The Fear of An Anxiety Attack Can Be Compared To a Shark Attack
Imagine you're on a yearly vacation.
You and your young family are at the beach. The pleasant, salted breeze is whirling past your hair, the soaked sand squishes around your toes, and the seagulls call out as they check the salted water beneath for fish. The sun is extreme, and the sunscreen you put on a few hours prior is beginning to wilt. As you return to your belongings further up the beach, you move under the shadowy umbrella, seeking a break from the sun. You grab your sunscreen as you peek at your daughter who is frolicing in the ocean water.
It's at that minute when you realize that this is the relaxation you've needed for a lifetime.
Then you see it.
A big dark shadow is swimming towards your daughter. You look in shock as this torpedo - homed in on it's mark - is traversing through the water efficiently. Your heart starts to race and an anxiety begins. You know what it is, but you don't want to believe it. You hurry towards your daughter but the only thing on your thoughts is how you'll never make it in time.
The creature is quick and you're in his territory now. Worry comes upon you like a heavy blanket. You scream, your lungs gasping for air "Get out of the water! Get out of the water!" You're getting closer but your mind instinctively tries to tally the calculations - who will get there first? You start to think how effortlessly you would sacrifice yourself if only you could make it in time.
The monster is approaching fast but the waves are huge and strong. One of the waves catches the path of the monster and disrupts it just a bit. This is your chance - this is the moment.
The fear you sense is full scale now.
Mostly, you fear the life afterwards if you don't make it in time. The whole world is starting to crash in on you as you see the fin pierce through the sudsy water - it's much larger than you ever anticipated. You can nearly see the black, soulless eyes through the sand-stirred water. Your little girl now recognizes the real danger she is in and strains to gain traction on the sandy floor as she screams for you. You're ten yards away from her, the beast is 15, maybe 20.
You don't want to live anymore and the only thing that keeps you in the battle is the instinctive care for your daughter. The adrenaline has taken over as you grab for her arm. Your grasp is strong. You thrust your little girl back towards shore and you watch a nasty mouth open wide.
You see the rows of serrated teeth and pink fleshy gums. There's no suspecting now - your most awful nightmare is now actuality - it's a shark. It's jaws are shutting and you're wondering if it's still too late. As you give one last heave towards the shore as your body twirls around. Your back now fronts the ruthless shark and the ocean it calls home. You hear the clatter of teeth as you sling your daughter towards safety. The shark almost beaches itself in the shallow waters. Your girl is secure and you watch the shark squirm his way back into the waves to pursue his next prey.
You lay fatigued in one inch deep water, the waves slowly rocking your body from side to side. The fight is over but the fear is still there. Your chest hurts. The tightness presses you as you search for air.
The sensation is profound within every fiber of your being. You can't let it go.
You start to hyperventilate as the life guards appear. They administer oxygen and begin the examination but nothing can soothe you - you've never been more afraid in your life ...
What is Anxiety?
So you might be asking yourself what the short story above has to do with Anxiety.
Can you visualize if you take the level of fear the parent in the story above suffered and combine it into daily life.
Imagine your sitting at the office on a Friday, all of your work is finished for the work week, and your hanging around to blast off for the weekend. Then add the level of fear sustained from the shark attack into a day that should be common. It hits you all at once, you can't manage it, and you can't understand why it's happening because there is no reason for it.
Welcome to the panic attack. In my opinion, the toughest symptom of anxiety.
Essentially, anxiety is just feeling severe fear, overly stressed, or overly worried when there is no reason too. When your brain is operating properly and you're in a life threatening situation, your brain will boost your heart rate, adrenaline and stress level to help deal with the situation at hand.
So, when all this happens and and your not in a life threatening situation, your brain is just making a mistake. You are having a short circuit so to speak. You have to tell your brain, "Hey Dummy, you're making a mistake here. I'm at grandma's house gobbling up pie and enjoying the birds chirp. I'm not being attacked by a shark."