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If you have ever had a panic attack, you certainly know the feelings of hopelessness that follow in the wake of the intense anxiety that cause these attacks. They can be very debilitating and can cause someone to wonder if something is seriously wrong with them. This is how they might happen: Maybe you drink too much caffeine or you are just in an edgy mood, but you can feel the actual attack developing. The heart will begin to race and beat at what feels like a dangerous level, you might become hot and begin to sweat profusely, and the most debilitating effect will be an inability to calm yourself down. The mind will race so quickly that it will become difficult to focus on any single topic, and completing the simplest of tasks or even reading a chapter of a book will become virtually impossible. When all of these effects occur simultaneously, you will be well in to a full-fledged panic attack that can last anywhere from an hour to twelve or more hours. When this happens, it is common that the sufferer will begin to second-guess his/her own sanity, and might become convinced that something terrible is wrong with them or that they have lost their mind. The attack will feed off of these thoughts of insecurity until the sufferer is rendered useless. Having had panic attacks, I can honestly say that they are the worst things that I have ever experienced in my life.

There are a number of prescription drugs that are available from psychiatrists, which can effectively relieve anxiety and prevent the actual panic attack. The most common are prescription drugs that double as anti-depressants and anti-anxiety pills that prove to be very effective. The medication may cause some side effects that take some getting used to, but speaking from experience, the benefits of the drug far outweigh the sometimes-annoying side effects.

The most effective way to avoid severe anxiety or having a panic attack without the medication is simply to monitor your daily stress level by controlling your diet and lifestyle. If you are prone to experiencing intense anxiety, consider cutting back on or cutting out the coffee, tea, or sodas loaded with caffeine and sugar. All of the caffeine within these drinks will only make you edgier, and edginess leads to a panic attack. Too much sugar can have the same effect. Try to avoid being too spontaneous, as those of us with high anxiety levels perform much better when we know what to expect within reason, and creating a daily routine can aid in surviving the trials and tribulations of the work day. When you feel yourself getting anxious, step away from the scene and try to relax for a few minutes by taking some deep and even breaths. You can even adopt a daily meditation or yoga routine, which is something that has proven to be very effective and invaluable to me. Breathing in and out of a paper bag and hyperventilating is a good way to calm yourself if you reach the stage of having a panic attack because once the attack starts, it is almost impossible to control. Also, avoid drinking alcohol because of its depressant effects, and try to find more body and mind friendly ways to take the edge off every day. If your anxiety is severe, talk to a doctor because he or she can prescribe a mild sedative to take at the onset of a panic attack, which will usually curb a lengthy attack.

If you suffer from severe anxiety or panic attacks, you are not alone. Today’s workforce undergoes incredible mental stress, which might say something about modern American values and the importance of making a profit at any cost. Don’t let the stress from a job control your life because a job is only a part of your life. If we place less emphasis on making a buck and more emphasis on living, we will do our bodies and minds a great favor. If you are too stressed to work, then you are not helping yourself or your company. So take some deep breaths, relax, and remember that life is too short to be spent in constant worry.