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STRESS and Dealing with it

Updated on January 17, 2014

Did you know there is a whole line of stress relief bath salts?


Stress can be Conquered

I intended to write a hub about how to relieve stress but before I could type the first sentence, my college aged daughter called me to let me know one of her very good friends has passed away. A tragic car accident on a winding road in the early morning. He was wearing his seat belt and was not under the influence of any alcohol or drugs. The only law he apparently broke was speeding. So young. Too young. In a matter of seconds, a life lost. This tragedy is truly why it is important to live each day and live it to the fullest. A life dictated by stress is not living life to the fullest.

Like so many of you, I have suffered stress. Stress can be mild to major. It is important to learn how to relax and turn off stress before it manifests into a real problem by becoming a physical or emotional illness.

My First Panic Attack

About a year after giving birth to my firstborn, I was sitting quietly in my living room in a rocker and enjoying the quiet of his napping and rocking myself when suddenly I felt a pressure rise inside of me. It felt like I was on the verge of something horrible, awful about to happen. My heart was racing, my mouth was dry, everything I saw seemed brighter, intense. My pulse was going so fast I was sure I would pass out at any moment. Immediately I called my doctor and was told to go to the nearest emergency room. That frightened me more than anything but word to anyone going through something similar (if you are in the United States) most doctors fear malpractice suits therefore they always tell you to head to the ER-error on the side of caution.

I arrived at the ER and after 5 hours and a battery of tests later, I am told "You are very healthy, nothing is wrong". Feeling like a complete nut job and hypochondriac, I take what is left of my pride and head home. Everything seems like a dream, but not a good one, more like a nightmare. My mind is hazy and I feel spacey. Several hours later, I feel waves of fear coming over me. The back of my neck is tight, my stomach feels like butterflies and my mouth is incredibly dry as if I were about to give a speech to 1000 people! What is happening to me?

I spend several months trying to figure out what is wrong. I learn about "free floating anxiety". I visit my family doctor, whom after examining me, tells me what I already know "nothing is wrong". He finally suggests I get some "therapy". Which I did and that set off a whole lot of more stress. One psychologist put me on very strong medication which made me feel even more weird and stressed. I later learned medication is not the best way to handle anxiety and panic attacks. Another therapist decided I needed to "hire a maid" because my stress was coming from trying to care for a newborn and keep the house clean? What?

I was becoming a homebody. I was fearful of going grocery shopping even if someone came with me. I was afraid to take my child out for a walk in his stroller. I could not walk around the block from my home without having an anxiety attack. This was a very difficult and painful illness for me to be having as a person who was always independent and very self-efficient. I had waited to have a child until my 30s. I had lived alone, taken care of myself and was a fighter. I could not believe what was happening to me.

The doctors nor the psychologists could help me. I needed to solve this problem on my own, like everything else in my life. I researched, I connected, I found a solution. I learned that the very fact I was now dependent on my husband and now vulnerable because I had a young child, stopped working and was completely at the mercy of my husband in a marriage that subconsciously I knew was failing but blocked the feelings, the stress had come out of me in the form of a physical problem.

I found a non-profit group who used guided imagery and relaxation exercises to control the panic I was experiencing. In addition they advised education about the origin of what causes my stress would help me get to the root of the problem. I learned that anger is a source of panic. Control and lack of control another source. I read every book I could find about dealing with or learning how to cope with anger, loss, depression and stress.

Panic and Anxiety Attacks

The group I joined is no longer around but stress, anxiety and panic disorder are main stream today and there are hundreds of groups anyone can join and lots of free sites online. Here is one that I find very good at helping people with stress:

I have not had a panic attack in years but I do occasional suffer from migraines which I learned from a wonderful neurologist they too are a form of panic attack. My migraines and the panic attacks I used to suffer seem to come after a period of stress rather than during. I think that is probably true for most folks, but you could be different. Believe it or not, there are over a 100 symptoms of anxiety! Here are just a few: chest pain, choking, high or low temperature, prickly skin feeling, numbness or tingling. These symptoms can also be of something far, far serious. I recommend you get a doctor's exam to rule out any serious illness. For more anxiety symptoms visit this site:

Have a "Me" Day~Do Something Nice for yourself

Barring any serious panic attack disorder, emotional or physical illness, I have found the following-somewhat humorous-tips to be beneficial in dealing with my anxiety:

  • Avoid or eliminate people in your life who annoy you or cause you to be angry. I divorced the man who caused my panic disorder! I quit the job and the boss who did not appreciate my hard work, dedication to the job and stole every good idea for her own but never failed to broadcast my errors!! Good bye anxiety!

  • Visualization, meditation and positive thinking. has many wonderful and free guided meditation I have posted a few to this hub that are my favorites. Please donate or help the authors of these free videos if you can.

  • Realize what is important and what is not. During really stressful times in my life, I have learned to stop and ask myself "will any of this stuff be important to me next week, next month or a year from now?" Probably not and certainly not to the point of getting as worked up about it as you are in the moment, thus whatever it is, is not really important in the big picture of life.

  • Surround yourself with honest friends. People who really know you and get you. These people are your life line in times of stress. These people understand when something annoys you, they understand your sense of humor and know what you mean when you express to them a situation that stressed you or upset you. They get you. What better way to eliminate stress than having someone in your corner who knows what you mean.

  • Do something fun. Do something you enjoyed when you were young and without responsibility. Ride a bicycle. Go for a swing at the park. These things never lose their relaxing abilities.

  • Aroma therapy really does work. Take a nice hot bath, fill the tub with pleasant bath salts, have a glass of wine and low lighting along with soothing music. Drowned out all those negative thoughts and R-E-L-A-X you deserve it!

My main point is life is too short to spend it knee deep in anxiety. An older person once told me when I was in my early 20s to "jump in with both feet without hesitation at the opportunities presented in life. Never have regrets." Good advice. Rest in Peace MO-your passing was way too soon.


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    • Askme profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      One thing I would like to add: panic attacks or disorder can be hereditary our moms may have suffered with them but the doctors did not know what they were. The solution was to give our moms tranquilizers or tell them they needed to find a hobby.

      The good thing is we now know it is an illness and can be treated. Hopefully if any of our children suffer from them, we will be able to help them.

      I really resented having an ER doctor tell me it was "all in my head".

    • Askme profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      Hi everthingdazzles. Thank you for reading and posting. I just started yoga. Uggh I am so out of shape and not flexible. But I will keep at it.

    • everythingdazzles profile image


      6 years ago from Houston

      Oh I am all too familiar with stress. I resort to yoga and pilates to deal with stress. Good back story.

    • Askme profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      Hey Barbergirl28- Thank you for stopping by and posting. I can tell you doctors and psychologists did nothing for me, if anything made the anxiety worse with medication. Anyone who suffers panic attacks knows that part of the fear is feeling "funny or out of control". Try doing the mediation found on youtube they are great! Try to find time for yourself, even tho' I can totally relate to feeling anxious about having your hubby be the sole support. I am-once more-out of work and feeling the pressure of having 1 income. The reality is NOTHING is a sure thing in life, so we have to learn to roll with the punches.

      Take care! I will check out your hubs.

    • barbergirl28 profile image

      Stacy Harris 

      6 years ago from Hemet, Ca

      This was truly a great hub. Sadly, I understand the feeling all to well. About 3 years ago my family decided to pick up and move across country. My family is in one area of the states, and my husbands is in California. The reason behind the decision was my stress. I had a job that I took too seriously and while I loved all my clients, I would stress over not being home for my kids. Sadly, we moved and I became a stay at home mom. This allowed me to stay home with the kids and work on my writing career. My husband is a great support system. However, with each passing day, I am feeling the stress and the anxiety building up. Now, my marriage isn't in a state of possibly failing. If anything, it is stronger than ever. But, knowing that I depend almost entirely on him and most things see to be out of my hands, keeps the anxiety at a high level. I thought about seeing a doctor for it, but I just don't know if that would prove anything. Great tips. Stress affects so many people. Glad to know I am not alone!


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