What Are The Signs Of An Anxiety Attack, And How Can I Stop Future Anxiety Attacks?

Published 10/28/2020

When someone experiences an anxiety attack, it can be incredibly frightening. Luckily, there are things you can do to protect yourself from future anxiety attacks. It’s important to note that anxiety attacks are not always caused by a psychological condition, but they can be. Here is a look at signs of an anxiety attack, and techniques on how to stop anxiety and anxiety attacks.

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What is an anxiety attack?

An anxiety attack takes place when a person experiences a period of intense fear. This panic can last for up to 30 minutes, but it generally just lasts for a few moments. These attacks generally come on suddenly, so they are unable to be predicted, and this also makes them harder to prevent.

Another thing to note about anxiety attacks is that they may cause you to feel like you are having a heart attack or that there is something horribly wrong with your health.

Is it the same as a panic attack?

Many people feel that an anxiety attack and a panic attack are the same things. The main difference between the two is that there is no obvious reason why an anxiety attack might occur. On the other hand, a panic attack might occur after a trigger. A trigger is something that causes panic for a person, which can be something like flying in an airplane, driving at night, or another activity that a person has associated with fear or panic. People that experience anxiety or panic attacks may avoid certain places, to attempt to keep attacks from occurring again.

Symptoms of Anxiety Attacks

Here are the symptoms of anxiety attacks that you should be aware of.

  • Trouble breathing
  • Pain in the chest
  • Intense panic feelings
  • Feeling like you are detached from your body
  • Involuntary shaking
  • Uneasy stomach
  • Feeling too hot or too cold

Causes of Anxiety

The reasons why someone experiences anxiety can vary greatly from person to person. Some people may have anxiety over finances, their job, their health, or a number of other reasons. There are so many things that can cause anxiety, or it may be a result of an anxiety disorder they have. Here is a look at a couple of the most common anxiety disorders to be aware of.

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Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Generalized Anxiety Disorder, which is also known as GAD, will cause someone to worry quite frequently. They can worry about a number of things, like money, traveling, or work, and they are usually unable to stop worrying. In some cases, people with this disorder will worry even when there is no obvious reason to worry. The good news is that this condition is treatable, where people will be able to manage their worry, with the proper treatment.

Social Anxiety Disorder

Social anxiety disorder causes people to be afraid whenever they have to deal with other people. They may also avoid certain situations, in order to stay away from people. For instance, they might not want to go to a store, talk in public, or even socialize with more than a few people. They may be so avoidant that it affects everything in their life and causes them not to be able to get through their days. In other words, it can keep them from working or visiting their friends and family.

How to Stop Future Anxiety Attacks

If you want to stop future anxiety attacks, there are a couple of treatment options that you may want to explore. One is psychotherapy, which can be helpful to you since a psychologist can help you learn about different ways to think about the things that are worrying you, and also how to limit the worrying you do. There are different methods that a psychiatrist can use to treat a person experiencing anxiety or an anxiety disorder. A study published in Behavior Research and Therapy explains how even internet-based therapy can be beneficial when it comes to overcoming certain types of anxiety.

Another approach that is sometimes taken to help treat anxiety is prescriptions. There are a number of prescriptions that could be able to help you cope with your symptoms. You should talk to your psychiatrist about these options if you decide together that this is part of a suitable treatment for your anxiety and anxiety attacks.

If you experience anxiety and are unsure if it is becoming a problem in your routine or daily life, you may want to take this anxiety test for more information.

Changes to Institute

You might also be able to see success when it comes to preventing future anxiety attacks by making certain changes in your daily life. You can institute some simple lifestyle changes, designed to lessen your anxiety, and help you relax more often. Here is a look at a few that you can try.

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  • Limit smoking and drinking. Smoking and drinking alcohol may be causing you to be more anxious than you should. You should consider limiting these two substances and see if it makes a difference when it comes to worrying.
  • Don’t drink caffeine at night. Too much caffeine may also cause anxiety, so try not to drink it except during the morning or early afternoon. You don’t want it to keep you awake and you also don’t want it to make you feel jittery.
  • Eat a balanced diet. Eating right could make you more relaxed as well. When you are eating right, you are getting all the nutrients that you need, and also if you are someone that is worried about their health and has anxiety over that, you may not worry as much when you know you are doing your part as far as the food you intake.
  • Sleep at least seven hours a night. Do what you can to get the recommended seven hours of sleep each night. You can get a little more if you need to but try not to sleep too many hours or too few hours.
  • Utilize meditation techniques. Another approach is to learn meditation techniques that work for you. This can be anything from meditating to deep breathing, yoga, or even diffusing essential oils. You can even take relaxing showers or get into a new hobby. If something helps you stay calm and prevents you from worrying about factors of your life, do more of that. This can go a long way when it comes to stress management.
  • Get moving. When you are feeling anxious, you likely want to move around or pace. Go ahead and do this. Get moving when anxiety is bothering you and work off some of that nervous energy. Use it to get the dishes washed, walk the dog, or something else that will distract you long enough to think about something less stressful. Chances are, once you start doing something constructive, you will start focusing on your task, instead of the things that are worrying you.
  • Get checked out. Since anxiety attacks can make you feel like you’re having a heart attack, check with your doctor to make sure that there isn’t another health condition you are experiencing. At times, certain physical conditions or medicines can cause anxiety, so talk to them about any prescriptions you are taking as well.
  • Write down your thoughts. Sometimes writing things down may be helpful, since it can get them out of your thoughts. When something is worrying you, take a couple of minutes to write it down, and hopefully, you won’t need to keep thinking about it. You can opt to worry about it at a later time. Moreover, writing down what is causing you anxiety may be able to help you determine what aspects you need to work on. Otherwise, you may not know exactly all the things that are causing you stress or be unable to put them all into words. Once they are written down, you can choose to discuss these things with your therapist, so that they will have enough information to help you keep anxiety attacks at bay and address these aspects in your treatment plan.

Outlook

Once you are able to get the help you need when it comes to your anxiety attacks, and you make changes in your life that can have lasting effects, you should be well on your way to stopping the attacks. This is something that may take a while, but anxiety attacks are treatable, and anxiety itself is something that can be lessened. Your therapist can teach you healthy ways to cope with stress so that you manage stress effectively and lessen (or eliminate) anxiety attacks.

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Keep in mind that anxiety attacks can happen to anyone, so they aren’t something to be concerned about just because they occur. However, when they occur frequently and they keep you from living your life the way you want to, this is an issue. Reach out for help when you feel that you need assistance with your anxiety and anxiety attacks. There is hope when it comes to stopping future anxiety attacks.