Anxiety comes about when people obsess on “what if?” They start visualizing danger where there isn’t any, and then let their minds go wild with their imagined dangerous situation. Often the anxiety comes from fear of social situations, such as “what if someone looks at me wrong? What if they don’t like me, what if I make a mistake. Or, it may be caused by a fear that your life is in danger, such as: what if I get into a car accident, what if I am exposed to a germ and get sick? The more you allow your mind to imagine a disaster, the greater the anxiety becomes. An elevated level of anxiety can result in panic attacks. A panic attack may feel like a heart attack, with sweating, racing heart, and fear, but unlike a heart attack, it isn’t dangerous to your body. A panic attack burns up excessive adrenalin that may have build up in your body due to your mind telling your body that it’s in danger. Adrenalin causes the fight or flight response. When you see a lion, you had better get ready to fight it or run away, but we are no longer living in the bush. Modern day dangers include waiting in traffic, being afraid that your boss will get angry or you will lose your job, lose your house, lose your family, and eventually lose your mind. Irrational thoughts race through your brain until your body decides that it has had enough and burns off the adrenalin through sweating and fast heartbeat. It is no coincidence that you would have the same symptoms if you were running fast. Your panic attack is just your body’s way to burn off excess adrenalin and put your body back into balance. When you realize that your thoughts cause your anxiety, and a panic attack is your body’s way to return to a healthy balance, you will understand that you have nothing to fear. Calming your mind is the first step in resolving anxiety and ending panic attacks. Anxiety is treatable, but most people need the help of a professional counselor to help them learn to manage their anxiety. Without treatment, it often gets worse over time, so if you are bothered by fearful thoughts or need medication to manage anxiety and panic, call now and get help right away.

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