If you have ever felt a sudden rush of anxiety and worry, you know it’s unpleasant, but combine mental and physical symptoms such as a racing heart or difficulty breathing, then you know how awful and frightening a panic attack is. There are many reason people experience panic attacks, from grief, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) to being in a highly stressful situation.
Some people suffer from chronic panic attacks, typically with no warning and no triggers, while for others this could be a temporary occurrence related to a specific event. Visiting a physician, public speaking or giving a live presentation could trigger a panic attack. There are also some scientific studies that suggest diet could also play a role in anxiety. (But that’s for another post.)
It is important to know that panic attacks, while frightening are not dangerous. They feel dangerous because they engage our brain's emergency system which tells us we are in imminent danger.…NOW! But like pulling a fire alarm with no threat of fire, the emergency systems in the brains of folks with panic attacks are issuing false alarms. Which sounds simple enough, but when you are in the middle of an attack it can be overwhelming and debilitating.
That is why it is so important for everyone to learn about panic attacks and how to combat them.
Common Symptoms of Panic Attacks
It is important to first understand what the signs and symptoms are for a panic attack. Not only does this tell you if that is exactly what you are experiencing, but it helps you to recognize the signs early so you can start implementing some coping strategies quickly. The goal is to stop the panic attack before it progresses, since they do tend to worsen over time. Read more on combating panic attacks here.
When we are in the “fight or flight” experience of a panic attack, you may experience a set of symptoms, which could vary from episode to episode. Here are a few symptoms people report experiencing:
Symptoms Are Similar to a Heart Attack
Many people naturally mistaken the symptoms of a panic attack with a heart attack since they are very similar, right up to the chest pains and dizziness. The problem with this is that even if you know you are having a panic attack, you have an intense worry that all of your current worrying could lead to a heart attack, which then worsens the symptoms of the panic attack!
This vicious cycle could then leave you feeling like the panic/worry is leading to an imminent heart attack. This circular thinking can continue and worsen over time unless you are able to stop to it. Thats why it is so important to learn as much as you can about panic attacks and find ways to prevent them.
Tune in tomorrow for part two in this series on anxiety and panic attacks.
Health, wellness, success, spirtual living
"My zone of genius is around mentoring, guiding and coaching inspired, creative, conscious and spiritual entrepreneurs and individuals to connect with their deepest desires and values so they can rise with grace. I believe in treating the "whole person" and with simple energetic shifts they can reach their highest potential and serve from a place of inner peace and fulfillment."
“If I am not good to myself, how can I expect anyone else to be good to me?”
― Maya Angelou
"Every day is a new beginning, choose wisely."
-Sarah Parker Thomas
“We are all a work in progress.
And the possibilities are endless.”
Sarah Parker Thomas