Do you suffer from panic and / or anxiety attacks? Here are 8 proven tips to help you cope and overcome them.
1. Sleep – Try to make sure you get a good night’s sleep. Sleep is very important so that your body is fully rested for the battle ahead. It is hard work to suffer from an anxiety disorder, and fatigue can occur frequently. When you are fatigued, you let your guard down. Try to get 8 hours of sleep each night, if you can achieve a good sleep pattern and schedule, you will be preparing your mind and body in the best possible way.
2. Eat Right – Make sure you eat a good variety of fruits and vegetables every day, as well as complex carbohydrates and protein. These foods are known to increase the levels of serotonin (the happy chemical) in the brain and to improve your mood. You should try to eat a lot of foods that contain B vitamins, such as vegetables, beans, eggs, and lean meats such as chicken and fish. I always start the day with a large glass of smoothie, store bought ones are great, but you can have fun making your own too! As an added boost, I sometimes add a couple tablespoons of flaxseed.
3. Exercise! – I cannot emphasize the importance of exercise to overcome anxiety. Light to moderate exercise every day doesn’t have to be strenuous. 30 minute walk, swimming, jogging, sports. It’s totally up to you, but it’s something you enjoy. Exercise improves your mood and also helps you sleep.
4. Hobbies – The key to overcoming harmful anxious thoughts is distraction. There is nothing worse for someone with anxiety than sitting on the couch and reflecting. Find something to distract yourself and something that grabs your full attention, but is also fun to do. Arts and crafts, pets (I have 4 cats and I love to play with them) Photography, cooking, whatever you like to do. It makes you feel good just realizing for an hour or so that you didn’t think about those nasty ‘what ifs’
5. Write a journal – Write down your thoughts, fears, anything that worries you can be very therapeutic. Many of our anxieties are repressed within us and we ponder them. You may experience physical symptoms of anxiety, write them down as well. Keeping a journal is like keeping a record of everything you felt and feared, all the symptoms, all the worries, all the things on your mind that you wish weren’t there. Write them down and get them out of your head.
6. Sun: Vitamin D is crucial and there is no better way to get it than through the sun. 15 minutes a day is very helpful. Feeling that sun on your skin, that sensation of heat, summer and pure air. It is a great mood enhancer. Of course, always remember to wear suitable clothing and sunscreen if necessary. But do yourself a favor and take 15 minutes out of your day to sit in the sun, relax, read a book, whatever you want, but let the sun shine on your lids.
7. Breathe! – We often don’t even realize it, but when we are anxious, we often don’t breathe well. Shallow breathing through the chest doesn’t provide enough oxygen and you can easily hyperventilate, and we all know what happens then, panic! The answer is slow, pleasant abdominal breathing. Inhale through your nose, exhale through your mouth, and watch as you breathe in as your belly rises and falls. Go smooth and slow and you will feel calm. You can find breathing exercises online that suit your needs.
8. Relax! – Take 30 minutes to an hour every day just to relax, just for you, ‘ME time’ Whatever you want it to be. Yoga, meditation, a good bath with lavender oils and candles. Read a book, play a game, paint your nails, video games. This part is personal for you and is to give you a reward at the end of the day, or starting whatever you choose, the point is that it is for YOU. Because you’ve earned it.