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New Year's Resolutions and Panic Disorder

Creating Goals for the Coming Year


Updated July 23, 2012

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.


New Year's Resolutions and Panic Disorder

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As New Year's Day approaches, we are reminded of the passing of another year. A new year can feel like a fresh start and a good time to consider your personal goals for the future. Your resolutions may be reflect what you hope to achieve with your relationships, career, health, and other aspects of your life.

When setting your goals for the coming year, consider what you want to accomplish in regards to your diagnosis of panic disorder. Below are some ideas to get you started towards goals concerning panic disorder, panic attacks, and agoraphobia.

Enhance Your Physical Fitness

The desire to become more physically fit and improve one's overall health is often at the top of many New Year's resolutions. There are many good reasons to make your physical fitness a top priority this year. Getting fit will not only help you achieve weight management goals, but it can relieve some of your symptoms of panic disorder and anxiety.

Research has shown that physical exercise can help improve one’s mood, assist in getting a good night's sleep, and reduce nervousness. By loosening up tension and tightness held in the muscles throughout the body, exercise may assist with decreasing the physical symptoms of panic and anxiety. Exercise has also been found to enhance the body's endorphins and reduce stress hormones. This has the potential to decrease feelings of anxiety and even panic attacks in some cases. Learn more about the benefits of exercise for panic disorder and how to start an exercise plan today.

Cut Out Trigger Foods

It is possible that your diet can play a role in your experience with panic disorder. Certain foods may actually be contributing to your anxiety and panic attacks. Research has found that some substances can actually aggravate panic disorder symptoms.

Common food triggers for people with panic disorder include caffeine, alcohol, and sugar. Monosodium glutamate, a common seasoning in food, may also be a trigger for panic attacks for some people. Find out more about these food triggers and ways to decrease your consumption of caffeine and sugar.

Cope with Stress

Stress can play a part of many mental and physical health problems. In particular, stress can contribute to increased levels of anxiety. Reducing stress in your life can be a great goal to add to your list of resolutions this year.

In order to live a less stressful lifestyle, you will need to eliminate some stressors from your life and develop ways to cope with the inevitable ones. Even though stress is an unavoidable part of life, there are some steps you can take towards reducing your stress levels. Here you will find effective ways to manage your stress.

Improve your Relationships

Panic disorder and agoraphobia can negatively impact both your personal or professional relationships. Your symptoms can be difficult to manage while at work, attending a family event, out on a date. You may feel afraid of what others would think if they knew about your panic attacks.

You may have found that many people cannot understand your struggle with panic disorder and are unable to relate to your symptoms. This can lead to feelings of loneliness, a common issue for people with panic disorder. This year, make an effort to overcome loneliness and improve your relationships.

Learn the Facts

Knowledge is power. If you have been diagnosed with panic disorder, it is important to understand your diagnosis and stay informed about the latest on your condition. Here you will find information on some the frequently most asked questions about panic disorder, potential changes in diagnosing panic disorder, and the most common treatment options.

Overcome Maladaptive Behaviors

Many people with panic disorder also face obstacles with maladaptive behaviors. Some potential problem behaviors include avoiding feared situations, using alcohol to ease symptoms, and persistent negative thinking. Make a plan to get past these maladaptive behaviors. Learn more about these common issues and how to overcome them this year.

Get the Help You Need

If you have panic disorder, panic attacks, or agoraphobia, it is important that you seek out treatment. Here you will find out about treatment options, self-help techniques, and how to get the help you need. The sooner you begin a treatment plan, the more likely you will be able to more effectively cope with panic disorder.

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