Feeling any kind of change in your heartbeat can be a scary experience! Many will jump to the conclusion that they are having a heart attack, but the problem could very well be an arrhythmia. An arrhythmia is defined as a fluttering or pounding feeling inside the chest, however, there appears to be no medical cause! This type of condition is actually common among those who suffer from anxiety, and in order to solve the problem, the underlying anxiety must be addressed. This article will provide a few tips on how to successfully defeat anxiety and enjoy a more pleasant, moderated heartbeat.
Unfortunately, people who suffer from anxiety and arrhythmia are often caught in a terrible cycle of anxiety that leads to arrhythmia, and consequently, arrhythmia that leads to more anxiety. It’s important not to become overwhelmed and lose hope, because there are many effective treatments available for anxiety. You may notice that your irregular heartbeat worsens when you are feeling anxious, and returns to normal when you feel calm. If this is the case, then you are very likely to be suffering from an anxiety-related condition. However, it’s important to seek a diagnosis from a medical professional before proceeding with your anxiety treatment. There are many reasons why you may have developed an arrhythmia and it’s important to rule those out. If your doctor can’t pinpoint a physical cause to your problem, then it’s time to proceed with addressing your anxiety.
First of all, it’s important to know a few things about heart arrhythmia. Everyone experiences an irregular heartbeat from time to time, and this may include a heart that’s beat to fast or too slowly, or just simply a heartbeat that’s not consistent and regular. Arrhythmia symptoms typically include breathlessness, dizziness, lightheadedness and sudden weakness. Other causes of an arrhythmia can include diabetes, drug abuse, excessive caffeine consumption, hypertension, hypothyroidism, smoking, and some medications and herbal treatments. Very often, an arrhythmia is harmless, as long as it’s not too extreme. The severity of an arrhythmia is something only a medical professional can determine, and you’ll have learned this during your doctor’s visit. A doctor will determine the severity of the condition by running blood and urine tests to check blood counts and the overall functionality of the liver thyroid and kidney. An ECG, or electrocardiogram, will also record the rhythms of your heart and reveal any damage from a prior heart attack. A Holter monitor may also be used to record heartbeats while you engage in your daily activities. Finally, an echo cardiogram may be used to check the pumping of the heart, as well as a chest x-ray. There are a variety of treatments for an arrhythmia, but in this article, we’re going to focus on reducing anxiety.
Deep breathing and progressive muscle relaxation are tried and true methods of reducing anxiety. To practice deep breathing, begin by taking a deep breath in through your diaphragm and holding it for five seconds. Then, slowly release and repeat until you begin to feel relaxed. You can also practice progressive muscle relaxation by focusing on a specific muscle group, tightening the muscles and then releasing them. Repeat this for every muscle group in your body, and concentrate on the feeling of tension, and the feeling of releasing that tension.
Also, remember to eat a well-balanced diet high in fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and reduce the caffeine in your diet. Caffeine is a stimulant and not good for people who suffer from anxiety. Remember to get plenty of exercise, especially cardiovascular exercise, which release mood-elevating endorphins in the brain. By following these few simple tips, you’ll be well on your way to eradicating your arrhythmia and reducing your anxiety.
Nordqvist, Christian. “What Is Arrhythmia?” Medical News Today. <http://www.medicalnewstoday.com> 20 Jan 2012.