How To Cope With Anxiety Attacks

Chest pains…
Loss of control…
Feeling detached…

Last October, maybe early November just before my birthday, I started having chest pains. At first they didn’t bother me. I passed it off as gas. When they started happening every night in the same spot, I started to worry. To make a long story short, I had doctor visit after doctor visit and health scare after health scare. I even went to a hospital that specialized in heart attacks and heart problems to make sure I didn’t have any acute issues going on.

The doctor told me my EKG results were “beautiful” and my heart looked “perfect.” I was told that I was experiencing anxiety and my friend made the connection of things happening in my life to my chest pains. I thought I was doing a great job of handling conflict in my life but I wasn’t. It was making me sick. I never thought I’d experience anxiety. Not me…that was for other people.

What is anxiety?

Anxiety is a feeling or worry or nervousness. It usually occurs as and when you’re unsure about something or you’re worried about a particular outcome. It’s not just something you feel. Anxiety can take physical form because your body feels a need to protect you. Like I did, many people mistake anxiety for a health problem and visit the doctor multiple times before realizing that they’re having an anxiety attack.

What does anxiety feel like?

People who are experiencing anxiety or having an anxiety attack experience the following:

  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle tension
  • Chest pains
  • Increased heart beat
  • Upset stomach
  • Nausea, diarrhea
  • Headaches

The physical symptoms of anxiety can be so severe and scary that you think you’re having a heart attack. I actually walked out of church one evening because I felt like something was happening to me and I needed to go to the emergency room.

How to Cope

There are different ways you can cope with anxiety and anxiety attacks. Here are a few ways:

  • Try to remove negative thoughts from your mind. You can do this by writing them down in a journal or regularly visiting a therapist/counselor.
  • Accept that you won’t always be in control or know the outcome of a situation. I still have to work on this one myself. There’s no way we can ever know everything or control what will happen in every situation. Relinquishing control can be scary but many times, it’s just an illusion anyway.
  • Relax through meditation. Meditation is a great way to relax and clear your mind. Try it for 15 minutes everyday.

Anyone can experience anxiety so don’t feel bad if it has happened or happens to you! If I left anything off, please share in the comments section ways someone can cope.

Source: Help Guide

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