Lifestyle Changes to Manage Panic Disorder
by Michael Jubinville, MPH
The fear of having another panic attack can interfere with your life. It may cause you to avoid events or places, and isolate yourself from people. Your school or work life can be affected. Talk to your friends, family, or coworkers so they can better help you when you need it.
You can help yourself while you get treated. Making changes will help to control problems that can lead to panic attacks. Take these steps:
Make Habits Healthy
Some common habits may make your anxiety symptoms worse. Be aware and limit the following:
Get Plenty of Rest
Sleep is important for your overall health. A good night's sleep can decrease your stress levels. Make and keep a routine before you go to bed. This may include reading a book or taking a warm bath.
Find a balance between activity and rest. This may help you feel less anxious.
Schedule Quiet Time for Yourself Each Day
Give yourself a little quiet time each day. It may be just a few minutes to help you check on your stress level and take steps to relax.
Get Regular Exercise
Exercise has many benefits. A regular routine will help to reduce stress and manage anxiety. Aim for 150 minutes of exercise each week. Short bursts can also help if you feel stressed. For example, a short walk can reduce your stress level.
If you feel pressed for time, try using regular exercise as your quiet time.
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Panic attacks and panic disorder. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/psychiatric-disorders/anxiety-and-stressor-related-disorders/panic-attacks-and-panic-disorder. Updated July 2018. Accessed February 25, 2019.
Panic disorder. Anxiety and Depression Association of America website. Available at: https://adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/panic-disorder. Accessed February 22, 2019.
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Last reviewed December 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Adrian Preda, MD
Last Updated: 2/25/2019
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