How To Stop Anxiety From Spiraling Out Of Control

How to Stop Anxiety

Anxiety is awful.

It is one of the worst mental and physical feelings in the world.

You literally want to jump out of your own skin. Inhabiting your body is like living inside of a live-wire suit with no means of escape. You are buzzing, overstimulated, and filled with a vague sense of dread.

Living with anxiety feels like that moment when you see a speeding car headed straight at you — only that moment lasts for what feels like an eternity. Your “fight or flight” systems are in full activation mode.

There's a heaviness in your chest. Your palms might sweat. Your heart is racing. You feel the urge to pace the floor, shake your foot uncontrollably, or rock back and forth just to dispel some of the anxious energy.

You might try to take some deep breaths to calm down, only to feel the anxiety rush back in like a tidal wave.

You may have other physical symptoms, like digestive problems, headaches, trembling, and insomnia.

Internally, your world is pinwheeling out of control.

You can't stop ruminating and worrying about phantom problems and unseen boogeymen. To add to your worry, you fret endlessly about your anxiety. “How long will this last? Why is it happening? How can I make it stop? Please just let it stop.” You feel out-of-control and helpless.

Concentrating on the most basic tasks feels like a Herculean effort. All of your focus is devoted to not falling on the floor in a quivering heap of tears and panic.

When so much energy is devoted to just getting through the day, you don't have much left over for work, relationships, and the things that normally bring you pleasure.

Everyone feels some anxiety from time to time. But when anxiety becomes your constant companion, when you find it looming larger and larger in your daily life, then you must take action before it becomes completely debilitating.

If you want to know how stop anxiety before it spirals out of control, here are ten strategies to help you:

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Need To Talk To Someone? 10 Qualities Of A Caring Confidant

Someone to talk to

I have never been someone who can keep my problems to myself or deal with them quietly and stoically.

If something is going on in my life that's difficult or painful, I have to talk about it with someone. Talking about it helps me to process the situation, and it relieves the tension and anxiety that comes with ruminating.

I'm not always looking for a solution from the other person. Sometimes I just need a listening ear so I can unpack all of the emotions and gain more clarity about the problem.

Unfortunately, it took me a while to discover that not everyone is a good confidant. There are some people in my life with whom I can share the most private and painful feelings without concern. But there are others who are not empathic, trustworthy listeners.

Not everyone feels as comfortable as I do sharing their innermost feelings and painful challenges. They keep things inside and try to manage their problems and emotions alone.

This reticence might be part of their personality, or maybe they were taught as children not to “burden” others with problems and feelings. Some people keep things to themselves because they fear others might judge them or look down on them.

Or maybe, like me, they've bumped into people who did not treat their confidences with dignity and respect. Maybe they were even betrayed by someone they thought was a friend.

Whatever the reason, there are those who find it daunting to open up and talk about their problems with another person, even as they are suffering in silence with the anguish of their situation. Maybe this is how you feel.

Stuffing your feelings and trying to manage your problems alone is not a healthy way to cope with the inevitable ups and downs of life. Even if it feels uncomfortable or “weak,” talking to someone about your problems has many emotional and health benefits:

  • It can improve your mood and help prevent stress, anxiety, and depression.
  • It helps you find solutions and deal with challenges as you articulate the emotions and challenges.
  • You feel less alone and isolated with your problem when you share it with some.
  • If you are already depressed, you heal more quickly. Studies show that people with good social support get over depression faster and experience less severe symptoms.
  • When our perceptions are clouded by painful emotions, other people can help us see things more clearly and rationally.
  • Expressing emotions helps reduce the chances of acquiring stress-related health problems like muscle aches and tension headaches.

It's clear that sharing your problems and feelings helps you cope and reduces the burden of bearing them alone. The key is finding the right person or people to listen and support you.

Do you need to talk to someone? Here are 10 qualities to look for in a caring confidant:

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8 Natural Remedies For Panic Attack Relief

Natural Panic Attack Remedies

My friend Susan was driving on a busy Atlanta highway when she was struck by what she was certain was a heart attack.

Her heart started pounding out of her chest, her breathing was so constricted she was gasping for air, and she was pouring sweat.

She managed to pull off the highway and call her husband, tearfully explaining what happened and that she needed to get to a hospital. He picked her up and headed straight to the emergency room.

After a battery of tests and hours at the hospital, the doctors told my friend her heart was perfectly normal. She hadn't had a heart attack. She'd had a panic attack.

Of course she was relieved she wasn't dying or didn't need surgery. But she was also embarrassed and confused. How could she be driving along the highway minding her own business and suddenly be blind-sighted by sheer terror and a host of symptoms that are classic heart attack warning signs?

Every time she got back in the car, especially if she had to drive on the highway, my friend felt extremely anxious and on edge, fearing another attack might happen. Over time, she stopped going out as much and would go to extremes to avoid the highway.

If this story sounds familiar to you, you're definitely not alone. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of American, over 6 million people in the U.S. suffer with panic disorder.Women are twice as likely to be affected as men.

According to the Association, “Panic disorder is diagnosed in people who experience spontaneous seemingly out-of-the-blue panic attacks and are preoccupied with the fear of a recurring attack. Panic attacks occur unexpectedly, sometimes even during sleep.”

For many people, like my friend, the most difficult part of having panic disorder is the ongoing fear of having another attack — as well as the embarrassment they feel about having them.

The fear compromises your life, making you avoid situations that you once enjoyed or felt perfectly comfortable with because you're so terrified of losing control. The embarrassment can make you suffer in silence without seeking support or treatment.

The symptoms of a panic attack do sound like textbook heart attack symptoms. They include:

Read more8 Natural Remedies For Panic Attack Relief

24 Anxiety Symptoms In Women And How To Annihilate Them

Anxiety Symptoms in Women

My dear fellow females, I'm sorry to inform you of this, but . . .

You are twice as likely to have an anxiety disorder in your lifetime as men.

This is probably no surprise to you, and if you've dealt with anxiety before, just reading about your predisposition to it might make you feel, well, anxious. I've had several episodes of intermittent and (ugh) persistent anxiety, and the symptoms you experience are formidable. I'd rather have the flu for a month than experience anxiety for a week.

Everyone feels anxious from time to time — waiting for test results, prior to a big speech, or interviewing for a job. But this post is about anxiety gone rogue — anxiety that knocks you flat on your butt and makes you want to jump out of your own skin. This is the foot-shaking, sweat producing, breath stealing miscreant who reduces you to a shadow of your pre-anxiety self.

The grand schemer who constructed the female psyche must have been in a foul mood the day he (it couldn't have been a she!) decided to dish out a bigger dose of anxiety disorders to women. Isn't it enough we have to push out babies and have periods? No matter how unfair the imbalance, it's a sad fact that millions of women deal with some form of anxiety every day. That's too much unnecessary suffering.

Anxiety disorders are the most common type of mental health problem in the United States — more so than depression. And according to the National Institute of Mental Health, there are some legitimate reasons why women carry the anxiety load:

  • Lifestyle. Women as a general population are more likely than men to live in poverty, be subject to discrimination, and be sexually and physically abused.

  • Hormones. Compared to men, women experience much more fluctuation in hormone levels associated with symptoms of anxiety and depression. Numerous studies confirm that anxiety often begins during periods of significant hormonal change, including the prime ages of pregnancy and during menopause.
  • Thinking habits. Women are significantly more inclined to have negative emotions, engage in self-criticism, and ruminate about problems.
  • Learned behavior. As children, girls who are shy or anxious are more often reinforced for these behaviors. Little boys who are shy and anxious might be shamed and punished for them. It appears girls are socially conditioned to be more passive, internalizing their stress and fears.

The reasons why you are anxious may provide useful insight and reduce secondary anxiety — the anxiety you have about being anxious. But the more valuable effort is unraveling the symptoms and triggers and learning exactly what you're dealing with related to your particular anxiety disorder.

Anxiety disorders come in a variety of flavors, each with an array of symptoms that make life feel scary and exhausting.

Let's stare down some the anxiety symptoms in women so you can learn how to manage anxiety, or better yet, even cure it.

Read more24 Anxiety Symptoms In Women And How To Annihilate Them

Pilates: A Healthy Habit For Body And Mind

A guest post by Anastasiya Goers

What is the one obstacle that keeps you from having the healthiest lifestyle possible?

I ran a survey on my blog recently asking the same question. Most people answered that the single thing keeping them from staying healthy was a lack of time.

Today most of us have very busy schedules but even if we don’t we find plenty of distractions to keep ourselves occupied 100% of the time.

If you feel that a lack of time is your reason for not living healthy then I would like to challenge you to think differently.

A lack of time is an excuse. And it’s the excuse that I used myself for many years.

Growing up I was never an athletic person. Books were my friends while any form of exercise was torture. My sedentary lifestyle of course made me gain weight, so my answer was trying every crash diet available to lose weight fast. You can imagine that all of my efforts completely failed, and I did more harm to my body than I would like to admit.

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Find Your Passion With Something You Hate

There's something I used to hate that I now feel passionate about.

I thought I would never even tolerate this something, much less feel passionate about it. Although I knew it would be good for me, and even though I tried to like it more times than I can count, I simply hated it.

I hated it because it hurt. It was hard. It was boring. I could never seem to do it as well as other people. And I never reached that state of joy that most people who find their passion with this something proclaim to reach.

In fact, every time I tried it, I would curse in my head and talk to myself about how much I hated it. I made deals with myself about how quickly I could stop.

I tried this something in my teens, my 20's, my 30's, and my 40's. Hate, hate, hate, hate. And now, at age 53 (54 in 6 days), I have discovered I love this something. In fact, I've become passionate about it. What's up with that?

Have you guessed what this something is? Well let me share it with you.

Read moreFind Your Passion With Something You Hate

The Mind Body Connection: 5 Practices For Self-Healing

You already know this, but it bears repeating: your mental and emotional state impacts your health. And your health impacts your mental and emotional outlook.

They are interdependent, and if you support one, you are healing the other. If you neglect one, you are jeopardizing the other.

In Western culture, we tend to neglect both. We are overweight, sedentary, and stressed. And even if we take care of our physical health, many of us still feel overwhelmed, over-scheduled, stressed, anxious, angry, or depressed,

We ignore or suppress these feelings — until they cause physical symptoms. Then we can no longer blow off the mind-body connection as new age hooha. The evidence is staring us in the face.

Although there have been many relatively new studies and reports on the relationship between physical and emotional/mental health, it is not a new discovery.

Read moreThe Mind Body Connection: 5 Practices For Self-Healing

How To Increase Your Energy

“I've got more energy now than when I was younger because I know exactly what I want to do.” ~Ballet master George Balanchine

Have you ever noticed how everything in life slows down when you don't have energy?

When you wake up tired or feel spent for some reason, it feels like you are slogging through quicksand just to get through the day.

Tasks that are generally no-brainers feel overwhelming. And anything that requires more than a thimble-full of concentration is simply crossed off the list. It ain't gonna happen.

Then an interesting and not-so-pleasant phenomenon occurs on our low energy days. We have the initial feeling of low energy, but then a secondary emotion washes over us.

Read moreHow To Increase Your Energy