Written & Reviewed by
Gaston Molina
Published on
June 25, 2023

Defining Trust Issues, Why I don’t Trust Anyone

Gaston Molina

Medically Reviewed by Gaston Molina, Clinical Psychologist & Therapist

Exploring Anxiety: A Comprehensive Guide to What an Anxiety Attack Feels Like

what does an anxiety attack feel like

Understanding Anxiety and Anxiety Attacks

Anxiety is a common human emotion that can interfere with daily life and lead to anxiety attacks. Also known as panic attacks, anxiety attacks involve sudden intense fear or discomfort that peaks within minutes and can last up to an hour. They can occur at any time, triggered by external factors or internal thoughts and feelings.

What Does an Anxiety Attack Feel Like?

An anxiety attack can feel like different things to different people, but some common physical and emotional symptoms include:

Physical Symptoms

  • Rapid heartbeat or palpitations
  • Sweating and trembling
  • Shortness of breath or hyperventilation
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Nausea or stomach upset
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Tingling or numbness in the hands or feet

Emotional Symptoms

  • Intense fear or terror
  • Sense of impending doom or death
  • Feeling out of control or detached from reality
  • Overwhelming worry or nervousness
  • Irritability or restlessness
  • Difficulty concentrating or thinking clearly

An anxiety attack can be a terrifying experience, and it’s important to know that it is not uncommon. It’s essential to seek help if you or someone you know is experiencing these symptoms frequently.

Causes of Anxiety Attacks

Anxiety attacks can be caused by various factors, including genetics, environmental stressors, and chemical imbalances in the brain. Some common triggers of anxiety attacks include:

Environmental Triggers

  • Social situations or public speaking
  • Conflict or tension in relationships
  • Financial or work-related stress
  • Traumatic events or experiences

Chemical Imbalances

Genetic Factors

  • Family history of anxiety or panic disorders
  • Inherited traits or tendencies

It’s essential to identify potential triggers of anxiety attacks to manage them effectively and prevent them from occurring.

Coping Mechanisms for Anxiety Attacks

Although anxiety attacks can be overwhelming, there are coping mechanisms to help manage them effectively. While anxiety attacks can be overwhelming, there are effective coping mechanisms available. Deep breathing exercises, mindfulness techniques such as meditation or yoga, progressive muscle relaxation, grounding techniques, and talk therapy with a qualified therapist can all help in managing anxiety attacks

Deep Breathing

Breathing exercises, such as diaphragmatic breathing or 4-7-8 breathing, can help regulate breathing patterns and reduce anxiety symptoms.


Practicing mindfulness techniques, such as meditation or yoga, can help calm the mind and reduce stress and anxiety.

Progressive Muscle Relaxation

Progressive muscle relaxation involves tensing and relaxing different muscle groups in the body, which can help reduce physical tension and promote relaxation.

Grounding Techniques

Grounding techniques, such as focusing on the senses or physical sensations, can help bring awareness back to the present moment and reduce feelings of panic or detachment.

Talk Therapy

Talking to a therapist or counselor can help identify triggers and develop effective coping strategies to manage anxiety attacks.

Let’s get started on your journey with Fitcy Health certified therapist and we’ll help you to reduce your anxiety symptoms.

What to Do if You or Someone You Know is Experiencing an Anxiety Attack

If you or someone you know is experiencing an anxiety attack, it’s essential to stay calm and provide support. Here are some helpful tips:

Stay Calm

Remain calm and reassuring, and avoid minimizing or dismissing their feelings.

Help Them Breathe

Encourage slow, deep breathing, and guide them through breathing exercises if needed.

Provide a Safe Space

Create a safe and comfortable environment, free from any triggers or stressors.

Offer Support

Offer physical comfort, such as a hug or holding their hand, and be present and attentive.

Seek Medical Help

If symptoms persist or worsen, seek medical attention or call emergency services.

Treatment Options for Anxiety

There are various treatment options available for anxiety, depending on the severity and frequency of symptoms. Some common treatment options include:


Anti-anxiety medications, such as benzodiazepines or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), can help reduce symptoms of anxiety and panic attacks. But every medication has its own side effects. It is better to connect with psychologists and let them explore the need for medications if it’s really needed.


Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), exposure therapy, and other forms of talk therapy can help identify triggers and develop coping strategies to manage anxiety. Therapists are the most efficient strategy to cope with the symptoms of anxiety and panic attacks.

Lifestyle Changes

Making lifestyle changes, such as reducing caffeine and alcohol intake, getting regular exercise, and practicing stress management techniques, can help reduce anxiety symptoms.

It’s essential to consult a healthcare professional to discuss treatment options and develop a comprehensive treatment plan.

Living with Anxiety – Managing Symptoms in Everyday Life

Living with anxiety can be challenging, but there are strategies to manage symptoms in everyday life. Here are some helpful tips:

Practice Self-Care

Take care of yourself by getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, and engaging in activities that bring joy and relaxation.

Set Realistic Goals

Set achievable goals and break them down into smaller, manageable steps to avoid feeling overwhelmed.

Lean on Support

Seek support from loved ones, support groups, or mental health professionals to feel understood and validated.

Be Mindful of Triggers

Identify potential triggers and develop coping strategies to manage them effectively.

Talking About Anxiety – Breaking the Stigma and Seeking Support

Breaking the stigma surrounding anxiety is essential to seek support and treatment. Here are some helpful tips:

Educate Yourself

Learn about anxiety and mental health to understand the condition better and reduce stigma and misconceptions.

Speak Up

Share your experiences with trusted friends, family, or healthcare professionals to seek support and reduce feelings of isolation.

Seek Professional Help

Consult a mental health professional to develop a comprehensive treatment plan and receive support and guidance.

Support Others

Support others who may be struggling with anxiety by offering a listening ear, validation, and encouragement to seek help.


Anxiety attacks can be overwhelming, but with the right strategies and support, they can be managed effectively. It’s essential to recognize the symptoms, identify triggers, and seek help when needed. Breaking the stigma surrounding anxiety and mental health is crucial to seek support and reduce feelings of shame and isolation. Remember that you are not alone, and there is help available.

If you or someone you know is struggling with anxiety, seek professional help and support. Remember that seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness.

Just remove the stigma, and consult the Fitcy Health mental health professional now. We’re not leaving you to deal with anxiety problems alone.

Gaston Molina
Medically Reviewed by Gaston Molina, Clinical Psychologist & Therapist

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