38 Lifestyle Tips for Reducing Your Anxiety & Preventing Panic Attacks – Part 1

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Reducing anxiety levels and starting to feel ‘normal’ again can be next to impossible without attention to some simple lifestyle factors. It is of course really important to watch your thinking patterns too but if you can settle your body you are going a very long way to settling your mind and then reducing anxiety is almost automatic (remember a settled body = a settled mind, and vice versa).

The same applies just as much to preventing panic attacks, which are an extreme expression of anxiety that’s out of control. http://www.calminghealth.com/38-lifestyle-reducing-anxiety-panic-part-1
Following these tips can quickly help you feel more settled and make an enormous difference to your progress in recovering from an anxiety state. Remember to keep practising these steps process daily as well as it becomes your life habit.

In combination with the other strategies outlined on this website, you will maximize your chances for a speedy recovery and reduce your susceptibility to becoming anxious again. Many of these tips for panic attacks and anxiety come from the wonderful, ancient health philosophy of Ayurveda. There is no single better approach to curing and deeply understanding anxiety and panic. More valuable and free information about Ayurveda for anxiety is coming soon to CalmingHealth. Meanwhile, you may interested about Ayurveda technique and implementation here.

PART 2 >>                   PART 3 >>

12 Easy AND Effective Home Natural Remedies for Anxiety and Stress

How to Stop a Panic Attack in 10 Ways

Helping Someone During a Panic Attack – Please share this

1. Try to establish a regular daily routine

This is so simple yet it’s one of the most important tips for reducing anxiety and returning to balance. When your nervous system is agitated it may be difficult at first to focus enough to observe a daily routine, and the idea of it may even be unappealing to some but the nervous system is unsettled by uncertainty and irregularity and soothed by routine.

When anxiety is high it can be very difficult to make even simple decisions. Having a basic structure to your day reduces the need to make decisions about what to do next and helps to anchor that restless, flighty nervous energy.

Reduce uncertainty and the need to make decisions by adopting a regular programme for your day as far as possible. Take it a little at a time until you are eating, sleeping, getting out of bed, exercising and so on, at roughly the same times everyday. Get in the habit of writing a list every evening of the extra things you intend to do the next day outside of your routine. Keep the list short and realistic.

2. Set your intention with specific goals

Are you avoiding parties with friends or not going to crowded bars because you’re afraid having a panic attack there?

Make a list of your goals over the next 10 to 12 weeks (e.g., be able to go out with friends on weekends again, ride the subway to work).

Each week you can work on one each of the following steps below and then add the skills cumulatively every week. Make check points with specific goals for each week, depending on your levels of anxiety. Each week should go progressively from easy to moderate to challenging.

For example, if crowded subway travel makes you anxious, your check points might be:

  • Week One, take the subway one stop during non-rush hour.
  • Week Two, take the subway for three stops during non-rush hours.
  • Week Three, take the subway for one stop during rush hour.

3. Build a strong foundation so your body is well-rested

Adequate sleep is key. Being sleep deprived can significantly make your body more vulnerable to anxiety and panic. Allow plenty of time for sleep every night – even if you don’t sleep well you will still get the benefits of resting in bed (as your nervous system settles, insomnia will decrease).

Get to bed preferably between 9.30 and 10.00pm (or even a little earlier). Between 6pm and 10pm there is a natural tendency for everything to wind down and become more settled at this time. If you miss this wave of calming energy you may find you begin to wake up again and get a “second wind”.

Work towards an earlier bedtime slowly over a number of days or even weeks. If you’re having trouble sleeping, tonight, engage in a relaxing activity before bedtime, such as taking a warm bath, listening to soothing music or taking several deep breaths.

And, if you’re like many people with anxiety whose brains start buzzing right before bed, jot down your worries earlier in the day for 10 to 15 minutes, or try a mental exercise like thinking of fruits with the same letter.

4. Get plenty of restlifestyle 213

The nervous system needs rest to recover and function at its best. Take time regularly through the day to stop and relax for a few minutes, especially in the afternoon when you will probably experience a drop in energy.

Make it a practice to regularly scan the body and check to see where you are holding tension and imagine the muscles softening – become like a rag doll, loose and relaxed. Reducing body tension will help overtime in generally reducing anxiety levels.

5. Relish quiet, peace and stillness

Try not to fill up your life with constant activity, noise and distraction all of which will naturally stimulate the nervous system. Take time out to enjoy the peace and beauty of nature. If you live in a city this may be taking a walk to a local park, tending some pot plants, or even just gazing at the sky.

6. Learn to meditate

This is one of the most helpful things you can do in reducing anxiety levels and preventing panic attacks, but also hastening your recovery from an anxiety state, because it serves two functions – you become more mindful of your thoughts and how to let them go and you can also experience the deep rest of the meditative state which is very healing to the nervous system. Read: 11 Simple Mental Exercise that Will Reduce Your Anxiety and Panic

7. Be gentle with yourself

Treat yourself as you would a dear friend who is going through a difficult time. Allow that you have a physiological imbalance right now but that won’t always be the case. Don’t push yourself, take care of yourself, do the things that are good for you but don’t berate yourself if you slip up now and then.

8. Keep occupied

Try not to sit around dwelling on your symptoms but find some occupation. If it’s something you have found pleasurable in the past all the better. It doesn’t really matter what it is – the idea is to prevent your mind getting stuck in the endless groove of your anxiety.

It could be spending some peaceful time with friends (avoid talking about your problems and noisy parties!), reading something inspirational, an old hobby, some non-stressful work – anything really.

Whilst occupied you may start to experience some moments when you forget about your symptoms  and this will help you understand the role you play in creating them and encourage you in your recovery.

Take it easy, don’t overdo it, don’t spend all your time frantically trying to find things to do and remember to keep practising the five steps process regularly no matter what you’re doing.

9. Understand the physiology of a panic attack

Panic attacks are a result of your fight-or-flight response being activated, much like a false fire alarm that goes off. The “danger” signal is conveyed throughout your body by your sympathetic nervous system, which releases a cascade of hormones and chemicals into your bloodstream, including adrenaline. Your heart beats faster, your breathing becomes rapid and shallow, and your hands might be shaky and sweaty.

Your body has a counter-response system available, or the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for the relaxation response. This allows you to reduce anxiety and dampen down panic attacks. Think of it like opening a window when your smoke detector goes off while you’re cooking.

10. Avoid as far as possible loud noise or music, violent, horror or thriller movies

For obvious reasons these will be very unsettling to a sensitized nervous system. Tension and fear experienced whilst watching movies are indistinguishable as far as your body is concerned from tension and fear experienced in real life, so this is clearly not going to help your condition.

11. Avoid long hours of television

This will make you feel spaced out and ungrounded and aggravate any anxiety problems.

12. Practice your relaxation response daily

Relaxation becomes stronger with practice, much like working out a muscle. Make it routine like brushing your teeth. How? Try practicing guided meditation, yoga classes or DVDs, or breathing skills. Over time, the relaxation response becomes a tool that you can take with you wherever you go.

These exercises can often be difficult to practice at first. It’s common and expected that the first few attempts to meditate or do breathing exercises may not produce calming results immediately. Your mind might wander, and you might feel if it’s not doing anything. But remember when the first time you try learning a new dance? Practicing your relaxation response is the same. Don’t push yourself too hard or get disappointed if it doesn’t “work” the first few times.

Allow yourself to room to just try, without any judgment, and give yourself a few additional minutes each time, gradually increasing the time from 5 mins a day to maybe 10-15 minutes a day at a regular time (once in the morning and night is ideal). Practicing a little bit daily over time will make it more likely that you can access that stability in times of need while you’re in a car or subway.

13. Take non-strenuous exercisebike 131231

Gentle yoga, walking, dancing, light bicycling, swimming when it is warm, are appropriate forms of exercise when your goal is reducing anxiety and preventing panic attacks.

Do not exercise to the extent of your limit. A good guide is that if you have to start breathing through your mouth you are exerting yourself too much. Recent studies have shown that breathing through the mouth creates more free radicals (reactive and destructive molecules that speed up aging) than breathing through the nose – another good reason for not overdoing it.

Half an hour a day is sufficient. If you feel exhausted, trembling, dizzy or have cramps you have done too much. (In Ayurveda these are all signs of Vata or nervous system imbalance.)

14. Get in touch with your breath when you’re in a calm, relaxed place

Slowing down and being aware of your breath has been shown to reduce panic attacks. One study looked two different ways of training breathing (one that increased and one that decreased carbon dioxide levels in the blood)— but it turns out both methods reduced panic attacks one month and even 6 months later. This suggests that there isn’t exactly one “right” style of breathing that can reduce panic attacks so long as it can increase breath awareness and bring attention to regular, slowed breathing.

Here are a few sample breathing techniques.

For gentle breath awareness (this one works well right after you wake up):

  • Lie on your back with one hand over your chest and the other over your abdomen.
  • Stretch your arms out above your head and lengthen your feet out with a deep inhale so your body becomes long and longer.
  • Exhale and relax your body from your head to toe. (You can repeat this a 2-3 times to relax the body)
  • Place your hand over your chest and your other hand on your abdomen.
  • Allow  and notice your regular breathing here. When you’re ready, try deeper inhalations counting up to 4 and then exhalations counting up to 4 and repeat.
  • You can use music if you prefer and just take observe the feeling of your breath and your hand rising and falling for 5 to 10 minutes.

If you’re someone who likes to feel and hear your breath, try this one in the shower in the morning or seated on a mat:

Bee’s Breath (Brahmari Pranayama)

  • Stand tall or sit up straight, with your tailbone in neutral position.
  • Relax your shoulders.
  • Take a deep inhale through your nostrils with your mouth closed.
  • Exhale with your mouth and make the sound “Mmmmm” like the hum of a buzzing bee. You should both hear the sound and feel a vibration in your throat.
  • At the end of the exhale take a gentle inhale and repeat.
    You can do this for 3-5 mins.

PART 2 >>                      PART 3 >>

 


panic authorFor the full guide on treating and end Anxiety and Panic Attack naturally, permanently and safely, visit Barry McDonagh’s Panic Away Program. In the past 10 years, The Panic Away Program has touched over 150,000 lives in 32 countries worldwide. Everyone has used it, from from soccer moms to famous celebrities. Get FREE Audio To End Anxiety and Panic Attacks Fast! Click Here to Download

 


 

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