I received an email today that referred to anxiety attacks as “a series of very unfortunate head games.” I believe that’s about as good a description of of anxiety attacks and their symptoms as I’ve ever heard, because, in the end, they are in fact “all in your head.”
But this doesn’t mean that anxiety doesn’t produce very real (an even painful) effects in your life, including physical symptoms that often mimic other health problems. This is something I’m personally acquainted with: when my anxiety attacks were at their worst, I saw many doctors and had countless tests run only to discover that I was physically healthy as a horse.
In my case, I was suffering with breathing problems, which very closely mimicked the symptoms of asthma. In fact, I was sure I had asthma, and was beginning to question the common sense of my doctors as, time and time again, the tests showed not even the slightest hint of asthma, or any other condition. But if the doctors were right, then why was I having trouble breathing?
Today I understand full well why I was having these symptoms, and how anxiety attacks brought on by chronic stress and mental fatigue can produce very real physical symptoms in the body. Anxiety may be a “state of mind,” but it doesn’t just affect the mind. It is a whole body and mind problem.
This is something I did not realize for many years, but seems fairly obvious to me today. Understanding this mind/body connection made be able to deal with my anxiety attacks symptoms in a much more effective manner, eventually reducing the problem to nothing more than an occasional nuscence, NOT an every day situation.
The techniques I used to overcome this problem are now available to anyone in the EasyCalm Anxiety Prevention Series and they’re not at all complicated. It’s funny; when I stopped “trying so hard” to defeat my anxiety symptoms, and learned the simple but effective tools to deal with them, the problem cleared up pretty quickly.
Struggling or fighting against anxiety attacks only makes them worse (and I should know–I was thick enough to continue trying this for quite a few years!). That’s why today, I never recommend over-focusing on anxiety attacks and symptoms. You DO have to deal with them, but not by immersing yourself in the problem.
The simple, straight-forward approach produces the best results, and thankfully, is also the easiest way to deal with anxiety. No struggling against it, and no fighting the symptoms.
Jon Mercer, MA
Personal Development Coach