1.2 (C) Understanding Panic and Panic Cycles
Understanding Panic / Panic Cycles:
What is a panic attack? The definition of panic would be as follows: a sudden intense fear and sensation, which overwhelms and disables the body, leaving the sufferer frightened and feeling out of control.
Experiencing a panic attack is nothing like anything experienced before. It literally feels like you are having a heart attack.
Symptoms of a panic attack may be: muscles will tense up, combined with any of the following: the heart will pound uncontrollably, the head may feel clouded, you begin to feel lightheaded, your chest may tighten, and you may have this sudden feeling of being totally out of control. It, by far, has been one of the scariest sensations I’ve personally experienced in my life.
If you experience panic attacks, it should be taken as a HUGE eye opener that your body is trying to tell you something. It could be:
· You are overwhelmed
· You have something going on that needs to be dealt with. (physically, mentally, emotionally)
· You need to take time for yourself.
· You are worrying about things you have no control over.
So, like anxiety, the cause of panic attacks can be twofold:
1. When we hold onto uncomfortable situations for too long, we are giving these situations attention they don’t need. There is the famous term: “Where energy flows, the mind goes”, where our body will react to what we give attention to. If we notice more muscle tension, or we seem to have more worry and sensations in our body, there may be something that needs to be addressed. The more an issue goes unresolved, the more the mind can feed into it. When worry gets overwhelming, the door opens for fears to arise. A cycle of fears can develop, and the nervous system will always be ready to respond. When anxiety builds, and the nervous system gets to a maximum level, the next situation that comes up can throw the person over the edge, and into a panic attack.
2. Panic attacks can also occur when the mind is triggered by a thought, or familiar negative feeling, from the past.
Unfortunately, once you experience a panic attack, it becomes much easier to have more of them. Some people can even get to the point of creating a “panic cycle”. When you are at a high level of anxiety, the body’s nervous system is also at a high level. It's at this state when cortisol levels, blood pressure, and resting heart rate can elevate.
As different stressful situations arise, the body may enter into panic mode as a way to “help” you get out of danger, (by giving you a greater ability to stand up to the danger, or run).
When the “panic cycle” starts, the next worry may become, “when will I have my next panic attack?” A compulsion starts and fear of the next panic attack. The nervous system becomes completely overwhelmed from this compulsion, and the person may end up in a state of constant fear, and left feeling helpless.
When one gets regular panic attacks, the struggle may become the fear of panic attacks, and a cycle is created. The nervous system gets overwhelmed and the person feels helpless. The only way to get the body back into balance, is to calm the nerves, and calm the mind.
This is where it becomes very important to learn ways to relax the body and mind, since the body becomes overworked, which opens the door for fatigue and depression to settle in. Muscle tension is at an all time high, and where one can become hyperstimulated. (an overproductive nervous system)
We have discussed stress, anxiety, and panic. So even though, stress, anxiety, and panic differ in their own specific ways, please recognize that they all have one thing in common. They will all create muscle tension in the body!
-My First Panic Attack
Before We Begin...
Part 1 -Lesson 1: Understanding Anxiety
• 1.1. (A) Discussions
• 1.1. (B) Def of Anxiety (0:59)
• 1.1. (C) Diff Between Stress and Anxiety (1:32)
•1.1. (D) Causes of Anxiety (5:39)
•1.1. (E) Summary
•1.1. (F) Personal Questions
Part 1 - Lesson 2: Understanding Fear
• 1.2. (A) Fears (5:14)
•1.2. (B) Levels of Anxiety (2:07)
•1.2. (C) Understanding Panic / Panic Cycles (5:19)
•1.2. (D) Summary
•1.2. (E) Personal Questions
Part 1- Lesson 3: Understanding Muscle Tension
•1.3. (A) Muscle Tension (2:10)
•1.3. (B) Summary
•1.3. (C) Personal Questions
Part 1-Lesson 4: Understanding the "Fight or Flight" Response
•1.4. (A) "Fight or Flight" (2:39)
•1.4. (B) Two Sides of "Fight or Flight" (1:29)
•1.4. (C) Summary
•1.4. (D) Personal Questions
Part 1-Lesson 5 - Understanding the Mind and Body
•1.5. (A) The Role of Muscle Tension (1:31)
•1.5. (B) How Memory is Linked to Stress and Anxiety (2:41)
•1.5. (C) The Mind and Trauma (5:16)
•1.5. (D) Summary
•1.5. (E) Personal Questions
Part 1-Lesson 6 - Understanding How Anxiety Builds
•1.6. (A) How Anxiety Develops and Build (2:52)
•1.6. (B) Health Anxiety (1:45)
•1.6. (C) Summary
•1.6. (D) Personal Questions
-1.6 (E) Conclusion