Episodes of anxiety attacks can be uncomfortable, unpleasant, and unhealthy. Because of this, most people head to the medicine cabinet for quick relief. While some may find medications an effective way to battle anxiety, there are more natural and equally effective ways of dealing with excessive emotion without subjecting the body to different negative side effects.
What Can You do to Ease an Anxiety Attack?
Exercise: Exercise improves the health of the body and mind and the overall well-being of a person. A 30-minute exercise, 3-5 times a week, is enough to provide anxiety relief. When it comes to relieving stress and anxiety, the best results come from doing at least an hour of aerobic exercise every day.
Sleep: A popular adage, “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise,” speaks of the importance of sleep in the overall health of a person. Getting 8 hours of good sleep every day has been shown to help with both stress and anxiety attacks.
Healthy diet: Along with exercise, diet plays an important role in the overall health of the body. Eating healthy food maintains the normal chemistry and hormones of the body and provides resistance to common ailments that increase the risk of anxiety attacks.
Avoid unnecessary stressors. Most things that cause stress can’t be avoided, and it’s not healthy to ignore things that need to be dealt with. Still, some situations and people cause unnecessary stress that results in anxiety attacks. Avoid people that stress you out, learn how to say ‘no’, trim down your to-do list, avoid sensitive topics such as politics and religion, etc.
Yoga, meditation, Taiji, progressive muscle relaxation, visualizing, and breathing exercises are all ways to relax and feel better emotionally.
Keep a positive outlook. While it is very difficult to maintain a good attitude when experiencing an anxiety attack, it is crucial to be more conscious and help stay in control of the situation to effectively battle your condition. Do not think “Oh no, not again!” or “I’m screwed” when an episode hits you. Think that it will be over soon, and control your emotions so that your anxiety will now get worse.
If the above-mentioned techniques do not work for you, it is probably time to consult a health professional about your health. Since symptoms of anxiety attacks may be a result of other psychological and physical conditions, you need to see your medical doctor first and get a complete physical to rule out any other possible causes.
If anxiety prevails and symptoms last for more than 1 to 2 weeks, especially if you have no idea why, see a trained therapist.
A person with an anxiety disorder usually goes through medication, therapy, or both. Prescription drugs for anxiety are usually antidepressants and benzodiazepines. However, they provide short-term relief, and thus, another therapy is often recommended. The therapies given are cognitive-behavioral therapy and exposure therapy. They are both effective (especially when combined with medication) in treating anxiety disorders. Cognitive-behavioral therapy helps patients replace negative thoughts with positive ones.
Exposure therapy, on the other hand, helps treat anxiety attacks by exposing patients to their fears in a safe and controlled setting. By facing their fears over and over again, patients learn to control themselves and feel more confident.