Understanding the causes of panic attacks is a very important step toward living a happier, more productive life.
After all, dealing with panic attacks can be a frustrating experience. It can make it very difficult to attend to routine tasks like going to the grocery, picking up the dry cleaning, or attending your child’s PTA meetings. It can also get in the way of work – when you’re afraid of having a panic attack in the middle of a business meeting, it can be very difficult to stay on top of the tasks you need to accomplish in order to excel in your career.
Panic attacks can even interfere with leisure activities, making it very difficult for you to relax. Fairs, sporting events, and even a trip to the movies can become a very frightening prospect when you are dealing with anxiety and the possibility of a panic attack.
In order to deal with be debilitating symptoms of panic attacks, it is important that you take the time to understand them. The first step to managing your anxiety is knowing the causes of panic attacks. This will help you better anticipate when a panic attack will occur, and give you the knowledge you need to minimize the symptoms of these attacks when they occur.
The onset of panic attacks often comes with the occurrence of a major life transition. As you might guess, significantly traumatic events, such as a major illness, the death of a loved one, divorce, and injury can trigger a bout of panic attacks. In some cases, even seemingly positive events, such as marriage, buying a new home, or planning a vacation can produce sufficient anxiety to trigger these attacks.
Job changes are also some of the leading causes of panic attacks. Many times, anxiety is caused by the loss of a job; however, starting a new job, getting a promotion, or accepting a job relocation can leave you feeling stressed and anxious.
Lifestyle decisions are also common causes of panic attacks. Drinking alcohol, for example, can cause changes in your body’s chemistry that set the stage for anxiety and stress. Likewise, the use of tobacco produces sufficient physical changes to bring on panic attacks. Even caffeine (one of the most commonly used drugs in the Western world) creates physical tension and mental uneasiness, and can precipitate episodes of uncontrollable anxiety.
The foods we eat can also contribute to panic attacks. Many of us rely on commercially packaged foods and fast food meals that are virtually devoid of nutritional value. Because of this, we are literally starving our body, which produces physical and mental tension. A diet rich in leaving proteins, complex carbohydrates, and fruits and vegetables can help combat the symptoms of anxiety that compromise our happiness.
A sedentary lifestyle is yet another of the most common causes of panic attacks. Many of us work in office settings where we sit for eight or more hours every day. As a result, we come home feeling exhausted, without the sufficient motivation to exercise – so instead, we spend our evenings sitting on the sofa watching television and eating unhealthy foods. Lack of exercise not only produces physical tension; it also gives our minds the time to wander, and obsess over negative events that may or may not ever happen.