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- Anxiety Disorders
Effective Ways to Cope with Panic Attacks
If you suffer from panic attacks, you know that it can happen at any time and with little (or no) warning. Even when you can pick out a logical reason for your panic attack, it doesn't seem to do a lot to calm your nerves.
If you've experienced a panic attack in public, you might find that the anxiety of anticipating a panic attack doesn't help, either. And, if anything, having a panic attack in public seems to increase the anxiety tenfold.
Before you consider getting a prescription medication to keep your panic attacks under control, you might want to try out some of these ideas for coping with panic attacks.
Natural Ways to Manage Panic Attacks
- Keep a record of when and where your panic attacks happen. By documenting your panic attacks, you might begin to notice a pattern and you can get a better idea of what might be triggering them.
- Don't rely on medication. Medication will usually mask the symptoms without addressing the underlying cause and some panic attack medications also have some serious side effects.
- Cut down on unnecessary stimulants. Certain drugs, like caffeine and tobacco, can make your panic attacks worse. If you don't want to quit cold turkey, it helps to reduce your tobacco or caffeine use gradually.
- Find a friend you can talk to about whatever triggers your panic attacks. He or she should be somebody you can trust. A friend who understands what it's like to have panic attacks may know exactly what you need.
- Consider some lifestyle changes to reduce your anxiety and panic attacks. A lot of people have built up anxiety and resentment for a job they hate or something they're going through that they feel they can't change. This can definitely contribute to panic attacks.
- Take a walk. Walking releases hormones that improve your mood and helps to clear your mind from the anxiety that comes with panic attacks. It helps to walk in a pleasant environment such as a park. Fresh air always helps me!
- Sign up for a yoga class. Yoga can help you relax along with a series of poses that can improve health and muscle tone.
- Learn some relaxation techniques. Next time you feel an anxiety attack coming on, take some slow, deep breaths and concentrate on relaxing tense muscle groups.
- Consider counseling for severe panic disorder. Some panic disorders are so severe that you may need help to get it under a control. Talk to your doctor about treatment options and consider scheduling appointments with a counselor.
- Confront your fears. Panic attacks and anxiety can be caused by a past traumatic event or fear of losing control of a situation.
I've actually heard of a guy who conquered his fear of heights by signing up for skydiving lessons! You don't necessarily have to go that far but it does help to take stock of which fears might be causing your panic attacks.
Panic Attacks Can Be Controlled
You can get your panic attacks under control by figuring out what causes them and taking steps to reduce their severity. It'll take some willpower and may take time if you're just starting on your efforts to control your panic attacks.
By staying consistent, you will eventually notice a reduction in the severity and frequency of your panic attacks and you can start getting your life back to normal.
© 2012 Melanie Palen