ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Relieving An Anxiety Attack

Updated on August 19, 2016

Pathophysiology of an Anxiety Attack And What You Can Do To Relieve It

Anxiety can be crippling and unpredictable. Not only that, but it's signs and symptoms can closely mimic those of a host of other serious medical conditions. One of the keys to overcomingp anxiety is to be able to recognize it when it strikes.

Anxiety can manifest in many forms but typically, those suffering present with feelings of uneasiness or “impending doom”, feeling as though they may pass out, blurred vision or tunnel vision, tremors, racing heart and heart palpatations, the need to void their bowels or urinate, feelings of hopelessness, fatigue or restlessness. These are the most common symptoms, however, they can vary from individual to individual.

So, you’ve recognized your signs and symptoms of anxiety. Now what can you do about it? Fortunately there are many ways to relieve anxiety attacks. Lets start with a simple technique: breathing. How can breathing beat an axiety attack? To understand this, lets take a look at a little pathophysiology of an anxiety attack.

During a panic attack, your heart rate increases as well as your breathing rate. This is a somewhat primitive response to perceived danger, stemming from a time when humans were still in the food chain. Our "fight or flight" response is triggered and our body begins releasing epinephrine (adrenalin.) This causes our heart rate to increase as well as our breathing rate in order to keep up with a demand for more oxygen to be sent to our vital organs so that we may fight or escape danger. Because you are breathing too quickly, your body is giving off excess CO2 (carbon dioxide) and is also not taking in enough oxygen due to the low tidal volume (how much air you are moving in and out.) This triggers a response in your body due to the interruption of homeostasis, the body’s state of “balance” (heart rate, oxygen levels, blood pressure, etc.) Your body is equipped with survival mechanisms to keep that balance. Increasing the heart rate sends more blood to your vital organs and therefore more oxygen. When your heart rate increases, your blood pressure increases. Your body is also breathing faster to take in more oxygen but breathing too quickly only let’s you take in so much. Therefore, an effective way to fight an axiery attack is to slow your breathing manually by taking in long deep breaths. Slower, deeper intake means more oxygen, and therefore a slower heart rate (because your body won’t have to compensate.)

Breathe in through your nose for about 10 seconds and exhale through your mouth for 10 seconds. Repeat this for a minute or so and you will begin to feel some relief.

Simple enough, right? Another great technique for relieving anxiety is exercise. There are many benefits to exercising but the two main ones are relieving muscle tension, and releasing endorphins. What better way to relieve tense muscles than wear them out? Go for a brisk walk or a run, turn on some music and get in the zone. Not only are you distracting yourself, but you’re burning calories, relieving stress and you may even get a better night’s sleep.

These are two of the simplest techniques you can employ to beat an anxiety attack. Of course there are many others worth inquiring about, but all in all, stick to what works best for you.

Please comment below if you would like to share a technique that works to relieve your anxiety.

For more information on generalized anxiety and other disorders please visit


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)