How To Stop The Racing Thoughts From Anxiety: How To Stop Yourself From Having An Anxiety Attack

What happens to you when you feel anxious? You may find that you are having heart palpitations, sweaty palms, feel flushed, or are suffering from racing thoughts. You may even think that you are having a heart attack if the anxiety is overwhelming. Many people in my practice ask me how to stop that seemingly un-ending road of fear and panic. It seems as though once you start on that road, it is difficult to pull off it.

This is quite understandable if you understand the biology of anxiety. Anxiety served as a protective purpose for us during the times of the saber-toothed tiger. These animals lived roughly about 33.7 million to 9,000 years ago and were quite deadly to humans. Humans developed an anxiety reaction to these animals to protect them from being eaten. This is known as the fight or flight syndrome and it is a primitive reaction that we have developed to protect us. However, we are no longer in danger of the saber-toothed tiger, but our well developed anxiety reactions are still present. They serve a useful purpose in times of real imminent danger. But many people find that they are suffering from anxiety that is not related to real imminent harm.

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Now you ask, "How do we stop those racing thoughts and adrenaline-like feelings so that we can stop worrying and be more productive?" Well one of the tools you can use is called the thought-stopping technique. It is quite simple and many people laugh when they first hear it, but it really does work.

Imagine a stop sign. It is red and white and has eight sides. In the middle of that octagonal shaped sign is the word "STOP". Now imagine that word "STOP" being said out loud to you by either you or someone else, or printed on a piece of paper right in front of you. Usually you will stop what you are doing or thinking even for a second and wonder, "What do I have to stop for?", "What is going on?" Then you may go back to your racing thoughts or actions you were performing just before you heard or saw the word "STOP".

The key here is that you just shut down that cyclical pattern of thoughts even for a second as you pondered the word "STOP". As you go back to whatever you were doing just before imagining the word "STOP", you are still training yourself to be more in control. What we know about anxiety is that the premise is one of fear. Fear is about feeling out of control of what will happen to us. However, once you employ the thought stopping technique, you were in control of stopping your racing thoughts, even for a second.

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The thought stopping technique is as easy as what I described above. It is a way to interrupt your racing thought patterns. Now if you find yourself going back to your intruding thoughts, imagine the word "STOP" again. Imagine a stop sign or repeat the word out loud over and over. Again, you may find yourself going back to your racing thoughts, but this time you shut that process down for a few seconds. Every time you do this, you are re-training your brain to interrupt the seemingly un-ending cycle of racing thoughts that are creating a lot of your anxiety symptoms.

Thought stopping techniques are very useful tools to help you when you feel that your thoughts are out of control. If you are still struggling with anxiety to the point that you are not being productive in your life, you should have a full psychological and medical evaluation to see if there is another reason for your anxiety. Some people need medications and others need on-going psychotherapy or both.

What ever it is that you choose to do, you need to take back the control in your life and understand that there are some processes that you do have control over. Thought stopping techniques will help you begin to put yourself back on that road of control.

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Treating health anxiety can be difficult, but there are some simple and effective things you can do to get yourself on the road to recovery. What follows are 5 simple tips that you can put into action right now. If you can follow some or all of these tips you'll be amazed at the difference they can make.

1) Don't Google Symptoms: If you have health anxiety then you'll often "Google" your symptoms, looking for reassurance that you don't have the illness or disease you fear you have. In theory this should work, but it never does.

And that's because, when you do find something that reassures you, you'll continue looking until you find something that backs up your fears. This isn't logical, but it's the way the mind works if you have health anxiety.

Going "cold turkey" can be hard if you're a habitual "Googler" of symptoms. If you fit into this category then start to limit the time you spend looking up your symptoms online.

Gradually decrease the time you allow yourself for this, until you've stopped doing it altogether! This is one of the most beneficial things you can do if you suffer with health anxiety.

2) Surround Yourself With "Recovery": Find people on forums and message boards who once suffered with health anxiety and have since gone on to beat it.

Read books by people who've beaten health anxiety, and all forms of panic disorder.

We get what we focus on, and if you begin to spend more time thinking about and studying recovery, rather than the health anxiety itself, you'll find that you begin to move towards recovery yourself, almost without trying.

3) Know When To Keep It To Yourself: One of the biggest frustrations people with health anxiety face is the lack of understanding from friends and family.

The more you try to explain your worries, and the more you try to find reassurance from loved ones that you're not actually dying, the more they lose patience and the more often an argument begins.

And it's not your friends and family's fault - it's simply impossible to understand health anxiety unless you've suffered with it yourself.

So if you feel like you need to talk, or you feel like you need reassurance about one of your symptoms, turn to someone who's had health anxiety in the past, and not a friend or a family member.
The tension that develops when you continually turn to loved ones is unhealthy for them, for you, and for your health anxiety.

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4) Exercise: Exercise has been proven to decrease anxiety in all forms of panic disorder, and especially in health anxiety.

Not only will the exercise distract you from your worries while you're doing it (thus giving your mind a break from the constant worrying), but the physical activity will get your heart pounding and your blood pumping.

Many of the physical symptoms you suffer due to your health anxiety can be greatly reduced and even eliminated altogether simply by being more active.

5) Get A Good Night's Sleep: Getting a good night's sleep may be easier said than done, especially for someone who's suffering with extreme anxiety. But if you can find ways to improve the quality of your sleep you will notice an incredible difference in the way you feel.

One of the worst side effects of anxiety is not being able to sleep, or having unrestful sleep when you do actually manage to drift off.

By overcoming your problems with sleep, many of the other problems associated with all forms of anxiety and panic disorder will disappear.

To get a better night's sleep, try to make the following new habits:

Go to bed at the same time each time, and wake up at the same time each morning. It's much easier to get good quality sleep when you stick to a regular sleeping routine.

Don't do anything stimulating for an hour before you go to bed. No TV, no radio, no exercise, no caffeine, no eating. If you have extreme problems with your sleep, even reading before bed can be too much.

Listen to relaxation CDs while you lie in bed for 10 minutes before you try to sleep. The sounds of rain and the ocean and the forest all work very well in calming the mind.

Have a large drink of water before you go to bed and as soon as you wake up (make sure to go to the bathroom before you get into bed, though. Getting up in the middle of the night to pee is the last thing you need!).

Make following these tips your new goal. If you can stick to some, or preferably all, of these tips you'll be astonished at the positive change that occurs.

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Anxiety is a condition that every next person suffers from at one time or another. It is common to feel stressed and nervous whenever there's something particularly stressful, or unusual occurrences, in everyday life. However, there are people who suffer from anxiety for longer periods of time. These are people whose worries and fears are so constant that they interfere with their everyday lives and affects their ability to function normally. It is like they cannot relax.

This condition is called generalised anxiety disorder or GAD. It is a more serious condition than the usual day-to-day stress-induced anxiety because in this case, a person has excessive worries about something that is not even likely to happen. Sometimes, they feel anxious all day long for no apparent reason. Such a problem takes a physical toll as well. People with generalised anxiety disorder find it hard to get adequate rest and sleep, therefore resulting to body aches, general exhaustion, and possibly even more serious illnesses. The good news is, it is treatable.

Everyone worries about different things - problems at work, everyday worries, money problems, etc. - but people with generalised anxiety disorder take the worrying to a new level. The level of anxiety experienced by such people are almost always more intense than the particular situation actually calls for.

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For example, your boss makes a comment about your work that is not exactly positive. It may be a simple case of constructive criticism, but it made you feel so nervous that you cannot stop thinking about it day and night afterward. You lose sleep over it, you get sweaty and your blood pressure rises just thinking about the possible consequences of your boss' dissatisfaction with your work, you start to worry that you are going to get fired and get anxious each time you see your boss, waiting for the verdict to fall in your head when there is really no evidence to support your worst fears.

This example illustrates the difference between "normal worry" and generalised anxiety disorder. It is when seemingly nonexistent possibilities get the better of you and thus "drive you crazy" that it becomes more than just normal anxiety. Patients suffering from generalised anxiety disorder sometimes have such kind of worries everyday for at least six months. It is a debilitating condition that significantly disrupts one's social life and activities, and even one's normal everyday functions such as keeping a job and solving minor problems. It is an extremely upsetting condition where a person tends to worry about every imaginable scenario that may or may not be possible and always expects the worst of a given situation.

Therefore, a medical intervention may be required to help people who have this condition. Possible causes of such a disorder range from genetics, environment, history, biochemistry, and individual psychological profile. Other symptoms include inability to control the worries; being tiresome; being restlessness; difficulty in concentrating; irritability; muscle tension; and other physical symptoms such as excessive sweating, palpitations, stomachaches, or difficulty in breathing. There are several approaches to treat such disorder and the success rate of treatment usually depends on the severity of the condition.

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Overcoming agoraphobia is often approached in completely the wrong way. In some cases, this delays someone's recovery by months and even years.

The biggest problem is the misconception that agoraphobia is no different to any other mental illness, and so psychologists and books will often suggest traditional treatments - things like psychoanalysis, where you look into your own past for potential causes of your agoraphobia; cognitive behavioral therapy, where you're told to adjust the way you control your own thoughts; and even basic "positive thinking," where you're told to "think" your way happy.

But the truth is, these approaches rarely work. In fact, in those people who've successfully overcome agoraphobia, these methods are rarely responsible.

The vital thing to understand is that agoraphobia is not the root-cause of your problem. And because it's not the root-cause of your problem, addressing the agoraphobia itself will prove ineffective in almost all cases; the best this will do is temporarily mask your symptoms.

The true root-cause of your agoraphobia is the anxiety you experience 24/7. This may be based on another form of panic disorder, such as generalized anxiety disorder, health anxiety (or hypochondria), social anxiety disorder, separation anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, or even a severe phobia of anything.

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Or your anxiety may be non-specific and seem random to you.

Whatever the case, it is your anxiety that needs to be addressed, and not the agoraphobia itself.

So the first step in overcoming agoraphobia is uncovering its true cause. Once you've successfully achieved that, you'll be in a much better position, mentally and physically, to begin to work at beating it.

In the majority of cases, the cause will be one of the anxiety and panic disorders I mentioned above. And the good news is that those are generally more easy to successfully treat than agoraphobia itself.

The best approaches to beating any anxiety or panic disorder is to search for those activities and pastimes that calm you, and to concentrate on doing those as often as possible. Any time you can give your mind a break from the constant anxiety you normally experience your body will appreciate it, and your anxiety will decrease.

It would also be a great idea to cut back on all foods and drinks with "stimulant" qualities. The obvious ones are caffeine, chocolate, carbonated drinks, and sugar. So avoid those whenever you can!

The important thing to remember is that your agoraphobia has an underlying cause. The key to quickly overcoming agoraphobia is to find that underlying cause, and then to focus all your attention on beating it.

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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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