What is Anxiety?
Many many thousand years ago a panic attack was a very functional occurrence. Back in the days of our more physically challenging and dangerous lives, without having sharp teeth or claws as a defense mechanism we had to be able to react very quickly to a threat. The only way we had to defend ourselves was to Fight or Flee the situation. otherwise known as the 'Fight or Flight' response. I talk about this in much greater detail in my Anxiety Releif Hypnosis, which I highly recommend you invest a little time and money and investigate your stress on a deeper level, because as I will share in a moment, stress is the root of all illness and your panic attacks are no exception.
If you have to think before getting the flight or fight response kicks in, it may be too late. So the unconscious mind takes care of it. Iin a survival situation, it is better to respond as if danger is present when it's not, rather than the other way around. Your unconscious mind handles all your body processes, such as digestion, blood pressure and body temperature. Several things happen as your body quickly shifts priorities from long term survival to emergency short term survival. In response to the release of hormones such as adrenaline, your blood pressure increases and breathing speeds up to prepare you for muscular effort.
So you're probably saying, that's great information Victoria, for about 135 million years ago but today we live in a relatively safe modern environment.
Yes, that's true and our bodies still possess this fight or flight trigger. Only today, it is set in motion by other situations. Generally when a person is stressed or anxious, you are more likely to activate the fight or flight response. You may have responded to a situation in that way because you were dealing with a higher level of stress to begin with, which makes you vulnerable to having a panic attack. Once again, STRESS MAKES YOU VULNERABLE TO HAVING A PANIC ATTACK. Once you have one panic attack about a situation, lets say while you are driving, for instance, your mind can quickly learn to fear that situation itself. The panic response becomes 'conditioned' to be triggered by that situation or environment.