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Before experiencing my first panic attack, lots of worries became part of my life. In the beginning, it was a normal reaction. It can happen to anyone, right? However, when my anxiety reached disproportionate levels they escalated to an intense nervousness that became panic attacks and were eventually beaten. If you have a hard time finding the cause of your panic attacks, long term anxiety can be one of the triggers. For those who started to experience anxiety, this is the time to control it to prevent a full-blown panic attack or other anxiety disorders.
Therefore, it is very important to work on your anxieties now. I wish I knew this before. That’s why we are writing this article to share invaluable tips and tricks to achieve a more calm and relaxing lifestyle.
No matter what is causing your anxiety you can still defeat them. Rest assured you are not alone on this. Today you will learn important facts about anxiety, the symptoms, how it can relate to panic attacks, how to prevent it, and more!
You may be wondering whether your anxiety can lead to panic attacks or even trigger them. This informative guide will help you understand your anxiety and how to work with them on a road to effective recovery. It is suitable for everyone who also wants to help someone or simply to use it as a reference.
Can panic attacks be induced by anxiety?
In my own life experience, most of my panic attacks were linked by anxiety. I remember feeling very worried ever since I was a child. You may wonder why would a kid feel anxious instead of playing and live a worry-free life? Well, kids follow their parents’ behaviors and even their patterns. This is when constant fears became the norm for me. Then they would escalate into more anxiety symptoms such as insomnia, palpitations, and nervousness.
Many people will have different reasons to feel anxious. For example, thinking too much about when the next panic attack was going to take place is very common. However, there are many reasons why people can feel severely anxious that are discussed in this article. Skip to this section.
Our lives are so full of demands, deadlines, and many obligations that we forget to take a moment to chill and relax, let alone addressing these issues. Keep in mind that a simple problem can become a huge snowball if it is not resolved promptly.
When I was working at my bank job my schedule was 7:30 am to 7 pm. I was too busy to take care of my horrible neck pain, lack of rest, and even take vacations. The enormous amount of work I had made me feel anxious and frustrated.
So, what causes anxiety to get worse? Unmanaged anxiety can lead to elevated stress levels over time, can worsen the symptoms and even lead to a panic attack.
One night at work, I had a panic attack that I almost mistook it for a heart attack. I calmed myself down and realized that almost 12 hours of work without managing my stress was affecting my health even more.
The saddest thing is that we don’t realize how important our health is until we experience a health scare. Therefore, it is very important to take a smart approach to help your anxiety before it controls you.
Why can fighting excessive worries transform your life?
I believe if I had addressed my anxiety sooner, it is more likely I would not have experienced any panic attacks. That’s why I decided to write about it. This has been a huge challenge but also a learning experience. Then I knew it was the time for me to help others who are going through this. Yes, you can beat anxiety before it gets harder to deal with.
For those who are having more severe anxiety symptoms, confronting your worries or fears can be a step in the right direction to change their life. This will prevent a panic attack, depression, and other mental issues.
If you can face them, your lifestyle and quality of life will improve for good. Before learning how you can beat your anxiety, first, let’s explain the most common anxiety symptoms.
What are the anxiety symptoms and how can they cause a panic attack?
We all feel anxious about what is to come or other situations. For example, weddings, travels, presentations, and other life events. We are supposed to feel like that only temporarily. However, when the worry is excessive and creates conflict with your life you may have an anxiety disorder. For example, worried thoughts that can lead to a panic attack.
For example, the National Institute of Mental Health, “For a person with an anxiety disorder, the anxiety does not go away and can get worse over time. The symptoms can interfere with daily activities such as job performance, school work, and relationships.”
While panic attack symptoms are intense, anxiety is usually triggered by an event or situation. Anxiety symptoms can be many although they include sweatiness, palpitation, sleeping problems, and negative thoughts.
Now, you may want to know why it had been prevalent these days. We will explain the reason to show you are not alone on this.
Why people are becoming more anxious than ever?
Believe it or not, anxiety is more common than you can imagine. According to ADAA, “it affects 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older, or 18.1% of the population every year.”
There are many reasons why people can feel anxious. These are the common ones:
- financial problems
- life events (divorce, death of a loved one, etc.)
- family issues
- health conditions
- stress (school/work)
- medication side effects
- alcohol or illicit drugs
- It can run in the families
Can you have anxiety for no reason? This feeling of worry can be triggered by a past event or even a thought but sometimes on the surface, we are not aware of the causes.
We will explain how both anxiety and panic attacks can be related even though they are not the same.
How can anxiety trigger a panic attack?
Panic attack and anxiety are different in how they manifest. Compared to the latter, panic attacks symptoms can be worse. However, excessive worries, a constant state of anxiety and resolved situations can cause mental and physical health issues in the long run.
Although they can be experienced due to any factors discussed here, panic attacks also can be triggered by intense anxiety. In other words, people like me have experienced severe anxiety due to chronic stress that has led to panic attacks.
So how can this happen?
As explained in our other posts, when a person is under stress, the body responds by releasing stress hormones, such as cortisol and adrenaline, that help you manage the situation. In this case, stress will not damage your body.
However, if tension is not effectively managed and your body continues releasing the mentioned stress hormones due to chronic stress your health can be affected over time.
Panic attacks are not always caused by stressors and can suddenly happen. However, an individual who has experienced mild anxiety that escalated to a severe one can also suffer from panic attacks.
What happens if anxiety goes untreated
Excessive worries lead to more stress which can affect your physical and mental wellbeing. Anxiety can become severe which can trigger panic attacks which also can lead to other mental issues such as depression, agoraphobia, addictions, and phobias. For more information, you can visit one of our articles which explains this with more details.
Do you want to know how to stop a panic attack? Don’t miss our article “What are the panic attack symptoms and how to beat them“. Say bye-bye to your most intense fears and bring back tranquility into your life.
How to prevent anxiety from becoming panic attacks
If your worrying thoughts seem to be getting more intense you are in the right place. This is the time to work on your anxiety. These smart solutions can help you fight your anxiety before they intensify:
- If you know what can be triggering it you will need to go to the root of the problem and resolve the issue. For example, toxic relationships or finance problems. Speak to someone you trust or find a mental health professional. In many cases resolving an issue means the end of the anxiety.
- Another smart approach to resolving your anxiety problem, which can lead to a panic attack, is thinking that sometimes it is better to go with the flow.
- One of the most common reasons people feel anxious is that we worry too much about our family or friends. It is ok to worry once in a while but when your worries affect your wellbeing then it is time to address those worries. Focus on “now and here”, think about realistic solutions, and stay positive.
- Learn how to relax. Many people including me have had a hard time chilling. Breathe deeply. Bad thoughts pop on your mind when you are stressed out.
- Practice a sport, exercise, or a hobby. It is very important to have fun and times of leisure which will help you clear your mind from all the tension.
How to help a friend or a family
Helping others how to fight severe anxiety can be challenging. Therefore, don’t be judgemental and instead, be empathic. Listen to them and offer advice if you are asked for.
If you have never had anxiety or panic attacks keep in mind that getting informed will help you motivate others to work on their anxieties. Our website is a great place to start.
It takes time, patience, support, and persistence to fight anxiety. Try to be in your dear one’s shoes. In some cases, anxiety can be hard to control. However, you can help a dear one to calm down.
Recommended reading: How can you help someone having a panic attack
Show them how to breathe deeply. Breathing through the nose and filling the belly with air. Hold it for three seconds. Then exhale slowly through the mouth. Tell the person to focus on breathing only.
When I was feeling nervous it was difficult to retain my breathing so I just inhaled for a couple of seconds then I exhaled. I did that for a couple of minutes. Once I felt better. I practiced my breathing using Dr. Weil’s 4-7-8 breathing technique mentioned in one of our articles.
What to expect when you are conquering anxiety
Like any challenging situation, fighting the most intense worries or anxiety can be a tough job. The first time will be the hardest and can bring you frustration. But know that anxiety can be beaten. if I could so can you!
There will be times that you will feel helpless and unmotivated. This is a normal reaction while you get used to working with your anxiety.
If you stay focused on fighting your anxiety you will feel inspired and in control which is important. It may take you some time before your anxiety goes away. Depending on your persistence, patience, and dedication it can take you weeks and even months.
Can anxiety come back? It depends on how consistent and effective your stress management is or how well you are dealing with your anxiety.
The most important thing is that you can take control of your own life.
Common mistakes when dealing with your worries
If you decided to take care of your anxiety, congratulations. Now, it is essential to avoid doing certain things when coping with your worries. My own life experience with anxiety taught me that the following can get in the way of your recovery:
- Ignoring your anxiety
I wanted to but I knew it will always be there unless I do something about it. It is not the end of the world but a situation that needs to be addressed.
- Not changing your lifestyle
Eating healthy and exercising not only helps your body but your health. Try to go for a walk or enroll in a dance class. Cut back on junk food and sweets which can worsen your anxiety.
- Not accepting your worries
To find smart solutions to any issue, you need to accept it. Anxiety is part of our life and of who we are. These are challenges that we need to work on. There is nothing wrong with that.
- Not organizing your schedule
Not planning ahead of time, being unprepared for important meetings, or being late can take a toll on your mental health. Stress is a very common cause of anxiety. Get an agenda to schedule an appointment and write down your must-do lists. There some tasks or duties that will need to be prioritized first.
- Judging yourself
Don’t blame yourself for being constantly worried. Focus on staying positive and motivated to beat your anxiety. Accept that we are a work in progress.
- Not looking for help
If you feel that you cannot deal with your anxiety it is best to speak to a friend, relative, or mental health practitioner about it. Sometimes it takes time to speak about own problems to find the best solutions and alternatives to help you defeat your intense nervousness. The more intense your anxiety is the more likely it can lead to a panic attack.
5 ways to get rid of your anxieties
Experiencing excessive fear, worries, and nervousness can alter your lifestyle. However, the good news is that you can beat them and prevent them from getting worse.
You may be asking wondering how to defeat anxiety without medication. Besides practicing your breathing, these are 5 effective solutions for anxiety that will improve your life:
- If you feel anxious think about the cause or what it may be triggering. Find a solution to the situation or a problem that is bothering you. If it is a negative thought try to find out what makes you feel worried. I used to feel anxious about being late for work until I realized that you cannot control time. You may be earlier than ever but the train or your vehicle can have a mechanical disruption.
- Keep moving. Physical activity can help release stress and tension. Also, you will feel energized and motivated to take care of yourself more.
- Learn to say “No.” There may be situations in which you cannot please anyone. For example, one day you may not be able to stay late at work or take care of someone’s pet. You can make arrangements that fit your needs.
- Think about yourself. You may have too much on your plate but sometimes it is best to “to stop and smell the roses”, meaning that you need to appreciate how wonderful life is. Look around you, enjoy nature, and find time to chill. Never forget you are very important, too.
- Know about anxiety. Learning about it can help you face your intense fear and worries. If you have not experienced anxiety educate yourself to help you understand it better.
With every event, situation, or issues your body and mind are trying to tell you something. Just listen to them. Do not let it get worse. Although we all feel anxious from time to time it can be a normal response.
However, it is very important to identify whether this normal emotion turns into an excessive level of apprehension or fear. Then it is time to act before it escalates into severe anxiety, panic attack or another anxiety disorder.
It is very important to be in control of your own life and decisions. Do not let anxiety get in the way of your goals, relationships, and lifestyle. It can be hard at first but with practice, it comes mastery.
We hope that our post “Can anxiety lead to panic attacks? You are not alone” can be of great help to you and your loved ones.
B.L.A. is a web developer/designer and writer who enjoys country life in western Pennsylvania, USA along with her husband C.C.A, who is also a contributor, co-author, and editor.
Check out their other blog SmartAroundyourWrist.com.