Unfortunately many of us are plagued with anxiety. It is one of the most common complaints of modern day life.
Symptoms can include- palpitations, tightness in the chest, feeling very hot, shortness of breath and rapid, racing thoughts. It is not unheard of for people to wind up at the emergency ward thinking they are having a heart attack when it’s their first panic episode.
You are not alone and there are things you can do.
Try to slow your breathing down, you are probably hyperventilating. We breathe in oxygen and breath out carbon dioxide but when we hyperventilate the balance gets shifted and we can have a low level of carbon dioxide in our blood. This can make us feel dizzy which further exacerbates the situation and leads to more panic! Other common symptoms when having a panic attack include tingling of the arms or around the mouth, dry mouth, weakness and confusion.
Sit somewhere quietly and breathe in for 4 counts, if you can hold your breath for 4 counts and breath out slowly for 4 counts. Take the breath deep into your belly. Use the counting to control your panicked thought process, ground yourself with thoughts such as- this will pass, I am okay- instead of letting your mind run away with you.
This is something you can do in the midst of a panic attack but there are many things you can do to help prevent them.
Firstly ensure you always eat well, low blood sugar can cause irritability and anxiety. Always aim to eat every 2-3 hours and avoid caffeine, alcohol and mind altering substances such as marijuana which will only make your symptom’s worse.
Stimulate your mind, do things you enjoy, exercise, go outside and keep busy.
Be social this is vital to everyone’s health.
Make sure you get enough sleep.
Include calming practices in your life- find enjoyment in yoga, tai chi or meditation.