Stress and anxiety is a part of our lives that we can’t escape. There will always be a moment where we feel uncomfortable, worry a lot more than usual, or respond with signs of physical stress. If you happen to deal with anxiety symptoms on a regular basis, you will know that they can feel like they are completely dominating your system. One moment you can be in a party and having a blast with your friends, and the next you could be cowering in your mind about a memory you’re triggered by and can’t seem to say a word. You could be on a date with the man of your dreams, and something he says sparks a mass of mental stress that you can only get rid of unless you politely leave. Or, you could watching your favorite show and out of nowhere a certain scene reminds you of a hurtful memory that immediately takes a negative toll on your mood.
If any of these situations ring a bell, know that you are not crazy or alone in this process. Going through anxiety symptoms is incredibly isolating, as everything seems to be caged in your mind. You want to just crawl out of your body and feel normal again so you can function. You are not the only one, as anxiety disorders are some of the most common mental health problems that people today experience. However, don’t mistake having a mental health problem as being a “problem” yourself. Your current anxiety disorders do not define you or your future. It’s only a matter of knowing what side effects to expect, managing your symptoms better, and receiving an expert’s care to improve your health.
What Anxiety Disorders Bring
You will not lose your mind or go into a state of existential crisis with anxiety symptoms. At the same time, anxiety disorders can be incredibly disheartening and cause you to think that you can do nothing about your situation. You can feel powerless, negative, and like life is just throwing endless hurdles your way on purpose. Rest assured that this is your anxiety talking, and it’s not truly your life situation. When a person, no matter what their age is has anxiety symptoms, their body will begin reacting to a huge spike in adrenaline that immediately switches on their fight or flight system. This is the dose of hormones that allow you to run extremely fast in a dangerous situation, fight off someone possibly attacking you, or stay alive in an extreme environment. This is normal, as our ancestors relied on this reaction to get out of the most risky situations to keep on surviving. You can feel like these episodes are relentless, but it is simply the work of chemicals in your brain that you can take control of once you understand them better.
Watch out for these signs if you feel like you might be having an attack from your anxiety disorder. A common thing that many people with anxiety attacks say is that they feel like they’re having a heart attack. This is very normal, as symptoms can include having a sudden chest pain, like your insides are about to burn up. It can affect one area of your chest to the entire chest area so make sure you are prepared. Another anxiety symptom is having a lot of difficulty breathing normally, as your body is starting to demand oxygen more than usual. This results in breathing much more faster and feeling dizzy, lightheaded, or even like you have a huge headache. Another big sign is having muscle tension or soreness, as your severe anxiety causes muscles to have fatigue out of nowhere. You will likely feel weak or like your body is aching during some of your anxiety attacks. Lastly, you may feel like you’re shaking or trembling a lot to the point where you’re losing complete control. Remember that this is common and it’s only a temporary side effect that won’t directly affect your health overall. You will be okay and attacks don’t have the power to put your life in danger!
If you want to deal with your anxiety symptoms, there’s a few tips that experts have shared over the years that can help you calm down and manage your system. You might feel like you’re freaking out and there’s no way that you can just switch your symptoms off. However, if you take the time to first breathe deeply, you can better make sense of what is going on and decrease your levels of stress.
Deeply inhale and exhale for a couple of minutes, even if you’re trembling or dizzy out of nowhere. Getting enough oxygen to your body is important so you can have ample blood circulation and mental clarity to get through your anxiety attack.
Additionally, make sure you can get a drink of water and move your body enough so you are stuck sitting in a certain place. You want to be moving your limbs so your symptoms of lightheadedness or aching can dispute with enough time.
Lastly, remember that you may have been in an environment or around a person who could have triggered an anxiety attack. Make note of this as you are using measures to calm down so you can hopefully prevent a similar episode from happening in the future. For example, if you find yourself in an area that has negative memories attached to it, do your best to avoid it in the future so you aren’t as triggered by the visions and sounds it brings.
Remember you’re in control in this process. Make sure you know what the signs are for anxiety attacks and do your best to gain as much information as possible. Take an anxiety quiz to learn more about your thought process and get recommendations for treatment if you wish to seek an expert. You’re not alone in this and you can get the help you need!