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Anxiety, Panic Attacks & Stress

We all worry at times but it is very different when an Anxiety attacks occurs, as our mind and body will initiate a deep rooted survival instinct and a fear based response kicks in. The good news is that this is designed to get us out of immediate danger. Our cortisol level increases and a quick shot of adrenaline into the body is to help us to avoid getting hurt.

These are absolutely normal physiological changes such as breathing fast, increased heart rate which comes from the amygdala and initiates the flight, flight & freeze response. However based upon the experience of some people it can feel like everyday situations become a threat to their personal safety and to those they love and care about. Even when we know logically or on some conscious level that there is no immediate danger, but sub-consciously (inside) we are feeling real fear which leads to anxiety/panic response.

What is a Panic Attack?

A panic attack is a rush of intense anxiety and physical symptoms.  They can be frightening and happen suddenly, often for no clear reason.  There are a number of physical symptoms like your heart pounds and you can’t breathe. You may even feel like you’re pass out, dying or going crazy. Left untreated, panic attacks can lead to panic disorder and other problems. Because of the overwhelming mind and body response to panic attacks it leaves the person with a fear of any future situations that might trigger it.

The physical symptoms of a panic attack are caused by your body going into “fight or flight” mode.

As your body tries to take in more oxygen, your breathing quickens. Your body also releases hormones, such as adrenaline, causing your heart to beat faster and your muscles to tense up.

Signs of a panic attack

You may experience:

  • what feels like an irregular or racing heartbeat (palpitations)
  • sweating
  • trembling
  • shortness of breath (hyperventilation)
  • a choking sensation
  • nausea
  • dizziness
  • tingling fingers
  • ringing in your ears

Some people think they are having a heart attack because it feels like their heart is beating fast or irregularly, or even that they are going to die.  Panic attacks usually last somewhere from 5-20 minutes.

Panic attacks can be very frightening and intense, but they’re not dangerous. An attack won’t cause you any physical harm, and it’s unlikely that you’ll be admitted to hospital if you’ve had a panic attack.

Panic Disorder

Panic disorder is treatable, but to make a full recovery it’s important that you seek professional help as soon as possible. Treatment for panic disorder is much more effective if it’s given at an early stage.

Left untreated, panic disorder can become a very debilitating and isolating illness. It can also increase your risk of developing other mental health conditions, like phobias etc.


Stress is a normal response getting the body ready to work.  However this becomes uncomfortable when there is a feeling of being overwhelmed or out of control.

The key to manage stress is to acknowledge you are feeling highly stressed and think about what you need to do to manage it better.  There are lots of support, tips and advice from the internet – just Google.  However sometimes you need to seek professional advice to help you to gain tools and techniques for dealing with stress.

Quality of sleep is often an issue in highly stressful times.  However even by increasing the sleep quality and quantity can improve your emotional wellbeing and ability to cope better.  Sometimes it requires a change of lifestyle maybe getting more exercise, alcohol levels, foods high in sugar, or processed foods.  The point is you can do something about it if its getting out of control.

Getting help

Help is available using talking therapies as there are plenty of techniques and tools that work with anxiety or panic disorders and stress.  For example Hypnosis is particularly effective as it bypasses all the conscious material that clouds our judgements and helps pinpoint what is causing the problems.  I have worked for years creating a specialism that helps with all aspects of anxiety/panic disorders and stress. Usually within a couple of sessions it can make a quick impact reducing the effects that lead to permanent changes your life for the better. Just using the power of your own mind.