What Is An Anxiety Attack?
An attack is “abrupt onset of intense fear or discomfort that reaches a peak within minutes.”
It usually presents 4 of the following symptoms:
- Palpitations, pounding heart, or accelerated heart rate
- Trembling or shaking
- Sensations of shortness of breath or smothering
- Feelings of choking
- Chest pain or discomfort
- Nausea or abdominal distress
- Feeling dizzy, unsteady, light-headed, or faint
- Chills or feeling hot
- Numbness or tingling
- Derealization (feelings of unreality) or depersonalization (being detached from oneself)
- Fear of losing control or “going crazy”
- Fear of dying
During an anxiety attack, the sufferer often feels like he or she can’t breathe.
“And when you don’t get enough oxygen, the brain receives a ‘danger’ signal, which perpetuates your mind-body state of anxiety,” explains Jonathan Davidson, M.D., director of the Anxiety and Traumatic Stress Program at Duke University Medical Center. “Your breathing quickens and becomes even more shallow; in an extreme case this can lead to a full-blown panic attack, in which the person begins to hyperventilate.”
Nostril Breathing And Anxiety
Yogis believe that the nose is directly linked to the brain and nervous system.
And so, alternate nostril breathing (called Nadi Shodhan) is believed to balance the left and right hemispheres of the brain.
A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (3), found that slow diaphragmatic breathing proved just as effective in reducing anxiety as the antidepressant drug imipramine.