How To Cure Anxiety Attacks - Part I

Published: 08th July 2009
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Summary: It has been proven that psychological therapy through a trained psychotherapist is a much more effective method of curing chronic anxiety than medications. Read on to find out more.

Anxiety is a universal emotion. It is normal for people to experience it from time to time for any number of reasons. As an evolutionary response to stress, anxiety helps us to cope better with unforeseen and unpleasant situations by helping us to focus better on the current situation at hand.

Sometimes, however, this anxiety/panic can manifest itself in the form of recurring anxiety and panic attacks that can make normal life difficult. In such a case, the sufferer can be classified as a patient of an anxiety or panic disorder. Unlike mild anxiety which many witness as a response to a stressful event, an anxiety disorder can last for months to years and usually has no apparent, logical cause.

Since an anxiety disorder is a mental condition, the best way to treat it is to understand it. Anxiety is essentially the manifestation of fear about future events, or sometimes, even the past memories. The patient often becomes paralyzed thinking about the future and experiences several uncomfortable symptoms such as difficulty in breathing, increased heart rate, a feeling of impending doom, etc.

One way to treat anxiety is to educate yourself about it, it's causes and cures. A few handy tips that can help you to control or curb your anxiety completely are:

1. Relaxation Techniques - Relaxation is the antithesis of anxiety. A patient suffering from anxiety has difficulty putting his mind at rest and keeps worrying about one thing or the other. Common sense, therefore, dictates that relaxing your mind can be a very effective antidote to anxiety.

You should try meditating, preferably in a quiet environment. Light a few candles, put on some soft, relaxing music (nature sounds are very effective in this). Fold your legs under your hips (the meditative stance) and breathe in deeply with your eyes closed and try and focus on pleasant thoughts and memories. If possible, join a Yoga class - it'll help you tremendously in relaxing your mind.

2. Breathing Techniques - One of the most common physical symptom of an anxiety/panic attack is difficult, rapid breathing, called hyperventilation. Hyperventilation increases the oxygen level in the body and reduces the carbon dioxide levels, which can lead to a feeling of light headedness or even cause you to faint.

A person suffering from an anxiety condition should try and breathe through his diaphragm (this is the bony part of your chest that moves up and down as you breathe, right above the abdomen). Also, try taking in slow, deep breaths. This can help you tremendously in controlling your anxiety.

3. Adjustments in Diet - Certain diet elements, such as nicotine, alcohol, caffeine or other stimulants can cause an anxiety attack since they trigger adrenaline release in the body. Adrenaline is one of the main stress chemicals. Oily, heavy foods should also be avoided. Try eating a light, protein and carbohydrate rich diet with plenty of green vegetables and fruits.

4. Exercise - Exercise can improve your mood exponentially. Exercise helps to burn stress chemicals and eases the mind. A jog through a park or a long bike ride can be a great way to improve your mood and keep anxiety at bay. Make daily exercise a part of your routine. Not only will it help control anxiety, it will also help check your weight, giving you a better self image and more confidence.

In part two of this article, I will explore other methods to control and curb anxiety, such as cognitive therapy, behavior therapy, and medication.

Learn more about anxiety panic attack treatment at from a former sufferer who treated his panic disorder for good.

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