Wednesday, February 10, 2010

How to Spot a Panic Attack

Extreme anxiety often characterizes a person experiencing panic attacks. An attack occurs out of the blue, manifested through intense and severe symptoms. Individuals who suffer often confuse their experience to a heart attack. The severity of panic attack symptom might even lead to the anxiety of dying. Dying is actually not a potential result or consequence, despite the intensity and severity of the symptoms.

Without any real cause, a panic can occur. Increased heartbeat, difficulty in breathing, chest pains, nausea, dizziness, tingling or numbness of the hands, hot flashes or chills are some of the symptoms experienced by the body of the individual suffering in responding to an irrational fear. Some symptoms may also be experienced in a cognitive or mental manifestation. A person suffering might feel extreme terror and anxiety on losing control. These individuals might also feel extreme fear of possibly being embarrassed or of dying.

Individuals who suffer from the disorder also feel anxious that they might also experience another panic soon. Individuals who have history of attacks are also more prone to suffering another one. Thus, people tend to avoid specific stimulus because they are afraid that another panic may occur again because of that particular stimulus. These stimuli that have already been associated with the attack may become the focus of an arising phobia.

The sudden and unexpected onsets of a panic serves as the primary distinction between a panic attack and other anxiety disorders. These onsets can disable the individual, even without any provoking cause. An anxiety disorder is often manifested by episodes of panic. A panic disorder is also indicated by signs of extreme anxiety and avoidance levels. Effective and appropriate treatment is necessary to alleviate the serious consequences and effects of attacks on the individual. These attacks threaten approximately 1.7% of adult Americans. Individuals with ages 15 to 19 years old are more prone to experiencing panic.

Although an attack only lasts for minutes, the distress that it can cause an individual cannot be ignored. The fear of a potential recurrence of it can be attributed to its close resemblance to heart attacks, which are considered fatal. Even while a person is sleeping, he or she is still not immune or safe from panic. Though less common than daytime panic, nocturnal panic attacks also threaten 40% to 70% of those individuals who have had daytime attacks. When a person experiences an attack while sleeping, he or she awakens quickly and exhibits the usual manifestations. These nocturnal panics can occur without any apparent cause. The time a person needs to stay calm after the attack is often much longer than the actual duration of the attack itself.

The symptoms of panic attacks may affect each individual in a different intensity or level. However, despite these individual differences, such basic symptoms are still considered common and prevalent.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Overcoming Anxiety Attacks Through Simple Lifestyle Changes

Hectic lifestyles are just one of the many causes of panic and anxiety attacks that can be easily changed for the better. It's the same with diet and food choices - unhealthy eating habits have been shown to induce or increase the likelihood of anxiety and panic attacks.

Besides avoiding sugary foods, increase your intake of fresh vegetables, wholemeal foods and fruit. Cut down on meat, and replace it with fish if you can't give up animal protein altogether.

When our bodies are under stress we use up our stores of vitamins more rapidly. Vitamin B complex is beneficial to the nerves and vitamin C is useful to help combat stress. Calcium has a calming effect. You may want to consider taking additional supplements of all three to make sure your supplies don't become too depleted, making your job that much harder as you start to take control over your panic attacks.

There are many good books around which explain about vitamins and recommended dosages. Take a trip to your local library to find out more. Although there appears to be a wide range of differing attitudes about how much to take for a remedial or maintenance dose, at least there is agreement that vitamins are vitally important in helping our bodies function at their optimum levels.

Another dimension can be added to your life through helping others. Not the moaning friends who enjoy nagging about their latest problem; I mean those people who really are less fortunate than yourself. It's an odd thing that helping others can lead you to helping yourself. A shift of focus away from self-interests can help relieve your own worries and put them in a different perspective, but only get involved if you feel you could happily cope with the demands.

Other things you may like to consider including in your new lifestyle are activities which can positively help you live a more fulfilling life. Taking classes in communication skills, management, assertiveness or life skills can be a real help. But so can joining in sculpture classes, for example, if that's what you've always wanted to try. Now is the time to explore all those avenues which can lead you to a more enjoyable lifestyle.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Anxiety Panic Attacks - Are You in a Hopeless Situation? Overcome Panic Attacks

Anxiety panic attacks, as you may or may not know, bring about the fastest and most complex changes known to the human body. It often leaves the sufferer with a changed perception about life in general. It is a situation that you would never wish for your worst enemy; its effects are most times more severe than violent poisons and traumatic injuries. The question most often asked as regards this situation or disorder is, are the sufferers of anxiety panic attacks in a hopeless and incurable situation?

The most honest answer to the question above is NO; the sufferers of panic anxiety attack are not in a hopeless and incurable situation. It is possible to totally overcome panic attacks even while you are at home but it would need you to access a guide that is spot on and of course, the exertion of a little will power of your own. Thousands of people who have been victims of this disorder have successfully rid their lives of this very uncomfortable disorder; therefore your case should not be an exception.

While trying to cure or stop attacks caused by anxiety, many different methods have been introduced but none of them can be said to be the most certain method. However, amongst all the anxiety attack treatment methods available, the most effective method is known as the cognitive behavioral therapy method. This method is usually the first line of action that a renowned anxiety attacks specialist or counselor would recommend for you.

You can access this therapy method in details online and for less than your pocket change. Yes, you can indeed rid yourself of this very dreadful situation provided you act accordingly. Go ahead and take the right step so that you can lead a normal life.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

How to Avoid and Overcome Anxiety

All experts in the field of psychology know that the brain functions best when it is in a stress-free state. Non constructive emotions, like fear, worry and anxiety bring about mental and bodily stagnation. If you want to relax the mind and body, then the ability to be able to see the funny side of things is essential. If you find it hard to relax you will also find it hard to deal with intense situations. Having the ability to be in control when the going gets tough increases the probability of you having a successful life. Remember that with a relaxed mind and body you will feel that anything is possible because you will also have a more positive mental attitude as a result.

The thing is about anxiety is that it can be hard to identify because of its subjective nature. Basically anxiety is a catch-22 situation made up of thoughts, feelings and behaviours. Anxiety starts in the mind with your thoughts. These thoughts bring about physical sensations that affect your behaviour. A person that is always anxious tends to have more distressing thoughts than other people, thus, maintaining the catch-22 situation.

If you want to avoid and overcome anxiety you have to take a more holistic approach that will reprogram the mind and body. A good way of doing this is by breathing and relaxation. These two simple and valuable methods are an excellent way of bringing the mind and body back into harmony again.

An anxious person tends to breath too quickly. Breathing too quickly will upsets the balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood. When this happens unpleasant symptoms of anxiety and panic will start to emerge.

The best thing to do is to practice breathing 10-12 times per minute this will naturally relax the body. Slowly breath in through the nose and out through the mouth. Take the air right down to the bottom of your lungs, and feel the ribs expand as you do this. Pause between breaths and time yourself. Try to exhale for as long as you inhale. After a while your breathing will adjust and you will not have to think about breathing more slowly.

This breathing technique is good to help deal with the physical symptoms of anxiety, but what about the mental side of it? How can you bring about a relaxed state of mind? The thing to do is think of a time when you were completely relaxed and focused in something that you were doing. Think about the thoughts, feelings and emotions that you had while engaged in the activity. Make the thought real just as if you are there in the moment. Do this until you can distinctively isolate each individual emotion and thought that you had. The more you practice this technique, the easier it will be in the future to activate positive emotions when you need them.

The next time you are in a situation that you feel anxious about just breath slowly and bring back to memory the emotions you felt when you were completely focused in what you were doing. Good luck!

Monday, February 1, 2010

How to Cope With Panic Anxiety Disorder - Some Methods For Instant Success!

Few conditions can cause more disruption to life than panic anxiety disorder. Whether it's an inability to drive over a high bridge, or a fear of meeting new people, or even a fear of asking for a raise, panic at the wrong time can cause tremendous inconvenience and loss for people of high intelligence, good character, and creativity-whose autonomic nervous systems just go into high gear at the wrong time. Fortunately, there are three ways to manage panic anxiety disorder that will work and let you enjoy your life.

Medication does help anxiety disorder. Sometimes the effects of medication are dramatic. Take a pill, and suddenly you can ask for that date, explore that new shopping mall, or, in some cases, leave your house for the first time in years.

The problem with medication is that it typically causes side effects. Cymbalta (duloxetine), for example, can't be taken by people who have glaucoma. Desyrel (trazodone) can cause dizziness and high blood pressure. Lexapro can cause fatigue, nausea, vomiting, and fatigue in both sexes, and men who get past all those symptoms may find that it makes it impossible to achieve climax in sexual intercourse. Taking Effexor (venlafaxine) can result in a fatal interaction when it is taken with certain medications for depression. And it can cause tremendous production of gas-an especially awkward side effect for people who suffer social phobias.

Some people find that they just can't continue their medications. Fortunately, there are still things they can do. There is an anti-anxiety diet, and rescue remedies panic attacks.

1. The Anti-Anxiety Diet

Two substances aggravate panic anxiety disorder, sugar and caffeine. Both of these common ingredients in food fuel the "startle reflex," which keeps you jumpy when you hear a knock at the door or you hear a crash of thunder. Even people who do not otherwise suffer panic anxiety attacks will tend to panic when they drink more than about 800 mg of caffeine (the equivalent of four to six cups) of coffee a day. It's also helpful to drink decaffeinated tea and soda.

If you are in the middle of a panic attack, there is no time to take medication. Any one or all of these three first aid measures, however, will help.

• Splash your face with cold water. This will activate a "dive reflex" that slows a racing heart and gives your brain less input, helping you take control over your situation.
• Sit up or stand up straight. Simply "standing up to the situation" allows more air to flow into your lungs so there is greater oxygenation to your brain.
• Take deep breaths in and long breaths out. Filling your lungs with air and then blowing out all the "old air" helps keep your lungs full of fresh, oxygen-rich air. Long exhalations also slow your pulse and help you concentrate.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Overcome Stress - 9 Easy Tips

Demands for today's lifestyle can sometimes seem overwhelmingly stressful. Many of our readers might be working 40+ hours/week, rearing children, trying to balance your social life, and maybe even cramming a few hours of sleep on the weekends. Indeed, some studies reveal that stress could have a detrimental effect to the health on up to 80% of all American adults.

What's worse, under stress, we tend to binge eat and indulge in more junk food, which has a bad effect on our health and further increases our stress level... a vicious cycle! Although stress can seem inevitable, there is hope! Follow the following pointers and will reduce your stress levels to a healthier level in no time!

Limit your coffee intake; 2 to 3 coffees per day is a good limit to coffee intake.
Drink green tea; Green tea can keep you awake as effectively as coffee can. In addition, it is is an excellent source of antioxidants which protects your body against undesired free-radical attacks (which damage the cells in your body) that can be increased during stressful conditions.
Drink more water: water enables your body to transport and absorb various nutrients including water-soluble vitamins and minerals. The recommended dose is 8 glasses a day - and coffee, soda, and alcoholic beverages don't count.
Eat 3 balanced meals a day; skipping meals is a tendency people may have when they are under stress. Skipping meals can only increase stress as your body needs energy to cope better with the situation you are experiencing... In addition, skipping meals may also lead you to cravings in the middle of the day... Which usually make us choose unhealthy food like sweets, junk foods, chips, etc...
Avoid fast food; when in a rush, most of us go for junk food because it's convenient. Unfortunately, the price you pay for its convenience is usually that fast food is often unhealthy. When on a rush, try to eat fruits, cheese, and whole grain sandwiches instead of processed and fried meals.
Limit alcohol intake, and avoid overdrinking; It is recommended to limit your alcohol intake to 2 drinks per day. For health, red wine is preferred over beer for its Cardio health benefits and because it has fewer calories. Avoid over drinking, asking your liver to suddenly over work could decrease your immune system making you more vulnerable to illness.
Limit or quit smoking; This one might be a tough one for you, but we all know the bad effects of smoking. If you just can't quit, then eat a lot of vitamin C, which is an excellent antioxidant. Eat a lot of fruits, and vegetables until you make the brilliant decision to quit smoking.
Exercise regularly; Exercising is one of the most effective stress-relievers and anti depressants. Try a physical activity you think you'll like and make it a fun hobby rather than a chore!
Leave for work on time; many people leave unnecessary stress simply because they stay in bed too long. Try to get up 15 minutes earlier; you will see the difference for sure!
Even with the best intentions, sometimes we just can't get the nutrition we need. Nutritional supplements are a good alternative to help you to cope better with stress. The nutrients that reduce stress are within the Vitamin B complex, as most of them are involved in the energy production and nerve transmissions; while one of the various functions of vitamin C is to participate in biosynthesis of various neurotransmitters.

Natural plants, herbs and roots can also support your body to react better to stress; Ginkgo Biloba by its action of neurological and circulatory support and Korean Ginseng by its action of supporting the body's natural recovery from stress and fatigue.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Overcome Panic Attacks - Self Help Methods to Help You Control the Key Element to Overcoming Anxiety

You can naturally overcome panic attacks by eliminating the one key element that is responsible for triggering anxiety and this article will help you confront this element so that you can begin to get reasonable relief from anxiety, phobias and depression.

Panic Anxiety Attacks often come out of the blue, unexpectedly. And the symptoms can be so frightening that they can often leave you paralyzed with fear. Your fear then begins to control you and your life and you try and avoid events, places, people and situations whenever you feel anxiety coming on. And it is this worry of another panic attack that heightens your already high levels of anxiety. And situations where you were more than capable of dealing with - prior to the attack - now can almost set off another anxiety attack.

It is this fear that you need to face and deal with in order to overcome panic attacks and anxiety. Unless you begin to eliminate this fear the vicious cycle of panic and anxiety will never stop. While some degree of fear is natural - I am referring to the kind of fear that can actually stop you from doing every day normal events such as driving or being in a public place. The fear that can set your heartbeat so fast you feel like you are dying.

You might have considered conventional medicine in your search for a way to overcome panic attacks and anxiety. The drugs used for panic and anxiety disorders are mainly in the form of anti-depressants and their purpose is to manage your frame of mind by controlling chemical reactions in your brain. They cannot control the "fear" in you and the fear of having another attack.

They are normally prescribed short term and some people will get the benefit of these drugs but they are not something that you can or want to depend on for the rest of your life --- there are many dangerous side effects associated with them including addiction - they really are meant to work as a short term solution - while you deal with the element of fear, because you'll be back at the start when you ultimately come off the drugs. (Note of warning: If you are currently on prescription medication for anxiety - do not come off it without first consulting your doctor - mainly because of the possible addiction issues and other possible health risks).

The real reason why some people can overcome panic attacks and anxiety naturally whereas others have to rely on antidepressants or other anxiety drugs to help them, is because these folks have successfully found a way to get rid of their fear of having another anxiety attack. They have faced their fear head on and cured themselves in the process. Once they had that "fear" under control they moved on to work on treating their general anxiety without any barriers.

I want you to imagine this..

Go and see if you can have an anxiety attack right this minute.... I know this may sound silly but see if you can make it happen. I bet you can't, and the reason why is because you are dealing with your fear face-to-face by trying to trigger an attack. And in the process of it you are eliminating that fear.

When you've reached this position you have ultimately overcome your fear of another panic attack and have broken down this seemingly endless cycle of anxiety that dominated your everyday life and are now ready to get to work on eliminating your general anxiety for good. And you did it by yourself without any mind-numbing anti-depressants.