A stressed mind and body uses anxiety symptoms to alert you of this difficulty. In essence, it is reaching out to you by exhibiting symptoms, hoping you’ll recognize this and take the proper actions which will alleviate the difficulty. This is your body’s way of messaging you to help it settle down and return to balance. There is a definite pattern to anxiety symptoms and with full understanding of each symptom and application of the solution, you’ll be able to navigate through these intrusions and move forward with your life.
We are going to list some of the most frequent anxiety symptoms for greater understanding about them, and solutions to alleviate your fear and distress about them. Remember, anxiety symptoms are your body’s way of letting you know that you might be overdoing things. They are little red flags or markers telling you that you might need to slow down, self-nurture and take better care of yourself. Heed these warnings as they will help you naturally heal and successfully recover from stress symptoms. The natural approach is a gentle approach without the risk of adverse reactions and withdrawal symptoms from medications.
Panic Attacks: Panic or anxiety attacks are your body responding to increased stress and pressure. This is your body going into “fight or flight” mode where adrenaline is released and other stress chemicals in response to stressful situations and issues. Your heart rate increases during a panic attack giving you energy to run, escape or take flight. You might begin to perspire, feel lightheaded, dizzy and your legs might feel shaky. This is all due to the release of adrenaline, allowing you more energy to fight or run depending upon the situation. This is the built-in response to perceived danger. The danger isn’t always real or threatening but our perception of the situation determines how much adrenaline is released.
SOLUTION: Slow down and breathe during a panic attack. Many hold their breath or over breathe when frightened. Walk it off and the body will absorb the adrenaline within 5 minutes. Watch how you speak to yourself (inner dialogue) during this time. Let go of fearful perceptions. Remind yourself that this will pass and is only a temporary reaction to stress. Do not fuel it by going into “what if” thinking, which only intensifies the release of adrenaline.
Palpitations: Racing heart in response to fear, either conscious or subconscious. One often reacts to events that occurred much earlier in the day. Although upsetting, the racing heart will always slow down. Relax as much as possible and be aware of your inner narrative. Fearful thinking only fuels this symptom so settle down, focus on something soothing and breathe through the situation. Naturally we are assuming this is anxiety related. If you are worried, rule out any physical cause of this symptom. Anytime you are unsure if it is anxiety related, a visit to your primary physician will always allow you piece of mind.
SOLUTION: Walk in moderation and leave the worried mind behind. Read something interesting and soothing. Splash cool water on your face as this has been known to slow down a racing heart. Breathe slowly and calmly. Watch fearful inner dialogue.
Slowly Beating Heart: This too is an anxiety symptom created out of stress. It goes along with “shaking” heart (overstimulated by stress) and the sensation of the heart turning over or flip flopping (also caused by overstimulation due to gas producing foods, caffeine or nicotine). All of these will settle down when one releases the fearful response and practices coping skills.
SOLUTION: Avoid too much caffeine, nicotine and gas producing foods. Exercise is helpful in removing this symptoms as well.
Stomach and Digestion Difficulties: A nervous stomach is a very common anxiety symptom. The stomach has long been known as the “second brain” as it is one of the first body organs that reacts to stress. This is why so many require a bathroom break when faced with shocking news or a stressful situation.
SOLUTION: Understanding is everything. The more one worries about this symptom, the greater increase of adrenaline, stomach acid and reactive digestive symptoms. Meditation often quiets the digestive tract along with exercise, activity and proper diet and nutrition. Learning how to interrupt anxiety also quiets the digestive tract.
Dizziness: Feeling lightheaded or dizzy is another frequent reaction to stress and anxiety. One holds their breath or over breathes without realizing they are doing so. Neck muscles tighten in response to stress as do the muscles surrounding the eyes and ears. This and stressful thinking may lead to dizziness and even blurred vision. Naturally, it helps to rule out any inner ear difficulties which may create these symptoms as well, before assuming it is just anxiety related.
SOLUTION: The best approach to alleviating this symptom is to stop and take a full breath, hold it to the count of 4 and exhale very slowly. This will re-establish the oxygen/carbon dioxide balance and help eliminate that dizzy sensation. Inward thoughts also play a part in this symptom. Fearful negative thinking only add to the release of adrenaline, which also fuels this symptom. Acknowledge the feeling without adding to it by the addition of worry, fear and negativity. This temporary sensation will pass much more rapidly if you do. Remember to breathe slowly and calmly.
Insomnia: A highly stressed mind and body are not always conducive to a good night’s sleep. One carries stress throughout the day and into the night within their overactive mind and body. It’s often difficult to turn off the mind and relax a body that has been stressed for so many hours. Insomnia is frustrating and adds to anxious reactions if one becomes upset over the inability to fall asleep and remain asleep. It also may follow into the next day, leaving an individual feeling irritable and anxious over lack of sleep and fearful of missing another night’s sleep due to anticipatory anxiety.
SOLUTION: Outdoor activity during daylight hours is essential, especially early in the day so one will not be overstimulated by evening.
Ringing in Ears (Tinnitus): Believe it or not, the high pitched hissing or ringing sounds in your ear/ears is most often connected to anxiety. When stressed for long periods of time, the body goes into high alert, fight or flight mode and even sensitization. This means all your senses are heightened, enhanced, and intensified, especially your hearing. In essence, your ears are perked up, vision becomes sharper, all senses are exaggerated, to a fault. Faint background sounds become louder and more noticeable, more intrusive. The more upset you become, the more annoying they seem.
SOLUTION: Understanding plays a large part in the relief this symptom. Tension and anxiety over the sensations only serve to fuel it further. Knowing that fear and adrenaline release enhance the sounds, allows you the choice to calm down, accept the fact that you are temporarily sensitized and let go of the worry which fuels the symptom. Know that less worry about this symptom brings forth great relief. Release your focus and know that this temporary symptom will quiet down when your nerves do the same.
Shaking Legs and Trembling Hands: This symptom is primarily due to the release of stress chemicals such as adrenaline, due to a fearful message received from the brain. A minor shock or fearful thought is often enough to trigger this response. Adrenaline release causes the legs to feel weak and shake. In response to the same adrenaline the hands tend to tremble as well. Within a few minutes, if the response is not fueled by fear, this reaction is quelled, as adrenaline is naturally reabsorbed into the body.
SOLUTION: You can hurry this process along by walking, which helps speed up the re-absorption of adrenaline.
Feelings of Unreality or Depersonalization: A mind that is analytical and overwrought with worry sometimes becomes fatigued from constant fearful thought, resulting in feelings of unreality, fogginess and brain fog. This is not serious although many become quite frustrated by this stubborn symptom. This tired mind is not exhausted from lack of sleep but from the constant habit of fearful worried thought.
SOLUTION: Learning to interrupt this symptom is essential for complete and permanent recovery. Changing the way one thinks along with proper nutrition is the most rapid route to recovery from this symptom. Learning how to make specific corrections in thinking allows a tired mind to refresh, allowing clarity to return. Learning to move out of one’s own way is also imperative for the mind to refresh. With the proper treatment, one should recover in approximately a 2 month period of time.
Memory Loss or Difficulties: A worried mind becomes tired and often slower due to stress. This may result in temporary or intermittent memory difficulties. Naturally the anxious person is fearful of Alzheimer’s but this is not the case. The truth of the matter is that a fatigued mind will often exhibit these symptoms due to the habit of over thinking, combined with worry and fear.
SOLUTION: The solution to this problem is understanding that a tired mind, due to excessive worry, will often result in these symptoms. Practicing letting go of the worry habit and giving up fearful, negative thoughts will help the fatigued mind refresh. A mind allowed a restful pause from habitual worry does wonders for the memory. Let go of fear, worry, and self analysis in order to allow this symptom to reconcile itself.
Be aware of the Anxiety Cycle as well. This is the habit of constant focus on an anxiety symptom, one replacing another as soon as the initial symptom is reconciled. This is a strong habit that will reconcile when recognized and acknowledged. Also, locate your emotions and issues, as anxiety symptoms are often used by the brain to cover and distract from a strong emotion that is often painful to face and reconcile.