Anxiety attacks are quite common for many people. I can be counted among them. However, they don’t need to take away from your daily life. Many of us are rendered unable to function when going through an episode. And speaking from experience, I know how difficult it is to pull the stick back when you’re in a tailspin. I also believe there is nothing the human mhind cannot overcome or adapt.
Living with Anxiety Attacks
Most people feel some kind of stress during any given point throughout the day. Whether it’s trying to meet a deadline at work or simply choosing which flavor of coffee you want, you experience stress. It’s when these situations become overwhelming is when it turns into a panic attack.
Everyone has their own tolerance level when it comes to dealing with anxiety. While some can withstand an incredible amount of strain, others can snap from something as simple as losing the remote to the television. For those who experience a regular bout of stress or anxiety, it can complicate your life.
How Stress and Anxiety Affect You
Stress and anxiety are not always a bad thing to experience. In fact, these elements can help keep you safe or fuel your drive to accomplish a task. However, there is such a thing as too much. There are several signs of being highly stressed or overly anxious that are evident through your behaviors.
When your body reaches it’s limit from pressure, it can cause all kinds of problems. Some of these will come in the form of:
- Weight gain
- Rapid breathing
- Sleep disturbances
- High blood pressure
- Tension headaches
- Feelings of depression or despair
- Lack of focus or rational thought
Ways Anxiety Impacts Your Life
Suffering from frequent anxiety attacks will affect many parts of your life. It can easily turn bad situations worse and reduce your capacity to think clearly. Here are just a few ways that it has impacted myself.
There have been many times when a panic attack has disrupted my ability to work. Usually, it’s from the sensation of being overwhelmed. Not everyone can keep a clear head when the work seems to come at you in a non-stop flow. Of course, this is easily amplified when you don’t get enough sleep or have poor physical health. As a result, your professional persona takes a hit.
Extreme anxiety can also lead to severe complications in your personal life. Surrounding yourself with supportive friends or a caring lover is one thing. But if you don’t do anything to solve the problem to begin with, you could push them all away. Suddenly, you might find yourself 1200 miles away from everyone and everything you held dear.
Physical and Emotional Health
High levels of anxiety will have an impact in every part of your health. From depression to putting on weight, anxiety is extremely unhealthy. However, everyone deals with stress in different ways. Some of us can easily adapt to certain situations. But I have yet to meet anyone who doesn’t have his or her breaking point.
8 Ways to Adapt to Anxiety Attacks
While it can be difficult to think straight when going through anxiety attacks, there are plenty of ways you can deal. For me, it’s all about preventative measures. Like they say, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of the cure.”
Below are a few things that I’ve found to help the most. This is taken from personal observations of myself and those around me.
One of the most potent things I do to release anxiety is meditation. You don’t have to be a fan of yoga to realize the effect meditation can have on the human mind. It’s a great way to relax the body and mind while centering yourself.
Personally, I’ll sit in the lotus position in the shower with the lights off and focus on the water hitting my body. I know it sounds weird, but it’s what works for me. Everyone is different, but finding a place where you can have a moment of solitude to meditate has potential to be quite uplifting.
2. Eating Healthy
Eating healthy is more than just staving off the pounds or preventing your arteries from becoming clogged. It impacts everything from your emotional states to motivation and energy levels.
Here are some of the more common foods that not only help alleviate stress, but they can also promote a healthier body overall:
- Chocolate – in logical quantities
- Chamomile tea
- Green tea
3. Getting More Sleep
Sleep deprivation has a terrible impact on the human body. Not only does it cause fatigue, but I’ve actually hallucinated at work before. Which sounds kind of cool until you realize how it can actually affect your performance.
Experts believe you need between seven and nine hours of sleep every night. Unfortunately, this can be difficult to achieve for many of us. It is possible as long as you’re willing to stick with a specific schedule.
4. Exercise More
I find that burning excess energy keeps me more focused on what I need to do for the day. Like this morning, I almost talked myself out of working out. Now that I have exercised and gone for my morning walk in the rain, I feel like I can do anything.
I also find that I can keep focused on what I need to do instead of the things that can cause an anxiety attack. However, I can already feel my heart pounds as my mind is drifting to certain situations I have to face today just talking about it. That’s OK, though…I’ll just do a few more exercises after I am done writing this article.
5. Remove Stressful Elements
Removing the stressful elements of your life is perhaps one of the more difficult ways to prevent an anxiety attack. Habits, objects around the house and even people can feed into your unhappiness. And although it may hurt something fierce, it needs to be done if you get to a certain point.
One of the biggest releases of my stress has been removing myself from my home. I was in a dark place and sinking fast. I made a drastic move and am now able to focus on building myself back up.
My biggest achievement was being able to remove one particular person from my life entirely. He was responsible for a lot of what I went through the last few years and it’s been heavenly existing without this person. Just thinking about the times he screwed me and my family gets the blood pumping.
6. Put Your Needs First
As selfish as it may sound, sometimes you have to put your needs ahead of others. There’s only so much you can give before you start feeling empty inside, especially when you don’t receive enough in return. Besides, you are no good to anyone if you’re constantly suffering anxiety attacks.
I’m not saying you should completely ignore helping others. But you need to realize that not taking care of yourself is detrimental to your own existence. Sure, everyone else around you might be happy. However, it shouldn’t be at the cost of your own happiness and fulfillment.
My biggest problem is saying, “no.” If I think I am able to handle heavier workloads, I will. Unfortunately, this has led to nothing but problems as I often take on far more than I am capable. Whether it’s long phone calls that I hate or accepting more work than I can possibly do in a day, I have a problem with disappointing others.
7. Seek Counseling
Counseling is one thing I somewhat tried in the past. Unfortunately, I found it to be a waste of time. In reality, I feel better talking about my issues with friends or family rather than strangers. Well, sometimes. In the past, it’s been the unbiased opinion of someone who doesn’t really know me that has made the most sense.
In either case, seeking help even if it’s just to talk about things over coffee is greatly beneficial. It doesn’t even have to be about the problem you are facing. It’s that interpersonal connection that can make your problems seem to melt away. Coming from a hermit such as myself, I think this is a bit of a breakthrough.
A friendly ear can mean all the difference when your going through anxiety attacks.
8. Proper Medication
This is one thing I am a bit leery on. I don’t believe in over-medicating yourself to dash away your problems. However, I know people who absolutely need to be on some form of medication for their anxiety issues.
When all else fails, the right medication can impact your life for the better. Some people are just genetically predisposed to certain things. If other methods are simply not working after you’ve put real effort into preventing a panic attack, the proper medication may be the solution.
Notice that I say “Proper” medication. Half a gallon of Fireball is not exactly the best way to stop from experiencing anxiety attacks. Depending on the situation, it may actually be worse.
You Don’t Need to Live In an Anxious Environment
Frustration, stress, anxiety attacks and other negative experiences will impact your life one way or another. It’s how you deal with these issues that will shape your future. The longer to sustain going through your problems, the more complicated everything can become. Take control of your existence and find time to focus on yourself.