Hot and cold flashes-they’re not just for menopausal women. In fact, they are very common symptoms of anxiety disorders, especially ones that are characterized by panic attacks. Read on to learn that, not only are you are not alone in experiencing this symptom, but there are a variety of techniques to overcoming it, as well as the anxiety that is wearing you down.
Sweating, hot and cold flashes, trembling, shaking, muscle twitching, shortness of breath, heart palpitations-these are the characteristics of a panic attack. What many people don’t realize is that anxiety, in excessive amounts, is classified as a mental health disorder. If panic attacks and excessive worry are ruling your life, you don’t have to suffer alone. There is hope for you and there are many, many avenues you can take in addressing and relieving your anxiety symptoms.
Hot flashes are periods of extreme and heat and blood flow, and they often lead to sweaty palms, yes, the same sweaty palms you may have experience before giving a speech junior high, or asking that special person out on a date. However, generalized anxiety disorder is different because the level of worry is extreme in comparison to the threat. Simply stated, the perception of danger that an anxiety suffers experience is far out of line with the actual threat. When experiencing a hot flash, you may feel heat in your face first, and then it may gradually spread throughout your body. This feeling of heat is your blood rushing to your face and other extremities, which may also cause you to blush, another dreaded side effect of anxiety. Once the sufferer notices this, he or she often becomes embarrassed, which only worsens the symptoms and perpetuates the cycle of anxiety and hot flashes.
Here are a few tips for lessening heat flashes: avoid foods that can elevate your body temperature, such as spicy foods, avoid alcohol, take a cold shower to cool and calm your body, and by all means, avoid smoking. It may also be helpful to dress in layers so you can remove them when you feel a hot flash coming on. Through all of this, it’s important to remember breathe deeply. Your breath is the key to escaping an anxiety episode, so by focusing on your breath, and you can shorten the length of your hot flashes. It’s also important to remember that there is nothing life-threatening about anxiety, and your body will return to normal in a short while. Panicking over your panic will only make the situation worse. Simply acknowledge the fact that you are experiencing anxiety, with no judgment involved. Try to make yourself as comfortable as possible, and practice a deep breathing exercise. You can do this by inhaling from your nose and counting to five, holding your breath for another five, and then slowly exhaling. Continue this process until you can feel your body begin to relax.
Long-term solutions for anxiety include meditation and yoga, the latter having been shown to increase a chemical in the brain called GABA. This chemical is typically targeted by many anti-anxiety drugs. Cognitive-behavioral therapy can also be useful as it can teach you how to address faulty thinking that can lead to anxiety.
“Hot Flashes.” Mayo Clinic. October 7, 2012. <www.mayoclinic.com.>