It’s a fact that everyone is sometimes worried, concerned, nervous or has certain fears, experiences and apprehensions. Sometimes these emotions even happen on a daily basis.
However, it doesn’t easily occur to people that anxiousness is basically a healthy state of mind, because it helps the body to respond more effectively to certain stimuli. This, in turn causes us to act fast and perform better.
When the feeling of anxiousness is relative to the situation or problem at hand, it’s a perfectly normal feeling. However, when anxiety gets out of hand, it easily becomes chronic and irrational. You might eventually develop anxiety disorder and experience sudden and uncomfortable anxiety attacks. Then, choosing a right treatment is crucial.
But what are the physical symptoms of anxiety attacks?
Some common symptoms of an anxiety attack are:
Fear of going crazy
When you are under enormous pressure you may feel as if you are going crazy. This is even more obvious if you are experiencing an anxiety attack.
However, it’s not very possible that you really would be going crazy in reality. It’s more often just a symptom that you are experiencing, but nobody can realize that as they cannot see your mind.
How can it be so sure that it’s very unlikely that you are going crazy in reality?
It’s because going crazy isn’t a conscious choice and people who are suffering from mental illnesses don’t even know that they have one. Again, if you are experiencing excessive fear or irrational thoughts, this is not a sign that you would be going crazy.
This is another common physical symptom of anxiety and it occurs naturally during an anxiety attack. To get rid of dry mouth, just sip on water or try a piece of sugar-free menthol candy to stimulate the production of saliva. Avoid anything that contains sugar, though. Even if sugar would give you a sudden burst of energy and help get rid of dry mouth, sugar affects badly to your brain and that’s why it should be one of the first things to avoid if you suffer from anxiety and anxiety attacks.
Shaking and shivering
Shaking and shivering are two essential functions that your body uses to regulate your core temperature, especially in cold surroundings and when not wearing enough clothes.
When body temperature drops from normal, the muscles spasmodically contract, creating friction between muscles and body tissues, thus increasing the body temperature. During anxiety attacks, shaking and shivering is normal.
Anxiety attack shivering might be related to the enormous stress, the peripheral circulation is not effective and thus your body tries to compensate this with shivering.
During an anxiety attack, you may feel like your heart is missing beats, or your heart is beating furiously. The sudden burst of adrenaline in your bloodstream is causing it. This is a perfectly normal situation, as awkward and scary as it might feel, and it won’t cause damage to your physical well-being. However, it indeed causes discomfort and leads to more severe symptoms if you don’t learn how to control your anxiety attacks.
Remember that your heart is a sophisticated organ controlled by your even more sophisticated brain. They do everything to keep you alive and in good condition, no matter how fast your heart beats or how crappy you feel.
Pain in your body
Different types of pain, and feeling pain in your stomach, jaw, neck and shoulders is common. Also headache is one of the most typical symptoms of anxiety. It’s because your body is under stress, different parts of the body get tense and this naturally results in pain. Do your best to relax when pain occurs. Also studying different relaxation techniques is a good idea.
Taking muscle relaxants is the last resort, but always try natural techniques first. Alcohol might ease the tension, but alcohol should be avoided at all costs, as it will just make your anxiety worse.
Chest pain is one of the most scaring symptoms of anxiety and sometimes it’s misinterpreted as a heart attack. However, usually it’s a normal body reaction to an anxiety attack but in any case it’s important to identify an anxiety attack from heart attack as the latter one can be dangerous and even deadly. In most cases there is nothing to worry, though, as chest pain is mainly caused by muscle tension during anxiety.
Shortness of breath
Not only uncomfortable, being short of breath is also scary. It’s also a very typical symptom of anxiety attack. It feels like you cannot take in the necessary air that your body needs. It can be a vicious circle: when you have an anxiety attack, you might become short of breath. This makes you panicking even more and becoming even more short of breath. Rest assured, you are not going to suffocate, stop breathing or pass out. Being short of breath is just a temporary symptom of anxiety attack.
For me, the best thing to avoid this and get back to normal breathing was just try to take my thoughts away from my breathing and concentrate on something else. Try if watching a funny cat video or anything that makes you laugh helps, play an engaging game or read something where you need to concentrate. Call your friend or send a text message. Don’t make anything physically demanding, though, as that might just make the condition worse. Naturally, the best solution is to learn efficient techniques to prevent situations like this.
Unlike being short of breath, when you are hyperventilating you breathe more or more often than needed. Generally speaking, hyperventilation is an increased alveolar ventilation. If the body cannot compensate the fall of the concentration of carbon dioxide in your blood, the pH of your blood will rise, thus your blood becomes alkaline. This, in turn, causes physical symptoms like tingling in your lips, fingers and toes, dizziness, headache or even fainting.
However, don’t worry, as hyperventilation can be treated very efficiently before you even feel like you would be fainting. The good old trick to get rid of hyperventilating and its consequences is to breathe into a paper bag. If you don’t have a paper bag, try to breathe through a dense fabric or simply place your mouth tightly around your arm and breathe through the sleeve of your shirt.
If hyperventilation is clearly a symptom of anxiety and it happens often, holistic methods and the right diet help efficiently to get completely rid of involuntary hyperventilation.
This symptom of an anxiety attack usually makes you feel like everything around you is foggy and unreal, like a dream. The way you experience it may alter. You might feel that you are inside a bubble and you cannot get out. Or, you might feel that you are outside of yourself or the current situation, being just a distant observer. Another type of feeling detached is to be completely emotionless: you might feel that you don’t have any kinds of emotions, or you cannot at least feel any strong feelings, neither positive nor negative.
Again, feeling detached is just a natural coping mechanism when your body and mind are under extreme stress. The feeling is going to stop eventually, and you are not in danger. Naturally, you should be seeking effective long-term treatment to reduce the feeling and finally stop completely experiencing them.
While recognizing the signs and symptoms of anxiety doesn’t require that you should understand how the human body works, it does require awareness on each of the symptoms and the effects that they may have when they are ignored.
Different people manifest different symptoms and behaviors when they experience an anxiety attack. You should be aware of this, as the intensity of the symptoms differ, and they may appear differently with every attack.
If you experience hardships that last well after the attack has passed it is important to consult a health professional so that you can be sure that there aren’t any other underlying conditions that you should be aware of.
Behavior during anxiety attacks and symptoms of anxiety disorders are similar to other psychological, physical and behavioral conditions. Therefore it’s important to seek professional help to be able to rule out other reasons and provide the right treatment to the patient.
However, it’s essential to remember that the doctors are heavily influenced by big medical companies and thus they easily prescribe more medication than needed. There is a time and place for medication, but overmedicating should be avoided, as it leads to different kinds of problems. Instead, everybody should be encouraged to find a permanent solution to treat anxiety attacks and physical anxiety symptoms with behavioral therapy and other natural ways.
Medication should be taken only when absolutely needed and just to support the more natural treatments. Nothing prevents from trying different self-help programs. Unfortunately there is lots of scam on the market, so be sure to choose a program that is clinically proven to work, offers customized strategies and methods for your unique situation and has money-back guarantee in the rare case you find the method not help you. It’s also your own responsibility to find a treatment that suits your needs, as in the end you are the expert of your body and mind (as implausible as it may sound), and even the best doctor can only guide you towards the direction he is educated to. That’s not necessarily what you need, so keep seeking until you’ll find the permanent solution to beat anxiety.