6 Ways to Overcome Panic

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Panic is an emotion that everyone has felt at one time or another. Feeling panic is normal, but if panic is taking over your daily life, it’s time to take action to reduce it.

Understanding what it is and what you can do about it can help immensely. Panic serves a clear purpose in life. It gets your adrenaline pumping and allows you to act quickly to save yourself when you’re faced with danger. Humans are complex creatures, however, and your mind may create panic in situations where it wouldn’t help you.

Also, if these situations continue to arise, you may be dealing with a serious panic disorder, so please consult with your physician.

Here are some strategies that can help you overcome panic:

  1. Breathe deeply. Deep breathing techniques can bring you a certain level of calm during any situation. When you start to feel panicked, you tense up and your breathing becomes quick or heavy.

Take a moment to find your breath and take deep breaths in and out. The deep breathing will relax you and help you focus on taking in oxygen, instead of the stressful situation.

  1. Watch your health. Your mental and physical health are all part of the same system. When you take care of yourself, many of your problems tend to right themselves. If you have a poor diet, lack exercise, or don’t sleep well, take action to correct these core problems. Doing this will often address your panic directly or indirectly.
  1. Seek professional help. Discuss treatment options with your physician and naturopath. There are natural treatments available as well as several well-studied prescription medications that can help with your anxiety and panic concerns. Your doctor will know best if you’re a good candidate for these medications.

Remember that you must always take a holistic approach that addresses the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual aspects of your health.

  1. Address the problem. Try to locate the source of your panic. Are you only panicking in certain situations, or do you feel anxious at all times? If you can figure out the source of your panic, you can address the problem by facing your fear directly.

Exercises to reduce your fears enable you to become more comfortable in situations that could set off a panic attack.

  1. Deal with your stress. Panic is more likely to arise in a stressed mind. If you study certain relaxation methods, you can keep your stress level down and make it less likely for you to experience a panic attack.

There are many relaxation methods for you to choose from that can keep you healthy and happy. Practicing yoga, daily meditation, prayer, and listening to soothing music are just a few ideas.

One of the best stress relievers is to make time for yourself each and every day. This time gives you a chance to relax, rejuvenate, and continue your day with renewed positive energy.

  1. Avoid alcohol and caffeine. Alcohol and caffeine can increase the frequency of panic attacks. To be on the safe side, avoid or limit their use. While this tip may not cure your symptoms, it can be an important factor for getting you back into a healthy mental state.

Getting Help

Panic and anxiety fears are quite common and there is no shame in getting help. Recognize the triggers and early signs of panic and start fighting it. When you do, you’ll feel free once again!

25 Ways to Reduce Stress and Anxiety

140221-field-daisiesLet’s face it — stress and anxiety aren’t going anywhere.  As long as we’re living, we’re going to experience these emotions in one form or another, and we all have different levels of anxiety and stress in our daily lives.  But, there are some ways to reduce these feelings in order to live in a more relaxed state of mind.

  1. Breathe.  Yes, it may sound like a cliché but it really works. Stop for a moment, inhale through your nose, and exhale through your mouth.
  2. Get Organized.  We often get anxious or stressed out because we feel like we’ve forgotten to do something.  Eliminate that by using a calendar, either on your phone or on paper. Being organized will stave off some stress and anxiety because you’re not so flustered.
  3. Talk to Yourself.  Talk out loud to yourself about what has you stressed and/or anxious.  Tell yourself why you feel this way, what you need to do to get through your current situation, and that everything is going to be okay.
  4. Take a walk.  Walking isn’t just for physical health; it works wonders for mental health, too!  It helps to clear your mind
  5. Get a Massage.  A relaxing massage will help ease your body of tension and free your mind of the worries and stresses of the day.
  6. Find the Heating Pad.  Heat relieves tension and stress around the neck and shoulders.  You can also put the heating pad on your chest when you feel anxious to help relieve that feeling.
  7. Try Aromatherapy.  Scents like lavender help reduce stress levels. Light some candles and breathe in the aromatic scents and feel your worries wash away.
  8. Tea Time.  Drinking black tea can help lower the stress hormone (cortisol) levels and lead to relaxation.
  9. Focus on now.  Worrying about what happened yesterday or what might happen tomorrow increases stress and anxiety and doesn’t have any positive effects on your body.  Focus on the here and now.
  10. Turn up the tunes.  Listening to music is a great escape from the day-to-day responsibilities we have.  Turn on your favorite music and sing along.
  11. Get it off your mind.  Keeping a journal is a great way to express all of your feelings and learn from them.  Grab a pen and a notebook and write down all of your stresses and what makes you anxious.
  12. Say NO to caffeine.  Caffeine can aggravate stress, especially anxiety.  It’s okay to have your morning cup o’ Joe, but try to be caffeine-free the rest of the day.
  13. Maintain a proper diet.  Eating the right foods our bodies need will help stave off stress and anxiety.  Fruits, veggies, and foods with high omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to reduce stress.
  14. Laugh.  Laughing decreases cortisol and adrenaline and tricks your nervous system into making you happy.  Sit back with your favorite comedy and laugh your worries away.
  15. Exercise.  Hit the gym on those really stressful days to blow off steam.  Exercise releases endorphins to make you happy by snuffing out cortisol.
  16. Chew gum.  Who would’ve thought that gum could be a great stress reliever?  Chewing gum reduces cortisol levels to ease stress. Take it a step further — make it sugarless gum.
  17. Hang out with your pet.  People with pets, specifically dog owners, have been shown to have less stress.  Don’t have a dog?  Head out to the local dog park and make a new friend.
  18. Phone-a-Friend.  Chatting with a friend can ease stress and anxiety.  It can also give you a new perspective on your current situation.
  19. Meditate.  Meditation has been shown to have positive effects on stress. Find a quiet place and let your mind go.
  20. Try Self-Hypnosis.  In today’s world, there’s an app for everything. Hypnosis can help reduce anxiety and it’s a great technique for stress relief.
  21. Listen to calming sounds.  This one is different from turning up the tunes because this is all about listening to soothing, calming sounds. Sounds like a thunderstorm, waves crashing at the beach, or birds chirping on a spring day.  You got it…there’s an app for that, too!
  22. Take a nap.  Naps reduce cortisol levels, which decreases stress.  Find some time to take a 20 minute nap and you’ll feel amazingly refreshed.
  23. Get a touchstone.  A what?  A touchstone is something small and smooth.  You hold it in your hand and rub it gently with your thumb when you’re stressed or anxious.
  24. Hug it out.  Sometimes all it takes is a hug to make our day better.  Hugging may reduce blood pressure and stress in adults.
  25. Smooch.  Kissing releases chemicals that zap out stress hormones.  What are you waiting for? Grab a loved one and give them a kiss!

With all of these tips, there’s always a way for dealing with stress and anxiety in an empowering way. These feelings are part of life and we’re never going to eliminate them completely. But, these tips help us manage those feelings in a more positive way, which will have a better impact on our lives. Do you have any tips you’d like to share?

5 Ways to Nurture and Love Yourself

It’s Valentine’s week, and beyond giving love to a “significant other”, it’s also a great time to think about loving and nurturing ourselves even more.

Nurturing yourself is, most likely, the last thing you do.  Most of us are busy taking care of our families and our careers before we get around to taking care of ourselves. In fact, it’s not uncommon to feel like you’re at the end of the line. But, it’s very important to make time to take care and nurture yourself.

Here are 5 ways you can nurture yourself and increase your wellbeing.

  1. Exercise. We all know that exercise is a vital part of our lives if we want to be healthy. Exercise is also a great way to blow off steam and relieve stress. It also increases the release of endorphins, which trigger a positive feeling in your body. Feeling good about YOU is always a positive thing!  Oh, and by the way, even a 5 minute walk to the mailbox can be valuable…just get your body moving and get the blood flowing!
  2. Connect with Others. Oftentimes, we find ourselves too busy to get together with friends or to have a date night with our partner. It’s time to make time for those things again! Getting out in a social setting is a positive experience that will help you feel better and make you forget about your worries.
  3. Keep a Journal. Writing allows you to get all of your thoughts on paper. This frees up your mind so that you can relax and unwind. Don’t worry about complete sentences or grammar…just write. Use shorthand if you want. As long as you can understand what you’ve written and it helps you relax, that’s all that matters.
  4. Say NO. This is very difficult for some of you because you might feel guilty about saying it. But, (news flash) you’re not a super hero. You can’t be everything to everyone. And it is okay to say no and start saying yes to you.
  5. Take a bath. Another great way to nurture you is with self-care and that might be taking a bath, getting a massage, or just laying down on the couch to listen to the birds outside.  Take time throughout your week to just relax and be.
  6. Work on nurturing yourself on a daily basis. Even if you only do one of these things, you’re on the right track. Just remember, that email, those dishes, that whatever else can wait 15-20 minutes while you nurture yourself.  It really only takes about 10 to 20 minutes to replenish yourself and start feeling good again.

Do you know someone that needs a little self-love and nurturing?  Please share this with them and give them a little loving nudge. I am sure they will appreciate it.

Live HAPPIER, Love DEEPER.