Anxiety and Afib: I had an anxiety attack due... - AF Association

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Anxiety and Afib

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I had an anxiety attack due to Afib a few days ago. I find these attacks to be so frightening! My heart begins to race so fast that I feel like I am having a heart attach, I become nauseous along with shaking. I do try deep breathing, but it does not calm me down. I would like to hear how you all deal with this fear. These attacks are much worse than Afib itself.

6 Replies

Deep breathing can help many but not all I understand that.

I found that one of the many meditation videos helped me a lot. Maybe it can work for you.

Try this one for example:

There are many other on YouTube.



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Slattery in reply to pottypete1

Thank you, I will give it a try.

Empathy streaming your way...many people have this frightening experience, me among them. I have learned to cope by learning breathing techniques and self- hypnosis. I feel the AF attacks starting and begin the 7/11 breathing (in for 7 out for 11) and go to some well-rehearsed places in my head. A bit like mediation. It makes the episodes less intense, easier to handle, and sometimes heads them off altogether. Maybe this might help you. But it's important to set time aside to practice it when not in AF.

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Slattery in reply to Coco51


Thank you for your support, I need to work on meditation and breathing.

Like Coco51 I use 7 -11 breathing. Have a look at Human Givens. You can count as fast as you like then gradually slow the breath. The brain CAN change it's emotional responses to a situation. Brain plasticity is another key word. Practising when you are not anxious creates new pathways. I imagine a special place full of calm when I am calm then lock it into my brain by touching my little finger while I'm there. Next time I panic, I touch little finger and get back there fast.

There are lots of different techniques and each everyone responds differently but most will come back to the breath. Read the Human Givens article on anxiety - know your enemy.

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