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Coping with Anxiety and Panic Attacks

Updated on March 12, 2011

Anxiety can best be described as the body’s reaction to stress. Some people can cope with anxiety better than others. Certain coping mechanisms better enable people to cope with stress, and can be beneficial for reducing anxiety levels. People with anxiety disorders, and those prone to panic attacks may have few coping mechanisms for dealing with stress or underlying physical conditions that can make anxiety worse. Some people may also have emotional issues that arise from loss, trauma, or childhood experiences that can also cause additional stress and problems with anxiety.

Sometimes, anxiety may be perfectly normal for a situation, but there are other times when it can get out of hand. When anxiety or panic attacks start to come on for no apparent reason, it could be a sign of an anxiety disorder. In some cases, anxiety disorders are promulgated by certain underlying physical conditions, but anxiety can also lead to a number of health problems. For this reason, it is important to seek the help of a medical professional when anxiety starts to control your day to day activities.

Anxiety is also sometimes a side effect of certain medications. If you are being treated for some type of health condition, it is important to see if anxiety is a side effect of the prescribed treatment. In this instance, doctors may be able to prescribe an alternative or monitor dosage of the medication. Medications for anxiety are usually only prescribed in severe cases. This is because many of these medications are habit-forming and can lead to other potentially dangerous side effects.

For sedentary people, adding routine cardiovascular exercise to regular activities can greatly help reduce the symptoms of anxiety. Physical exercise is one of the most beneficial tools for reducing stress, and reversing its effects on the body. If exercise is already a factor in your weekly routine, then relaxation or meditation can also help reduce stress and anxiety. Relaxation music and centering exercises promote greater peace within the body. Other exercises, like tai chi or yoga, can also help bring about greater relaxation. Yoga has been found to be especially useful for people prone to anxiety.

Symptoms of anxiety may include excessive worry, panic attacks, increased sweating, feeling a sense of dread, chest pains, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, headaches, or nausea. These are the physical effects of being overly stressed. Nutritional health supplements that may also help reduce anxiety are Omega-3, Kava, Passionflower, and California Poppy.

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