How to deal with anxiety and panic attacks

The term anxiety comes from the Latin “anxietas”, which means anguish or distress.. It is a state of physical discomfort that has its origin in the mind, characterized by a feeling of restlessness or “nerves”, insecurity, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, irritability, tension. muscle, sleep disorders and decreased sexual desire. Along with depression, anxiety is one of the most common mental health problems.

According to the national epidemiological survey in Mexico, this suffering affects 14.3% of the population; not to mention that, in the past five years, cases of anxiety have increased by 75%, according to studies conducted by the Ministry of Health and Mental Health nationwide.

however, feeling nervous or anxious is part of everyday life; for example, it’s common to feel anxious before speaking in public, at the start of a sports match, or when talking to that person who appeals to us. These sensations we experience are usually transient and go away quickly. But when the anxiety intensifies, it persists over time and seriously compromises our daily exercise, it ceases to be normal and becomes an anxiety disorder or pathological anxiety.

    How to deal with pathological anxiety

    Here are some recommendations to follow on a daily basis.

    1. Talk about your problems

    People often avoid anxiety without solving their problems; they avoid talking about the subject, flee the situation by alcohol, drugs, overwork or taking anxiolytics to fall into a deep sleep. The busier the person, the less time they have to think about their conflict. A problem that we do not face, it is amplified. Seek to share your problems with someone or people you trust.

    2. Don’t expect too much of yourself

    Sometimes anxiety comes from focusing on what we can’t control or having too high expectations. Do what you can. Focus on what you have left to do. Be organized according to priorities. It is not possible to do everything at the same time.

    3. Practice relaxation

    There are many useful ways to relax: listening to music, having a massage session, practicing yoga, meditation, or praying through trust in God. Instead, I offer a breathing exercise below, which it consists of inhaling air deeply through the nose while dilating the abdomen (Not the chest), hold the air for two to four seconds and slowly breathe out through your mouth. Repeat this exercise in succession until you reset your heart rate.

      4. Perform rewarding activities

      As much as possible, take some free time and do things that distract you a bit from this situation that can overwhelm you. It certainly won’t solve your problem, but at least it will allow you to calm down by lowering your stress level to have a good time or have fun.

      Avoid caffeine, alcohol, tobacco, and other stimulants. These substances can trigger anxiety.

      5. Exercise

      An exercise adapted to the person and his age, provides physical and mental relaxation. Some opt for strenuous exercise, while others prefer a leisurely walk. This practice should be practiced regularly.

      6. Seek help from a mental health professional

      Psychological counseling can be a very useful way to deal with your problems., Especially when what you tried didn’t work.

        Panic attack or anxiety attack

        It is a type of anxiety that is characterized by the sudden onset of very intense fear or anxiety, which peaks within the first ten minutes.

        Although not all symptoms appear together, they are accompanied by at least four of the following: high heart rate, rapid breathing, sweating, tremors, Choking or shortness of breath, feeling choked, chest tightness, nausea or abdominal discomfort, dizziness or fainting, feeling out of control, fear of losing control or going crazy, fear of dying, numbness or tingling in the hands or feet, chills or suffocation.

        These crises are successive and worry the people who suffer from them because they know that they will again feel anxiety; and in most cases, the strong pulsations accompanied by chest pain suggest a heart attack, which is just confusion.

        The reality is they are not life threatening, As the symptoms gradually decrease until they go away.

        Strategies for dealing with panic attacks

        For those who suffer from panic attacks Knowing the information about it and even knowing what to act when symptoms appear is important, as proper preparation reduces the effects of the attack, makes treatment easier, and leaves the person feeling in control.

        In this regard, Melgosa (2008) offers a series of tips:

        Before the panic attack

        In the times when the panic attack has not happened or is happening, follow these guidelines.

        1. Understand the symptoms

        Symptoms are manifestations of anxiety for no reason; the person experiences very unpleasant sensations, but without danger. These are organic defensive reactions to a threat, But out of context in the panic attack.

        2. Avoid a catastrophic attitude

        Don’t think you’re never going to get well, don’t get carried away by the bad times. Choose positive thoughtsLike the fact that you are going to get better because you are already in treatment, and in case another seizure occurs, you will know how to handle it.

        3. Avoid stressful situations

        These experiences usually cause a panic attack, so it should have a calm atmosphere. The strategies for dealing with the pathological anxiety mentioned above can help you at this point.

        During a panic attack

        As for when the panic attack occurs, follow these tips.

        1. Breathing calms the attack

        At the first warning of a panic attack, use your breathing to deal with the symptom. Practice the breathing exercise mentioned above for pathological anxiety, which involves inhaling air deeply through the nose while dilating the abdomen (not the chest), holding the air two to four seconds, and slowly exhaling through your mouth. Repeat this exercise successively until you level your heart rate again.

        2. Remember that nothing tragic will happen

        Even if you feel like you are on the verge of having a heart attack, a panic attack does not end in such a thing, not even in insanity or death. These are only transient and harmless symptomsSo you can try to resist it until that happens.

        3. Control your thinking

        If you let yourself get carried away by despair and think about catastrophic things, the panic attack can be more painful.

        4. Use self-study

        Repeat in your mind things like, “This is it. I must resist. It will happen soon. It is not dangerous. I have survived other times and nothing has happened to me. Soon everything will be fine. . ” Try to distract your thinking from anything else, Away from the discomfort of the symptoms.

        After the panic attack

        To finish …

        1. Look forward to your progress

        Once the panic attack is over, it means you have more control than you think. Do not worry. Try to be calm and relaxed.

        2. Put yourself in the hands of a good mental health professional.

        The advice and support of a psychotherapist will help you to effectively manage the panic attacks so that you can overcome them in the shortest possible time.


        So far, it has been studied on anxiety and panic attacks, their characteristics and the self-help strategies that can be implemented. Two sufferings that have been present in the lives of many people who have spoken to me. Give people information about their suffering it is part of the treatment which is supplemented by appropriate psychological therapy.

        Bibliographical references:

        • Gudiño, A. (April 25, 2018). Anxiety has increased by 75% over the past five years in Mexico. Millennium.
        • Melgosa, J. (2008). How to have a healthy mind. Madrid: Safeliz.
        • Pereyra, M. and Mussi, C. (2005). Be happy! How to overcome depression and control anxiety Montemorelos: Montemorelos.
        • Sánchez, E., and Aragó, F. (April 16, 2018). Anxiety affects 14.3% of Mexicans: specialists. 24 hours.

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