Your life is changed. You are overwhelmed with a feeling of dread and feel you are losing your mind. You may feel you are about to die. You want to run, hide, or escape.
In any year, about one third of Americans have a panic attack. About one in 15 adults suffer from panic disorder, which creates recurring attacks that eventually cause them to become housebound.
Anxiety attacks are responsible for job loss, alcoholism and chronic depression. Many suffer marital problems and lose all desire for contact with the outside world. They have extreme social anxiety.
Panic attack symptoms can mimic other types of medical disorders and can result in years of misdiagnosis.
You may feel like you are having a heart attack, or angina. You might suffer from irritable bowel, dizziness, high blood pressure, or hiatal hernia.
You most certainly believe you have a serious illness and may be going from doctor to doctor trying to find what is causing your symptoms. Your physical symptoms may change and that makes your illness even more puzzling.
What is the cause of these anxiety attacks? The main cause is believing you are helpless and trapped by an overwhelming threat. The threat may at one time have been real or it may be imaginary.
It doesn't matter.
Your panic is the result of recurring stress over a period of time. If you are a worrier, suffered a traumatic event, such as abuse, or are a perfectionist, you are more prone to panic attacks. As you worry about your anxiety and continue to avoid situations that seem to bring on panic, the attacks just keep coming. It is a vicious circle and is self perpetuating.
Contrary to popular belief, anxiety does not come from immediate dangerous situations. Anxiety comes from your thoughts.
"Thoughts are Things
It is the thought of a past or potential danger that causes the panic, not the actual danger itself.
Some of the symptoms of panic attacks that mimic disease are:
- * extreme nervousness
* shaking, sweating and trembling
* very rapid heartbeat and/or palpitations
* a feeling of suffocation - that you can't get enough air
* a feeling of dread - that something bad is going to happen or you are about to die
* dizziness or lightheadedness
* hot flashes and/or chills
* “pins and needles" in your fingers or toes
* a feeling that you are “going crazy"
* chest pains
Of course, many of these symptoms are the result of a medical condition. But if you have no certain medical illness to cause the symptoms or if you haven't suffered a real life threatening event prior to the panic attack, you have a very high chance of suffering from anxiety or panic disorder.
If you suffer from anxiety symptoms you know what they feel like.
My cousin suffered from panic attacks. Often her symptoms were a feeling of not being able to breathe and not getting enough oxgen. She would get so panicky that she couldn't sleep and often would get up and sleep in her recliner because her attacks would come in the middle of the night when her mind was racing and she couldn't calm down. Her heart would race and she thought she was having a heart attack. She suffered these attacks for many years.
Often your panic attacks will last no longer than a minute or two at their intensity, but they leave such an indelible impression on you that you retreat from people and situations that might cause another panic episode.
You ask “what's wrong with me?" Your episodes are sudden and severe, but short lasting. They are typically gone in about 30 minutes, but when you experience anxiety symptoms for the first time, you may end up in the emergency room thinking you have a serious illness.
Experiencing a panic attack changes your life dramatically in many ways.
Here's how hypnosis can help you rid yourself of your panic disorder.
Once you suffer recurring panic disorders, you expect them to happen. Your brain and your subconscious mind are waiting for the anxiety attack.
What you concentrate on and expect WILL happen because your subconscious is very powerful and will override the conscious mind.
To begin ridding yourself of your anxiety disorder, imagine yourself looking at a movie of yourself in a frightening situation.
What situations cause your panic? Are you out with people in a social situations? Are you driving a car? At work? In a certain location or around certain objects or animals? Watch yourself in that movie in your panic situation. Where are you? What do you hear, smell, see? Write it down.
Now, watch yourself in that movie again. Imagine watching yourself in that frightening situation. What are the physical symptoms you are feeling? Are you nauseous? Is your heart palpitating and are you short of breath? Are you hot or cold? Weak? Difficulty swallowing? Shaking or trembling? Write down what you are physically feeling. You will have those that are unique to you.
Now imagine yourself in that situation again and concentrate on what you are thinking. Are you imagining the worst thing is going to happen? Do you think you may die or have a heart attack or faint or lose control? These are typical irrational thoughts and inaccurate outcomes that intensify your panic.
Write those things down.
You will feel more in control of your anxiety just by placing your panic situation on a screen and watching and examining your fearful situations from a distance. This is a very powerful NLP technique. It is looking at a fearful situation from another point of view. When you step outside of yourself and look at your anxiety from a different perspective, it becomes less powerful. You can examine it.
Now, you will need to reprogram your irrational thoughts of panic with truthful statements about your situation, your imaginary danger and your physical symptoms.
Look at the situation or place that caused your panic. Create a suggestion that you are relaxed and safe when you are in that situation.
If you are dizzy, tell yourself you are relaxed and dizziness will pass when you slow your breathing.
If your heart is racing, tell yourself that there are no consequences from having a rapid heart beat. Tell yourself your heart is healthy and strong and will slow down in a few minutes with slow breathing and relaxation.
Breathe slowly and deeply. Imagine a balloon on your stomach and slowly fill it up and then let it out slowly.
Whatever your symptoms are, reprogram them for positive. “You can laugh and the tension is gone in your throat. " “You are clear headed and rational in any uncomfortable situation. "Your legs and arms are strong and all weakness is gone"
Create positive statements for all your physical symptoms and for all your negative thoughts, and then create a new movie with yourself in control in that panic situation. Replay that movie of yourself and watch yourself stop negative thoughts with positive statements and cope with the anxiety with your new responses to the fearful situation.
It's a good idea to keep a journal of your thoughts during anxiety episodes. For each negative thought, create a new and positive outcome statement.
For more self-hypnosis techniques, visit my website.
Carol A Pounds
I have twenty years experience in teaching and education, twelve years working the in health care profession, and am a certified hypnotist. My goal is to help people keep their minds and bodies in optimum condition and help them achieve their goals through the power of the subconscious mind. More original content on achieving your goals posted on my website.