The first step to understanding your anxiety is to realize what the symptoms are. Once you realize this, you can begin to understand what his happening, and what is not happening.
For instance, most people feel a heart rate change during their anxiety attack—sometimes so strong they are sure they are having a heart attack. However, this is not the case, and realizing this alone can help you calm your nerves and assess what is really happening to your body.
The human body was carefully designed with a “fight or flight” instinct that allows us to get adrenaline pumping in stressful situations in order to handle a danger safely. When your body is triggered into thinking there is danger around—and we will discuss some of these triggers soon—the fight or flight instinct kicks in. This will occur even if there is no danger. If you can explain this to yourself in a stressful situation, you will be able to calm some of your nerves—including that pumping heart of yours, which is pumping in case the need for running occurs. Oxygen is now flowing freely through your muscles; and the potential for a heart attack is not there. Quite the opposite, in fact: your body is proving itself to be very healthy and able to handle the stresses of life!
Part of this instinct is also found in our breathing patterns; your breathing rate increases, and you may feel you are not getting enough oxygen. Some people feel lightheaded at this point, and are sure the rapid breathing rate combined with this dizziness will cause a fainting spell. In reality, however, these combined actions are causing your blood pressure to rise. When someone is about to faint, their blood pressure falls dramatically. So is the case with your body; you are highly unlikely to faint, and more likely to just need to practice your breathing.
Interactive Strategy #2
Smile. It will not kill you:
Smiling, even when it is forced, actually creates changes in the emotional centers of our brains. This is called the limbic system. Our facial muscles communicated to our minds slanting towards greater calm. Try putting a pen or pencil in your mouth. It actually forces you to smile, even if you are not feeling like it. There is an advertisement of the side of trucks driving around the west coast that say something like, “you cannot help but smile when you say the word, Swiss.”
Learning how to calm your nerves and breathe properly will be discussed soon in the series. If you are just joining us, please check the earlier blog in order to catch yourself up, and assess your own reactions and situations. We will continue with some emotional feelings during an anxiety attack, and the meanings behind them, next.
Remember…happiness is an inside job!
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Independent filmmaker, author, happiness coach and speaker Lisa Cypers Kamen creates these blogs to entertain, enlighten and educate our service men and women along with their families as well as support our troops. To contact Lisa, email her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and check out her websites at www.harvestinghappiness.com , www.hh4heroes.org & www.harvestinghappinesstalkradio.com.
Harvesting Happiness Talk Radio with Lisa Cypers Kamen brings a fresh approach to the airwaves promoting happiness, well-being and global human flourishing by presenting a diverse and proactive collection of the greatest thinkers and doers who have devoted their lives to creating a better world in which to live.
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Harvesting Happiness for Heroes is a pending 501(c)(3), non-profit corporation. Our mission objective is to offer support services to Warriors and Warrior families challenged by Combat Trauma, PTSD and post-deployment reintegration issues. HH4Heroes offers Battle Buddy workshops, family awareness training, online community support, one-on-one coaching services, as well as retreats for Warriors to decompress from battle and understand the tools available for them to adapt their military skills to civilian society.
Harvesting Happiness & Harvesting Happiness for Heroes provides positive psychology coaching tools to facilitate greater well-being. This communication is provided for education and inspiration. This communication does not constitute mental health treatment nor is it indicative of a private therapeutic relationship. Individuals desiring help for trauma, addiction and abuse related issues or other psychological concerns should seek out a mental health professional.
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