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 Medical Self-Care: Panic Attacks 
American Institute for Preventive Medicine ©

Eat meals at regular times.

Self-Care / Prevention

  • Look for the cause of the stress that results in anxiety. Deal with it. Use stress management techniques. Do deep breathing exercises. Meditate.
  • Lessen your exposure to things that cause you distress.
  • Talk about your fears and anxieties with someone you trust, such as a friend, partner, teacher, etc.
  • Exercise regularly (e.g., 30 minutes to 1 hour, 5 times a week).
  • Eat healthy foods. Eat at regular times. Don’t skip meals.
  • If you are prone to low blood sugar episodes, eat 5 to 6 small meals per day instead of 3 larger ones. Avoid sweets on a regular basis, but carry a source of sugar with you at all times, such as a small can of orange juice. This will give you a quick source of sugar in the event that you get a low blood sugar reaction.
  • Limit or avoid caffeine intake after noon.
  • Avoid nicotine and alcohol.
  • Avoid medicines that stimulate. Examples are over-the-counter diet pills and pills to keep you awake.
  • Do some form of relaxation exercise daily. Examples are meditation and deep breathing.
  • Plan your schedule for what you can handle both physically and mentally.
  • Rehearse for planned events that have made you feel anxious in the past or that you think will cause anxiety. Imagine yourself feeling calm and in control during the event. Do this several times before it really occurs.
  • Face the fear. Accept it, don't fight it. (This may need outside help.)
  • Be prepared to deal with symptoms of anxiety. For example, if you have hyperventilated in the past, carry a paper bag with you. If you do hyperventilate, cover your mouth and nose with the paper bag. Breathe into the paper bag slowly and rebreathe the air. Do this in and out at least 10 times. Remove the bag and breathe normally a few minutes. Repeat breathing in and out of the paper bag as needed.
  • Help others. The positive feelings from this can help relieve some of your anxiety.
  • Read self-help books on anxiety, panic attacks, etc.
  • Meditate to help you deal with anxiety.

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