Waking up on Monday morning, it crosses your mind that it is the day where performance reviews are conducted at your work. Brushing your teeth, you begin to remember all of the different times you feel like you failed at your job, scrutinizing each of your own mistakes. Your cereal gets cold as you sit, blank-eyed, imagining the possibility of going another year without a raise, and how you need the money to support your family. Anxiety and stress is all rolled into one panicking experience, as your heart begins to race, your head gets dizzy, and you begin to sweat. Other than having to change your clothes, you show up to work late in mess of stress and anxiety, to the surprise of your co-workers.
Now, it should be said that a panic attack is not often a very serious occurrence, in terms of overall health. That being said, having a panic attack can be a very frightening and uncomfortable experience.
A panic attack is a a fight or flight response of the body, usually reacting to an overload of stress and anxiety. In a panic attack, a person is unable to cope with extreme cases of stress and anxiety. The overwhelming anxiety causes a heavier display of symptoms associated with stress and anxiety. Very often, one will suffer an increased heart rate, have trouble breathing, sweat, shake, and become dizzy as a result of a panic attack. Stress is another trigger strongly correlated with anxiety.
Stress can manifest itself in many ways on a daily basis. As people need to deal with many responsibilities, any bumps in the road can cause stress. Anxiety and stress, when at a high level, can cause a panic attack. Many people who suffer from panic attacks, likely a product of their already high levels of anxiety, overreact and believe that they are suffering from a heart attack.
Almost everyone will experience a panic attack at some point in their lives, as every person deals with their own version of stress and anxiety. Understanding that it is only a panic attack and knowing how to deal with it can help you manage any future panic attacks.
There are a few things you can do to manage your panic attacks, some of them are listed below as tips:
- Remind yourself that you are experiencing a panic attack. Knowing the symptoms is important, as they are commonly confused with heart problems. If you understand that you are only experiencing a panic attack, remind yourself that it is not fatal.
- Keep your mind free of the stress and anxiety that may have caused the attack. The last thing you need while you are having an attack is to be worried even more!
- Distract the mind while your body deals with the symptoms. Take deep breaths, meditate, or count backwards from 100. Do whatever you can to avoid more panic or anxiety.
- If you are in public, find a place to sit down. Close your eyes and breathe deeply, as it can be very stressful to see a slew of people running around. If you see somebody else experiencing a panic attack, offer your services carefully, as you may have the ability to help them with their stress.