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Three Steps to Managing Anxiety and Panic Attacks

January 16, 2013

By Michelle Villa, IMFT

Anxiety can be a normal reaction to stress.With stressors such as an increase in unemployment, rise in prices, and demanding lifestyles it is no surprise many Americans suffer with Anxiety and Panic Attacks.  The good news is there is recovery from anxiety, panic attacks and the symptoms that come with these common disorders.

What are Anxiety and Panic Attacks?


  • Excessive worry, nervousness, or fear.
  • Difficulty Sleeping
  • Irritability
  • Tired easily
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Muscle tense

Panic Attacks

  • Sweating/Chills
  • Racing Heart Beat
  • Racing thoughts
  • Shaking
  • Feeling Dizzy
  • Nausea or Diarrhea
  • Fear of Losing control

Seeking treatment for Anxiety & Panic Attacks can be very effective and provide suffers with relief and new tools to move on with life. I’ve laid out my top three tools that help with decreasing anxiety and get you closer to living a healthy and stress free life.

1.  Relax!  Tense the various muscles in your body for a few seconds and then release, allowing yourself to relax.

2. Breath.  (Yes breathing! It might sound so easy but when stressed we tend to use shallow breathing). Try taking a deep breath counting to 5 then exhale counting to five.

3. Think Positive.  If you think in terms of “cannot” such as I cannot do this or I cannot get better you will remain stuck because these are negative beliefs. Think in terms of what you “can” do! Instead of telling yourself to stop being anxious, try telling yourself to be happy or calm.

Stress can cause damage to your health, your mood, your productivity, your relationships, and your quality of life. However, you can protect yourself by recognizing the signs and symptoms of stress and take steps to prevent anxiety.

About the Author

Michelle Villa is an Intern Marriage and Family Therapist.  She works under the clinical supervision of Janelle Novell, LMFT, RPT-S.  Michelle can be reached at 951-252-9911.

This website contains information about Novell and Novell’s mental health services, our therapists, how to access our services as well as general mental health information. The information contained in this website is for general information purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for the advice of a mental health professional, diagnosis or treatment. Additionally, this website does not contain or represent a complete listing of all mental health services available or appropriate. Users of this website are strongly encouraged to call or see a mental health professional with any related questions.