Have you been suffering from panic attacks and don’t know how to make them stop? How long? Months? Years? Decades? Have you tried conventional, clinical medicine and still aren’t in the clear? Are you looking for an all-natural way to lessen the severity of anxiety and panic attacks?
Well, first and foremost, let’s define panic attacks. According to Mayo Clinic, a panic attack is “a sudden episode of intense fear or anxiety and physical symptoms based on a perceived threat rather than imminent danger.” Nonetheless, this is more than real to the sufferer who is in need of anxiety relief. Speaking of which, meditation, learning how to control the mind (Don’t Panic Do This) does just that. As a result, meditation is the natural cure for panic attacks. Accordingly, this article will analyze the effective, beneficial ways in which meditation can and will stop panic attacks and help suffers regain control.
Debunking the Myth!
Contrary to popular belief, meditation is not a placebo effect and works for everyone. However, because of this misconception, most miss out on the immense benefits associated with meditation despite its increasing popularity in Western Culture. Also, it is important to note that meditation does not require religious or spiritual intention. It can be quite secular in this regard. As such, according to Don’t Panic Do This, “If meditation is credible enough for organizations like Apple, Google, and the U.S. Army, it should certainly be credible enough for you,” not to mention how “meditation programs can result in reductions to multiple negative dimensions of psychological stress.” Because of this, it is counterproductive to think that meditation cannot help with panic attacks or panic disorder as it provides psychological reprieve. Provided that it can be rather easy to buy into the myth that “There is no one chasing you” and “it’s only in your mind,” as Chopra points out, know that your experiences are nonetheless valid. Also, family and friends are not always mindful of your symptoms if they have never experienced them. Above all, debunking the myths associated with meditation’s impact on panic attacks is necessary to overcome this struggle naturally.
How to Reduce Anxiety and Panic Attacks
Moreover, there are several common techniques that effectively reduce anxiety. Some of those techniques, as Very Well Mind articulates, “include deep breathing, yoga, visualization, massage, and progressive muscle relaxation (PMR).” These aforementioned techniques are ways to take control of yourself and your reaction to life and thereby significantly lessens the panic factor. Very Well Mind is also saying that you, based on personal preference, can meditate in the morning to relieve anxiety and/or at night for stress reprieve and quality rest. As such, some meditate for five, ten, or twenty minutes. Others like to lie down, find a comfortable position, and/or close their eyes. Additional forms of meditation include guided meditations, progressive muscle relaxation exercises, and mantra meditations. Ever “since anxiety disorders typically involve the inability to calm and control the mind,” (Don’t Panic Do This), “meditation takes us in the opposite direction.” Because of neuroplasticity, continual anxiety makes the amygdala more active, making us more anxiety-prone, yet meditation contracts the amygdala and enhances cortical thickness, which makes us less anxious, more receptive to meditation’s many benefits. Without a doubt, “meditation can also be used to improve one’s anxiety symptoms, mood, sleep, pain tolerance, and discipline.” Consequently, it certainly wouldn’t hurt to focus on that bright, hopeful alternative. The possibility to reduce anxiety remains.
What is Mindfulness Meditation?
So, what exactly is mindfulness meditation? Is it really the antidote to a (mindless?!) panic? “Mindfulness meditation is a relaxation technique that brings your awareness back to the present (Very Well Mind).” The goal of this approach is for the meditator to be mindful of what emotions come up to the surface. Very Well Mind reports this could be fear, blame, judgment, shame, yet mindfulness meditation helps the meditator to not only be more mindful of their experience but also acknowledge that these corresponding thoughts and emotions are only temporal.
What Mindfulness Meditation is Not?
However, noting what mindfulness meditation is not also helps with the process. As such, to reiterate, you do not have to push away your negative thoughts and feelings. Instead, it would be wise to face them and thus acknowledge their presence (Very Well Mind). As a result, you detach from negative thoughts and thereby stop reacting to said thoughts. After all, mindfulness meditation is designed to help us shift our focus on the present. As such, Don’t Panic Do This contends “this is an excellent meditation for anxiety attacks because it helps us to break some of the bad habits associated with anxiety disorders.” This technique is helpful because meditation newbies easily wander from breath work and thus trains them to catch these distractions. Naturally, we try to focus our attention away from the anxiety out of fear. But, mindfulness meditation helps us to accept, not fight, these negative thoughts and emotions. Just breathe. Breathe in deeply, exhale completely.
Just Breathe (sans panic attacks)!
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In the end, without a doubt, panic attacks are like a rabbit hole of worry and distress — they feel terrible!! Accordingly, the more you try to resist, the more you sink into the vortex. And, if you want to get out of the quicksand, meditation helps you to pull it together, not push against what’s in your best interest: mindfulness. As a result, this is your rope, your escape ticket. Ironically, because you are facing the music, essentially saying, “and so it is.” Also, Don’t Panic Do This argues that mindfulness meditation is even more beneficial in the long-term than in the short term. As such, continuing these practices are necessary to experience lasting improvements. Accordingly, there are several books (e.g. “10% Happier,” “Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics,” and “The Meditation Bible“), recommended products, and guided meditations, (e.g. HeadSpace, Mindful.org, and YouTube) to manage and overcome anxiety and panic attacks. Then again, even experienced meditators have issues with sitting (or standing!) with uncomfortable thoughts. So, brace yourself. Accept your perfectly imperfect nature. Just know that with time and experience, you will sustain yourself. You will experience greater peace and timeless joy.
What if you were living proof of an anxiety-free life sans medication, fearless one? What if you are the natural cure for panic attacks?