Frequently Asked Questions About Heart And Anxiety

I had been diagnosed with congenital heart disease when I was an infant. After birthing me, my mother said that I had to stay in an incubator for two full months with various tubes attached to my little body. The doctors apparently asked them to prepare for the worst in the first month because my condition was not getting better. However, by some miracle, I became strong enough to go home.

The hole in my heart was still there, you know. My parents asked if I could go under the knife around that time, but the doctors told them no because my body could not handle the procedure. Hence, when I came home, Mom and Dad felt a little paranoid that something wrong might happen to me at night, so they set up my bassinet in their bedroom. They also limited the number of people who could see me because my immune system was lower than that of an average baby at the time. Then, I had my first surgery after 13 months, and my parents said that my health improved incredibly. However, the doctors still advised them to be cautious for possible cardiovascular disease manifestations in the future.

The reality was that I did not have a memory of all my heart issues when I was still an infant. I merely asked Mom about it when I was around five years old because of the scars I had on my chest. My mother explained what happened, but it made me realize that that’s why my folks did not want me to overdo myself whenever I was playing with my friends. Other than that, it sounded more like a cool story than anything.

That was until I got my first heart attack.

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Experiencing My First Heart Attack

I had a pretty normal childhood, thinking that my congenital disability had already been fixed. During the summer, I went to all kinds of camps, became a Girl Scout, and participated actively in school activities. I was always bubbly, too, so whenever I told people I had heart surgery as a baby, they would jokingly say, “Get out of here! That’s not possible!”

But then, one morning, I woke up with a weird feeling on my left chest and arm. I began stretching; it seemed to help a little, so I went on with my day without telling my parents about it. That was a jam-packed Friday, considering I had to practice softball in the morning and cheer in the afternoon – both under the sun. 

I felt that achy sensation on the left side of my body again mid-morning, but I kept going during training and gave every swing of the bat my all. When I had lunch, I was already having cold sweat, but I still acted like nothing’s wrong when I hit the field for cheerleading. However, come 2 p.m., I collapsed on the ground, clutching my chest. The last thing I heard was my teammates screaming.

The Effect Of My Heart Attack

I woke up at the hospital. I felt confused because it was filled with flowers and balloons, but I eventually recalled the events that led to all that. Mom roused from the couch immediately and called the doctor before giving me a tight hug and telling me she felt scared to death. I was about to ask what happened to me when an elderly man in a white coat knocked and came in.

“Hello, Ms. Cooper. We’re glad to see you awake. You’ve had your first heart attack at the school grounds,” he informed me. “How do you feel?”

“Uh, okay, I guess,” I answered. 

The doctor nodded thoughtfully and proceeded to tell me the do’s and don’ts to make sure that I won’t have a heart attack again. My mother asked if I needed another surgery, causing me to feel scared, but the doctor said that I would be okay if I moderated all my activities.

After my hospitalization, I grew a bit more anxious about my health as the days passed by. I asked my cheer coach if I could be her assistant instead of dancing and training too hard again. I backed out of the softball team entirely. I hardly ever went out to have fun with my friends, afraid that I might suffer from another heart attack.

That led me to the following questions: 

How do you treat anxiety by yourself? 

  • Confide in your partner, family, or friends about your anxiety. They can tell you if your anxious thoughts are valid or offer reasonable solutions to handle them. In case you are not ready to share your issues yet, you may contact support groups.
  • Face your fears. The reality is that you need not do that when you are in the middle of a panic attack. It is best to conquer or try to understand them during your downtime or when you feel calm. Furthermore, you may write them down as a way of removing the anxiety-inducing thoughts from your system.
  • Take care of your physical well-being. It is not enough to eat healthily or exercise regularly. You also need to get a sufficient amount of sleep and avoid accepting too much work. Otherwise, your stress level will go up and trigger your anxiety.
  • Learn how to breathe as a way of relaxing your mind and body. You may download self-help meditation books or audiobooks if you cannot attend classes in person.
  • Know your triggers. It should not be difficult, considering you may fear similar things. For instance, if you have social anxiety, you tend to feel overwhelmed when you go to crowded places or even find yourself sitting in traffic. In that case, you need to find ways to avoid such situations. 
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What is the most reliable symptom of depression? 

The most reliable symptom of depression is a hopeless outlook in life. When you experience this symptom, you may find it challenging to see a way out of your issues. No matter what kind of solution other people suggest, you tend to say, “What’s the point of doing that? I’m doomed anyway.” 

What causes a lack of self-care? 

The primary reason for the lack of self-care is a neurological condition. For instance, if you suffer from brain trauma or injury or dementia, hygiene may go to the back of your mind. It can also happen when dealing with mental disorders that zap your energy or motivation to do anything.

How do I improve my mood and anxiety? 

  • Start exercising. You need not join a gym to do that. In truth, walking up and down the stairs or hiking in the mountains is technically an exercise.
  • Get some vitamin D naturally. Bask in the sun before the UV rays come so that your body can break it down into other useful compounds. Considering you do not get enough sunlight in your location, you may eat mackerel, salmon, and other foods rich in vitamin D.
  • Stay in nature as often as possible. Aside from breathing in the fresh air, doing so allows you to have peace of mind.
  • Get a pet. It can be a dog, cat, or any animal, to be honest. What matters is that you can interact with it, especially when you feel anxious. In case your housing situation does not let you own one, you may visit loved ones and play with their pets, volunteer at shelters, or request an emotional support animal.
  • Write your worries in a diary. It may no longer be common for adults, but it does not mean that it is not effective for improving your mood and reducing your anxiety. The idea is that using a diary as an outlet for your thoughts can be as helpful as sweating out the toxins in the body.

How long until exercise helps anxiety? 

Exercise works faster than any drug or therapy when it comes to helping a person deal with their anxiety. Studies suggest that doing it for less than 15 minutes is supposed to improve your mood and make you feel less stressed than ever. Nonetheless, if you wish for better results, you should exercise from 30 to 120 minutes.

What is the best exercise for anxiety? 

Any aerobic exercise is the best for anxiety. That can mean running, swimming, jogging, walking, cycling, or even dancing. After all, increased physical activity increases mental energy and endorphin production and reduces a person’s stress level.

The sole caveat is that you should not exercise for more than 120 minutes. It will be called overexercising, and it may heighten your anxiety instead of lowering it. 

Is going for a walk good for anxiety? 

Yes, going for a walk when you are dealing with anxiety is an excellent idea. The reason is that walking slows down your heart rate and relieves your stress. That is especially true if you take the scenic route and stay away from the busy streets. 

The ideal duration for walking is 30 minutes every day. However, in case you do not have much free time, ten minutes will also do.

How long does anxiety take to heal? 

The sad truth is that anxiety is one of the many psychological disorders that you may never be able to heal from permanently. You may feel fine once you manage to move on from a triggering event, but you may deal with the symptoms again when another event makes you anxious. Then, it may take a few hours to get over it.

Can exercise get rid of anxiety? 

Yes, exercise can get rid of anxiety. Based on research, exercising for at least 30 minutes regularly can reduce your anxious thoughts for a few hours afterward. If you want a prolonged effect, you should consider following an exercise program of your choice.

What gets rid of anxiety? 

Exercising is one of the most recommendable activities to get rid of anxiety. The reason is that physical exertion reduces the toxins in your body and relaxes your mind. You can also gain the same effects by avoiding drugs, cigarettes, and alcohol or trying meditation, deep-breathing exercises, or aromatherapy.

What is a good vitamin for anxiety? 

Vitamin D is most likely the best vitamin for anxiety. According to various studies, people who have been diagnosed with this mental disorder do not have a sufficient amount of calcidiol, which is the result of breaking down vitamin D in the body. Hence, to increase its production, you should expose yourself to sunlight for a few minutes every day, eat fish, or take vitamin D supplements.

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Is anxiety all in your head? 

Given that anxiety is a mental disorder, yes, anxiety is nowhere else but in your head. 

In reality, anxiety is not supposed to be an awful thing. Your brain induces anxiety to prepare you for dangerous or risky activities and help you think of how to overcome them. It only turns into a disorder when you feel overwhelmed by your anxious thoughts, to the extent that your daily activities become negatively affected.

What is the fastest-acting anxiety medication? 

Benzodiazepine is perhaps the fastest-acting anxiety medication at the time of writing. It is typically known as a tranquilizer. Various drugs that can be categorized as such are Xanax, Valium, and Klonopin. Standard dosage may take effect after an hour or two. 

Is head pressure a sign of anxiety?

Yes, head pressure is a sign of anxiety. It is typically caused by excessive stress and worries, which can cause tension headaches. Aside from that, anxiety can result in eye strain, migraine, or sinus infection.

Final Thoughts

Luckily, after a few months, I found the right balance between cautiousness and activeness. I learned that there’s nothing to fear if I was mindful of my body and knew when to stop or keep going. 

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