Living and Coping with Anxiety


Photo Credit: High Anxieties (http://www.HighAnXieties.org)

Photo Credit: High Anxieties (http://www.HighAnXieties.org)

Anxiety and panic attacks can seem to be one of the most crippling experiences ever to be had by man at times. It can cloud a person’s thinking, remove all sense of security, and can make it feel as if they’re going insane. Sometimes people will even feel anxious when they’re afraid or perhaps nervous. Anxiety is often a result of fear, stress, or turmoil, but in many cases, anxiety can be a chronic condition that affects an individual on a daily basis at random times for random reasons.

Anxiety is rather complex and it is accompanied by both emotional and physical symptoms. When people think of anxiety, they usually think of fear or panic, but there is so much more to it than that. It can truly be a frightening experience. Anxiety can lead to series of unpleasant anxiety attacks, also known as panic attacks.

What is happening when a person experiences an anxiety attack? Well, in each person it may differ a little, but for the most part it is a time of intense panic and worry. During an anxiety attack, the individual may feel like they are dying, a feeling much like a heart attack in a way (but it’s not, don’t worry!). Once the person feels unable to catch their breath, they begin to panic and may worry obsessively about seemingly bizarre and terrifying scenarios.

Some scenarios may include:

  • Worrying about dying.
  • Worrying about going insane.
  • Becoming extremely self-conscious and/or paranoid.
  • Worrying about harming others or themselves. (In most cases, these worries just remain as thoughts and never turn into actual actions. They are harmless. Hang in there. You’re not alone!)
  • Experience hypochondria or other phobias

It can become an obstacle to focus and calm down during an anxiety attack. It is difficult to think of anything else, but the tremendous amount of anxious energy flowing throughout the body at the time. It becomes overwhelming as it almost seems to completely consume the entire individual.

What can a person do to cope with or help fight off an anxiety attack? Anxiety attacks often happen rather suddenly and sometimes unexpectedly as well. With that in mind, it may be a good idea to have a plan in place in case an attack ever occurs. For example, if you are at work, at school, or out in public, it may help to step away from any crowds to get some space and find somewhere to try to collect yourself as best as possible. (For me, my place to go is usually the bathroom, taking a step outside for some fresh air, or go for a little walk if I begin feeling anxious.)

One helpful coping skill for a panic attack is to slowly breathe in through the nose, out through the mouth and repeat. Remember to breathe slowly and focus on the action of breathing (steady and slowly). Some may find comfort by laying down or listening to music until the attack passes. The coping skill that works best for some may not work for all though. Some may like to be held or hugged to feel safe and secure whereas others want to be alone without any physical contact or help at all.

Here is a list of  some coping techniques that may be helpful:

  • Listening to music
  • Breathing exercises
  • Curl up in blankets
  • Yoga or Dance
  • Exercise
  • Candle lit bath with calming Epsom salts
  • Try positive self-talk and reassurance (Ex; “It will get better.” “Keep calm, it will be okay.” “This has happened before, I’ll pull through.” “I’m a strong person. I can do this!”)
  • Cuddle with a pet or significant other

For more detailed information on anxiety and how to cope, please feel free to click here.

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10 Comments

  1. Usually as long as I don’t think about the problem, I don’t feel anxious. But only thinking can solve the problem. I feel the best coping strategy is to find ways to throw your trouble to others.

  2. Great article & thanks for using my graphic.

  3. Hello,

    Wonderful information, My friend is suggested this link. Last few month ago, I am suffering from the anxiety attack. This article is very useful for me. keep writing on anxiety and panic attacks.

  4. Pingback: Fear vs Anxiety (part 2) | In Bad Company

  5. I love that you are writing this blog!!! I am so grateful that people can come here and feel like they’re not alone.

    When I was diagnosed with all of my different things (you know how it goes) I wasn’t feeling well enough to write. My “up” times were not really up, they were more jagged and mixed. And every medicine made me feel worse. Weird.

    So I never would have been able to write a blog and help others as you are doing. Thanks again.

  6. When you have the feeling of unsafe and powerless, then the anxiety will occurs. Reduce the stress in your daily life, practice some deep breathing exercises, positive thinking, write all your feelings in a journal, cut the caffeine and alcohol.

  7. Thanks for your input.
    It makes sense to just treat the symptoms in a healthy way. I tend to get analytical about it. ‘Why is this happening?’ or ‘Is this about my unresolved life issues?’, etc. These are longer term things to deal with. Once the panic subsides I can more quietly get on with my day in a moderate range of feeling.

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