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  • Writer's pictureBruce

How to Deal with Anxiety and Panic Attacks

Updated: Feb 19, 2021

Most of us have heard of our natural "Fight" or "Flight" response when facing a danger. Have you also heard, that it is the likely root cause of your anxiety and panic attacks? Knowing this is not the same as knowing how to stop them happening in the first place. Read on to learn some easy to remember solutions to help stop them in their tracks.

A Green Fire Exit Sign with an arrow in white pointing to the left with a person walking though an open door
Fight or Flight

For those who follow my blogs, you would have already read that situations do not cause anxiety nor panic attacks, it is the thoughts that cause them, here is how:-

As early humans our survival could be a regular challenge as we had so many predators wanting to have us for lunch or super. Therefore when we sensed a danger to life or limb, our minds and bodies would immediately switch into high alert mode, ready to either fight the danger or to run away (flight). Not only did our mind react to this scenario, it also prepared our bodies and our minds to focus purely on fighting or running away.

Our brain switched off other chatter and focused purely on the danger, being hyper aware to a point of obsession until the danger was removed. Likewise, our brains sent a signal to our hearts to pump faster to supply more oxygen into our bloodstream and we start to breath deeper and faster, as our body opens up the supply to our legs to allow us to get the rapid boost of energy we needed to fight or run.

The challenge we have in today's world, is not very often are we faced with such a life or limb threatening situation such as our ancestors were, however we can react to a modern lesser threat in very much the same way as we did then. Focusing like a laser on the threat, our bodies ready to fight or for flight our minds locking onto this threat and not letting it out of our sight until it, the danger has passed.

In my experience and training there are many ways to reduce the anxiety and panic. I have written many blogs on the subject, however the one that is useful to learn and to put into practice by yourself is the following: Many people find this works for them and you can use too in the way that works best for you.

A few of things you will need to be aware of:

  1. It is thoughts that creates the anxiety, not the situation

  2. There is always a trigger for the anxiety and therefore once the trigger is removed the anxiety cannot happen, like keys in the lock, take out the key and the lock won't turn.

  3. It takes only a second thought to stop focusing on the initial trigger thought.

To disable the anxiety, you need to be aware of what happened immediately before the anxiety or panic attack, the thought that you had which triggered it. Often I will hear that it just happened, however unless there is a medical condition, which should be checked out first, then something will have triggered it.

To demonstrate the next step, let us suppose it was seeing a Driving Instructors Car and you remembered you had your test coming up. Then the feelings started, you need to "break this state"

  • So as soon as the feelings start, you need to "break state" that being this thought process. The best way is to immediately think about what you had for breakfast and tell yourself what you had, or if you tend to skip breakfast, what you had for dinner last night!

  • Then when you have broken the chain, then think about what is it about that event that worries you, and work through the list of thinks and plan a solution for each.

If your anxiety or panic attack is around day to day thoughts that you think should really not be bothering you so much, speak to your GP about this.

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