Lifestyle Changes to Manage Panic Disorder
In addition to medical treatment, the following lifestyle changes may help you manage the symptoms of panic disorder:
Working with a therapist can help you learn what situations may trigger panic attacks. During this process, you will also learn how to better manage them when they occur, making them less stressful. This can help improve your overall quality of life, especially if you avoid specific situations.
Some people find that avoiding caffeine helps reduce panic attacks. Caffeine is commonly found in coffee, tea, chocolate, and some soft drinks. Decreasing your caffeine intake may help you feel less anxious.
may exacerbate your feelings of
anxiety. Talk to your doctor if you need help reducing your alcohol intake or quitting drinking entirely.
unless prescribed or approved by your doctor. If you think you are addicted to illegal drugs or
or nonprescription medications, ask your doctor for help overcoming dependence on these substances.
Smoking has been linked to panic disorder. Talk to your doctor about how you can successfully quit.
Give yourself a little quiet time each day. This is a great way to reduce stress and have time to think through some troubling problems.
Exercise has many benefits. Having a regular routine, even a simple one, will help reduce stress, manage anxiety, and improve your overall health. Try to get in 30 minutes of exercise per day most days of the week. This can be done with something as easy as walking. Consider adding two strength training sessions per week to help strengthen muscles and bones.
If you feel pressed for time, try using using regular exercise as your scheduled quiet time.
Answers to your questions about panic disorder. American Psychological Association website. Available at:
http://www.apa.org/topics/anxiety/panic-disorder.aspx. Accessed November 27, 2013.
National Institute of Mental Health
website. Available at:
Accessed November 27, 2013.
Panic disorder. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us. Updated February 28, 2013. Accessed November 27, 2013.
Last reviewed November 2013 by Michael Woods, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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