Anxiety Attacks: What They Are and How to Fight Them

The holiday season is not joyful for everyone. Thanks to Sophie Letts and for this guest article. Image via Rawpixel.

Anxiety is normal. As your body’s reaction to danger, anxiety can protect you in challenging, threatening, or heavy-pressure situations. However, when you deal with regular anxiety attacks, they can negatively impact your health and well-being.

Anxiety attacks, or panic attacks, refer to moments of extreme fear or panic. These episodes typically come out of nowhere and can be difficult to control once they start. Most anxiety attacks cease within 10 to 30 minutes. 

If you suffer anxiety attacks on a regular basis, now is the time to take action. Consider these practical methods for preventing them in the future:

Leave Your Job    

One of the most common sources of frequent anxiety and anxiety attacks is work. If you are getting anxious at your job, think about shifting your career. These days, there are accredited online universities that allow you to earn a degree without ever going to a campus. If you need to further your education and training so that you can succeed in a new line of work, this might be the way to go. You can pursue an online bachelor’s degree in IT, business management, healthcare management, or any number of other fields.

Breathe In, Breathe Out

One effective way to prevent panic attacks, or stop a current attack, is to relax your body and focus on your breath. The next time you feel anxiety crouching at your door, try this simple exercise:

  • Close your eyes.
  • Slowly breathe in through your nostrils for five seconds.
  • Hold your breath for five seconds.
  • Release your breath through your mouth for five seconds.
  • Repeat these steps for one minute.

You could also sign up for a class or find an online tutorial that covers breathing techniques, meditation, and other relaxation activities.

Avoid Harmful Substances

Sometimes, the culprit of an anxiety attack is simply the substances we consume. If you naturally deal with anxiety and you drink a lot of caffeine or alcohol, you are likely not doing yourself any favors. The same goes for nicotine; while many people smoke cigarettes to calm their nerves, nicotine tends to increase anxiety rather than decrease it.

Eat Well and Exercise     

It’s also important to take care of your physical health because it is closely related to your mental and emotional health. Make sure you’re abiding by a nutritious, balanced diet each day. While you may not need to adopt the strictest diet out there, you do want to be mindful of limiting the processed foods, salt, fat, and sugar you consume.

Also, find a physical activity you enjoy, and get into a consistent fitness routine. Whether it is playing a recreational sport, running, walking, swimming, or doing any other activity, you might be surprised by how much better you feel when you get into a rhythm. Turn to online sources like Water Fitness Lessons if you need ideas for getting started!

Prioritize Quality Sleep

Sleep deprivation can make your anxiety worse, and adults need at least seven hours of restful sleep each night to promote health and productivity. The problem is that anxiety is a common culprit when it comes to sleep problems. Try to develop a bedtime routine that relaxes your mind and body; meditating, listening to soft music, and avoiding electronic screens have been known to help people fall asleep and stay asleep.

Maintain Your Close Relationships

Lastly, don’t allow isolation and loneliness to trigger or exacerbate your anxiety. Stay connected to close relatives and friends with whom you can share your worries and enjoy your time. Meet people in person when possible, but at the very least, keep up through video chat and other online channels. The point is that you don’t become an island of one, which can keep you in a harmful cycle of anxiety.

While not all anxiety is bad, you need to address your anxiety if it is controlling your life. Consider the tips above as you look to make meaningful changes to your routine, and keep researching other ways that you can keep your anxiety at bay. Before long, you will be calmer and more able to navigate the challenges that life brings.

See you in the pool!

Author/Instructor Photo

Chris Alexander

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