So at this point we have discussed the emotional and physical symptoms of anxiety and anxiety attacks, and have discovered what is really behind these feelings. The last cause that may bring on some anxiety and cause an attack is, get ready, physical.
But wait a second; didn’t we already discuss everything was running smoothly and you were not really dying of a strange disease or truly in danger? Yes, this does not play into your instincts’ idea that you are in gravely ill. All of the above is true, with a few possible and perfectly normal, daily glitches.
The first physical cause that may come onto you suddenly, and raise your instincts of danger, is being ill. Feeling sick with a cold or flu that comes on suddenly, combined with any stressful situation, memories, or worries can cause an anxiety attack.
Let’s say, for instance, you have only had the flu once in your life—and it was during a stressful time in your life, such as during a parents’ divorce, or during a stay in a foreign country. The minute these physical flu virus symptoms appear, your body is conditioned to remember everything that came along with the last flu, and cause the anxious symptoms.
It could also be that being sick hits you during a stressful situation—such as when you are about to perform some important public speaking that still spooks you a bit. The mostly innocuous symptoms, combined with the stress, appear to take on a whole new level of sickness and danger, which in turn brings on the anxious attack. The best way to deal with these situations is to realize you are not deathly ill nor in danger. You will need some rest, but will be okay, and this is a controllable situation to handle.
The other physical triggers work much the same way. Lack of sleep, for instance, can heighten your general anxiety, or bring on sudden lightheadedness or panicky feelings. Too much caffeine, ironically, has the same effect. Not having eaten in awhile can cause some sickly feelings, which, again combined with any stress or stressful situations, can cause anxiety to spring up as well.
Seeing these symptoms for what they truly are, and seeing what you can do to help, can greatly help prevent and stop anxiety from climbing…and get your body what it truly needs, be it sleep, food, water, or medicine.
Intervention Strategy #7:
Put yourself in time-out:
Can you recall when your children or a friend’s kids have been cranky or emotionally stirred up and out-of-control? A common parenting tool is to place the child in time-out where he or she takes a temporary break from the over-stimulating situation. The same applies for our own anxiety. An adult time-out involves stopping whatever you are doing and making a few minutes to just simply be and do as you please. This can involve taking listening to music, taking a bath/shower, spending some time in the garden, reading an uplifting book or choosing to stare out the window.
There is a difference between being a couch potato immobilized by anxiety and an anxious person consciously choosing to pause from a hectic day.
Join us next discussion for our next analysis on how to deal with an anxiety attack as it is happening.
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.
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