Have you ever been in a situation, where you felt uneasy because of something you think you may have forgotten to do, such as switching off an appliance at home, or perhaps a feeling that you annoyed someone whom you wanted to get along with really well. If you have experienced such feelings and worse on a regular basis, then you most probably are a victim of anxiety attacks.
All of us, to some extent, have experienced anxiety and at different levels. There are some things you may know about anxiety, and some things that you may not be familiar with. So in order to be prepared for your next encounter with a feeling of anxiety, you need to get to know what anxiety is before it escalates into a panic attack.
Anxiety is simply the feeling of discomfort, uneasiness and or fear of what may eventually happen resulting from a perceived, imagined, or a real threatening condition. On the extreme end panic attacks can occur due to heightened feelings of anxiety.
There are two main categories of symptoms during an anxiety/panic attack and these are physical and emotional symptoms. Physical symptoms include difficulty in breathing, shaking , sensations of heat, rapid heartbeat and fatigue. Whereas emotional symptoms deal with excessive worrying, depression, fear, irritability and lack of focus.
Now you may be thinking, that anxiety is only caused in situations where you are faced with an impeding threat and have no other option but to face it. In reality, this is not true as anxiety can occur in unthreatening conditions too . For example, imagine that you have been chosen to speak in front of a large audience and the reason you were picked amongst your other hundred colleagues is because you are regarded as the best. In such an encounter, you will feel proud that you were picked from a hundred other people but at the same time the thought of having to speak in front of a large crowd can trigger anxiety. In such cases you get a mixed feeling of both positive and negative anxiety.
In spite of the negative impression we have for anxiety, it is not dangerous in any way what so ever. If you thought that anxiety is dangerous and will threaten your health then you need to think again, because all this is merely a false perception of anxiety. Feeling a little shaky and or having a feeling of ‘butterflies in the stomach’ is pretty normal.
Panic attacks however, are far more dangerous and should be a concern to your health. Panic can sometimes result in dizziness, blurred vision, difficulty in breathing due to a tight chest and in extreme scenarios a victim can feel faintish where they may or may not, end up unconscious. The major problem with panic attacks is that most victims think they are going through a stroke and this further aggravates the current condition. So the best way to differentiate anxiety from any serious illness is to consult a medical expert on a regular basis.
So all in all you must understand that the feeling of anxiety is not bad in any way, in fact it’s more of a defensive inherent feeling which protects us from possible danger by engaging a response within us in fight or flight situations. So it’s not the “bad guy, " you just have to learn how to control it.
Jason Rickard is the owner of Your Favourite Shop - Offering White Noise and Relaxation CDs - Visit Hapa Health for more articles.