Thursday, October 16, 2008

Dealing With Anxiety and Panic Attacks

How do you solve the problem of anxiety and panic attacks? Rest at ease. Panic attacks can be dealt with effectively with the following tips I'm gonna teach you. I know this because I've been there, experienced panic attacks to the point that I felt really desperate and believed that I was about to die. Been there, done that.

I've searched for answers and scoured books, seminars, and the internet. I guess the greatest disappointment in that search is having a hard time finding free information to cure and address panic attacks. Information about techniques that really work without relying on drugs or medication that will only make the problem worse in the long run. So I hope to make things easier for you by providing those information here for free. Simply because such information should be open to all that experience these very disturbing and traumatic symptoms.

Follow these steps:
First, discuss with your doctor and find out if you have any heart problems. If you have any doubts about the conclusion, then get a second opinion with another doctor. Once confirmed, rest easy. You have panic attack, and that won't kill you. This step is necessary to ensure that it IS panic attack, and not some heart problem--the symptoms of panic attack can be very similar to a heart attack. That is why the experience is very disturbing and traumatic for the one experiencing it.

Now, let's deal with your anxiety / panic attack.
Prevention and Control: Be active. Exercise. First off, avoid living a sedentary lifestyle. Spend a total of at least 30 minutes exercising each day. And I mean EACH day. It won't do if you spend 5 hours on the gym on Sundays then live sedentary the rest of the week. That simply won't work.

While panic attacks won't kill you, sedentary lifestyle will. More people die from living sedentary lifestyles than there are people who die from heart diseases and cancer. Not to mention that people who live sedentary lifestyles are more prone to such diseases.

Dealing with an attack: What to do when you're experiencing panic attacks: the paperbag solution. The simplest option is to carry with you a paper bag. Paper, not plastic, or you'll suffocate yourself, hahaha. When you're experiencing the symptoms, breathe through the paper bag. Breathe in and breathe out a couple of times until you feel calmer, better. Now, this may be hard to do since you feel like you're gasping for air, but do it anyway. You won't die from it.

Most anxiety and panic attacks occur because you are over breathing. That is, you are getting too much oxygen. Is that bad? Yes! Your body is a balance of carbon dioxide and oxygen, and when you breathe too much and mainly from your upper lungs, then you disrupt that balance and start to feel anxious, desperate, and experience disturbing symptoms such as chest numbness, pressure, chest pain, etc. That's why the paper bag trick works, because you take in the same air you breathed out and increase the levels of carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide will restore the balance, and it will make you feel calmer. An increased amount of carbon dioxide in your body has a calming effect, and CO2 is necessary for your body. An increased amount of oxygen in your body will cause agitation, numbness, anxiety, and a host of other symptoms that doctors can't find a physical problem to account for. In other words, you're experiencing symptoms even when nothing is wrong with your internal organs.

Note: Right now, I never do the paperbag solution because I've learned of a better and more convenient way, and since you can't always have a paperbag with you when panic attacks strike. Here's the technique that I learned from listening to audio seminars and from researching in books and use to deal with panic attacks:

The breathing technique that works like a miracle. This breathing technique works like a miracle. It restores the carbon dioxide and oxygen balance in your body whenever you feel anxiety symptoms.

Here are the steps:
1. Place your hand on your stomach (when you're used to the entire process you won't need to do this step).
2. As you inhale, make sure that your stomach rises. Inhale, hold your breath for a few seconds, then exhale. Again, make sure that it's your stomach / abdomen that mainly rises, not your lungs. Do this slowly, and repeat four or five times until you've received that calming effect.

Slow talk. This is a technique given by an expert in providing anxiety and panic attack relief. Sometimes, when I feel the symptoms beginning, I simply practice slow talk. Try speaking more slowly. I don't do this for anxiety attacks alone, but in dealing and communicating with other people as well. Try this, and you may find people being more attentive to you and them being able to understand you better. Using slow talk is very powerful. Practice this one while reading aloud a book or an article. Practice this in conversing with other people. Do this everytime you have the opportunity to use it. And you will find that this is one of the best ways to prevent anxiety, and to deal with anxiety.

As for me, when I do feel the symptoms coming, I usually just to the breathing technique I just told you about. But I just mentioned this as an additional option, since this is also very effective if you've mastered it.

Live a healthy lifestyle. While the previous techniques are the ones that have been proven to be effective in controlling an anxiety attack when it happens or the symptoms begin to show, living a healthy lifestyle helps a lot in decreasing the frequency of those symptoms.

Get enough rest, but don't obsess over a few hours of lost sleep. It's okay to lose a few hours of sleep as long as you don't do so over extended periods of time. Exercise 30 mins, at least, each day. Walk, instead of riding the bus. If you have to, get down a few blocks before your destination just to walk. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Eat a balanced diet. Live healthy!

Find as many moments as you can to laugh! It has a good effect on your body and mind.

Additional things you might want to consider are going into Yoga or Taichi, martial arts, or other physical activities that will help enhance your body. People experiencing anxiety attacks, like me, tend to be more of thinkers. Which isn't bad. But these physical activities will help you keep your mind in touch with your body, and will help to restore the balance. As you progress into these activities, you may find that you will encounter less and less opportunities that you may have to deal with panic attack symptoms. Of course, if the symptoms do come back after, say, a year or two of not having to deal with them, don't be discouraged. That's normal. It means you could be in stress, so you may have to take a step back and examine your lifestyle.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Hah, Another Panic Attack Episode

I had another panic attack episode just a few hours ago. It's a really unsettling experience.

Well, I think I'm better now after eating and doing some exercise. Laughing helps too. ^_^

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Facing Anxiety

Hi, I'm someone who has gone through anxiety attacks or what is also known as panic attacks.

Anxiety attacks are a very disturbing experience. The symptoms can be similar to that of a person having a heart attack: chest pain, pressure on the chest area, numbness, and having a hard time breathing.

This is my journal towards getting well. I hope my experiences will be helpful to others who are experiencing the same problem.

Best regards,