How To Stop Panic Attacks: My Most Important Advice (Part 2)
Welcome back to part two of “How To Stop Panic Attacks: My Most Important Advice”.
In the last article I promised that I would talk to you about how the adrenalin that causes panic attacks gets activated…
As a sufferer of panic attacks, you will have asked yourself thousands of times…
- Why is this attack happening out of the blue?
- What am I doing to cause this?
- Am I going insane?
Panic attacks happen when you are not in a dangerous situation, right? You may be sitting at your desk at work, for example, or at the store doing your shopping… so why would your adrenalin levels suddenly spike?
You see, way back in time the only threats to our survival were of a physical nature – i.e., being attacked by a wild animal, or being attacked by other “tribal” humans. As a result, our brains learned to protect us by reacting to such stimuli. We have evolved now (mind you there is plenty of evidence to argue otherwise!!!), and we at not at risk of wild animals anymore.
At any rate, the threats that we face today are of a different nature…
In old times, if you were physically strong you stood a better chance of surviving these physical threats. Today being physically strong no longer guarantees your safety. Some would say that survival has evolved into a battle of the minds, using knowledge and money instead of muscle.
This Is Where The Problem Starts…
You see, our bodies have learned to react to the thought of a threat. So when I imagine an awful scenario, like my house being re-possessed, my body goes into survival mode… even though I am not in physical danger.
So I don’t need the effects of adrenalin in this case, but because we still have this reptilian brain response, I still get the faster heartbeat, sweating, shallow breathing etc., which are totally unnecessary as I sit at my desk and do not need to stay and fight or run away.
Is it any wonder that we are confused when we get a sudden panic attack?
(By the way, please share your experiences with panic attacks, or any questions you may have, in the comments section below and I will be happy to answer them)
Now Here’s The Important Thing To Understand…
We are not always aware of the thought or cause… Why is that?
It’s because every minute of every day our brains are receiving millions of pieces of information. Our conscious minds are not capable of processing all this info. If it was we wouldn’t be able to function.
For instance, as you read this, are you consciously aware/noticing the smells that are around you, or the background noise, or the temperature of the room, or how the chair feels that you are sitting on, or your breathing rate etc?
No, you are not aware of these details… because… if you were… you wouldn’t be able to focus on reading this.
You see, our conscious minds are quite limited, which is why our sub-conscious mind filters and processes all the other sensory input.
However, your sub-conscious mind remembers every detail, which is why people can recall events under hypnosis that they can not remember when they are in normal consciousness. And your sub-conscious files information away by association, so a lot of information can be easily stored and retrieved instantly if necessary.
A good example of this is when you smell cinnamon/vanilla…
Think about it: What file is instantly opened? A warm, cheery Christmas memory file full of good feelings, maybe?
This Is What Happens When You Suddenly Experience A Panic Attack…
… A sub-conscious memory of a threatening experience is reactivated, but you will not consciously be aware of it. It is too rapid for your mind to notice. Looking for this trigger is like looking for a needle in a haystack, and in fact each attack is probably triggered by a different stimuli.
The really good news is you don’t need to know why. You will waste a lot of your life trying to find out. Perhaps in therapy, maybe. But even if you discover all of the probable triggers, it changes nothing. You will still be suffering from the attacks. Your focus should be on HOW to stop panic attacks, not WHY you have them in the first place. This is one of the important foundations of the Gibson Steel Method – it teaches you the HOW.
An anxiety attack is the same physiologically as a phobia, the only difference is that you are consciously aware of the phobia stimulus. For example, you would be aware that spiders produce this terrifying response in you. When you have the anxiety attack you will not be aware of the stimulus, this is a very important fact. Because if you are phobic, you will allow yourself the anxiety response – ie., your logical mind will have an excuse for the reaction.
With a panic attack, it happens “out of the blue”. Not alone will you suffer the symptoms, but your mind will be making matters much worse by the thoughts you are having… “why is this attack happening?” and when you don’t have a reason, your mind immediately thinks it is a heart-attack, and what does this do? It causes more anxiety and distress.
So To Recap:
1. The stimulus for your sudden anxiety attacks are filed in your sub-conscious mind
2. It is not important to discover what these triggers are
The stimulus for these anxiety attacks is a PERCEIVED threat. Your sub-conscious mind cannot differentiate between real and perceived – it just reacts. This is why logically your attacks don’t make sense.
And this is why when I treat clients who want to know how to stop panic attacks we must work with the sub-conscious mind as well as the conscious mind to end these attacks forever.
It is faulty programming that is causing your attacks. But it can be resolved so simply you won’t believe it. Well, actually, your conscious mind will have difficulty believing it is so instant – but your sub-conscious mind will get it instantly!
Your sub-conscious mind is a infinitely more powerful “processor “ than your logically mind. It works at much greater speed, which is why the Triple-A Technique in the Gibson steel method works every time.
So Remember These Two Important Facts:
1. Don’t waste your time trying to figure out why your attacks happen
2. Put your focus on how to stop panic attacks forever
In my next post, I’ll explain how the stress you have been under for some considerable time has led to you suffering from these attacks.
Remember last time I talked about the deer who just goes back to grazing after the attack? So his survival button switches on and off as needed. When you have been in survival mode for longer periods (stress) you loose the ability to switch off, and if this is not addressed it leads to anxiety/panic attacks.
Next time I explain this further and offer you some solutions, and remember if you have any queries please leave your comments below and I promise to answer them as soon as possible.
Together let us help all sufferers of this epidemic, to get clarity, solutions and become re-enchanted with life again,
Until then, I wish you love, light and laughter,
Anna Gibson Steel is a mental health practitioner… a master practitioner of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP)… a qualified Hypnotist… and… a holistic therapist who’s qualified in 75 different healing treatments and therapies. Over the last 10-years, Anna has worked with more than 2,014 clients (at her private clinic in Ireland) who suffer from varying degrees of stress, panic attacks, anxiety, depression, and even patients who have attempted suicide. She is also the creator of the Gibson Steel Method, the best selling program for overcoming panic attacks and anxiety without drugs – the Gibson Steel Method.