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Lifestyle Changes to Manage Panic Disorder
by Amy Scholten, MPH
In addition to medical treatment, the following lifestyle changes may help you manage the symptoms of panic disorder:
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 Alcohol TOP
Avoid Drug Use TOP
Avoid drugs unless prescribed or approved by your doctor. If you think you are addicted to illegal drugs, or prescription or nonprescription medications, talk to your doctor about how to overcome dependence on these substances.
Avoid Smoking TOP
Smoking has been linked to panic disorder. Talk to your doctor about how you can successfully quit.
Get Plenty of Rest TOP
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 TOP
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 TOP
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.
Answers to your questions about panic disorder. American Psychological Association website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Accessed June 27, 2017.
Anxiety disorders. National Institute of Mental Health website. Available at: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/anxiety-disorders/index.shtml. Updated March 2016. Accessed June 27, 2017.
Panic attacks and panic disorder. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Updated May 2014. Accessed June 27, 2017.
Panic disorder. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115030/Panic-disorder. Updated April 17, 2017. Accessed June 27, 2017.
Panic disorder and agoraphobia. Anxiety and Depression Association of America website. Available at: https://www.adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/panic-disorder-agoraphobia. Accessed June 27, 2017.
Last reviewed June 2017 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Adrian Preda, MD
Last Updated: 12/20/2014
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