Experiencing an anxiety attack can be anything from inconvenient to downright frightening. Most people will experience symptoms of anxiety at one time or another, and it can be brought on by a variety of causes. In this article, we’ll look at what an anxiety attack is, some of the reasons it can occur, and how to manage those situations.
What is an anxiety attack?
Firstly, it should be noted that an anxiety attack is different to a panic attack. While many of the symptoms are the same, anxiety attacks are usually brought on by a particular trigger. Panic attacks, rather, can come out of nowhere, and often have more severe symptoms.
Signs of an anxiety attack include worry, fear, distress and can also include physical symptoms like heart palpitations, shortness of breath and nausea. Everyone experiences anxiety differently. Let’s look at some of the common triggers of an anxiety attack and how to manage them.
Being confronted with a distressing health diagnosis can bring on an anxiety attack. It’s a very personal situation and can trigger an immediate sense of worry or dread. It can also cause prolonged anxiety, particularly if the diagnosis brings with it an uncertain future.
Being engaged with your doctor and speaking with a psychologist to learn some coping techniques will benefit you greatly in this area. Also, reaching out to family or friends to support you is also recommended.
Certain lifestyle factors can increase anxiety and lead to more frequent attacks. Consumption of anything considered a stimulant can heighten anxiety, therefore leaving you more prone to an attack. Such things include alcohol, cigarettes, caffeine and other drugs. Skipping meals can also have the same effect by decreasing your blood sugar levels.
Try looking for healthy alternatives, such as decaffeinated coffee or tea, and ditching the fizzy drinks. Also, maintain a nutritious diet including healthy snacks. This will help with feelings of nervousness and keep you more in control of your anxiety.
Many people suffer from social anxiety disorder, which essentially means their anxiety is triggered by social situations. You might be comfortable with a few friends, but larger groups where you have to interact with new people can be challenging.
Working with a psychologist to find the right anxiety treatment is crucial, but you can also try to ensure you always have a familiar face nearby in social settings.
Stress and conflict
Stress comes in many forms and can be caused by the smallest factors. Everything from running late for the train through to major financial stress. Conflicts or other stresses in your personal relationships can also contribute to an anxiety attack.
Learning some conflict resolution skills is important, and also working to develop coping mechanisms for stress.
Many people experience anxiety, and it can be particularly troubling. An attack can stop you from doing what you need to, and also limits your quality of life. Working with a psychologist to understand your individual triggers is a great place to start. Once you develop the right coping mechanisms, you can work towards getting on top of your anxiety.
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