If you suffer from anxiety and/or have experienced panic attacks you will be well aware of what it is like to feel like you have no control. Anxiety disorders are treated in a wide variety of different ways and can including using medication, alternative methods or a combination of both. However as more and more research is done it is proven that adopting a healthy lifestyle can help to prevent panic attacks. This may involve changing your diet and including an exercise regime in your day to day life but it is an effective way to manage your anxiety.
If you plan on changing your diet dramatically or taking on an exercise schedule that you are not used to you should consult a healthcare professional beforehand.
Diet & Exercise
There are definitely some certain foods and drinks that you should avoid if you have any sort of an anxiety disorder. The things listed below that you should avoid can all contribute to raising anxiety levels and making panic attacks more intense.
Alcoholic beverages are definitely on the list of things to avoid. Not only because of the risks of becoming dependant but also because alcohol affects your body’s sugar levels and can cause panic attack type symptoms which in turn can trigger a panic attack. This is not to say that anxiety suffers cannot enjoy a social drink or a drink with a meal; it is just not advisable to binge drink.
There is no doubting that we all probably consume too much sugar in our diets. Although you cannot eliminate sugar from your diet because we do need it, it is something that should be considered and consumed in moderation. Cutting down on sugary treats and drinks and replacing them with foods and drinks that have natural sugars, such as fruit and fruit drinks, can be of huge benefit. Natural sugars release sugar slowly into your system as we need it as opposed to other artificial sugars that provide you with an instant hit of sugar.
Most of us will have a cup of coffee or tea first thing in the morning to help wake us up and get us going. However drinking caffeine is not recommended for anxiety sufferers as it does a good job in stimulating both the body and the mind, which in turn can lead to increased anxiety. If you’ve got large amounts of caffeine in your diet you should consider eliminating it completely, if not you should cut down as much as you can. As well as coffee and tea, this also includes sodas and chocolate.
Including a regular exercise program into your day to day life can really help with mental health issues, particularly stress and anxiety. Everybody’s mind and body are inextricably linked so if you take care of one it will contribute to taking care of the other. When you exercise, your body releases endorphins into your system, these endorphins are what make us happy so it makes sense that this will help with anxiety. Exercising is also a very effective way to use up excess adrenaline which builds up with anxiety.
It is important to create an exercise program for yourself that is realistic and that fits in with your day to day lifestyle. Also find an activity that you enjoy and that suits your fitness level no matter if it is walking, running, cycling, swimming or going to the gym. If you have any injuries, are unfit or overweight you should talk to a professional before creating your own program.
Adopting a healthier lifestyle is a really good start to managing your anxiety and you are sure to see both the physical and mental benefits before too long.