If you suffer from anxiety, please know, I know exactly how you feel. I became a therapist after dealing with my own anxiety and I want you to know, most of all, that its absolutely possible to feel better again.
Anxiety can feel debilitating and can effect how you feel about everything else in your life. It doesnt have to stay that way though, Wherever you feel stuck, I have created a solution for you – from a self help journal to sessions or a full online course. I know it can feel like nothing will help you, but know that this really can change. The most important thing is to be kind on yourself. Anxiety does not mean you are weak or broken in any way, it just simply means you are having a strong bodily response more than is useful to you. Watch my emotional detox video now to learn a fast and easy technique to start releasing some stress and anxiety now.
Panic attacks are terrifying, and can seem like they come out of nowhere. Feeling dizzy, stomach in knots, heart beating faster, sweaty palms and flushed cheeks are just a few horrid symptoms. The only thing ever really missing from a panic attack, is a thing to actually panic about. This makes them particularly insidious – how can you either avoid them or fix them if you don’t know what’s causing them?
Well, surprisingly, I can tell you what’s causing them, and what I am about to tell you, is the single most helpful piece of info EVER when it comes to panic attacks. Or at least, it is when you are calmly reading this post, if I tried to tell you this during an attack, you wouldn’t believe a word. It’s so effective, I recommend you tell everyone you know who suffers from them. Really. Therapist approved advice. And that advice is -When you feel an attack start, sit down somewhere, and have it. Don’t try and stop it, or find the cause. Let it come, accept it will last around 15-20 minutes, and then let it go.
And that’s it.
So, now that we’ve dealt with that, and you are possibly asking yourself what kind of £*&#’zf advice is that?! Let me explain why this is the best thing to do.
Panic attacks are actually a physical response and begin much earlier than you being aware of them. They feel out of the blue, but they are really not and something, possibly even a few things combined, triggered that response. So what exactly happens?
Your emotional brain picks up a danger. In cases where you know what the trigger is, for instance a particular fear, it’s usually an increased likelihood of that fear happening In the near future, but for unclear triggers, it could be anything really, because your emotional brain sees stress as dangerous, and you will know how many different levels of stress you encounter in a day. Running late, kids missing a shoe, work needing something, the weight of the mental load. Add onto that any fears you have, financial worries, anyone getting ill or something not working out. All these things collect together, and cause a stress build up (it’s worth noting, this can be so long term that you don’t even notice them all piling up) and this is when your emotional brain takes notice.
So, you are hard wired to keep yourself safe above all else, and when your emotional brain sees this happening, it sees all that stress as overwhelming, and therefore a threat, so it signals your adrenal system to release adrenaline into your bloodstream as a response – this readies you for a fight or flight response and puts your body into its most reactive state in preparation for either, but it’s also what causes all the physical symptoms you feel.
Your emotional brain doesn’t work on logic, it works on feelings, and so it leaves you feeling awful, like something horrendous is about to happen and adding to it no answers as to what it might be. We naturally try to move away from anything that is uncomfortable quickly, so we try to avoid the feelings, quickly noticing that we can’t (it is literally a hormone in your bloodstream at this point) and actually heightening the panic because we feel helpless and therefore more under threat.
Allowing the attack seems counterintuitive, but, sometimes worrying about having them adds to the stress, as well as the energy used in trying to fight them off. Yes they feel horrid, but if you sit down (or lie down) and wait it out, nothing bad will come from it. You won’t have heart problems, you won’t die, and you really are safe.