Taking care of your basic needs
We all know a healthy diet is important these days. But what specifically affects anxiety and panic attacks?
First of all, vitamins and minerals are important to keep on a recommended level. They help with your brain functions, and through this your mental health. It’s harder for your body to start panicking if it is well nourished and strong. Eating lots of vegetables is a great start, but supplements work well too if it’s too hard to get a varied and complete vitamin diet.
Much research has been done on how the brain works for people with panic disorder. In the brain, ‘messengers’ (neurotransmitters) regulate feelings such as fear or gloom. Research has shown that in a panic disorder the messenger substances for anxiety are out of balance.
Drugs, alcohol, and caffeine.
Drinks with caffeine in it, such as coffee, tea and cola, can provoke anxiety or make it worse. This also applies to drugs, including soft drugs such as weed and alcohol. People often use this kind of means in the hope that they feel less anxious and tense. A familiar example is the “nightcap”, a glass of alcohol that you drink before going to bed to fall asleep better. However, the effect is the opposite. Some patients even develop an alcohol addiction.
If you have a panic disorder, you should drink (much) less coffee, you should not use drugs and little to no alcohol. Sometimes, with these measures alone, the symptoms of anxiety improve greatly.