What about diet and exercise?

Don’t try to ‘get rid of‘ panic with diet or exercise

As long as you do anything in order to ‘get rid of’ panic this is proof that you still have a LOT of fear about panic – and it is FEAR of panic that MAINTAINS it.

It makes sense to eat healthily and exercise regularly but if you do it obsessively to ‘get rid of’ panic attacks then you are likely to increase your Anticipatory Anxiety which defeats the objective. Try to be aware if you are turning diet or exercise into a ‘safety behaviour’.

Eat sensibly rather than ‘obsessively healthily’ 

Anxiety is generally caused by stress. Panic is a REACTION to exaggerated symptoms of anxiety. Food rarely causes anxiety and certainly can’t cure it. However, if our diet is unhealthy our body suffers and that can lead to feelings of tiredness, fatigue, lethargy and so on which hardly helps us cope with any stress in our life – especially panic! So – yes – it is wise to eat healthily – just don’t get obsessive and don’t think it will take away your fear of panic attacks.

Foods that can mimic panic symptoms..

There ARE certain foods that mimic symptoms of anxiety so it makes sense to cut down on them if you can.

Caffeine – People with anxiety are usually advised to cut out caffeine because of the stimulant effects it has on the brain and body (medically it is used as a cardiac stimulant) Caffeine is found in coffee, tea, chocolate, and many soft drinks.

Alcohol – Although alcohol seems to provide short term symptom relief the ‘after effects’ of alcohol can mimic anxiety symptoms – it can be hard to tell the difference between a hangover and anxiety symptoms – so why put yourself in that position?!

Smoking – Nicotine is passed into the blood stream and then circulated to the brain causing a variety of responses in the nervous system including rapid heartbeat and increased blood pressure. If you feel that giving up nicotine would cause anxiety in itself then ask your doctor to refer you to a ‘Smoking Cessation’ group. There is help out there – USE IT!

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