Anxiety and panic attacks can be crippling to those who suffer from them. Luckily, you have many choices for how to deal with them. Today we’ll be discussing the main three categories and which one works best.
There are the physical, mental, and chemical categories. There is a place and time where each is useful, and you may actually use all of them in the battle against panic and anxiety attacks.
The chemical category has the most appeal for most people. Pills are not miracles by any stretch of the imagination though. Some have side effects, some are habit forming, but those aren’t the reasons I’m against a huge focus on them. Though they may reduce or eliminate symptoms, the problem that causes those symptoms is still there. If you don’t deal with the source of the problem on your own, you’ll be taking those pills for the rest of your life. It is better to use them only temporarily so you can relax and focus on learning the methods you can use and thought patterns you can adopt in order to reduce the anxiety that leads to the attacks.
The physical category is the next one to address. You can gain quite a bit of traction in the physical category, but it won’t eliminate the problem by itself. You have the attacks as a result of violent mental unrest, but what state your body is in will draw your mind to the same. When you reduce physical tension, you are helping to relax your mind. For relaxation, most will tell you to focus on slowing down your breathing. This sort of breathing helps to calm the body, clear the mind, and is the opposite of what the attacks normally guide your breathing to.
When you exercise regularly and get plenty of rest, you’ll be less stressed and more able to deal with what life throws at you. Taking the right things into your body also helps. Keep your distance from sleeping pills, high quantities of sodium, and most of the common vices people have, such as nicotine, caffeine, drugs, and alcohol. Some increase your risk for attacks while others can cause them.
The last and most effective category is the mental one. There is no shortage of methods or therapies you can try here. When you learn to control your perceptions, you can reshape your mental behaviors. To reduce or eliminate stress, all you have to do is to reshape these behaviors in an empowering manner.
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) does wonderfully for this. This is actually a fairly broad category of psychotherapy, so there is a fair variety of techniques that can be utilized inside of it. Commonly, the process it uses for dealing with panic and anxiety attacks includes the patient writing down thoughts and feelings attached to stresses or significant events throughout the day. You can discover your stressful mental patterns by looking over these entries. Those patterns can then be short-circuited in order to prevent attacks.
You may use exposure therapy to help create new patterns and associations. It is also part of CBT. It repeatedly exposes the patient to a stress, physically or mentally, in a controlled environment. This leads your brain to realize that certain events or sensations do not require a fight or flight response, ending the attacks completely in time.