Out-of-the-blue a panic attack happens, as if it comes from nowhere. You may not understand why it happened, which leaves you feeling you have no control over your own reactions. This is because the subconscious mind notices ‘perceived’ danger far quicker than the conscious mind and reacts accordingly with the ‘fight or flight’ symptoms “get me out of here“. Logic just does not apply here.
Panic attacks happen when the level of anxiety is heightened. Usually when people come to see me with anxiety, very often a key factor is the fear of having a panic attack.
Symptoms of panic attacks include:
- Overcome with panic
- Shortness of breath
- Sweating – especially palms
- Unable to get your thoughts under control
- Clouded thinking
- Difficulty following instructions from someone else
- Feeling faint
- Heart palpitations/raised heart rate/chest pain
- Upset stomach
- Notable change in body temperature
- Feeling as if you are in a dream/detached from reality
Panic Attacks may Lead to Agoraphobia
Agoraphobia is type of anxiety disorder in which you fear going into places or situations that you feel might cause you to have a panic attack, such as planes, restaurants or other social gatherings – particularly places that are enclosed. The fear is that you wouldn’t be able to escape if you had a panic attack and that people would be watching you. The thought of a panic attack in these places fills a sufferer with dread.
Someone that suffers with agoraphobia tends to avoid public places. The thought of going into a situation which may cause a panic attack results in them running through various scenarios of what could happen if they were to have a panic attack, which results in them becoming anxious and most likely deciding not to go because they feel unable to deal with the situation.
Approximately one in three people with panic disorder develops agoraphobia. The somewhat ironic thing is that it is the fear of having a panic attack which would bring on a panic attack.
How to Break the Cycle
Breaking the cycle is achieved by understanding your thought processes and what has led to this issue and resolving what the subconscious mind perceives as ‘danger’. The subconscious mind is very powerful and can be utilised to remove the fear. Hypnotherapy works with the subconscious mind as does Emotional Freedom Technique which also works with the energy system. I use these therapies with my clients and they are fantastic practices for resolving panic attacks. Adding to these therapies some simple techniques can arm you with some tools at your disposal to help you feel empowered.
Helping Someone Who is Having a Panic Attack
- If you see someone having a panic attack encourage them to breathe slowly and preferrably into their belly rather than shallow breathing to the chest. It can help to get them to put one hand on their chest and the other on the abdomen and aim for the abdomen to move more than the chest.
- Give them something to hold and move it from one hand to the other.
- Get them to count their breaths with the aim of slowing them down.
- Give them any object to hold and tell them to look at it and keep their focus and attention on it.
- Start clapping slowly in front of them and tell them to clap in time with you.
Look after your Health & Well-Being
Please do come along to my upcoming workshops where you will learn many tools to look after your health and well-being. These start on 20 January. There are 6 workshops in the series. We will cover the following:
- Your Body & How It Reacts to Stress
- What Really Causes Ill Health
- Techniques To Release Stress
- Be Proactive for Good Health & Well-Being
- Create a Personal Health Plan
- Ann’s latest techniques for health and well-being
Please contact me for more information.
Ann’s practice is well established in Guernsey. ANN BOWDITCH is a member and trainer registered on the General Hypnotherapy Register. She is also a practitioner of a number of therapies including EFT, EmoTrance, META Health, Matrix Reimprinting, Colour Mirrors. She uses her skills to help people overcome many issues including health, stress, weight loss, cravings, addictions, anxiety, depression, insomnia, bullying and confidence issues. Ann works in a unique way often by combining therapies tailoring sessions specifically for you.
If you wish to find out how Ann can help you please contact her here.
Ann Bowditch GQHP, GHR Reg., META-P
Dip (Hyp) Hypnotherapy
EFT (AAMET Certified) & Matrix Reimprinting Practitioner
Meta-Health & Colour Mirrors Practitioner
PSTEC Level 1-A (Advanced PSTEC)
Tel: 07781 111186
Ann Bowditch is a Member & Trainer registered on the General Hypnotherapy Register