Anxiety and Panic Attacks during Pregnancy: How to Calm Anxiety While Pregnant

Panic attacks during pregnancy can be a common occurrence, even though the sufferer has never had general anxiety disorder or panic attacks before. They can happen because of the many changes that happen during pregnancy to a mother's body, and her natural anxieties over her pregnancy.

Let's first look at what causes panic attacks in general. The underlying cause is a level of continuous anxiety that is higher than one would normally experience. It is so high, that any additional stressful situation, or event, can push it even higher and trigger a panic attack.

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The symptoms of a panic attack are just your body's primeval pre-programmed reaction to a perceived dangerous situation or threat. You might have heard of 'fight or flight'. It takes your intense stress and anxiety as a threat and reacts accordingly.

But of course no such danger exists, so you aren't reacting as you would if there were that danger, and so you're left with the symptoms such as; tightness in the chest, hyperventilation, palpitations, racing heartbeat, hot flashes, dizziness, feeling of impending doom, etc.

But why do women who have never had panic attacks previously, experience them during pregnancy? Well, pregnancy itself can be a very stressful and anxious time for the mother. Mothers invariably worry about the baby's health, about the birth, will they make a good mother, are they ready for motherhood, etc. And, there are many chemical and physical changes happening during pregnancy.

So this elevated anxiety over a period of 9 months, is similar in many respects to someone with general anxiety. All it then needs is for an additional stressful event (e.g. shopping in a busy supermarket, stuck in rush-hour traffic, argument at home, etc.) to trigger an attack.

Most women don't want drug-based medication while they are pregnant if it can be avoided, so here are 3 natural tips for overcoming anxiety and panic attacks during pregnancy:-

1. Take plenty of rest and relax. Ensure that you don't overdo things. Take frequent regular rests during the day. Nap, read books, listen to relaxing music. Do you have a relaxing, therapeutic hobby?

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2. Slow, controlled breathing can help calm and relax you. Again, lie back on your bed and breathe slowly, in through your nose, and out through you mouth. But don't breathe too deeply as this has the opposite effect. And make sure you use the whole of your diaphragm to breath, not just your chest.

3. Talk to a trusted friend or relative about any worries you have. They can often help you see things more positively, and help you lower your stress. Alternatively seek professional counselling.

These 3 tips can help you overcome and manage your anxiety and panic attacks. But there's one other thing that also must be addressed, and that is the 'fear' of having another panic attack.

The symptoms of a panic attack are just so disturbing that you don't want to repeat it. So the 'fear' of another attack develops in your psyche adding to your already elevated anxiety. The result is that any additional stressful event can trigger another attack, just what you don't want. You must break-out of the 'anxiety cycle' (anxiety > fear > panic attack > anxiety > fear > panic attack, etc.) if you want to prevent further panic attacks.

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Would you like to know how to stop anxiety attacks by making just one change to your life? Sound too good to be true?

Let's talk about sleep.

We all know that sleep is essential to good health, both mental and physical. We all know that we need to get 8 hours of sleep a night, too.

But something that not all of us know is that even if you get 8 hours of sleep every single night, your sleep could still be causing your anxiety.

And you heard that right. The sleep you get could be causing your anxiety.

Our sleep comes in 5 stages. These stages cycle throughout the night. It's vitally important these sleep stages are running smoothly.

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And that's the problem.

People with anxiety and depression often spend the wrong amounts of time in each stage, and the result of this can be increased anxiety and depression.

When you're trying to stop anxiety attacks, this can be a huge hurdle.

One way to limit this problem is to use sound distractions for 10 minutes before you go to bed, which directs your subconscious away from the your thoughts of stress and worry (thinking these unpleasant thoughts directly before sleep can cause some of these "sleep stage" problems).

To make use of this idea, either go and guy a relaxation CD, or do a search for a free one online. Then make a habit of listening to it for 10 minutes each night as you lie in bed before sleep.

You'll find that you will drift off quicker afterwards, and there will be less chance of your sleep being disturbed or unrestful.

This is a wonderful way to stop anxiety attacks, and one that's all too often overlooked.

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How many times have you asked yourself "how can I stop anxiety attacks and get my life back?" Think about the times you have avoided everyday situations, have an overwhelming fear that something bad is about to happen, or, are constantly worried or on edge. How empowering would it be to find a way to stop anxiety attacks and take control of our life once more?

Well, the good news is there is a way to stop anxiety attacks, just by understanding the causes, seeking the right advice, and taking on board some basic self-help treatments.

Firstly, you are not alone in suffering anxiety attacks. Many people have spent years living with the fear and the symptoms of anxiety, both physical and psychological, and are likely to have experienced at least one of these symptoms:

- shortness of breath, chest pains, palpitations
- dizziness, headaches, dry mouth
- insomnia or restlessness
- a feeling of helplessness, being scared, nervousness

Surprisingly, many people do not realize that the causes of anxiety are many and varied, differ from person to person and can be long or short term. These include:

- alcohol or drug dependence (including caffeine, prescription drugs)
- other mental health issues (incl. depression)
- physical illness (heart conditions, thyroid)
- stressful life events (divorce, bereavement, financial worries, job loss)

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First of all, you should seek medical advice and have the cause of your anxiety properly diagnosed. Your doctor can then provide guidance on the most appropriate treatment to help stop anxiety attacks.

If you are not a fan of traditional drug-based medications there are other alternatives, so make sure you discuss this with your doctor. Whilst drug-based medications can be highly effective in dealing with anxiety, the side effects can have a negative impact on some folks. Remember though, never stop taking existing medication until you have first consulted your doctor.

Luckily, there are some alternative techniques that you can use to help stop anxiety attacks and their impact on your life. These might include:

- Talking with a supportive friend or someone you trust
- Learning to recognize stressful situations and avoiding them, where possible
- Ensuring that you take time away from stressful situations, such as work and study
- Exercising regularly
- Learning deep abdominal breathing techniques

So, now you know how important it is to understand the causes of anxiety in order to stop anxiety attacks and understand some of the ways you can help prevent them from recurring.

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The symptoms of an anxiety attack are caused from one central source, namely the nervous system. So, you would think everyone would have the same symptoms when they were in an anxious state. However, this is not the case. Although most people exhibit similar symptoms, no two individuals are alike and so the symptoms that show up during anxiety often vary from person to person.

Bear in mind anxiety is an overdose of nervousness, but still, it is basically a nerve based occurrence. So it logically follows an anxiety attack will have the underpinnings of a bad case of nerves. In other words, anxiety causes the heart to race faster than normal; sometimes much faster. In some cases, the fast beating heart reaches the level of palpitations or what is medically referred to as tachycardia.

What's wrong with My Heart?

With an attack of tachycardia the heart may race at 200 beats per minute. If this is something you suffer from, get it checked out by a medical professional. However, many times, especially during an anxiety attack, tachycardia is a symptom of anxiety or just plain nerves and not the heart.

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Still, it is a common symptom, or at least one phenomenon of anxiety attacks that they make the sufferer believe he or she is having a heart attack, stroke or both. This is one of the reasons why it is so wise to see a doctor about these things. A doctor can check you out and assure you your heart is in good shape. This knowledge is helpful in overcoming anxiety disorder because you will have one less thing to be anxious about.

Vision Tricks

One of the very scary things about anxiety is it often makes the pupils dilate. Because of this everything looks different when in a state of anxiety. Everything seems to look hazy. Sometimes things close up look far away. Some people say inanimate objects appear to float or even move!

When something like this happens it will bring about a higher level of anxiety when you don't know why it is happening. On the other hand, it is helpful to know these vision tricks happen to many, many people when they are experiencing panic.

Remember, whatever symptoms you experience when you are anxious, it a result of adrenaline flowing in the bloodstream. Adrenaline can cause some very strange physical symptoms. When we become afraid of these sensations, more adrenaline will flow. If this pattern continues for very long, an all out panic attack will ensue. So, remember to go with the flow. Don't add at more anxiety to your anxiety and the episode will soon pass.

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If you are willing to make just a few simple changes in your daily routine, you can stop your panic attacks and enjoy your daily activities again, both alone and with your friends and family. To learn how you can stop your symptoms in a couple of steps and then prevent them from ever appearing again- Click Here

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