Steps to Combat Anxiety and Panic Attacks

For some people, anxiety is more than an occasional emotion. Rather, those individuals experience anxiety as a state of being. This disease in conjunction with panic attacks arrests a persons social life, causes undue stress and obstructs everyday functions. Ultimately, anxiety forces people to hide from life. Today, one in every four Americans suffers from a diagnosable anxiety disorder. Physical symptoms of anxiety include the following:

  • Sweaty palms
  • Dizziness
  • Diarrhea or digestive discomfort
  • Insomnia
  • Rapid heartbeat and/or breathing
  • Tightness in the chest

Knowing the Triggers

According to physicians, certain people experience anxiety as a result of certain triggers. These may include work, social occasions, verbal confrontations, indigestion or extracurricular activities. Regardless of the trigger, when people are aware of their weakness, they can take the necessary steps to combat and treat their anxiety.

Relaxation Rituals

One of the first steps to preventing anxiety and panic attacks is to indulge in a daily relaxation ritual. Studies have shown that such small tasks as enjoying a warm and quiet bath can relax muscles, push worries from the mind and develop a safe haven. According to Charles Thomas, Ph.D., The bath has a balancing effect on anxious or irritable people. Meditation has also proven to be a viable technique that offers mental and physical health rewards. This ritual is nothing more than taking time to sit quietly, shut the mind off from the world and enjoy uninterrupted quiet. Meditation can involve saying a mantra or simply focusing on breathing. Persons can relax in other ways as well. Praying, reading, writing in a journal and painting are all ways in which an individual can find calming activities to devote themselves. This is especially important for people who are often sidelined with panic attacks. Solitary activities help them enjoy the day and find meaning.


Another essential element to a daily routine is exercise. This is a proven remedy for relieving anxiety and stress. A person's exercise regimen should include cardiovascular movements that burn lactic acid, produce endorphins and help the body utilize oxygen more effectively. Exercise also helps maintain an overall healthy mind and body.

Herbal Supplements and Vitamins

Moreover, herbal supplements have proven to offer relief from anxiety. California poppy eases mild anxiety and contains pain relieving properties. Lemon balm is a natural relaxer that alleviates tension headaches. Similarly, lavender relaxes many people and also calms overwrought nerves. Finally, chamomile is known to settle an upset stomach and relieve anxiety. Many of these herbs can be found in essential oils for aromatherapy, as ingredients in tea, or as massage lotions. Controlling one's diet can also aid with anxiety. Nutritionists advise that caffeine, alcohol, sugar and additives contribute to angst and unease. When these elements are eliminated, persons can make healthier choices that include water, tea and nutritious foods. In line with diet is the use of vitamins to combat anxiety. Research shows that vitamin B complex, magnesium and calcium support the nervous system. These nutrients also contribute to the production of neurotransmitters, which relay messages between nerve cells.

Controlling Panic Attacks

Even after a daily routine has been established with relaxation, exercise, supplements and diet, panic attacks may still strike. Provided here are three different maneuvers to smother panic.

  • Control breathing until a measure of calm resumes. This involves inhaling slowly to a count of four, waiting four counts, exhaling slowly to a count of four, waiting another four counts and repeating as many times as necessary.
  • Utilize acupressure techniques during panic attacks to help relieve symptoms. Simple steps like holding the thumb and pressing the spot between one's eyebrows both disperse anxious thoughts and relax the body.
  • Use imagery to promote positive thoughts. Self-help professionals advise people to imagine they are on a beach, and the receding waves also carry away their tension.


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