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Exercising to Reduce Stress and Panic Attacks

Jan 24, 2011

You can reduce panic attacks and stress through regular exercise. Although the cause of panic attacks is not clearly understood, exercise and stress reduction techniques have been known to decrease the unpleasant symptoms and frequency of panic attacks. Establishing a regular workout routine will help to relax you and create a greater sense of inner calm.

About Panic Attacks

The experience of a panic attack can be very unsettling. If you suffer from this disorder even once, you might develop a chronic fear that the symptoms will return in certain circumstances. Giving an important presentation at work or having to drive a long distance alone, for example, might be reasons for increased anxiety. A simple flashback to a previous panic attack can trigger a new episode.

The symptoms of a panic attack often include shortness of breath, dizziness, trembling, rapid heartbeat, sweating, chills and/or chest pain. Your overall feeling during a panic attack may be loss of control or that all things will go terribly wrong. The symptoms may last for a few minutes or for hours.

In all cases of a serious panic attack, the best course of action is to first see a trained medical professional who can run medical tests and rule out the possibility of any health issues. Some panic attack sufferers fear that they have had a heart attack, so it’s important to rule out any heart-related issues. In some cases, medication may be necessary to relieve chronic anxiety.

The Impact of Exercise on Reducing Panic Attacks

Regular exercise is often recommended for reducing the symptoms of panic attacks and feelings of stress. When you exercise regularly, for a period of 30 minutes each day for example, your body experiences hormonal changes that lead to feelings of greater well-being. Exercise clears your mind and helps to relieve you of unpleasant thoughts. It keeps you in the moment and focused on the task at hand.

When you turn to exercise as a way to reduce the symptoms of panic attacks and to manage stress in your life, choose enjoyable activities that you find invigorating. Taking an aerobics class at a gym with your best friend, riding your bicycle through a hilly and beautiful region, dancing to music that moves you, or taking a yoga class that leaves you feeling calm and relaxed are all examples of ways to reduce your symptoms.

Breathing to Reduce Panic Attacks

Shortness of breath or taking in too much oxygen can be common symptoms of panic attacks. Controlled activities such as relaxation groups or meditation classes with a trained instructor may be helpful to overcome this issue. A trained instructor can remind you to breathe deeply and regularly to provide your body with just the right amount of oxygen.

All in all, if you are suffering from panic attacks, there is hope for a remedy. Through the help of a skilled medical professional, regular exercise and conscious efforts to relax and breathe, you can find your way back to a feeling of inner calm.

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