Anxiety is highly associated with discomfort.
The very characteristic of anxiety is to give you more and more discomfort.
This discomfort is taken as a danger to you and you get trapped in the cycle or recurring anxiety and panic attacks.
It is very important to identify if the discomforts are due to some physical conditions or anxiety. When a medical professional assures you that there are no medical causes to your discomfort and all of it is anxiety, you need not worry. You can manage your discomfort in anxiety with proper education and self-training. You can also check out 3 panic attacks tricks that will actually make your life better.
The discomforting(physical) symptoms of panic are:
Feeling uncomfortable for no reason
Tightness in the chest
Heaviness in chest
pressure or pain in the stomach with butterflies
Pressure in the head
Trembling or Muscle vibrations
These are the somatic (bodily) symptoms which are regularly experienced by anxiety sufferers in varying intensity.
These 5 steps can be very helpful to you to reduce your discomfort in panic attacks or general anxiety
1. Do some simple exercises to calm downWhen panic hits you, it is a state of high arousal of the nervous system.
You might be knowing that a panic attack is an emergency alarm by your body to run away or combat with a danger. Only the difference here is that there is no real danger present in your case.
It is fight or flight response from our inbuilt survival mechanism which ensures us safety on this planet.
Adrenaline is a hormone produced in the adrenaline glands and it is the main chemical responsible for our nervous arousal. This hormone makes your body ready and capable of handling dangerous situations by giving you a good boost of energy and vitality. It makes you super aroused and agile to take action in certain situations. This is what we call adrenaline rush.
But here you don’t need to be powerful and agile as you are not in danger.
Then what do you do?
Just do Brisk Walking or simple exercise like jumping jacks. This has to be the first among the steps to handle the discomfort in Anxiety and Panic Attacks. That will utilize the extra boost of energy which you got from the adrenaline rush and it will help to calm your body from the aroused state. As you will return towards normal state the production of adrenaline will reduce as there will be no anxiety to fuel its production.
Finally, you will be able to calm down and focus on your breathing to relax further.
2.Focus on steady breathing
“Steady Breathing is the key to controlling the overall panic attack”
Breathing is the main aspect of the physiological process which controls the intensity of the physical symptoms of panic attacks.
When you are under stress or anxiety you breathe very fast and shallow. This happens unconsciously. You do not notice it. This causes hyperventilation.
Hyperventilation is the imbalance of the proportions of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood. During your rapid breathing more carbon dioxide is thrown out of the blood and more oxygen is taken in. More precisely it is a low proportion of carbon dioxide in the blood compared to the levels of oxygen.
The sensations of tingling, lightheadedness, and pins & needles are caused due to hyperventilation. It feels you can’t catch your breath and you are running out of air/ oxygen. Many people also fear that they are suffocating because of some lung problems.
Many people also fear that they are suffocating because of some lung problems.
Therefore in stressful situations focus on your breathing and practice slow and steady breathing for a few minutes. This will help to restore the normal proportions of Oxygen and Carbon dioxide in your blood and that will help the panic attack end.
Steady breathing is an often suggested technique to manage anxiety by experts. This will help you get relief in a few minutes.
This will help you get relief in a few minutes.
3.Understand that this state is not permanent
“Like everything, even panic attacks have to end”
When panic and anxiety strikes and you go into the state of high discomfort you feel that it will never end or it will end up in a catastrophe.
But the truth is that anxiety can last longer but it can never last forever.
As you know anxiety is the alarm system of your body and it fires with the help of certain chemicals like adrenaline. Sooner or later the fear system will shut down and you will return to normal from this high aroused state of your nervous system.
Panic attack definitely has to end at some point of time. The reasons for this is the chemicals which support panic attack to sustain get reduced after a certain time. The physiological conditions responsible for the panic attack get subsided. Consequently , the panic attack ends.
4.Understand that it was not a beginning of catastrophe but a false signal of a catastrophe
“There is difference between a catastrophe and just feelings of a catastrophe”
It is almost certain for you to think that it is a catastrophe.
YOU become certain that it is a heart attack.
You fear many things in this phase like fear of death fear of heart attack and catastrophic thoughts. It is necessary for you to understand that this is just an imitation of a catastrophic situation. It is not a real catastrophe.
It is not a danger but a false alarm of danger which you take it as real.
5. Get going after it ends: Don’t dwell on it!
“Overthinking fuels Panic Attacks”
This is a very important thing when you get normal after a discomforting episode of high anxiety. On the contrary, you generally keep on thinking about the episode and wonder what happened and how did it happen and what might have been the consequences of the panic attack. YOU feel like you dodged a bullet and the somehow you saved yourself from a heart attack or death.
This is the anticipatory anxiety which fuels next panic attack.
You feel that you have to think of all those things in order to save yourself from the dangers you are facing. But thinking on all of these things is really useless. It only creates more anxiety and keeps you trapped in a vicious cycle of crippling anxiety.
Have you noticed the power of forgetting something?
Take this Example
Suppose you lost your golden ring and you are not aware of it. After some time it clicks to you suddenly. You get mad over it. You get angry, anxious and irritated and you rush everywhere to find it.
Until the sense of loss hit you, you were not concerned about it. The ring was lost and it was a real loss for you but you were not aware of it consciously. You went upset, anxious, worried and restless only when the thoughts about the loss surfaced your mind.
It means if we forget or ignore certain things they tend to be less bothersome to us and if we forget about a certain thing completely, we are completely free of the distress for a certain period of time.
The same thing applies here.
If you forget that you have had a panic attack or anxiety you will be in less distress.
If you stop worrying about the next panic attack, the fueling process will be blocked and you will be less likely to have another panic attack. You will be able to concentrate on your present better. These steps to handle the discomfort in anxiety and panic attacks are practical steps and they will require practice to get the desided results.