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No anxiety, no fear, no insomnia, feel your calm

How to deal with acute anxiety disorders

How to deal with acute anxiety disorders

Medically reviewed by Jeevika Yu, written by Carl Lee. Reading Time: 8 minutes

Most people will experience varying degrees of anxiety throughout their lives, but acute anxiety can be overwhelming. Acute anxiety usually occurs without warning and is accompanied by intense feelings of anxiety and fear. 

The person may feel out of control at the moment and unable to stop the next wave of anxiety. In addition, patients may feel that they cannot live everyday life, suffer from intense feelings of overwhelm, and even experience a heart attack. 

These conditions can lead to physical and mental debilitation and make it difficult for the patient to enjoy life.

Understanding how acute anxiety attacks work and being clear about their impact on the person's life is the first step in overcoming acute anxiety.

After understanding the nature of acute anxiety, you can take back control of your life by learning various techniques. Let's dive in.


Dealing rapidly with acute anxiety

Breathing deeply

When a panic attack occurs, it is difficult for a person to breathe normally. The best way to overcome acute anxiety is to adjust your breathing. Focusing your attention on your breathing and making an effort to breathe deeply will allow you to relax and overcome the panic attack. 

  • Concentrate on feeling the air pass through your mouth and nose into your windpipe and then into your lungs. After breathing several times, try to notice other sensations that accompany the breath. 

Being aware of these subtle sensations can adjust your body's mechanisms for coping with mood swings.

  • Practice deep breathing when you are in a light mood. Practicing breathing in a quiet and calm environment will help you cope with acute anxiety or severe feelings of panic in the future. 

You can relax your mind and body and better cope with future panic attacks by adjusting your breathing.

Focusing your attention on the present moment

Whatever you are doing at hand, focus your energy on it. If you are driving, focus on the hand holding the steering wheel and the body in contact with the seat. Use your sense of hearing and pay attention to the sounds around you. 

If you are alone, sit down. Feel the coldness of the tiles and the softness of the carpet. Concentrate on your senses. If your head is against something, you can feel the texture of the fibers of clothes and the weight of shoes.

Bring your mind back to sanity. Let yourself think more clearly and don't jump to conclusions. Understand that the situation at hand is entirely surmountable, and you will not be significantly affected by it.

Noticing the physical symptoms of acute anxiety

Acute anxiety usually occurs irregularly. One minute you are in an everyday mood, the next, you are in a terrible mood. Some of the symptoms of acute anxiety disorder are similar to heart disease and stroke. Some people may mistake acute anxiety disorder for heart disease. 

Symptoms of acute anxiety disorder are as follows:

  • Shortness of breath and difficulty breathing
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Feeling hot and cold at the same time for the body
  • Body shakes and chills
  • Blurred vision
  • Feeling like something is blocking my throat
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Headache
  • Chest pain

Sorting out the causes of trigger stress

Acute anxiety is more likely to occur in high-pressure situations. The following things can all produce stress: losing a loved one, a life event like going to college, getting married, having a child, or the psychological anxiety of being robbed. 

If you've been under much stress lately and are easily stressed, you're likely to suffer from acute anxiety.

Suppose you have experienced acute anxiety before, and your life is now stressful. In that case, there is a good chance that you will suffer from acute anxiety again. Take extra time and take care of yourself.

Coping with anxiety

Coping with stress

Don't let stress build-up by degrees. Engage in more stress-reducing activities every day to make yourself happier. You can participate in yoga, meditation, exercise, writing, painting, and other beneficial activities to reduce stress.

Adequate rest is the "weapon" to deal with stress. It is best to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep a day to be energetic to deal with the stress of life.

Practicing progressive muscle relaxation

This method can help you cope with the stress and anxiety of everyday life and prevent future strain. The progressive muscle relaxation method requires the practitioner to lie down and soothe the body. Tighten one group of muscles at a time, then relax. 

Move from the right arm to the left arm, then the face, chin, neck, shoulders, chest, hips, left and right legs up to the feet. Take more time to soothe tense muscles.

Adapting yourself to anxiety symptoms

People who experience acute anxiety may develop a fear of it and thus avoid anything that might cause it. Adapting yourself more to the symptoms of anxiety can alleviate this fear. 

If you often suffer from acute anxiety, identify the physical symptoms that accompany it, such as a dry, tense throat or shortness of breath. Once you notice these symptoms, tell yourself that they do not significantly impact the body.

  • Practice holding your breath, breathing shallowly, and shaking your head. Simulate acute anxiety symptoms and keep them within your control by telling yourself that everything is okay.

  • Practice in a controlled manner, and you will be less afraid once acute anxiety occurs.

Do more exercise

Doing more exercise can promote the health of your whole body and also help you overcome acute anxiety. 

The symptoms of acute anxiety are closely related to heart function and may produce conditions such as increased blood pressure and decreased blood oxygen. 

Doing more exercises that promote heart health can help you slow down the adverse effects that acute anxiety has on your body.

  • Hiking, running, taking a dance class, practicing martial arts, and doing more of your favorite sports to keep yourself energized!

Avoid the intake of irritants

Try not to use nicotine or caffeine products, especially if you have experienced acute anxiety before. Stimulants can accelerate your internal processes and make you more likely to be attacked by acute anxiety. It also makes it more challenging to regain your composure after experiencing acute anxiety.

For example, suppose you have ever suffered from acute anxiety and are shy by nature, and get nervous when meeting strangers. In that case, it is best not to drink coffee before a date.

Try taking supplements

Some supplements can relieve stress and anxiety:

  • Magnesium. Consult your doctor to see if you have a magnesium deficiency. Magnesium deficiency may make it difficult to let go of the stress that one has suffered before.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids can relieve stress and can be obtained by taking flaxseed oil.
  • Gamma-aminobutyric acid. If your body is deficient in gamma-aminobutyric acid, you are likely to have difficulty calming down. You may also experience headaches and heart palpitations. Take 500 to 1,000 mg of gamma-aminobutyric acid daily and eat plenty of broccoli, bananas, nuts, and citrus fruits.

Seeking help

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

You can ask a professional to perform cognitive behavioral therapy for you. Your doctor will help you sort out the low-productivity thinking patterns that lead to anxiety and adverse reactions. He will help you find the triggers of anxiety. 

The doctor will then allow you to gradually adapt to situations that frighten or make you feel uncomfortable, allowing you to slowly reduce your anxiety. Cognitive-behavioral therapy can train your behavior and thoughts without adverse effects.

Combining cognitive behavioral therapy and breathing exercises can better help you cope with anxiety while focusing on what's happening at the moment.

Identifying the external causes of your anxiety

You can make a list of all the things that cause you anxiety. A list can help you clarify the timing of acute anxiety attacks, so you can better utilize techniques for coping with anxiety, such as progressively getting yourself used to anxiety or breathing awareness.

  • Coping positively with anxiety can make you feel in control and slow down the effects of anxiety on your mind and body.

Letting the people around you know about your acute anxiety

Tell the person about their situation in detail and print off information about acute anxiety for them to read. This approach can help those who have not experienced anxiety to understand the disorder better. 

People who care about you will want to know how you are feeling, and their help to you may be rewarding and soothing.

A well-developed social network is good for coping with stress, especially anxiety.

Understanding that you are not alone

Many people are experiencing acute anxiety disorders. One study shows that six million people in the United States alone suffer from acute anxiety disorders, with the incidence twice as high in women as in men. 

The number of people who experience occasional panic attacks is even higher. Many people get help through different support groups.

If you want to meet face-to-face with someone suffering from acute anxiety, don't be shy. Go to a support group and share your story with them.

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