Many of the people who come to me have gone through years of unsuccessful treatments for ending anxiety. They have tried everything available from traditional talk therapy and medications to alternative treatments like hypnotherapy and NLP.
Take for example the common problem of panic attacks. Why is it that most therapies do not achieve lasting results?
The reason these treatments do not get the desired lasting results is because they do not teach the person to short-circuit the panic loop and end the fear of fear. Instead they teach coping strategies that fail to address the core problem. Take a look at how panic attacks usually manifest:
Stage 1 - Bodily Sensations -
Almost everyone’s first panic attack is triggered by an unusual bodily sensation.Anxiety related bodily sensations usually arise out of the blue and trigger intense confusion and fear. Common bodily sensations people report are a pounding heart, tightness of chest or throat, shortness of breath, a dizzy spell, and pins and needles. Whatever the sensation, it is alarming and you react with fear as you dread something bad is about to happen to your body. You might wonder, “is this a heart attack?”
Stage 2 - Panic Attack -
If you continue to overreact with fear and confusion to the sensations you feel, your body’s fight or flight response mechanism is switched on. This is the biological mechanism that is designed to keep you safe from real threats like being chased by a lion. It is the mixture of this biological mechanism with your not knowing what is happening to you, that triggers a FULL BLOWN panic attack.
Stage 3 - High Anxiety -
Eventually the waves of panic subside once the fight or flight response deactivates. The problem is, you still feel totally freaked out by what just happened and very much on edge because of all the chemicals that were released during the panic attack. This feeling of sensitization and general anxiety can last for hours after a panic attack.
Stage 4 - Fear Of Fear -
It is now the fear of another panic attack (fear of fear) that keeps you trapped in an anxious state of mind. You think avoidance is the best way to prevent further panic attacks, and that leads you to avoid situations or places that might trigger another episode. Because you are constantly on the look out for the next panic attack, your body stays anxious and sensitized. This tension creates, yes you guessed it, more anxious bodily sensations, looping you back to stage 1. The panic loop is now established.
You can see from the above example how one incident of a panic attack can trap a person into a continuous loop of panic and anxiety. This loop can last weeks or years, depending on the help a person receives. What you need to do is develop the ability to stop fearing the potential of a future attack.
Return to Control Panic Attacks.
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