Here are steps you can take to decrease the number of panic attacks you have. These steps can also reduce the severity of your symptoms when an attack does occur:
- Reduce anxiety. Do tension-reducing activities, and lower the amount of stress in your life.
- Do relaxation exercises. These involve 10 to 20 minutes of deep breathing and muscle relaxation each day.
- Change how you think. Changing how you think can change how you feel-and that can reduce your anxiety. Noticing negative thoughts and replacing them with helpful ones is one way to do this.
- Get regular exercise. Get your breathing and heart rate up several times a week.
- Limit alcohol and caffeine (or avoid them completely).
- Join a self-help and support groupJoin a self-help and support group, such as one organized by the Anxiety Disorders Association of America (ADAA).
- Eat a balanced dietEat a balanced diet. This means eating fresh, healthy foods and limiting your intake of foods that are high in sugar and fat.
Support for the family
When a person has panic attacks, his or her entire family is affected.
If someone in your family has panic attacks, you may feel frustrated, overworked (because you have to take over his or her responsibilities), or socially isolated because the person restricts family activities. These feelings are common.
Family therapy, a type of counseling that involves the entire family, may help.
For more information, see: