Dealing With Anxiety

Posted July 2, 2014 by Katie Fleming in Life After Five
Do you ever find yourself suddenly experiencing an intense moment of anxiety?  Some common symptoms of anxiety attacks include…

  • Rapid heart rate
  • Sweating, particularly sweaty palms
  • Surge of overwhelming panic
  • Fear of losing control
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Shakiness

Anxiety attacks can happen to anybody.  Of course, if you have a history of anxiety disorders in your family, or are simply someone who would describe yourself as “anxious”, “jittery”, “nervous”, or anything similar, you are more likely to experience anxiety attacks than someone who does not have a family history of anxiety, or anxious symptoms.

So if one occurs, what do you do?

  1. First, pause.  Take a moment, and stop whatever you are doing.  Find a place to sit down if your legs feel weak.
  2. Second, breathe.  Take long, slow, deep inhales.  Slowly and purposefully fill your lungs with oxygen.  Imagine you are breathing deep into your belly.  If you feel your shoulders rising and falling, let your shoulders relax, and focus on moving your stomach “in and out” with each full breath.  Make your exhales slower (ie, they last a few seconds longer) than your inhales.
  3. Third, recover.  Allow your body time to adjust and relax with your changed breathing patterns.  Spend a few moments in this calm, centered space before continuing on with your day.

About the Author

Katie Fleming

Katie earned her Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy from Northwestern University, and is currently a Crisis Therapist in Chicago. Her therapy interests include health and wellness, relationships, trauma, and crisis. Katie is also a therapist with a group practice in Arlington Heights. Katie is thrilled to be a part of Career Girl Network, helping to guide all Career Girls towards overall physical, emotional, and mental wellness. Katie is passionate about animal rescue, running, and yoga. She is the proud dog mom of Gulliver and Duke!