical symptoms can include the following:
1. Difficulty Breathing
Hyperventilation is a common symptom of an anxiety attack.
Trouble breathing when anxious can be caused by the overwhelming fear which sends signals to your body to demand oxygen.
This process can also cause lightheadedness since the body can take in too much oxygen and expel too much carbon dioxide.
2. Chest Pain
Sharp, burning, tense, or numb chest pain can occur and is a major symptom noted by those who suffer from anxiety attacks.
Some cases only affect one area of the chest yet more severe cases can affect the entire chest.
It is important to take all chest pain seriously and listen to your body.
3. Muscle Tension
Anxiety is a form of stress which can cause muscle tension.
Our bodies are great at holding onto stress, which means during a severe anxiety attack, muscles tend to tense up and lead to body aches, soreness, and other symptoms.
4. Rapid Heart Rate
Increased adrenaline can cause a rapid heart rate or heart palpitations in those who suffer from anxiety.
This can also cause shaking or trembling to occur as your body is in overdrive reacting to the signs of panic.
Excessive sweating is a common symptom of an anxiety attack. In an effort to avoid urination, it triggers a flight or fight response, which tries to prevent urination leading to sweat.
Mental symptoms of an anxiety attack include:
An anxiety attack which is more severe often induces a feeling of the world collapsing all around you.
This leads to rumination about many, often uncontrollable, worst case scenarios, which prevent any other rational thought from occurring, which only tends to make things worse.
We cover how to overcome an anxiety attack in more detail below.
The feeling of losing attachment to your environment, spacing out, or in a daze is often experienced during an anxiety attack.
Things spiral out of control. Your mind races, body panics, and when things happen to you it’s tough to feel in control of anything.
A feeling of helplessness can occur even in mild cases of anxiety. It is important to have techniques to manage these feelings when they occur.
9. The Desire to Leave (Fight or Flight Response)
This is often inhibited as a burning desire to leave the environment or situation you are in.
This could be in public, stuck behind your cubicle, or while driving. Panic attacks know no boundaries, so please be safe and aware of these sensations building in your body.
This is the bodies way of attempting to get you to safety and alleviate any present mortal threat.
How to Overcome the Anxiety Attacks?
Anxiety attacks have been found by researchers to be something that almost everyone will experience at one point or another throughout their life.
If problematic, a small percentage of the population suffering from anxiety will develop panic attack disorder (PAD) which is when they become problematic, interfering with normal daily life.
The best possible way to overcome anxiety attacks, manage your health and optimize your lifestyle is through a disciplined lifestyle which reduces stress.
The stress which causes an anxiety attack can be both voluntary or involuntary; apprehensive behavior combined with a fear of something bad happening or an overly stressed body causing normal bodily functions to work improperly.
Below we have outlined several ways to overcome and stop anxiety attacks, helping you to live your best life, anxiety free!
Meditation has become a highly acknowledged practice around the world to focus on breathing deeply, relax your body and mind, and to minimize stress.
Don’t complicate the breath. Breathe in deeply for a count of four, breathe out for a count of four, and repeat as needed.
Stretching is another way to help alleviate physical symptoms of an anxiety attack. You focus on another part of your body and movement is known to help alleviate negative physical sensations.
Stretch your arms over your head, do a quick quad stretch, or simply go for a light walk while taking deep breaths to calm both your mind and body.
2. Understand an Anxiety Attack
As we’ve learned above, anxiety attacks can inhibit copious physical and mental symptoms which vary greatly from person to person.
Your ability to understand the exact physiological responses to an anxiety attack will help you acknowledge what is happening, identify it with what is it, and help you no longer fear the condition.
Educate yourself to understand your body, the symptoms, and how you personally best cope with stress and anxiety since the two are highly related.
Your ability to manage stress may be the single best way to avoid future anxiety completely.
3. Physical Relaxation
Relaxation will help shut off the stress signals being sent from your body to avoid any worsening symptoms.
Sit quietly, avoid stimulation, find a comfortable chair or bed to lay down in, and simply let the situation pass.
Close your eyes if you find this soothing to let the stress melt away from your body.
4. Avoid Caffeine/Stimulants
Stimulants can cause an anxiety attack on their own.
Limiting your usage of them can help prevent stress hormones from release in excess, therefore limiting your risk of experiencing panic.
5. Reduce Stress
Constantly elevated stress levels can cause a variety of abnormal bodily responses, leading to great discomfort in many areas of your health including potential risk for an anxiety attack.
Things that can increase stress include; over-working, several nights of less than the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep each night, poor diet or nutrition, drug/alcohol usage, lack of exercise, and more.
Stress reduction combined with proper lifestyle changes can help eliminate anxiety attacks from your life altogether.
A proper exercise regimen with small improvements to a diet can go a long way in reducing stress and anxiety.
Try applying some of the above to reduce your stress, minimize anxiety, and prevent panic attacks as much as possible.
Live your best life and do so anxiety-free!
- Asthenia (Weakness): Common Causes, Symptoms and Treatments
- How to Make Yourself Throw up Safely and Easily?
“12 Signs Of An Anxiety Attack And 6 Effective Ways To Cope With IT”, Calmer-You, December 15, 2015; https://www.calmer-you.com/12-signs-of-an-anxiety-attack-and-6-effective-ways-to-cope-with-it/
“10 Best Ways to Stop Anxiety Attacks”, AnxietyCentre, April 30, 2017; http://www.anxietycentre.com/anxiety-tips/stop-anxiety-attacks.shtml
Vann, M, “What It’s Like to Have an Anxiety Attack”, Everyday Health; https://www.everydayhealth.com/conditions/what-its-like-to-have-an-anxiety-attack/