Anxiety attacks choose no one. It can happen to happy and perfectly normal people of all ages including children. Many cases of anxiety attacks just come out of the blue, or happen without any logical, clear or apparent reason. It may occur while you are relaxed during the day and even while asleep. Still, there are several ways on how to prevent anxiety attacks.
Learn about anxiety – Understanding how anxiety affects the body as well as the mind can go a long way in your effort to prevent attacks. Read articles about anxiety and other psychological disorders that are related to it. Learn what are the things you should watch out for, things you should avoid, and practices you should do in case of an attack.
Avoid unnecessary stressors – Recurring attacks are caused by “triggers” – situations such as speaking in front of the public or getting trapped in an elevator. The effects of these triggers are often aggravated by stress. In other words, stress can act as a catalyst for such attacks to happen. Hence, reducing the stress level by avoiding unnecessary stressors can help prevent attacks. Avoid people that stress you out. Learn how to say ‘no’ to invitations as well as overtime when you have other things to do. Do not accept additional work that you can’t accomplish. These may seem very little things but can significantly increase stress level as well as increase the chances of having an attack.
Exercise – has lots of health benefits including the promotion of well-being. It is also proven and effective method to prevent anxiety attack. Research shows that as little as 30 minutes of physical activity – 3 to 5 times a week – is enough to promote a healthy body. Increasing the intensity of the exercise produces more positive effects.
Eat balanced diet – Like exercise, a well-balanced diet is important in keeping the body healthy, resistant to illnesses, and maintain a low stress level. As much as possible, eat natural or organic foods. Avoid processed foods or those that contain preservatives and chemicals.
Avoid smoking and caffeine. To those who are susceptible to anxiety attacks, substantial amount of caffeine (from coffee, soda and tea) as well as smoking cigarettes can provoke such attacks even further. It is wise, therefore, to avoid these things as much as possible.
Practice relaxation techniques – Yoga, meditation, and other breathing techniques help strengthen the body’s relaxation response. When practiced regularly, these techniques even increase the feeling of uplifted emotions, happiness, and self-control, which increase self-confidence and self-esteem – significant factors in fighting anxiety attacks.
Learn to become assertive – People with anxiety disorder usually have low self-esteem. Low self-esteem is manifested by passiveness, feeling worthless, feeling of guilt and shame, depressed mood, isolation, and difficulty in school, work, and community functions. Learning to become assertive may involve joining a group, entering into therapy sessions or simply learning to open up to others. It may take a while, but once a person learns how to assert himself, he will carry positive outlook in life which helps prevent anxiety attacks caused by “triggers”.
Awareness of the symptoms of anxiety attacks is as important as knowing how to prevent it. Watch out for:
Chest pain or heart palpitation
Feeling of loosing control or going crazy
Irrational fear over trivial things
Hot flashes or chills
Trouble breathing or choking sensation
Feeling like passing out
Feeling unreal or detach
Nausea or stomach cramps
Shaking or trembling
Feeling and fear of dying