What is a panic attack, how does it affect the heart, and how can we use the heart to manage this? Follow along as we lead you out of the stress and anxiety jungle.
When you’re concerned about your heart health, it’s natural to pay very close attention to your body. You feel for high blood pressure or a fast heartbeat, and you make sure that your body isn’t responding in a way that should bring cause for concern.
Paying this close attention to your health is known as “hypersensitivity.” Essentially, you are extremely sensitive to even the slightest changes in your body’s physical responses to stimuli, because you want to make sure that nothing is wrong.
In many ways this is a good thing. After all, if something is wrong and you notice it, you can call for help as quickly as possible. But there is a downside to hypersensitivity as well, because hypersensitivity is known to cause panic attacks.
Symptoms of Panic Attacks
Panic attacks are an unusual psychological phenomenon that occurs when you are overly sensitive to how your body reacts to events. They’re also highly misunderstood. Most people assume that what is a panic attack means the person is experiencing extreme fear, including fearful thoughts.
In reality, panic attacks are actually a physical response to a psychological issue. Those that experience panic attacks feel a range of symptoms including:
- Rapid heartbeat.
- Weakness in the legs and arms.
- Cloudy thoughts.
- Feeling as though you are dying.
Panic attacks are a physical experience that mimic serious health problems, but are actually 100% psychological. There is no physical cause for what is a panic attack, and yet the symptoms you experience are nearly identical to what you would experience if you were experiencing heart trouble. That’s why many people that experience panic attacks end up going to the hospital – the experience itself can be so overwhelming that many people believe something is seriously wrong.
For those that have heart issues this can be a serious problem, because panic attacks are caused by hypersensitivity to your physical health. If your heartbeat speeds up for any reason, you’ll be so sensitive to the change that you’ll immediately worry that something is wrong, and that will end up triggering a panic attack.
And while panic attacks themselves are not dangerous (despite how they feel), panic attacks for those that have heart health issues can be a big more dangerous, because these panic attacks do cause stress for your mind and body.
What This Means For Your Heart
Panic attack causes are and always will be completely psychological issues that have no physical cause. But for those that have heart health problems, they can be a bit more serious – and more common. That’s why it’s important for you to integrate strategies into your life that reduce the likelihood of a panic attack and help you cope with your life’s experiences.
Meditation is extremely useful, because it’s a relaxation strategy that puts the focus on your calmness and clarity, and can help you when you’re feeling overly sensitive to your body’s changes. It’s also important for you to grow comfortable with your body’s worrisome responses. For example, if you experience a rapid heartbeat, you need to learn how to allow yourself to relax and not worry that the heartbeat may reflect a problem with your help.
The most important thing to remember is that when you suffer from heart health problems, there are things you can control and things you can’t. You can meditate, exercise, and eat healthy, but you can’t control how your body reacts to life events or what those responses mean in terms of your health. Teach yourself to focus on the things you can control and do your best to worry less about the things you can’t and hopefully you can live healthier and stop panic attacks.
About the Author of this article: Ryan Rivera suffered from regular panic attacks that often disrupted his life. Now he writes about panic and anxiety for others that may be suffering at www.calmclinic.com
You can relax and manage panic with a Personal Stress Reliever from HeartMath that you can take with you everywhere you go. The benefits of this tool are:
~ You shift into a state of relaxation called Coherence in moments.
~ See your heart rate slow and become more regular.
~ Feel your emotions shift from panic to appreciation.
Click here to learn more about the emWave2 Personal Stress Reliever.
Anxiety and Meditation
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Stress and Meditation
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