Lifestyle Changes to Manage Panic Disorder
In addition to medical treatment, the following lifestyle changes may help you manage the symptoms of panic disorder:
- Learn your triggers
- Avoid caffeine
- Avoid alcohol
- Avoid drug use
- Avoid smoking
- Get plenty of rest
- Schedule quiet time for yourself each day
- Get regular exercise
Learn Your Triggers
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.
Avoid Drug Use
Avoid drug use unless prescribed or approved by your doctor. If you think you are addicted to illegal drugs or prescription 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.
Get Plenty of Rest
Feeling well rested can help you to feel more relaxed. Getting a good night's sleep is also important to maintaining your overall health.
Schedule Quiet Time for Yourself Each Day
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.
Get Regular Exercise
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.
Last reviewedNovember 2013by 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.