I don't know if I have anxiety or panic attack

Hi I sometimes I feel uneasy. I can't breathe, my heart beats extremely fast and I start shaking. I want to know how to calm myself down and be at ease..
Asked by Pickles


Anxiety is a feeling of fear, dread, and uneasiness. It might cause you to sweat, feel restless and tense, and have a rapid heartbeat. It can be a normal reaction to stress. For example, you might feel anxious when faced with a difficult problem at work, before taking a test, or before making an important decision.


At times Anxiety is a trauma response. 


Sorry to hear you struggling. Please email/contact us at contact@betterhelp.com. Call us – 888-688-9296.


There could be many different things going on with you and a therapist could definitely help you figure this out. Perhaps run some Inventories with you (screeners).

Its sounds like you may be too hard on yourself to meet your goals and over thinking may be causing some overwhelming feelings thought processes etc...


When individuals are overwhelmed without support, symptoms may arise. Symptoms related to anxiousness, depression, or low self-worth and people tend to start thinking of them-selves negatively. Over time they become stuck in this pattern of self-defeating thinking (negative thought pattern). This is often the case with people struggling with mental illness/ trauma/ addiction/ COVID etc....


There are many treatments/modalities/interventions to use for these symptoms.

 The following or an integration of these therapies are a good way to navigate these issues:

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy combines several ways to help you change how you think:

·You learn to notice irrational thoughts about yourself.

·         You learn to stop the thoughts.

·         You learn to replace the negative thoughts with accurate thoughts.

·         You can learn to relax your mind and body.

·         You can learn to manage your time better.

Humanistic approach:

·      Explore Needs

·      Explore self actualization and self realization

·      Resolve conflicts

·       Reorganize your values and approaches to life

·       Interpret your thoughts and feelings.

·       Change behavior that you believe is interfering with your mental health


The quality of our thoughts changes how we act in and interact with the world around us. Not only does it affect our self-perception but also the relationships we keep with other people. Esteem impacts the jobs we look for, opportunities we take, and what we think we are deserving of. That is why it is necessary that we work on ourselves to get rid of self-defeating thoughts. They are incredibly limiting and can alter the course of the lives that we live. Thankfully there are some ways to help turn around your negative thoughts so that you can fulfill your potential:


Think about the person you would be without the fear and worry. Ask yourself a number of questions. Is your self-doubt keeping you away from the career opportunities that you would like to have? Are you creating problems in your relationships and friendships that would otherwise not be there? Where would you be without all the negativity? It is important to imagine yourself in this position, and know that you are capable of accomplishing all of that. Having the job you want, the relationship you want, living where you want to live. Once you are mentally healthy, you will see that all of this is within grasp and not simply a dream.


Do not assume that everything you feel is a necessary reality. Sometimes honesty is not always the truth, and you should not take it as that. You may feel insecure about your body, which does not necessarily mean there is anything wrong with it. You may feel that someone is critiquing you or does not like you, but that could be entirely false. It is okay to feel insecure and unsure about yourself and situations. But you must take those emotions with a grain of salt as they can be far-fetched. Sometimes the things in your head are just thoughts and nothing more. You may think you are failing in certain aspects of life because you may have not met the goals you personally held. Objectively, however, you probably are flourishing.


Always try to succeed and be better even when you do not feel like it. If you are feeling unwell or incapable, that does not mean you must sit in those emotions and dwell on them. You must push yourself to overcome those self-defeating thoughts and not let your mental health dictate your actions. Negative thoughts make you do what you think you are capable of doing, however, sometimes you can achieve so much more and it is important to be aware of this. Think about what your long-term hopes are and how to go about achieving them without daily setbacks deterring you from that path. Accomplishing something despite everything in your mind working against you provides a great sense of relief. You feel stronger than ever and it is always beneficial to surprise yourself with what you never knew before.


Be realistic about your emotions. If you are feeling unworthy, you might think you cannot do something when in reality you do not want to. “Can’t” and “won’t” are very different things, so recognize the difference. If a task feels particularly difficult, you may think it is impossible to do when in reality it makes you feel uncomfortable and so you make excuses to not do it. And also keep everything in perspective. We take so much for granted in life. Allow yourself to feel grateful for the opportunity to challenge yourself and not have it be something forced onto you. There are many people who must do things every day to survive. They have no options, but knowing that you have a choice makes all the difference in how you approach things.


Being aware of your needs is the first step.


I hope this was helpful and you seek the aid you need. Hang in there you are not alone. You can make it through this. 


Read this to your self out loud over and over:

1.     My sadness and my depression do not define me

2.     I don’t have to be productive to see value in myself

3.     I am resilient in the face of any challenge

4.     I am in charge of my life, and my happiness and I feel happy and content

5.     Not everybody will understand my situation, and it is okay

6.     I am much more than what I think I am

7.     Every day is a gift, and I am blessed to see today. I will see tomorrow and the next and bless them too

8.     I have made it this far, and I won’t stop now

9.     I am loved and appreciated even when it seems like I’m not

10. I am a work in progress, and I welcome every positive change. The darkness s in the past, and I open my eyes to new beginnings

11. I am more than what people think I am, and my thoughts do not shape my life

12. I am needed regardless of how worthless I feel

13. Everything will work out perfect for me, and I will watch it unfold

14. I forgive myself, and I don’t blame myself for my current situation

15. It’s in my head. It won’t last forever, and I will come out stronger

16. I deserve love, joy, and happiness. I deserve everything good

17. I don’t have anything to prove to myself or anybody else. I am enough, and that is okay

18. This darkness won’t last forever

19. I am not perfect, and it is okay. I forgive myself, and everyone for not being perfect. We are enough, and that is all that counts

20. I love myself, and I am happy!

Also, work on self-care and healthy coping mechanisms 

Ways to Relieve Psychological Stress:


1. Large muscle exercise triggers a drop in nervous system activation like fighting or fleeing from physical danger.

2. Changing thoughts and perceptions about the stressor.

“This project is important to me.”
“I really care about this person.”
“I’m excited!”

3. Relaxation techniques: Train the mind and body to let go of tension and stress


•Deep breathing
•Progressive muscle relaxation

•Body scan
•Soothing music


-----5, 4, 3, 2, 1 GROUNDING EXERCISE:



This technique will take you through your five senses to help remind you of the present. This is a calming technique that can help you get through tough or stressful situations.


Take a deep belly breath to begin.


5 - LOOK: Look around for 5 things that you can see, and say them out loud. For example, you could say, I see the computer, I see the cup, I see the picture frame.


4 - FEEL: Pay attention to your body and think of 4 things that you can feel, and say them out loud. For example, you could say, I feel my feet warm in my socks, I feel the hair on the back of my neck, or I feel the pillow I am sitting on.


3 - LISTEN: Listen for 3 sounds. It could be the sound of traffic outside, the sound of typing or the sound of your tummy rumbling. Say the three things out loud.


2 - SMELL: Say two things you can smell. If you’re allowed to, it’s okay to move to another spot and sniff something. If you can’t smell anything at the moment or you can’t move, then name your 2 favorite smells.


1 - TASTE: Say one thing you can taste. It may be the toothpaste from brushing your teeth, or a mint from after lunch. If you can’t taste anything, then say your favorite thing to taste.


Take another deep belly breath to end.