Panic attacks are one of the most common reasons for absenteeism at school and work. They are also the reason why some women of all ages isolate themselves from their friends and limit their activities outside the house in fear that an attack will take place in public.
Fortunately, panic attacks can be successfully prevented. Since they affect your mind and body alike, their prevention should have a more holistic approach and focus on improving your mental and physical health. Here are the 10 best ways to prevent panic attacks.
Take Care of Your Emotional Health
Consider psychotherapy, particularly a cognitive-behavioral therapy, which can help you reverse negative thought patterns, so they no longer have the power to trigger panic attacks.
Learn to relieve stress through meditation, yoga, aromatherapy, or breathing exercises, because an inability to cope with stress makes you more vulnerable to panic attacks and anxiety.
Join a support group in your local community; for example, your church, university, or a nearby hospital. Most women find comfort in being able to exchange their experiences and insights with other panic attack sufferers.
Get enough sleep because insufficient or low-quality sleep makes you more prone to moodiness, irritability, and panic attacks. Your brain and body will thank you for it.
Find a hobby or do some volunteer work to keep your mind away from those anxious thoughts that fill you with worry and trigger your panic attacks. It will also prevent you from withdrawing from people and remain socially active.
Take Care of Your Physical Health
Cut down triggers, such as caffeine, alcohol, and illegal drugs as they are known to overexcite the nervous system and trigger panic attacks.
Drink green tea, which is rich in anti-oxidants, necessary for the proper functioning of the brain, and L-theanine, which promotes calmness and relaxation.
Exercise regularly not only to give yourself a boost of happy hormones, but also to prevent panic attacks by eliminating the accumulated stress and distracting your mind from overthinking.
Balance your diet with foods that are recognized for enhancing mood, strengthening the nervous system, and preventing panic attacks, such as those rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, folate, and magnesium.
Try herbal medicine to help you manage your panic attacks. Essential oils inhalations or herbal infusions made with chamomile, lavender, or valerian have long been recognized for reducing anxiety and preventing panic attacks.
It is also advisable to maintain regular medical check-ups to ensure that panic attacks are not caused by some treatable conditions, such as hormonal imbalance, vitamin deficiency, or thyroid disease. If you feel that panic attacks severely impair your daily life or cause suicidal thoughts, talk to your doctor about a possibility of prescribing medications to help you better control your panic attacks.
- American Family Physician. (1998). Panic Disorder: Diagnosis and Treatment in Primary Care. Retrieved September 18, 2017 from http://www.aafp.org/afp/1998/0515/p2328.html
- Cleveland Clinic. (2017). Panic disorder. Retrieved September 18, 2017 from https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/panic-disorder
- Mayo Clinic. (2015). Panic attacks and panic disorder: Prevention. Retrieved September 20, 2017 from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/panic-attacks/basics/prevention/con-20020825
- MedlinePlus. (2017). Panic Disorder. Retrieved September 18, 2017 from https://medlineplus.gov/panicdisorder.html
- Mind. (2015). Anxiety and panic attacks. Retrieved September 18, 2017 from https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/anxiety-and-panic-attacks/