10 Home Remedies for Anxiety Attack
Anxiety attacks are usually the result of a steady build up of worry and/or anxiety. Anxiety attacks and panic attacks are terminologically often used interchangeably, and they may be similar in many regards. But it’s important to know that they are not two and the same.
Anxiety attacks usually come with less surprise, are more predictable, and are the result of an accumulation of negative factors in your life. A panic attack is often much more sudden, unpredictable and often described as a surprising, something that unexpectedly sneaks up on you. Panic attacks are often brought on by some sort of trigger, often seen when someone suffers from PTSD.
In this article, we’re going to focus on anxiety attacks, how to identify their common symptoms, and what you can do to help yourself when suffering from an anxiety attack. It’s important to note, that many of the symptoms experienced during an anxiety attack, are also common to panic attacks.
Here are the most common symptoms of an anxiety attack:
- A sudden wave of overwhelming emotions, such as fear
- Heart palpitations/chest pain
- A feeling like you’re losing control, or going crazy
- Feeling like you might be about to faint
- Having a hard time breathing
- A feeling similar to choking
- Shaking and trembling
- Feeling nauseous
- Feeling as though you’re detached from reality
- Chills and/or hot flashes
When to seek professional help?
The simple fact is that most people experience anxiety at some point in their life, and most of those people have a way of dealing with this to help bring about a positive outcome. The trouble begins when anxiety starts to affect your day-to-day life, and keeps you from functioning ‘normally’. If you find yourself avoiding work, friends, family, or any other of your normal daily activities, it’s a good idea to seek professional help as soon as possible.
If you think you can handle your anxiety attacks on your own, there are some effective methods available to help you get through these tough episodes. Here are 10 home remedies for anxiety attacks:
#1 – Exercise This may be the last thing that comes to mind when you’re experiencing an anxiety attack, but there is literally nothing more effective than getting your body working, getting your blood flowing and increasing the most important hormones responsible for making you feel more at ease, and more happy. Endorphins, dopamine and serotonin.
It’s understandable that you may not be capable of exercising while experiencing an anxiety attack, but the only real unanimous agreement amongst mental health professionals is that exercise is one best things you can do to help with your mental health, especially anxiety and depression.
It might be quite natural to want to avoid the gym if you suffer from anxiety, so it’s a good idea to try walking/jogging to start, and work on body weight exercises at home. You should see a noticeable improvement in your mood before you even finish exercising, and a gradual improvement long term. This is why it’s a good idea to exercise first thing in the morning, it’s a great way to start the day, and to get a strong dose of the ‘feel good’ hormones.
#2 – Stay away from the bottle One of the worst things you can do when experiencing anxiety is choosing alcohol and/or other psychoactive substances as a way of dealing with it. This may help you out short term, but it will only make your overall anxiety worse, and your anxiety attacks more intense in the future.
#3 – Mindfulness meditation
This may not be easy to do when you’re experiencing an anxiety attack, but then again nothing is easy at that point. Anxiety is our body’s way of telling is that we have some things we need to change, especially the accumulation of stress.
Find yourself quite a corner you can sit down, close your eyes and breathe in and out deeply through your nose. Pay attention to all the thoughts going through your mind without judgement. Let them pass while breathing in and out deeply through your nose, and slowly you should have fewer thoughts. Your goal here is to get to a point where your mind is cleared, and you’re only concentrating on your breathing, and the sensations of your body.
Regular mindfulness meditation is a great way to reduce stress, anxiety, and anxiety attacks in the long term as well. Most people report that they have a hard time getting into meditation, but after a month or so of daily practice, it becomes a necessary part of their life that brings calm, and peace.
#4 – Don’t drink caffeine Caffeine is not a buddy for those who suffer from anxiety. Even though it may be a part of your morning or daily ritual, it causes nervousness and has been shown to worsen anxiety.
If you must have your cup of Joe, go for decaf. If you can go without, try these as a substitute:
- Peppermint tea
- Chamomile tea
- Lavender tea
- Valerian tea
- Lemon balm tea
#5 -Don’t smoke Many people think that having a cigarette helps them calm down, but this isn’t true. The calming effect comes from the ritual and definitely not from the cigarette itself. Nicotine causes stress, nervousness and anxiety, and makes it worse over time.
Quitting smoking might seem like an unsurmountable hurdle for many people, but the bottom line is that helping yourself get over anxiety and anxiety attacks is going to require some effort. If you can’t quit smoking, at least make sure not to light up when you’re suffering from an anxiety attack.
#6 – Recognize the fact that you’re having an anxiety attack One of the most effective methods of reducing the level of anxiety when you’re suffering from an anxiety attack, is to realize that you’re having it. When you start to feel any of the tell-tale symptoms, make yourself aware of the fact that nothing is actually wrong right now at the moment, and that the only reason you’re feeling this way right now is because you’re having an anxiety attack episode.
Just that realization is enough to help most people start to calm down, relax and feel more positive.
#7 – Find something to focus on Many people find it very helpful to focus all of their attention on something singular, it could be an object, or even a memory. Focusing all of your attention on this one thing is going to take your attention off of the anxiety attack, helping the symptoms subside.
#8 – Go to your happy place This may seem like a bad cliché, but it actually works very well. As difficult as many of our lives have been and still may be, we’ve all experienced moments of joy in our lives that’d brought us positive emotions. This may be an actual place, such as the mountains, or the seaside, or a warm and pleasant memory.
Focus all of your attention on that place/memory and try to feel the emotions and sensations that that place made you feel. This will help the negative and nervous emotions associated with an anxiety attack.
#9 – Mantra A mantra is a great way to help your anxiety attack subside. What ever that mantra may be, it’s something that should give you a feeling of power and positivity, something that reassures you, that YOU really do have to power to stop anxiety. This may feel silly or uncomfortable at first, so try repeating this mantra internally without saying it out loud to start.
#10 – Self talk This is really helpful when you’ve identified that you’re experiencing an anxiety attack. You can start by asking yourself questions such as:
- Why am I feeling this way?
- Is this level of anxiety justified?
- What can I do to help this attack subside? (try the above points)
- Tell yourself that this is only temporary and poses no danger to you
- Then continue that narrative on your own
This helps because it brings you back into a logical mode of thinking, and stops your mind from going off on its own and making the episode even worse.
Anxiety attacks aren’t easy to deal with, but they are something that you can overcome. These things take a lot of effort, but doing so will help you build up your internal strength and help you believe in yourself, and knowing that you can rely on yourself to get you out of these bad situations. This is something that only you can do.
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Anxiety Attack References and Anxiety Attack Information
- Help Guide: https://www.helpguide.org/articles/anxiety/anxiety-disorders-and-anxiety-attacks.htm
- AADA: https://adaa.org/living-with-anxiety/managing-anxiety/exercise-stress-and-anxiety#:~:text=Scientists%20have%20found%20that%20regular,to%20stimulate%20anti%2Danxiety%20effects.
- Science Direct: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/0005796788900708
- Science Direct: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/0272735885900169
- Cambridge University Press: https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/advances-in-psychiatric-treatment/article/neuropsychiatric-effects-of-caffeine/7C884B2106D772F02DA114C1B75D4EBF
- US National Library of Medicine: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3683289/