Racing thoughts, racing heart, sweating of hands, feet, overly sensitive to sound, dry mouth, upset stomach, vomiting, diarrhea, feeling like you are having a heart attack, feeling as though you are dying, feeling like you are going to pass out, feeling as though you are going to lose control and act inappropriate…embarrassing yourself, migraine headaches, chronic pain even thought there is no injury, feeling like you want to run away, feeling like you need to hide.

1) Roots of Anxiety & Panic Attacks:
A: General anxiety is often created and fostered in childhood. Being told by a parent or authority figure (someone we look up to, admire, love, respect) that you are not good enough… either through word or by not validating/supporting your efforts, an absent parent) We have a deep sense of being inadequate. You fear the future, as something out of your control.

B: There are two main expressions of a panic attack; 1) Situational; Being put on the spot, such as having to speak in public. 2) A Trauma occurred 2 – 2 1/2 years ago, and out of the blue you experience a panic attack during the most mundane, routine task, such as being at the grocery store shopping.

2) Causes of Anxiety & Panic Attacks:
A: Anxiety disorders tend to run in families. They are expressed in a variety of ways, some may have a panic disorder or some call it a nervous disorder. Many people self medicate through alcohol, street or prescription drugs, body dysmorphia, anorexia/bulimia, weight issues/emotional eating. Other family members may have phobia’s, such as a paralyzing aversion to heights, enclosed places, crowds, animals.

B: Panic: A trauma occurred 2 – 2 1/2 years ago, and out of the blue you experience a panic attack during the most mundane, routine task, such as being at the grocery store shopping.

3) Cycles of Anxiety & Panic disorder:
A: Most everyone will in the least have an anxiety or panic attack in their life time. Often it is situational, such as public speaking, or dealing with the loss of a loved one through either death, desertion, divorce.

B: Other people will have panic attacks over a period of time in dealing with highly stressful circumstances, and then subsides for years.

C: You experience a panic attack, and become overly sensitized to the fear of having another one. You begin to avoid situations that may cause an attack. As you become less and less confident of your abilities to cope, your world becomes smaller and smaller as avoidance becomes a way of life and behavior, further eroding your self confidence. You may have a panic attack while taking an aspirin for a headache, you then associate your panic and that medicine, or any medicine that may alter how you feel.

4) Control of Anxiety & Panic Attacks:
(Many people discover that after a glass of wine or beer they feel calmer and begin using alcohol as a means to control feelings. You are prescribed a prescription for pain and discover you feel better, calmer. You find that when you eat, that the full feeling relieves an inner stress. This now creates secondary issues. )

Take into consideration that anxiety is a frame of mind. By gathering your thoughts, and shifting focus, this will immediately relive anxiety. Anxiety is often projections or thinking about the future and feeling a lack of control within or over situations or circumstances. Anxiety/Panic is created by your Fight or Flight Response, 200,000 years in the making during human evolution. It is a protective instinct in which if you are mortally threatened, your brain automatically, without your thinking about it reacts by releasing adrenaline into your system providing the energy of either fighting/protecting yourself or fleeing/running far away from the threat. Your brain is wired to survive.

In our modern times, when say you are threatened by a boss and the loss of your job, these instinctual reactions are not an effective or productive reaction. This may affect a response of being chronically late or leaving early. Taking more sick days, having a headache, body aches, stomach issues or sleep issues, procrastination, depression and anxiety or panic.

5) Reaction ~ Response:
A Reaction is an automatic, often instinctual or habitual method of coping.

A Response is a thought process and takes consideration, assessment and application.
When your ‘wiring’ becomes crossed or ‘kinked’ one needs to be mindful or responsive when anxiety or panic occurs. This involves being Present, in the Now. Anxiety comes from projective thoughts in the Future; fear of not being able to perform, embarrassing oneself, humiliation, rejection, losing control.

When one has reacted several times with anxiety or panic, the strong emotional and physiological symptoms create a secondary neuronal pathway in the brain, this essentially is a groove or habit pattern (wiring) that become ingrained or a new reaction to the circumstances or situations that invoke Fear.

6) Correction & Treatment:
To restore previous ‘wiring’ or creating the most effective methodology is a two pronged approach, Cognitive behavioral training and Hypnotherapy.

Cognitive training involves learning how your brain and mind functions, knowing you are Safe, in Control and practicing shifting your Thoughts into the Present. This is achieved through controlled breathing techniques, relaxation of *key muscles, sipping room temperature water, to leach the adrenaline out of your system, using a Mint product, such as tea or breath mint and giving yourself messages that all is well. It is foremost your incorrect Thinking that recreates the anxiety or panic.

Hypnotherapy works by accessing the subconscious mind, where the habit pattern is entrenched and re-wired. Your subconscious is that portion of your mind that allows one to effortlessly and smoothly respond to the world. For example: When getting into your vehicle, you do not need to Remember how to drive the car, you simply place the key in the ignition and drive. After driving for a while you habituate yourself to the correct gear to engage, peddle to press, maintaining observance of rear-view and side-view mirrors, sense of space (of vehicle), obeying traffic laws, etc.
Hypnosis, which is simply the shifting of perception or focus, through the process of relaxing the body & focusing the mind, when your body is relaxed both your conscious and subconscious levels of mind activity are more receptive to suggestions & directions and easily gets to the core or root issue of (faulty) anxiety (wiring) and is able to construct the new neuronal pathway often in a singular session. With repeated sessions, usually two additional the re-wiring is complete. With both new skill sets with cognitive training and hypnosis the dis-order is corrected. This is accomplished within three weeks for nearly everyone.

Kate Ellis,ccht.