Have you ever had a panic attack?
It’s surprising how hidden you can keep anxiety and panic attacks. You could be suffering terribly and yet people wouldn’t know. This is usually because you will have developed a strategy to avoid panic attacks or hide your anxiety. Quite often suffering in silence leads to depression. And this happens to 1 in 4 people.
You might have gradually stopped going places ‘just in case’ you have a panic attack. You might avoid seeing certain people because they don’t know about your anxiety. You might feel isolated because you’re ‘not normal’. And before you know it you are a prisoner to your anxiety and your life is on hold. And the likelihood is that it won’t go away on it’s own.
Or you might have a job that means you have to give presentations and each time it fills you with dread and affects your sleep in the time running up to it and on the day you just hope to god that you don’t have a panic attack.
Or you might actually be on sick leave from work due to your anxiety…..
A panic attack is your unconscious trying to protect you from perceived risk
Panic attacks happen when the brain thinks a situation is of risk to you and it triggers adrenaline in your body which makes your heart beast faster and your muscles tense. You gasp for more breath and your body makes extra energy and diverts blood to your muscles. This means you might go pale, light headed or shake.
The reason all this happens is built in from caveman days where your body sees a risk , such as a bear (!) and goes into ‘fight’ or ‘flight’ mode. You can either stay and fight the bear or run! The brain doesn’t know the difference between a real risk and what it feels is a risk, so it could just as easily be a work presentation as a bear.
The reason you have anxiety or panic attacks is because at some time your brain has perceived a situation as a risk and taken a ‘picture’ of that and stored it. When a similar situation occurs (or what the brain perceives to be similar) it recalls the picture and creates the same anxiety.
During the heightened anxious state, your digestive system shuts down (because you wouldn’t be eating if you were fighting or flighting) so you might feel sick or have a dry mouth. Your senses go into overdrive so everything seems louder and more frightening which makes it difficult to think straight.
The physical symptoms of a panic attack
With all this going on it’s no wonder you might feel any number of these physical symptoms:
- Rapid breathing or breathlessness
- Chest pains
- Hot or cold flushes
Panic attacks are highly unpleasant and you might live in the fear of one happening to you at any time. Your first one can be a real shock. Quite often after a panic attack you will feel exhausted.
There can be feelings of guilt and shame for anxiety sufferers because you may feel like you are a concern to those around you. It can be hard to admit you have panic attacks and you might often find yourself saying no to social events. This isn’t your fault because fear is keeping you trapped.
Because a panic attack can happen at any time in any place, it’s surprising how many people avoid going out very much at all. The thought of being trapped during a panic attack can be terrifying. You might worry about the embarrassment of having a panic attack in public.
So what CAN you do if you suffer from panic attacks?
Practising breathing techniques can really help your anxiety. During a panic attack you will breath high and fast. The more you practice breathing techniques, the more used to breathing in a calm way your body will be.
Understand that anxiety is not a way of life for you. There are techniques you can use to ease and control it such as this very simple one I share in this video
You can see your doctor and you might be given some counceling or CBT. Now this may well work for some people but what counceling and CBT do is get you to talk about panic attacks repeatedly. What that does is help your brain use that neural pathway (like rewatching a movie or advert time and time again) so you are reminding it how to do a panic attack! Read my blog about the difference between counceling and Hypnotherapy here.
Hypnotherapy is the easiest, simplest way to stop having panic attacks. It should take no more than 2 sessions to change your life. Get back your freedom, your confidence and your social life!
Get in touch for your free consultation today
by emailing or calling/texting 07530 890089
See you soon
The working mums easy recipe for a stress free life
Do you feel stressed? Maybe you have a stressful job or you find raising children stressful. Or are you just very busy and no one really understands that stress is unavoidable for you? Maybe you feel like stress is just the norm and you need to ride it out, wait for the children to get older or wait for retirement.
Being stressed due your circumstances is actually a bit of a myth. Some people can cope with a lot going on and not feel stressed at all. Others feel stressed more easily. The difference is the way we handle our minds; that is our thoughts and how we respond.
What is true is modern life is getting busier and busier and mind management might not be at the top of your to do list. A lot of people now make time to work out and keep their body fit as they have realised they can be stronger and healthier for longer when they do this. But the mind needs work do. It controls the body after all!
Maybe you don’t often find time to cook. There are plenty of tasty things available that you don’t need to cook right? But how about a recipe to reduce your stress? That doesn’t take a lot of time and effort. That you have all the ingredients for already. That will be delicious when you savour it and you will be delighted that you discovered it.
You brain is constantly being reshaped throughout your life by your experiences and thoughts. You can weaken or strengthen pathways in your brain by the thoughts you have. The more you worry or stress the stronger those networks get. But if you focus on being calm or positive, these pathways can also strengthen (even when you feel overwhelmed).
There is a part of the brain called the Amygdala which manages your fight or flight response and the productions of stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline. Although the Amygdala is two small almond shaped areas of the brain (the structure is actually a bit bigger) it is very important and powerful. Mindfullness and meditation are great techniques for focusing attention and awareness so the Amygdala has less control. Regular meditation settles your mind and helps you manage your emotions more effectively. Regular meditation and mindfullness practice reduce the size of the Amygdala (your brain almonds).
It should only take about 10-15 minutes a day to meditate or practice mindfullness but in my experience of treating stress as a Hypnotherapist, a lot of stressed people won’t find the time. Or they can’t do it by themselves. Or they haven’t truly felt the benefit of deep relaxation because if they had, they would want it again!
To change your state from stress can just a couple of minutes with the right recipe. For a deeper relaxation and to let go of what’s worrying you or stressing you takes about half an hour.
This dish is best served to those that are feeling stressed, worried or overwhelmed. If you are having trouble sleeping, concentrating or feeling any of these physical symptoms as a result of stress you need to make this recipe:
- Heart racing
- Red face
- Uncontrolled breathing
- Finding it hard to concentrate
- Mood swings
The ingredients to a calmer life are super easy to get hold of! You need:
- A body
- A brain
- A quiet place (although once you’ve got the hang of this recipe you can whip it up almost anywhere)
- A relaxation recording
- Candles if you like that sort of thing
- Good intentions
You will also need
If you would like to relax and feel good in 12 minutes you can get my free recording by signing up here. This recording will be yours to keep and can be listened to whenever you want to feel relaxed and refreshed. This is the equivalent to a guided meditation or mindfulness session.
One in 4 people will suffer from a mental health issue. Prevention is key. By learning to manage your stress you will lower your chances of suffering or continuing to suffer in these areas
- Depression and anxiety
- Weight problems
- Auto immune diseases
- Skin conditions, such as eczema
- Heart disease
- Digestive problems
- Sleep problems
- Cognitive and memory problems
If you already suffer from any of the above you will no doubt have noticed how they are aggravated by stress.
I don’t know if you know any stressed people but you might have noticed that they can’t engage properly as they are so caught up in their own stress. They may be fractious, unsettled and rushed. Stress can affect relationships greatly.
So what’s the recipe? How do you make this stress free life?
1 – Know or admit that you are stressed. Don’t fight it. It is not a sign of weakness, in fact you are being strong by taking control of your own thoughts and emotions and managing your health to prevent something nasty.
2 – Own your stress and the management of it. This is a really important step in making changes and applies to weight loss, stop smoking and depression too. When you own your problem, you are becoming accountable and are responsible for the making things better. You will also get great satisfaction and sense of achievement once you have overcome the issue. Changes last if you own them and learn strategies and techniques for making changes yourself.
3 – Find something that works for you. There are numerous books, audios, online programmes, mindfulness classes and courses. But just like there are many types of recipe for paella, there will be some you like more than others and then you will find your favourite.
4 – If the recipe doesn’t work. Modify, find new ingredients and try again. The number of clients I get that say they tried mediation or mindfulness and it didn’t work. Then we do Hypnotherapy and they are amazed at this relaxation that becomes theirs! Once they have connected to that calm place they will want to get back to it and make it their mission to do so. Maybe with my help for a few weeks, but then I teach them self hypnosis and off they go. I give my clients personalised recordings to listen to whenever they like.
5 – Make it often. Make it your signature dish. Savour the flavour and welcome it into your life. Tell other people about it and share the fantastic flavour of calm for a more creative, productive and enjoyable life.
The thing with stress is that people think that it’s part of modern life. And another misconception is that you need to be busy and ‘switched on’ to be effective. This is a complete myth as being calm and in control can give you better creativity and ideas and make you achieve much more (without the angst).
Mindfulness has become popular but Mindfulness, Meditation and Hypnotherapy have similarities in that they all work on slowing the brain down and accessing our subconcious. Hypnotherapy is different in that it can make changes in the subconcious by taking things that are not useful away like phobias, anxiety, smoking and overeating and putting more useful things in like calm and confidence. Hypnotherapy achieves a much deeper level of relaxation than the other practices.
Commit to making changes that will make you feel lighter and brighter and put you back in control. Become accountable NOW. All the power to manage your mind is in you, you just need to learn how to do it and practice often. This can become part of your life.
This is your recipe for a stress free life. You can tweak it, add flavours and spices of your own choosing to really make it your favourite dish.
The cherry on top
If you are feeling stressed and would like to change how you feel, connect with a deep sense of calm within yourself and understand how to manage your thoughts then email me for a free 20 minute consultation. Even after 20 minutes, you will feel different!
Hug (which are known for being calming)