Malankara World


What is Anxiety and How to Cope

By Hayley Daniels-Lake

Anxiety is a feeling that everyone experiences at some time throughout our lives. It is our natural reaction to situations we find threatening. Anxiety, in itself, is actually a positive emotion which allows us to avoid dangerous situations and provides us with the motivation to deal with problems we face. However, in some people, their levels of anxiety becomes overwhelming and can prevent them from living a normal, healthy life. Statistics show that around one in ten people will experience symptoms of anxiety at some point in their lives.

Treatment Options

There are several treatment options available to suffers. They each have their own benefits and some work better for some people then they will others so it's worth trying a few to find out what works best for you.

Simply talking through your symptoms with your friends and family can be extremely beneficial, as can working with a trained therapist either individually or as a part of group therapy.

Learning relaxation techniques such as meditation and breathing techniques can also be beneficial. There are plenty of books and self-help videos available on this so look around.

In extreme cases, where other therapies have provided little to no relief there is the option of medication. These are very effective but also very addictive and there can be several unpleasant withdrawal symptoms; therefore, they should only be used in an emergency situation during a crisis and only for short-term treatment.

Coping During a Panic Attack

Panic attacks can be a terrifying experience. People experiencing one often feel like they are dying. Fortunately however, there are ways to cope and to lessen the effects of the attack. Most anxiety attacks come on with no obvious reason and often with very little warning. However, by paying attention to your body you can begin to notice subtle changes that will indicate a panic attack developing. These signs may include a tightness in your chest, a tingling or numbness in your extremities, you may begin to shake and/or your breathing may begin to get shallower. This is not an exhaustive list, try to notice the signs you get before you experience a panic attack. When you notice these symptoms try to get yourself to a safe place. Try to ensure you are sitting rather then standing or lying down and if you are driving, pull over.

The most important thing you can do during an anxiety attack is to focus on your breathing. Breathe in through your nose for five seconds and out through your mouth through five seconds.

The most common symptoms of a panic attack is taking short, shallow breaths or even holding your breath. This starves your body of oxygen and creates even more panic. Taking long, deep breaths helps you to feel better and creates an actual chemical reaction in your body that helps to calm you down.

Breathing like this is not easy when you're experiencing an anxiety attack and so it may be worthwhile practicing breathing techniques as a part of your daily routine in order for it to become almost second nature and therefore easier to complete during an anxiety attack.

See Also:

For a very comprehensive look at the Generalized anxiety disorder and common sense ways to handle it, please visit Anxiety Infocenter.

How to Recognize Anxiety in Children and Adolescents
Problems with a too-high level anxiety can start in childhood with children and adolescents worrying to a greater extent than their peers about all sorts of things. Some behaviors are an indication of a fussy and over tidy child. When we go just a little bit over fussiness and we have entered the realm of an anxiety disorder.

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