Don’t you just hate it when someone tells you to “CALM DOWN!” As if it were that easy???
For those of us who have suffered from panic attacks, it really isn’t that simple. If it were, then we probably wouldn’t have them in the first place.
There is a big difference between feeling nervous, excited or rushed when comparing it to an actual panic attack.
Signs & Symptoms of a Panic Attack
Feeling of an increased heart rate
Dysphoria/sense of disorientation
Feeling hot & cold
Chest pain and/or difficulty breathing
Fear of ‘impending doom’ or even fear of death – yikes!
If you or anyone you know suffers from these symptoms, I highly recommend talking to someone you trust about it. I would not take this lightly, you are worth it because you deserve to feel good always. If you’re not sure who to talk to then consider booking a session with me or find a therapist or naturopath in your area.
I used to have panic attacks until I made the decision to go see a therapist. I chose to do that after doctors couldn’t help other than try to prescribe pharmaceutical drugs. Some of the drugs recommended by doctors are narcotics which are meant to be used temporarily to help individuals through ‘tough times’ but unfortunately they can become highly addictive and may cause more problems later on.
During one of my first sessions, my therapist asked me to describe the symptoms during a panic attack and while I did this, I began to have one right there in his office. Although he was a very sympathetic man, he said, “Well, this is great!” He said this because he really wanted to show me a series of techniques that he believed would help.
I didn’t have a choice but to trust his judgement so I listened to him as best I could while my reality was being distorted.
He had me take a deep breath while counting up to ten. My first thought was, this is really cheesy and I doubt it will work. But surprisingly the focus on my breath and counting was extremely helpful. I was focusing on the numbers rather than the fear of the panic.
Next, my therapist asked me to tighten my fists, “hold it”, then release. He also asked me to tighten, hold and release my arms, then my legs and also my feet.
I give my therapist a lot of credit for helping me but I give myself the credit for coming into a realization in that moment. Since the technique allowed me to get out of the panic attack, I realized that I had control, therefore there wasn’t anything to fear. Beforehand, I was living in fear that I couldn’t take control over my situation or well-being which made my anxiety worse. After talking myself out of the fear, the panic attacks dissipated.
Imagine what you may accomplish when you’re able to overcome your worst fears.
I do understand firsthand that my personal story may seem easier said than done but you don’t have to do this alone.
Also, before and during my therapy sessions, I needed something quick to help me when I was in a panic attack or when I could feel one coming on. I found that there are many natural essential oils, herbs and amino acids that significantly help with relaxation and also with some mood disorders.
If you have a diffuser, I recommend the following essential Oils:
These or any other essential oils that you enjoy may be used in single use or as a blend. Some essential oil companies have created ‘calm’ or ‘serene’ or ‘relax’ blends for your convenience.
Natural Herbs including Lemonbalm (Melissa), Passionflower, Tulsi (Holy Basil) and Ashwagandha (Check out my blog – Ayurveda for more information) are also very helpful and I use these still on a rotating basis. They can be purchased in tea, pill or liquid tincture form.
Some minerals such as magnesium have a calming effect on the body. Try one of my favorite products by Pure Therapeutics: Just Relax.
Also, some amino acids, which are obviously found in the foods we eat have been studied and are well known to help with mood disorders including depression and those prone to panic attacks. Also, some studies show that people with these issues may be deficient in them.
The amino acid 5-HTP is synthesized from Tryptophan, a precursor to serotonin – our happy hormone. This is a stronger supplement that has a similar effect to some popular pharmaceuticals used for depression.
Please know that I don’t believe 5-HTP is for everyone. Increasing serotonin levels are great unless you have been diagnosed as manic depressive, otherwise known as bi-polar disorder. Increasing serotonin levels in someone who is bi-polar could trigger a manic episode.
Also, for me personally I found that l-glutamine makes me feel relaxed. It is usually used to help with athletic performance, as well as repairing the mucosal lining of the intestinal tract. Scientists have proven that it increases GABA in the brain.
GABA or gamma-amino butyric acid acts as a neurotransmitter for the central nervous system. It has a very calming effect on the mind and seems to help those who have trouble focusing on tasks.
Lastly, l-theanine which is an amino acid found in green tea can also be taken in pill form and is known to cause a state of relaxation. That’s why a lot of green tea drinkers don’t get the jitters usually associated with caffeine intake.
P.S. Another thing to know is that part of the reason I was having panic attacks is because I was significantly deficient in proper nutrients, like B-vitamins, due to my alcoholism, which I will discuss further in my next blog so stay tuned….
Do you have a condition related to this topic that requires more guidance? If so, Click Here to Book Your Session!
Until then, be well!
Next Topic: B cool with B’s