Is it possible to stop panic attacks naturally, simply by meditating?
I review the scientific evidence — and whether meditation is right for you — in this episode of “Panic Free TV”...
VIDEO TRANSCRIPT FOR THOSE WHO PREFER TO READ:
Sarah asks — “How can I stop my panic attacks naturally? I’m interested in mindfulness meditation and I’m wondering, does it work for panic attacks?”
Hi, I’m Michael Norman and welcome to “PanicFree TV” Q&A. This is where as a scientist and anxiety specialist, I answer your most pressing questions about how to quickly stop your panic attacks for good — so that you can enjoy a normal, panic-free life again.
Okay, so there are two questions here:
One is about how to stop panic attacks naturally.
The other is about mindfulness meditation, specifically.
Let’s talk about mindfulness first.
Now, the research clearly shows that mindfulness can help with panic attacks, but it’s not for everyone.
I'll explain more in just a moment — but first let me take 30 seconds and quickly explain what mindfulness is, for anyone who doesn’t know.
One of my current definitions of mindfulness is that it’s purposely bringing your full attention to the present moment, just observing and accepting whatever is happening in your current experience, without judging it at all.
Now, this is just one definition, and definitions are always just ATTEMPTS to describe reality.
If you went to a restaurant and you just read the menu… that wouldn’t replace actually tasting the food, and so the only true way to know what mindfulness is like for you, is to try it.
This can be done formally with a mediation practice… where you dedicate blocks of time to practicing being fully present, aware and accepting… of some aspect of your current experience, like your breathing.
It can also be done informally throughout the day, just by being PRESENT to your senses, to whatever you happen to be doing.So how does mindfulness relate to stopping a panic attack?
Well… if you've already watched my free “Panic Free TV” foundation series then you already know that one of the main things that fuels a panic attack is trying to fight it.
Mindfulness offers us one antidote — that of being present to, and learning to ACCEPT rather than fight, whatever anxious thoughts or body sensations that you might be experiencing.
While it doesn't immediately stop a panic attack, if you can accept and just be present with a panic attack, that takes away the fuel that keeps that panic attack going.
As mindfulness pioneer Jon Kabat-Zinn puts it… the mindfulness attitude is “You CAN’T stop the waves, but you CAN learn to surf.”
Now, obviously fully accepting a panic attack is FAR, FAR easier said than done... which is why it takes so much practice.
This is reflected in the two mindfulness-based programs that have been show scientifically to help with panic attacks.
They’re both 8 week programs… they involve up to 30 hours of group instruction… plus they involve 45 minutes to an hour of meditation practice, each day by yourself.
Now, if you’re thinking that this is a huge investment of time, then I definitely agree.
If you JUST want to end your panic attacks then, for me, it’s definitely not worth it. I can show you far faster, far more reliable and far more effective ways of becoming panic-free.
But if you’re already interested in meditation, and if you’re already considering starting your own daily practice… then definitely do it because there is a huge amount of research showing that mindfulness can help reduce stress, worry, depression, even back pain, and it can increase your general sense of wellbeing.
And when it comes to panic, even though we need a lot more research… it seems to help about 75% of people over the course of a year IF they’re willing to invest the time into a daily mindfulness practice.
Now onto the second question: what’s the best approach to stop panic attacks naturally?
Well, this is exactly what I cover this in detail in my free “Panic Free TV” foundation series. It’s simple science-based help for panic attacks that will show you the fastest, natural way… to go from wherever you are right now… back to a life that’s as normal, care-free, and panic-free, as anyone else you know.
The solutions for panic are very simple, but they’re deeply counterintuitive — and that’s why I created this foundation series.
Again, it’s completely free, it will make an immediate, important difference in your life — and to watch it right now, simply click on the link on your screen or in the description below, and get started today on your journey back to a normal, panic-free life.
I’m Michael Norman. Thank you so much for watching. I’ll see you soon.