Standing in a supermarket queue, it's been a long wait but only one customer to go before you make it to the cashier. Wait, what was that sensation? An unpleasant feeling forms in your throat, your chest feels tighter, now a sudden shortness of breath, and what do you know- your heart skips a beat. "Please, God, not here."
You glance around to make sure you are safe however; there are several strangers behind you and one other customer in front. You realize you are beginning to have a panic attack while your skin begins to prickle all over as a rush of doom washes over you.
You begin to panic even more, as you wonder if this is the big episode that will take you to your knees gasping for breath. Stop right there and begin to focus on the procedures you have learned concerning coping techniques. As your physician has recommended, begin your deep breathing exercises. In through the nose, out through the mouth.
Slowly now, remembering to think relaxing thoughts and again, while inhaling, tell yourself to relax then exhale. However, it seems that you may be feeling very self-conscious of concentrating on breathing and even more stressed than before.
Okay, coping technique 2: Gradual muscle relaxation. Tense both shoulders, hold for 10 seconds, then release. Try it again. No; still no difference. The anxiety is getting worse and the very fact that you are out of coping techniques worsens your panic. If only you were surrounded by your family, or a close friend were beside you so you could feel more confident in dealing with this situation.
Your body stings with the tingling as adrenaline pumps faster in your body, you then feel the terror of losing your complete control right there in the check out line. However, for those around you it is just another day and they have no sense of how you are feeling.
If you feel you are out of options, the next coping procedure is to flee. Simply excuse yourself from the line as you are now slightly embarrassed as it is not your turn at the register. A disorientated cashier watches as you lay your shopping behind on her counter, as you escape the freedom of the location of this attack as you exit the door. Once out of the supermarket you get into your car and begin to ride it out alone. You struggle within as you wonder, could this be the big one. The attack you fear most, one that will push you past your limits both physically and mentally. The panic subsides within ten minutes or so. Nevertheless, it is only ten in the morning. You wonder how you will make it through the entire day.
The scenario above may sound very familiar if you suffer from panic or anxiety attacks. Possibly, even in reading it you felt the induction of panic and feeling of anxiety. Take a deep cleansing breath. Keep in mind that there are as many triggers for panic and anxiety as well as body sensations as there are individuals who experience them, they all differ. On the other hand, perhaps you have experienced it while the dentist cleans your teeth or while for the very first time you travel by air and even possibly, you were at home while doing nothing out of the ordinary.
Hopefully, you can take comfort in knowing that you are not alone, and that everyone experiences that same acute sense of approaching horror when experiencing an anxiety attack. It is a feeling so strong that you may feel as though you are about to perish on the spot or lose your mind altogether.
Did you know that in the United States that the estimate of those stricken by panic attacks is nearly five percent? This means you are not even one in a million. For many individuals their episodes are triggered by the expectation of dealing with others while speaking, and there are those who suffer daily and have become homebound by the frequency of their panic attacks. Often panic attacks that develop frequently are referred to as anxiety disorder by the medical profession.
The beginning of your recovery starts here. What you will learn is that there is a very good chance you are about to end the cycle of panic attacks in your life. You will learn not only to regain the carefree life you remember once having, but will also gain new confidence in living. Your answer to living free from "panic" or "anxiety attacks" is at hand.
First you must realize that key to avoiding panic attacks is to want to have one as this will naturally push it away from you. For example, give it a try right this minute. Are you able to have a panic attack? No. The reason is that what ever you choose to refuse to go along with will refuse to go away. This fact also includes the feeling of fear. That is to say that if you resist a fearful situation, that fear will continue. The way you stop an anxiety attack is to embrace it as you move directly in its path, doing so will discourage the attack.
What this means is if you try daily to have an attack on your own you will not have an attack at all. Try it right now; you cannot do it, can you? Whether you realize it or not, you have always chosen to panic. You make the choice when you tell yourself that things are beyond your control.
Your real safety is the fact that a panic attack will never harm you. That is medical fact. You are safe, the sensations are wild but no harm will come to you. Your heart is racing but no harm will come to you. The situation is perfectly safe even though you may not feel that way at the time.
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Author Wendy Brausch runs an anxiety disorder support website. For self-help tips and advice on dealing with panic attack symptoms get her free report Conquer Panic and Anxiety Attacks Today
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