Meditation and Panic Attacks
by Oliver Dodd
The causes and origin are truly unknown; it is twice as common in women as in men, but panic attacks are the same for everyone. Some of you might recognize it as those chills and cold sweats that start to form during those social situations. Others might associate it with an outright fear of dying! All-in-all people that suffer from panic attacks all share the same inevitable feeling of helplessness that is not only painful to endure, but outright traumatizing. Even the mere recollection of a previous attack can trigger another panic attack.
There are many treatments available for the treatment of panic attacks, but these usually involve Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI’s), which is commonly used in antidepressant medication; These may include: Prozac, Zoloft, or Paxil, just as an example. But what about an effective, and non-chemical alternative that wasn’t synthesized in a glass tube? How about cancelling out the mere thought of an attack without a pill, but by putting your mind and body at ease. Meditation can be very beneficial to anyone who is willing to dedicated their time and mind to a structured meditation regiment.
Meditation doesn’t necessarily mean sitting down on the floor, cross-legged, middle finger to thumb, and humming some mantras. It is the challenge of achieving pure relaxation and reaching a plateau in your mind where nothing can change that relaxation of your body and mind. One can change a lot in their life by dedicating a few hours of your day to simply getting your body and mind in touch.
One must realize that meditation can bring upon a plethora of positive influences in their life. Aside from helping one reduce the likeliness of panic attacks, basic meditation can:
*Benefit your Health
*Help you Control your Thoughts
*Detachment from the things that irritate us
*Increase Peace of Mind and Happiness
*Increase Ones Concentration
*Increase Creativity and Spontaneity
Studies have shown that meditation, when done correctly, is a very successful method to reduce stress. There is really nothing mystical or illusive about it. The most apparent cause of anxiety is an over active and uncontained thought process. While properly meditating one can slow down their thought process and reduce their anxiety.
Find a comfortable position, a lot people choose to sit with good posture in an upright position. I would try warming
up by first doing a few minutes of diaphragmatic breathing and muscle relaxation exercises to relax you physically.
Then you want to close your eyes, which studies have shown can reduce your brain activity by up to seventy-five percent; You want to try and become aware and identify your own thoughts. Recognize these thoughts and disassociate yourself from them, the idea here is to have as few thoughts as possible, but don’t become anxious if you cannot eliminate your thoughts altogether. Let them go every time you find yourself flowing into thought.
One of the things that help us to eliminate our thought process is to concentrate upon or repeat a mantra. A mantra is quite simply just a word or a phrase or a number that you try to visualize and repeat over and over again. The sole purpose in this is to eliminate any thoughts that might want to creep into your mind.
Many times I would meditate while doing my breathing exercises. My mantra would be the numbers that I was using for counting my breaths. I would close my eyes and while breathing in I would visualize and focus upon the numbers; one, two, three, four, five, six, seven…And then as I was breathing out I would again focus upon and visualize the numbers: One, two, three, four, five, six, seven… I also will often us a Bible verse or simple the name “Jesus” while visualizing each letter’s, size, shape, dimension, color and texture.
You may have a favorite word or phrase that you want to use for your mantra. Some people simply repeat and focus upon the name of a loved one or a favorite phrase. It doesn’t matter. The Idea is to have something to focus upon to help you to stop thinking.
Try to meditate at least once every day for at least twenty minutes or any time that you feel stressed or anxious. Meditating will leave you refreshed and help to become aware of your thought process. It will also help to bring you out of anxiety and recondition you to react more calmly in stressful situations. Don’t worry if you become so relaxed that you nod off and fall asleep.
If you want to find out an even easier way to meditate (and this can even be done when you are walking!), visit