Those who never experienced anxiety and panic attacks – Just don’t get it. The constant fear of another panic attack, the fear of dying, the loss of breath, the chest pains, the weird tingling and numbness, the feeling that it will never go away, the daily frustration – It’s literally destroying your life.
You can’t work, you can’t talk to anyone (who will understand?) and you can’t function.
As a former sufferer of this awful condition, it’s important to me to convince you that hope is out there. There are many ways to overcome anxiety and panic attacks and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
I’ve compiled a list of the top 10 natural and effective ways to overcome anxiety and panic attacks – Without medication. All you pill-fans out there – Don’t get mad at me – But I hate medication. Especially medication that only hides the symptoms (if it even works) and does nothing to actually cure your condition.
Instead it does two things: The first is cause awful side effects, sometimes worse than the anxiety itself, while potentially causing liver and kidney damage (not to mention how addictive they can become). The second thing they do is get pharmaceutical companies richer every day, at your expense.
So…without more nagging, here are 10 Natural Ways to Overcome Anxiety and Panic Attacks:
#1 – Herbal Remedies
A number of studies have already confirmed that Chamomile, St. Johns Wort and Valerian root can significantly reduce anxiety symptoms. In my experience, these are more effective for mild cases of anxiety and they will not be very helpful for an acute panic attack. Chamomile tea is especially recommended if anxiety is ruining sleep due to its sedative effect. If you want to know about preparation and dosage of St. Johns Wort and Valerian root – Read more here.
If you are taking any medication, check for counter interactions before you start.
#2 – Supplements
Researchers have found that Magnesium is necessary to dissipate the effects of traumatic stress that can occur from intense episodes of fear or anxiety. Magnesium also helps undo the bad programming from prior anxiety attacks by helping to create new brain response patterns not influenced by fear or anxiety. If you can, get a blood test and check to see if you have a magnesium deficiency. If you do, consider a Natural magnesium supplement. You might be surprised by the results.
Omega 3 fatty acids were found to reduce the effects of stress and anxiety by 20 percent. Make sure you get proper omega-3 status by having more fatty fish in your diet, or by taking an organic fish oil supplement. It can reduce anxiety and also systemic inflammation all over your body.
GABA – GABA is short for gamma-aminobutyric acid, and its role in the body is to calm the firing nerves in our central nervous systems. Long term stress can interfere with production of this neurotransmitter, and you don’t have enough of it, you can experience manic behavior, alcoholism, anxiety and recklessness. Other symptoms of GABA deficiency include headaches, palpitations and low libido. You may consider trying 500-1000 mg a day of a GABA supplement, or have more food that increases its production: Nuts, bananas, broccoli and spinach, green tea, citrus fruit and rice bran.
#3 – Anti-Anxiety Diet (Not Actually a diet at all!)
Anxiety and panic have always been considered to be mental conditions, right?
Wrong. New research has found Anxiety and depression may actually originate from the gut. That’s why so many people suffer from both Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Anxiety at the same time. A healthy diet will definitely, and I repeat definitely, dramatically reduce you anxiety levels, if not eliminate it all together.
We all know what a healthy diet is, so no excuses please. Reduce sugar, fat, meat and dairy as much as you can, and eat much more vegetables, fruits and grains.
#4 – Eliminating Food Triggers
Many people report that caffeine is a major panic trigger for them. Others say the glutamine is. You may have a ssensitivity or allergy to certain foods, which can cause your panic attacks, or make them worse. A good way to find out is to write a food diary. Write a diary and list all the food that you eat everyday and look for a potential link between your diet and anxiety or panic attacks. If you find a link, eliminate the source and see what happens. Sometimes there’s a simple solution to a big problem.
#5 – Relaxation Therapies
Massage, Yoga, Reiki, Meditation – Are not only a lot of fun – They are very relaxing as well. If you can get a relaxing massage once a week or two – Good for you and very good for chronic anxiety. Yoga and Reiki are helpful as well and meditation, if you have time for it, is especially effective. All of these therapies elevate the levels of your “feel good” hormones – Like Serotonin. They have other amazing benefits to your overall health, which help your body deal with stressful events thus preventing panic attacks.
#6 – Exercise, exercise and more exercise
You have to get your heart pumping every day. Remind your heart that you’re still alive and it will love you back instantly. Many studies have proven that regular exercise (and I don’t mean your daily walk from the bathroom to the kitchen) is an excellent anxiety treatment. It reduces the stress hormones and elevates those “feel good” hormones mentioned above. At least try to walk (as fast as you can) for a half an hour every day. You won’t believe how amazing you will feel (not to mention how much healthier you will become).
#7 – Ban Work Related Anxiety
40 million Americans suffer from anxiety just because they resent their job, hate their job or just work too much (more than 48 hours a week). If you have no idea where your anxiety and panic attacks came from, it’s time to ask yourself if you work too much or just simply hate your job. I know that some of you will say I’m crazy and these are hard times and work is sometimes hard to replace, but if it gives you anxiety which ruins your life, isn’t it time to look for something else?
Think about it before you dismiss it. It’s closing a door, which could be frightening, but opening a door to a new adventure, to a chance of a happier and a fulfilling life – A life without anxiety.
#8 – Limiting Facebook Time
It’s o.k to use Facebook to keep in touch with friends occasionally. But, when Facebook becomes “an addiction” (those of you who are addicted know who they are), it’s difficult to notice how it promotes feelings of loneliness, low self-image, jealousy, insecurity and feelings of inadequacy – All og them leading to anxiety. Limiting your time on Facebook is one of the best things you can do for your mental health in general.
#9 – Breathing
There are specific breathing exercises and techniques that can be very helpful when you feel anxious and practicing them every day can really lower your symptoms. I’ve written about the top 2 breathing exercises for anxiety – Right Here . Why not give them a try?
#10 – Cognitive Behavioral Techniques
I’m not talking about cognitive behavioral therapy sessions, though I highly recommend it if you can get it. There are CBT techniques that you can practice at home whenever you need to, and they can be very effective (In my case so effective that I got rid of my health anxiety completely).
The first thing you have to understand is that emotions are like waves. They come and go, but they can’t get a long-term grip on you. Every emotion you have, even the awful and crippling fear of dying – Is only temporary. This is something you forget when you are having a panic attack. Keeping this in mind when a panic attack starts rising its ugly head will help you relax and reduce the intensity of the panic attack.
The Panic Away Program has an excellent technique to stop panic attacks right when it starts. It’s called “The 20 second countdown” and it stops your panic attack in 20 seconds. I “borrowed” this technique (don’t tell them please) and put in on my blog – Right Here.