As we've discussed this week, panic attacks can be quite frightening. We've discussed what they are, triggers to having them, and coping skills when in the midst of one. Today let's look at how we can prevent them from happening.
Exercise is one of the best natural ways to prevent and relieve anxiety. In fact, research is now showing that 30 minutes of exercise a day can give the same positive results as an antidepressant/anxiety medication. Have you ever noticed after you exercise you feel less tense and less stressed? It is because your body not only relaxes but it releases endorphins. These endorphins bring about positive feelings. Usually it also brings a feeling of accomplishment as well. It is truly my number one pick as a therapist for a preventative measure.
Sleep is the next key. Getting enough good rest is another great way to prevent anxiety. When we are not rested, our thoughts become more negative and can lead to irrational thoughts and fears. This feeds the anxiety and panic that could result in an attack.
Breathing is a great way to relax the body and to relax your mind. Taking 2 minutes several times a day to feed your lungs and your brain that extra oxygen can do wonders for anxiety. Try it right now.....
Pacing yourself is a great preventative measure. Giving yourself breaks throughout the day to breath, laugh, or just relax for a few minutes will lower your risk of anxiety resulting in a panic attack. Pacing yourself while scheduling out your weeks and months will help as well. If you see you have a hectic week, allow for some down time on the weekend if possible. If you see you don't have any time for down time, it may be a good opportunity to let some things go. It's hard for your mind and body to be calm if it's always feeling pressure to keep going.
Self care is very important for prevention of many issues surrounding your mental health. Getting enough recreation outside of work and normal responsibilities is one way of taking care of yourself. Having time with friends and family (if they don't cause stress) can be a great way to take care of yourself. Laughing, talking, playing are all ways to relax and get away from everyday stress. People that are always surrounded by others might practice self care by being alone and unwinding that way. Everyone has different ways of practicing self care. It's important to see what works for you.
Hopefully you are getting some ideas to reduce the risk of panic attacks by prevention. Tomorrow Joleen will wrap up this weeks blog and share some excellent resources. Thank you for reading!
Natalie Chandler, MA, LMHC LCAC is a therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Natalie enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, and couples counseling. Her areas of expertise include infidelity recovery, faith-based counseling, anxiety and depression, as well as addictions counseling. We also specialize in family counseling, child counseling, and adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Westfield, and Zionsville