Recovery from panic attacks and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) usually takes some time. It is absolutely possible to stop panic attacks, but it does take perseverance. While you work through your feelings with your chosen method of recovery, you will want to engage in healthy lifestyle choices.
Here are 10 tips for coping with anxiety that will certainly help jumpstart your anxiety recovery…
1.Reduce Caffeine. I know this is easier said than done, but it really does help. A huge coffee drinker for many years, I switched to decaf green tea 2 months ago. Caffeine is a known stimulant and for goodness sakes, aren’t we stimulated enough already? It makes a lot of sense.
2. Get your rest. Lack of sleep increases the levels of stress hormones in the body and can make you feel anxious or precipitate panic attacks. Panic disorder and GAD actually make sound sleep difficult, so I occasionally use melatonin or valerian to help. (Always talk to your doctor before taking any supplement).
Also, see this post: Anxiety and Sleep- Tips That Really Work
3. Talk it out. Talk about your feelings to your therapist, support person, a trusted friend or relative, or even your favorite four legged furry friend. I prefer talking to my dog Buddy, as he listens better than my cat Cutie Get your negatives out– choose someone who will listen without judgment and will support you.
4. Get sunshine every day. A smart psychiatrist told me many years ago, “Get 20 minutes of natural light every day.” This is sage advice and I try to follow it every day. Whether sun, clouds, rain, sleet, or snow, get natural light onto your retinas (the back part of your eyes) for at least 20 minutes a day. This stimulates feel good hormones in your body. So no matter what the weather, go outside every day!
5. Make a gratitude list. Having an “Attitude of Gratitude” has been proven to promote a more peaceful body and mind. Take a plain piece of paper and number it 1 -10. Now write down 10 things you are grateful for, things you really appreciate. Did you make it through a rough few weeks? Do you have a support person or pet who gives you love and support? You get the idea. When you’re done, tape your gratitude list to your bathroom mirror or refrigerator where you’re sure to see it. Read it daily and reflect on how nice it feels to have 10 things to be thankful for.
6. Journal your feelings. I’ve kept diaries and journals since age 10. Now that I’m focused on recovery from panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and panic attacks, my journal is even more valuable. When I right down how I feel, I can look back at it later and see if I’ve made any progress. I try to take positive action steps everyday to deal with my panic, such as deliberately going into situations that trigger me while using my anxiety techniques such as Panic Away. Journaling about it later helps me keep track of where I am today and where I need to go.
7. Meditate before you start your day. I love to meditate. It is the single best way to start my day. 5 minutes is all you need. It puts you in a calm, restful state of alertness that helps you throughout the day.
8. Laugh. They say laughter is the best medicine, and they are right. Nothing feels quite as good as laughing your head off. I like to watch The Best of Saturday Night Live with my husband. It feels so good to laugh, it lifts the mood, and it lasts for hours.
9. Do something nice. This goes under the Do Unto Others and Good Karma categories. If you do something nice for others, YOU feel better. It can be as small as picking up some trash on your daily walk, paying the toll for the car behind you, or shoveling your neighbor’s sidewalk.
10. Pray every day. You don’t have to be religious to pray. I consider myself spiritual, and I pray all the time. Whether you pray to God, Buddha, Krishna, Allah, a Higher Power, or a rock, just do it. Pray for what you want, pray for help, pray for others, and make prayers of gratitude for the blessings you have.
These tips are great starting points in your recovery from panic attacks and GAD.
Can you think of any other tips you use for coping with anxiety and panic? Feel free to share below so we can help each other
I wish you peace,