Panic and anxiety

Anyone can experience panic and anxiety at some time in their lives. These feelings are a natural response to feeling threatened and act as a protective mechanism. It is known as the "fight or flight" reaction. In other words, we have a choice as to whether we stay and deal with the situation or try and get away from it. So this reaction is a good thing that can actually save our lives!

However, this reaction can become over-sensitive, particularly when we have been subjected to long periods of anxiety. But we can do something about this. Anxiety and panic can occur when we feel a loss of control. If we can get some control back, then these feelings can lessen and even disappear altogether.

How can we do this? There are two main aspects to this: firstly, by becoming generally more relaxed so that we are less likely to feel anxious and panicky. This can be achieved through learning relaxation and meditation. Then we can tackle the root cause of our anxiety. If we can do something about that, then a plan can be made to sort it out. If not, we will need to change our attitude to whatever is going on so that we can live with the situation.  

Secondly, there are practical techniques that can be learnt that defuse the anxiety and panic and can even prevent a panic attack from occurring in the first place.

Sounds too simple? Well, the process can take time and how long it takes is an individual thing. However, the very act of taking some control can make a huge difference, sometimes quite quickly and can certainly increase confidence and self-esteem.

So, the steps needed are:
1. Learn to relax and meditate - what relaxes you will be an individual thing.
2. Establish the root cause of your anxiety - it could go back to your childhood.
3. Start taking back control through learning practical techniques to defuse panic and anxiety.

Remember - these are normal feelings that exist for a reason! But it is not helpful when these feelings prevent you from doing what you want or need to do. You can break this vicious circle by taking control over these feelings and changing your life for the better.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Counselling Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Tring, Hertfordshire, HP23
Written by Sally Klinkenborg, MNCS (Acc.), Ad Prof Dip PC, MBACP
Tring, Hertfordshire, HP23

I have studied anxiety management extensively and worked with clients for the past 16 years. This is an area that I specialise in and I enjoy helping clients to take control of their feelings and enjoy a more relaxed and positive lifestyle as a result.

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