In the past, we’ve talked about some things that people can do to help alleviate their panic attacks.  You can learn more about dietary and lifestyle changes here and here.  Today though we are going to go a little bit deeper into one of those common substances that is all around us and helps contribute to anxiety and panic attacks.  We’re talking about caffeine.  Face it, caffeine is pretty common in our diets.  It’s in coffee, tea, sodas, medicine, and especially candy.

Caffeine is a stimulent.  It revs the body up and makes it more alert.  It give energy that would not normally be there, and taken in large enough doeses it will make a person jittery and overly tense.  The last thing that a person prone to experiencing anxiety and panic attacks needs is something that will make them jittery and energetic.  The idea for panic self help is to promote relaxation, not key a person up till they act like a Jack Russell Terrier. 

Of course, what makes one person bounce off the wall may cause another to barely stiffel a yawn.  That is just the way of addiction and the law of diminishing returns.  The longer a person uses a substance, the more of it that it takes to get the same affect, and caffeine is no different in that respect.  Knowing though that caffeine is a stimulant, it should be the goal of every panic attack sufferer to reduce or eliminate that substance from their body.

Eliminating caffeine is not a simple matter of no longer consuming caffinated beverages and foods.  Stopping the intake of caffeine will likely cause headaches and tiredness in most people.  This doesn’t mean though that consumption cannot be tapered off over a period of several weeks or months.  Start slowly, set a goal, and take measured steps.  If you would like to stop drinking coffee in a month, reduce your intake by 25% the first week, another 25% the second week, etc until you have reached your goal.  The same principle works for teas and chocolate as well.

Reducing caffeine from your diet will take some time and you may have to wait for it to completely work itself out of the body, but the day of being free of that particular stimulant and helping reduce the feelings of anxiety will be closer the sooner that substance is removed from your diet.

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