Anxiety attacks are scary and can be a crippling element in some people’s lives. We all experience anxiety in different forms and most of us will experience at least one anxiety attack in our lives. It is important for the person who experiences them often, or even that one time, to understand the event and its symptoms in order to relieve it.
Anxiety is a part of genetic make-up. There is no escaping it — sometimes it is important to feel anxiety and be scared it a legitimately threatening situation. But anxiety attacks usually result in situations where we are not actually threatened, but instead feel threatened. Our bodies are hardwired to have certain physical responses when experiencing heightened anxiety or fear. They are aimed at protecting us and we will never eliminate tens of thousands of years of defense mechanism programming.
Lets look at some anxiety attack symptoms: the most noticeable is a change in breathing — either there seems to be a loss of breath or breathing becomes short and quick; our hearts start racing well above the normal rate; we may feel cold even though we are in a warm environment; our palms may become sweaty; we experience tension and a tightness in our chests and torso; we feel like vomiting or urinating and can experience cramping in our stomachs; dizziness and disorientation.
This is scary at the time, but all of these responses are geared to protect us. Why the urge to vomit or urinate or defecate? Honestly, our bodies learned this as a means of trying to soil and dirty ourselves to a potential predator. Or if our body feels like it may pass out, it may try to vomit to decrease the chance of vomiting while passed out. Our chests get tight because our muscles are clenching around our vital organs and trying to protect them; we get cold as arteries contract to minimize blood flow and potential loss. Safety checks and attempts and entirely normal.
A key method in minimizing anxiety and attacks is to know and recognize and, maybe most importantly, allows the symptoms to occur. By not requiring the body to work to relax and relieve all the symptoms, the body can paradoxically relax and allow them to pass. The body and mind have no interest in being in a heightened state of anxiety and, if it is trained, it can quickly let the symptoms come and go.
Proper diet, exercise and breathing practices will help relieve anxiety attack symptoms — our body has a strong interest in its own health.