Managing Panic Attacks Naturally
Are you plagued by panic attacks? I have been getting them more often than I ever have. This has been a rough few months for me as my mother has been very ill. I will be honest in that I personally don’t like taking medications. If I can manage anything with my health without it or with an herbal supplement you best believe I will.
That being said, in no way in this post am I suggesting people should not take medication. If you need to you absolutely should and always consult a doctor. I have found ways to manage panic attacks without medication that work for me and maybe they will for you also.
What Is A Panic Attack
The short answer is that a panic attack is your body’s fight or flight response to fear and stress. Is it not amazing how much our mind and body work together? As much as we concern ourselves with food and exercise, our mental well being should always be on the list.
A panic attack can actually feel like your dying or having a heart attack. It is the worst feeling and can last for hours. For me there is the feeling of not being able to breathe followed by heart racing, nausea, chills and a feeling like your going to black out. It can feel as if your not really here.
Is It Hereditary?
There is no actual, proven evidence that panic attacks run in families but we all know often it does happen that way with a lot of health issues. All of the women in my family have endured depression and panic attacks. I have been lucky in that I don’t suffer from depression. I do have mild anxiety like a lot of other people.
Anxiety And Menopause
I couldn’t write this without briefly touching on Menopause. During “the change” it is common that women have a harder time with anxiety. Our hormones are out of whack which causes mood swings and an inability to process stress like we had previously. For many women, this can lead to an increase in attacks. What I have found to be really helpful is Black Cohosh. It’s natural and it regulates your hormones quite effectively.
For me, panic attacks have not been often but generally happen in times of great stress. The first time was after I had Gal Bladder surgery. I went home and was afraid of the pain coming back. After that, there have been times they have come when I am under a lot of stress or moments of fear. The thing about them is you don’t really know when it’s going to happen.
When I am in the eye of the storm I have found the only thing that helps is walking and counting. How many times have we heard our mothers say they are going to count to ten. Well, it works! It is actually allowing your mind to focus on something else.
This year they started coming more regularly with my mother being ill which has forced me to travel quite often and yes I am a menopausal woman. I knew I couldn’t live like this so I did my research and implemented some changes. What I found was there are things you can do on an everyday basis that drastically reduces stress and panic attacks, so I knew I had to share.
After awhile you do catch on to specific things that cause you heightened fear and anxiety. Keep track of what they are, what triggers the events. One trick I have found useful for a quick release is making a tight fist while visualizing a place that brings peace while closing your eyes. It really works.
Get into the om of it all! Meditative breathing is awesome and easy. I meditate many times a day! You don’t need to be sitting in a pretzel to utilize this relaxation technique. Two breaths in, four breaths out. I do it everywhere but especially in the shower and at night before bed.
Diet & Caffeine
The first thing I have to put out there is, Drink more water!! Your diet really does matter and food directly affects brain function so create a balance with healthier choices which means more greens. As much as I am loathe to say it, you have to reduce caffeine. I hear you groaning and I know, as a coffee addict this was a problem for me too.
That’s right I didn’t say exercise. People see the word and seem to think working out is the only answer. I am not talking about two hours at the gym. Move every day whether it’s a brisk walk or dancing while you get your housework done just move for 20 minutes a day.
SEX, SEX, SEX! There is no greater stress reduction technique than sex. You know it’s true and no matter how you get your freaky on by yourself or with a partner regular sexual activity greatly reduces stress and makes you feel happy.
Create Life Balance
We work too much! I am right there with you and because I work from home there is no escape. You absolutely have to have self-care time. Do something for yourself every week.
So if you are having panic attacks or even just anxiety, I hope these tips help. Let me know how you manage anxiety.