Anxiety is the body’s response to unknown circumstances. In moderation, anxiety is normal and a healthy reaction. It’s normal to experience occasional anxiety. In fact, it is what helps us focus, remain alert and can be the motivation to solve problems or get out of dangerous situations.
However, when anxiety is experienced frequently when it is uncontrollable, overwhelming to the
point of hindering you to function properly, it’s when you know the amount of anxiety you are experiencing is unhealthy.
We explore how common anxiety is, what the physical signs of anxiety are, and offer some simple yet effective ways to stop your anxiety.
How Common is Anxiety?
Anxiety attacks are a common condition and are spreading rapidly. In the US, 40 million people experience anxiety each year. 1 in 13 people all over the world suffers from anxiety.
With that number of people experiencing anxiety attacks, you would hope to be able to easily find information online that would genuinely help you. However, it is not as easy to find reliable information online as you would hope.
Are Anxiety Attacks like Panic Attacks?
There are many misconceptions, including the clinical difference between panic attacks and anxiety.
Panic attacks are more intense than anxiety attacks. Another distinction between the two is that panic attacks are experienced out of the blue while an anxiety attack is a response to a situation.
For an anxiety attack to happen, there is a triggering factor. It comes after a period of worry and restlessness. In addition, panic attacks subside after a few minutes while anxiety symptoms, although less severe than panic attacks, can go on for a long period of time.
Panic attacks are most likely the result of witnessing or experiencing trauma or when a person has a phobia. They can occur without any history of illness or disorder and are more frequent in women than in men.
Panic attacks can last between 10-30 minutes or up to an hour in worst cases, while anxiety attacks can last much longer, depending on the stressors, they can last for days or even weeks.
The Top 16 Physical Signs of an Anxiety Attack
- being easily startled
- experiencing chest pain
- having a dry mouth
- experiencing fatigue even upon waking
- feelings of fear
- loss of concentration
- muscle pain
- numbness or tingling in the extremities
- a rapid heart rate
- shortness of breath
- sleep disturbances, either not being able to get to sleep, or waking early
- the feeling of being choked or smothered
- having difficulty breathing
Simple Solutions to Calming Anxiety
It’s useful to keep a diary of all the symptoms being experienced, and how frequently they occur. If four or more symptoms are being experienced, this could be a panic attack and require a different treatment approach.
It’s important to know what to do if you are experiencing an anxiety attack.
Firstly breathe deeply and slowly, try to count as you are breathing and really just focus on the breath for a few minutes.
Find a mantra which you find calming, such as “I am safe, I am loved, I am worthy”. Now try saying your mantra as you are swaying from side to side. That acts as a diversion for your brain.
Try spending a few minutes writing down why you are feeling anxious, then without overthinking it try and come up with a few things you can try to do about it. You could even try writing what your ideal day feels like. Sometimes just writing things like this down gets it out of your head.
Try a New Bedtime Routine
Find a bedtime routine that helps you get a good night’s sleep. There are many different things you can have in your routine, but some of the basics are no screen time for the hour before bed. Try reading a book that makes you smile, have a relaxing bath or play some music.
As you are falling asleep you could play some music or listen to a sleep story.
Drug-Free Alternative to Reduce Anxiety
For more help reducing anxiety and falling asleep you could consider wearing a Bellabee as that has a setting for Anti-Anxiety, and it also has an Improve Sleep setting. It can be worth a try as it is a drug-free option for treating anxiety.
The Bellabee is a wearable device that you wear like a headband and is connected to your smartphone. Your smartphone runs the Bellabee app. Read some reviews about the Bellabee.