Anxiety Basics – Controlling Your Response

All evidence points to impending doom and nothing anyone can say will convince you otherwise. Your chest constricts and you find it hard to breath, yet your breathing becomes more rapid and you feel light headed. You can not escape the crushing feeling that this is it. You know what this is. It's an anxiety attack. You know you will not die, but right now, not only can no one convince you of this, try as you might, you can not get yourself to calm down either. Truth be told, the best time to prepare for an anxiety attack is before one strikes.

As we have previously mentioned, it is usually a good idea to receive a thorough medical examination if you are experiencing anxiety attacks, as some medical conditions will mask themselves as anxiety. Often, nutritional deficiencies will do the same, so making certain you are supplementing appropriately is never a bad idea.

Often, by the time an anxiety attacks strikes, you have become so used to feeling out of control, that one anxiety attack promulgates another. Thus, in the midst of one, it is tough to respond rationally and talk oneself out of one. Therefore, it makes more sense to prepare in advance and practice techniques that teach your body to respond as you wish it to respond when necessary. Progressive muscle relaxation is one sort of technique. The idea behind progressive relaxation is to train your body to relax systematically, but also to draw your attention to how your body feels when it is totally and completely relaxed. With practice, it is then possible to return to this meditative state with little work.

It is necessary to note that no one should attempt mediation or progressive relaxation after having imbibed or while under the effects of substances, legal or otherwise. One first becomes settled either lying down or seated comfortably in a chair. Closing one's eyes in not required, but often helpful. Next, beginning at your feet, imagine your feet being touched with sunlight. As the sunlight worms your feet, you feel the muscles in your feet begin to relax. As the muscles let go and relax, you draw your attention to how your feet feel when they are completely relaxed. Next, for example, the sunlight begins to warm your shins and calves and the muscles in your lower legs loosen and relax. Once again, you draw your attention to how your lower leg muscles feel when they are completely relaxed. Now, you work your way up from your legs in a similar fashion. Once you are completely finished, your body should feel relaxed and warm and absolutely without tension. Drawing your attention to how your body feet will enable you to return to a similar relaxed state when you have practiced this technique.

While not entirely foolproof, techniques like progressive muscle relaxation enable you to command your body to return to a relaxed state whenever you feel the need. Thus, when a panic or anxiety attack hits, you are able to get your muscles to relax instinctively with a little practice.