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How to deal with the dread that panic attack will strike any moment?

Do you fear a panic attack? 

People sometimes have the impression that their experience of anxiety is like being hooked up to an electroshock machine.  It just takes a flick of the anxiety switch to cause a flood leading to a full blown panic attack.

All that happens is they keep suffering and keep finding the causes of panic attacks. They are 100% sure that they have a big heart blockage or a growing brain tumor.

People in this situation often feel that they are lucky to make it through the day without that switch been flicked. They fear that it could happen at any moment day or night. They remain on high alert anticipating it. Anticipating the big one!

This is because of 3 Thinking Mistakes that Worsen Anxiety. Continue reading

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Overcoming Panic attacks: Are you getting miserable over other’s misery?

When it comes to overcoming panic you often say this world is a living hell that I’m bound to suffer in!           

You often complain- there is so much suffering in this so called “beautiful” world.

Once upon a time, you thought that this life is all about 
fun, pleasures, and happiness.

But, no sooner you realized that fun, pleasure, and 
happiness are not the only mental states in this world.

Until that happened you were unaware of the fact that you can also get overly miserable over other’s pains
and sufferings. You are not really sure if there is a way for overcoming panic you are facing every day.

You are not really sure if there is a way for overcoming panic you are facing every day.

The Truth about Panic prone individuals:

Panic prone individuals are very sensitive to negative
experiences. They get afraid to just sights of scary
objects or events.

Continue reading

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Can I Suffocate In Anxiety and Panic?

 

Can I Suffocate In Anxiety and Panic?We have seen that Anxiety is your mind and body’s heightened response to some threat.

That threat can be real or imagined.

If you are an anxiety sufferer the chances are high that you might be having imagined irrational fears which are not real.

Anxiety and Panic Attack sufferers commonly have a lot of concern for their health and are constantly thinking that there is something wrong with their body. Like them, you might also be looking or expecting
some health issue to be eventually found
out, even though
 doctors have assured you that
you are perfectly fine.

The fear that you have suffocation or breathlessness problem is one of  the issues

Continue reading

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5 Actionable Steps To Handle The Discomfort In Anxiety and Panic Attacks

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
  • Getting restless
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Heaviness in chest
  • pressure or pain in the stomach with butterflies
  • Jitters
  • Pressure in the head
  • Trembling or Muscle vibrations
  • Fatigue

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 downhow to manage anxiety discomfortWhen 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.

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Intrusive Thoughts in Panic Disorder: The Chaos You Face in Extreme Anxiety

In almost all cases of Panic Disorder‚ the driving factor fuelling the sensations is anxious thinking. 

Without addressing these specific intrusive thoughts in panic disorder‚ there can be little success in eliminating the root of the anxiety.

People who experience anxiety and panic attacks frequently have to deal with the negative side–effects of unwanted thoughts that creep into their minds. 

These thoughts can range from worries about health‚ concern over loved ones‚ or even fears that do not make any rational sense at all but continue to linger in the mind.

Sometimes‚ the unwanted intrusive thoughts come from previous experiences; other times they are simply bizarre‚ leaving the person worried as to why such strange thoughts are occurring.

In all these cases‚ the person is upset by the anxious thoughts because they are causing distress and worry. I will guide you through a simple two–step process that is in part related to the One Move which I teach but tailored specifically to dealing with anxious thinking.

In all these cases‚ the person is upset by the anxious thoughts because they are causing distress and worry. I will guide you through a simple two–step process that is in part related to the One Move which I teach but tailored specifically to dealing with anxious thinking.

Anxious Intrusive Thoughts in Panic Disorder

Tackling anxious intrusive thinking effectively requires a two–pronged approach. To eliminate the negative thinking patterns‚ there needs to be a shift in attitude along with specific visualization tools.

The Attitude Shift is going to be the First Step

It is not the intrusive thoughts in themselves that cause you distress. It is how you are responding to those thoughts. It is the reaction you are having to the thoughts that enable them to have influence and power over you. In order to better understand how unwanted thoughts come about‚, it helps to paint a playful visual picture of how this happens. This is a fictional example and will help you better understand how to deal with the issue.

Imagine,

You are standing on a street and all around you thoughts are floating lazily by. Some of the thoughts are your own‚ other thoughts are from outside sources you access such as newspapers‚ TV‚ magazines‚ etc. You notice that when you pay attention to a thought it gravitates nearer. The thoughts you ignore float on by.

When you focus and examine a thought up closely‚ you notice how it connects to another similar thought‚ and you find yourself jumping from one thought to the next. Sometimes these are practical‚ day–to–day thoughts such as bills‚ chores‚ etc.‚ or the thoughts can theme by the past or a fantasy/daydream.

In our imagined scenario‚

You unexpectedly notice a thought hovering in front of you that scares you. This thought is called “Fear X.” X could be panic attacks‚ ill health‚ or something bizarre. You find it impossible not to look at the thought‚ and as you give it your full attention‚ this causes it to come closer and closer. When you examine the thought‚ you begin to react with fear as you do not like what you see. You further notice how that initial scary thought is connected to more worrying “what if” thoughts that you also examine in detail. The more you try to escape from the thought by pushing it away‚ the more it seems to follow you around as if it were stuck to you. You try to focus on more pleasant thoughts‚ but you find yourself continuously coming back to the fearful thought.

Intrusive Thoughts in Panic Disorder: The anticipation of Anxiety

There is an expression of “thoughts sticking like glue.”

The very act of reacting emotionally to the thought glues the thought all the more to you‚ and the more time you spend worrying and obsessing about the thought‚ the more that glue becomes hardened over time. The thought and all its associated connected thoughts are there in the morning when you wake and there at night when you are trying to get some sleep.

The thought becomes stuck because your emotional reaction to it is its sticking power! 

Thoughts are a form of energy‚ neither good nor bad. It is how we judge those thoughts that determines how much impact they have on our lives. Thoughts need firstly to be fed by attention‚ but what they really love is a good strong emotional reaction to make them stick!

Thoughts that stay with us are first attracted to us by the attention we pay them and then stuck firmly in place by the level of emotional reaction we have to them.

This is an important point

A thought–even negative intrusive thoughts–can only have an influence on you if you allow it to. The emotional reaction from us is a thought’s energy source. What’s interesting is that either a positive or a negative emotional reaction is fine for the thought. Energy and attention are what it is attracted to. Once you are having an emotional reaction to a thought‚ you will be regularly drawn to that thought until the emotional reaction has lost its energy and faded away.

For example‚

If someone you know pays you a very positive compliment‚ you may find yourself unintentionally drawn to that thought anytime you have a spare moment. You probably find it improves your overall level of confidence and mood throughout the day.

Sadly, however, we tend to focus less on the positive and more on the negative. We seem to forget those positive compliments all too easily and are drawn more frequently to what might upset us.

Taking the opposite example‚ if someone you know insults you‚ I am sure that you find the emotional reaction to that thought much more intense and probably very long–lasting.

So what has to be the best way to eliminate Intrusive Thoughts in Panic Disorder?

If you are not engaged in an activity or task‚ your mind will tend to wander to any thoughts that you are having a strong emotional reaction to. In general‚ as they are the ones that you are probably reacting most strongly to‚ angry or fearful thoughts seem to surface quickly.

Suppressing the Thoughts won’t help!

What I am suggesting is that suppressing the Intrusive thoughts in panic disorder is the most ineffective way to get rid of them.

Thought suppression studies‚ (Wegner‚ Schneider‚ Carter‚ & White‚ 1987) have proven that the very act of trying to suppress a thought‚ only results in a higher frequency of unwanted intrusive thoughts occurring.

This reoccurrence of the thought has been termed the ‘rebound effect’.

Simply put: The more you try suppressing a thought‚ the more the unwanted thought keeps popping up (rebounding).

Next readHow To Eliminate Intrusive Thoughts If You Suffer Panic Disorder

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