Those who never experienced anxiety and panic attacks – just don’t get it.
The constant fear of another panic attack, the fear of dying, the loss of breath, the anxiety chest pains, the weird tingling and numbness, the feeling that it will never go away, the daily frustration – it’s destroying your life.
How do you finally overcome anxiety and panic?
As a former sufferer of this horrifying condition, it’s important to me to convince you that hope is out there. There are many ways to overcome anxiety and panic attacks, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
I’ve put together a list of the top 10 natural and effective ways to overcome anxiety and panic attacks – without medication.
- 1 How to Overcome Anxiety and Panic Attacks Naturally
- 1.1 1. Herbal Remedies for Anxiety
- 1.2 2. Anxiety Natural Supplements
- 1.3 3. Anti-Anxiety Nutrition
- 1.4 4. Eliminate Food that Triggers Anxiety
- 1.5 5. Relaxation Techniques
- 1.6 6. Exercise (But Not Too Intensely)
- 1.7 7. Reduce Work Related Anxiety
- 1.8 8. Limit Facebook Time
- 1.9 9. Breathing Techniques
- 1.10 10. Cognitive Behavioral Techniques
Why I Don’t Recommend Anxiety Medication
I am a firm believer in treating the root cause of any health condition, and not just masking the symptoms and becoming dependent on drugs for life.
1. The frightening side effects, sometimes worse than anxiety itself, while potentially causing liver and kidney damage (not to mention how addictive they can become).
2. Pharmaceutical companies get richer every day, at your expense, while keeping you as a life-time customer.
So…without more nagging, here are:
How to Overcome Anxiety and Panic Attacks Naturally
1. Herbal Remedies for Anxiety
A number of studies have already confirmed that Chamomile, St. Johns Wort and Valerian root can significantly reduce anxiety symptoms.
In my experience, these are more effective for mild cases of anxiety and they will not help relieve an acute panic attack.
Chamomile tea is especially recommended if anxiety is ruining your sleep, thanks to its sedative effect.
If you are taking any medication, check for counter interactions before you start.
(Here’s my post about the 3 best essential oils for anxiety (that work fast!)
2. Anxiety Natural Supplements
Did you know that lack of Magnesium could be the only cause of your anxiety?
Researchers have found that Magnesium is necessary to dissipate the effects of traumatic stress that can occur from intense episodes of fear or anxiety.
[yellowbox]Magnesium will also help undo the “bad programming” from earlier anxiety attacks by helping to create new brain response patterns – not influenced by fear or anxiety.[/yellowbox]
If you can, get a blood test and check to see if you have magnesium deficiency. If you do, consider a Natural magnesium supplement. You might be surprised by the results.
Omega 3 fatty acids were found to reduce the effects of stress and anxiety by a whopping 20 percent. Make sure you get proper omega-3 status by having more fatty fish in your diet, or by taking an organic fish oil supplement.
It can reduce you anxiety and systemic inflammation all over your body.
GABA – GABA is short for gamma-aminobutyric acid, and its role in the body is to calm the “firing” nerves in your central nervous systems.
Long term stress can interfere with production of this neurotransmitter, and you don’t have enough of it, you can experience manic behavior, alcoholism, anxiety and recklessness.
Other symptoms of GABA deficiency include headaches, palpitations and low libido.
You may consider trying 500-1000 mg a day of a GABA supplement, or have more food that increases its production: Nuts, bananas, broccoli and spinach, green tea, citrus fruit and rice bran.
Note: as always, check for contraindications if you are taking any other supplements or prescribed medication.
3. Anti-Anxiety Nutrition
Anxiety and panic have always been considered to be mental conditions, right?
New research has found Anxiety and depression may actually originate from the gut.
That’s why so many people suffer from both Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Anxiety. A healthy diet will definitely, and I repeat definitely, dramatically help you overcome anxiety and panic attacks.
We all know what a healthy diet is, so no excuses please. Reduce sugar, fat, meat and dairy as much as you can, and eat much more vegetables and fruits (banana, for example, is great for reducing anxiety).
4. Eliminate Food that Triggers Anxiety
Many people report that caffeine is a major panic attack trigger for them. Others say it about gluten. You may have a sensitivity or allergy to certain foods, which can cause your panic attacks, or make them worse.
A good way to find out is to write a food diary.
Write a diary and list all the food that you eat everyday and look for a potential link between your diet and anxiety or panic attacks. If you find a link, eliminate the source and see what happens.
Sometimes there’s a simple solution to a big problem.
5. Relaxation Techniques
Yoga and Reiki are helpful as well and meditation, if you have time for it, is especially effective.
All of these therapies elevate the levels of your “feel good” hormones – like Serotonin.
They have other amazing benefits to your overall health, which help your body deal with stressful events thus preventing panic attacks.
6. Exercise (But Not Too Intensely)
You have to get your heart pumping every day. Remind your heart that you’re still alive and it will love you back instantly.
Many studies have proven that regular exercise (and I don’t mean your daily walk from the bathroom to the kitchen) is an excellent anxiety treatment.
It reduces the stress hormones and elevates those “feel good” hormones mentioned above. At least try to walk (as fast as you can) for a half an hour every day.
You won’t believe how amazing you will feel (not to mention how much healthier you will become).
7. Reduce Work Related Anxiety
40 million Americans suffer from anxiety just because they resent their job, hate their job or just work too much (more than 48 hours a week).
If you have no idea where your anxiety and panic attacks came from, it’s time to ask yourself if you work too much or just simply hate your job.
I know that some of you will say I’m crazy and these are hard times and work is sometimes hard to replace, but if it gives you anxiety which ruins your life, isn’t it time to look for something else?
Think about it before you dismiss it. It’s closing a door, which could be frightening, but opening a door to a new adventure, to a chance of a happier life – a life without anxiety.
8. Limit Facebook Time
It’s o.k to use Facebook to keep in touch with friends occasionally.
But, when Facebook becomes “an addiction” (those of you who are addicted know who they are), it’s difficult to notice how it promotes feelings of loneliness, low self-image, jealousy, insecurity and feelings of inadequacy – All of them leading to increased anxiety.
Limiting your time on Facebook is one of the best things you can do for your mental health.
(but if you found this article through Facebook…well…:)
9. Breathing Techniques
Breathing exercises and techniques can be great help when you feel anxious, and practicing them every day can dramatically reduce your symptoms.
I’ve written about the top 2 breathing exercises for anxiety HERE. Why not give them a try?
Also, if you tend to suffer from anxious thoughts (not exactly anxiety attacks, but more like negative thinking which leads to anxiety.
[yellowbox]Here’s a great CBT technique to get rid of them instantly.[/yellowbox]
10. Cognitive Behavioral Techniques
I’m not talking about cognitive behavioral therapy sessions, though I highly recommend them if you can get them. There are CBT techniques that you can practice at home when you need to, and they can be very effective (In my case so effective that I got rid of my health anxiety completely).
The first thing you have to understand is that emotions and thoughts are like waves. They come and go, but whether they take over your brain or not – is up to you.
Every emotion you have, even the awful and crippling fear of dying – is only temporary. This is something you forget when you are having a panic attack.
Keeping this in mind when a panic attack starts rising its ugly head will help you relax and reduce the intensity of the panic attack.
[yellowbox]The Panic Away Program has an excellent technique to stop panic attacks right when it starts. It’s called “The 20 second countdown” and it stops your panic attack in 20 seconds. I “borrowed” this technique (with permission) and put in on my blog.[/yellowbox]
What’s your experience with natural treatments for anxiety and panic attacks? I’d love to learn something new.
To your health and happiness,