Panic attacks and lifestyle: Prevention of panic attacks.

Hypnotherapy and Hypnobalancing™ in Berlin
Psychotherapy in Berlin - Specialization: Fears and Anxiety Disorders - Panic Attacks and Anxiety

Panic attacks and lifestyle


Increased heartbeat, sweating, panic. Many people experience a panic attack at least once in their lives. They seem to come out of nowhere, are frightening and disruptive. What is the influence of lifestyle and what helps?






Panic attacks


Suddenly the heart is racing, the feeling of hardly being able to breathe, trembling all over the body. Everything feels unreal and the fear of losing balance or even dying intensifies. Usually, it takes a quarter of an hour and the symptoms decrease, everything gradually calms down.




Influencing factors: lifestyle and panic attacks


Some factors have a reputation for increasing the likelihood of panic attacks.




1. Too little sleep can lead to panic attacks


Sleep is the most delicious invention after all.

Heinrich Heine


Suffering from panic attacks and not getting enough sleep, usually less than 6 hours, increases the risk of another panic attack. Lack of sleep can stimulate the production of certain hormones or other chemical reactions in the body that can lead to panic attacks.

A balanced lifestyle helps in dealing with a panic disorder. Some people need appropriate impulses for this and the time to develop behaviors that are conducive for them. Rituals, such as going to bed at the same time, help to get adequate sleep each night. What sleep does for the body, joy does for the mind: Supply of new life force, Rudolf von Jhering said. He is right.




2. Panic attacks and coffee


Clients repeatedly report panic attacks after coffee consumption. The reason; coffee and other stimulants activate the central nervous system in a way that can lead to panic attacks. For people affected, it is better to stay away from all caffeinated beverages, including cola drinks and teas. Even caffeine-free herbal teas sometimes contain chemicals that could trigger panic attacks.




3. Intoxicants and self-medication


By living a conscious lifestyle, you reduce the likelihood of experiencing a panic attack again. Therefore, also avoid those substances that can possibly increase the tendency to panic in you. In addition to caffeine, these include nicotine and alcohol, for example. Many clients report underestimated drugs that became triggers for them.

Some patients report that alcohol has triggered panic attacks for them while others claim that alcohol helps them avoid panic attacks.

In fact, it is recommended to live as healthy a lifestyle as possible. Also because of the risks of prolonged alcohol consumption.  Alcohol may have an anti-anxiety effect initially but later lead to massive anxiety via long-term use, paradoxical effects, or withdrawal symptoms.

In people with elevated blood pressure, the already increased stress hormones are reduced at a slower speed because of the alcohol, so that the blood pressure continues to rise and symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, shortness of breath, pressure on the chest, heart complaints, reduced performance, feeling of restlessness, etc. can occur. When blood pressure is low, the vasodilatory effect of alcohol becomes noticeable; when standing, there is more blood in the dilated veins of the legs, and counter-regulation causes palpitations and sweating.

If medications are taken, special care is required, which the prescribing physician can inform about.




4. Worries


Deal with and resolve stressful issues in your life. Worries reduce the quality of sleep and thus burden the body and mind several times. Address this constructively with your therapist as well.




5. Nutrition


A balanced diet also helps, because a healthy body provides fewer starting points for panic attacks.

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Published: March 12, 2007
Author: Karsten Noack
Revision: October 7, 2021
Translation: May 26, 2008
German version:
AN: #1490

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