What You Can Do To Fight Panic Attacks

20 January 2016

Panic attacks are nothing to be ashamed of.  Many of us have experienced them at some point or another in our lives. 

Good thing is – they’re treatable!
Statistics reveal that 1 in 10 will experience a panic attack at least once in our life and the attack can last up to an hour.  
They normally manifest themselves for the first time between the ages of 20-25 and occur twice as much to women than men.  The symptoms of panic attacks are usually intense sweating, the feeling of terror, heart palpitations, nausea and suffocation. 
So how then can we help ourselves when in the throes of sheer panic?
  • Take deep breaths! They’re life-saving. Remember to inhale and exhale. Remind your brain to get the oxygen it needs until you start breathing normally, restoring your heart beat to normal tempo.
  • Stop whatever activity you are doing and try to relax, especially if you are driving.  You need to give your body and mind the time to settle – to ride the wave until the attack passes.  Trying to do otherwise will see you completely distracted.
  • Try and divert your attention to something else.  Focus on people passing by, go outside and be with nature, read a book.  Try and tear your mind away from the fear that threatens to overwhelm you and find a distraction to give your attention too.
  • Think positively!  Think of the things that make you happy!  The summer, the sea, an excursion to the mountains, a party, a celebration – bring to mind those memories that make you smile and all of a sudden, your terror and fear will start subsiding. 
  • Don’t overdo things, spend a few days in a completely relaxed chilled mode.  Your body and mind need time to recover, do this by eliminating any other external stress or tension from your life.
A balanced, healthy diet, frequent small meals, substantial reduction of smoking, alcohol and coffee – these will help you significantly in effectively treating panic attacks. 
So how do you do this? What foods should you be incorporating into your diet?
  • Green tea: Preferable to coffee, a good quality green tea removes toxins and chemicals from the body, calming and reviving you in the process. If you want, add a few drops of lemon or orange juice for flavor.
  • Oranges: Freshly squeezed orange juice or even eating oranges whole are a great source of Vitamin C which will fortify your immune system and calm your nervous system.
  • Almonds: A super food that contains countless vitamins and nutrients which are brilliant for brain function and the nervous system! A handful a day is great!
  • Avocados: Yes, avocados contain precious Omega-3 fatty acids and a series of vitamins (C, D, E, K, B1, B2, and B3). Add to your diet in moderation as they are quite calorie dense.
  • Salmon: Another super food rich in Omega-3 fats which are known to fight panic attacks.  Blood pressure is also reduced and the amount of blood which supplies the brain is properly controlled.
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