Yoga And Meditation Can Help You Deal with Panic Attacks

in Health News

A panic attack refers to the sudden onset of overwhelming fear or anxiety that peaks within minutes. It is very much like the fear that one experiences when you are about to be interviewed for a job, or while on a stage for performance. It is a natural response; of which you are relieved once the situation has passed. On the contrary, a panic attack can strike for no apparent reason, even when there is no real threat. However, it can be effectively dealt with by practicing yoga and meditation.

Signs of a Panic Attack

Panic attacks can happen at any place or time. It is observed that it commonly strikes when one is away from home or outside his protective bubble. Panic attack symptoms can peak within minutes and end within half an hour. Given below are list of symptoms, out of which one might experience a minimum of four.

  • Palpitations
  • Shortness of breath
  • Pounding of heart
  • Sweating
  • Tremors
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Choking
  • Chest pain
  • Hot flashes and chills
  • Feeling detached to self
  • Fear of loss of control
  • Fear of dying

How Yoga & Meditation Helps to Cure Panic Attacks

Both yoga and meditation calm and strengthen the nervous system. Yoga stimulates organs and glands and aids in optimal performance, providing a boost of confidence during a stressful situation. Practicing yoga improves the mental strength to handle situations without panicking. Meditation relaxes mind, improves focus, alleviates stress, and develops a sense of peacefulness.

Curing Panic Attacks with Yoga

Performing yoga poses (asanas) strengthens the nervous system and releases stress, which helps to deal with a panic attack. By practicing the below mentioned six yoga poses, you will be able to relieve yourself from panic attacks.

  1. Lotus Pose

The Lotus Pose, the best pose for meditation, calms your nervous system and soothes the mind.

Procedure:

  • Sit down on the floor with your legs stretched.
  • Bend your right leg and place the foot over your left thigh closer to the hips.
  • Bend your left leg and place the left foot over your right thigh just as you did with the right foot.
  • Stretch your hands forward and place them on top of your knees with palms facing upwards.
  • Let the tips of your thumb and index fingers touch each other while the remaining fingers are stretched.
  • Keep your eyes closed.
  • Remain in the pose for one minute.
  1. Standing Forward Bend

The Standing Forward Bend relieves stress. It stretches your entire body, improves lung capacity thereby helping to take deep breath during panic attacks.

Procedure:

  • Stand straight with your feet together.
  • Stretch and lift your hands over the head and bend slightly backwards, while inhaling as you do so.
  • Bend forward and place the tips of your fingers by the side of your feet and exhale. You may place the palms by the sides of your feet on the floor provided you have a flexible body.
  • Bring your forehead closer to your knees without bending the legs.
  • Remain in the pose for 20 seconds.
  1. Downward Facing Dog

The Downward Facing Dog is an excellent pose to calm your mind. It is highly recommended for depression.

Procedure:

  • Go down on your knees. Place the palms on the floor straight under your shoulders and align the knees with the hips.
  • Lift your hips and straighten your knees while placing your feet on the ground simultaneously.
  • Both your legs and your hands should not be bent.
  • Pull your shoulders back so that your chest expands.
  • Place your head between your arms.
  • Remain in the pose for one minute.
  1. Child Pose

Practicing child pose will help to calm your mind.

Procedure:

  • Kneel down on the floor.
  • Space out your heels with your big toes maintaining contact and place your butt on the space between your heels.
  • Bend forward without lifting your back and place your forehead on the floor.
  • Stretch your hands forward to place them on the floor.
  1. Eagle Pose

The Eagle Pose is a balancing posture that helps to relieve stress.

Procedure:

  • Stand straight with your feet together.
  • Raise your right hand, stretch it forward and bend at the elbow. The bend should resemble an ‘L’ shape.
  • Curl the left hand under your right hand by bringing the left under the right.
  • Place both the palms against each other.
  • Bend your left knee and bring the right leg over your left thigh.
  • Curl your right foot around the left leg and put it at the outer side of the calf muscle of your left leg.
  • Remain in the pose for 20 seconds.
  • Repeat the same in the opposite direction.
  1. Corpse Pose

The Corpse Pose is a relaxation pose that relieves your physical and mental stress.

  • Lie down on the floor on your back.
  • Let the arms be stretched on the floor and a little away from your body with palms facing upwards.
  • Space out your legs.
  • Close your eyes.
  • Mentally observe if all parts of your body are relaxed, starting from your toes. Once done, observe your breath.
  • You can stay in this pose for about 10 minutes.

Curing Panic Attacks with Meditation

The regular practice of meditation calms and elevates the mind to a higher level. It regulates emotion and helps overcome fear, which is the root of panic attack. The best pose to practice meditation is through the Lotus Pose (padmasana); however if you are uncomfortable in the Lotus Pose, you can try the Easy Pose (sukhasana) or even use a chair and keep your feet on the floor. Keep your eyes closed and train your mind to watch your natural breath –as it flows in and flows out. When the mind moves away from watching the breath, gently redirect it to focus on breath. While it may initially seem difficult to perform, as the mind tends to wander, with practice you will be able to master the art. Such practice draws your mind away from stress and aids in relief from panic attacks.

Sources:

http://www.nimh.nih.gov/

http://www.artofliving.org/in-en/yoga/

(Source)