"Breaking the Cycle: The relationship between anxiety, panic attacks and stress"

If you have high levels of stress and anxiety, panic attacks are more likely to occur.

It’s quite simple really. As mentioned in the panic course (more on this later), you can think of it like a tripwire. The more stressed you are, the more anxiety you experience from day-to-day and so the tighter the tripwire becomes.

Then, any sudden increase in stress or anxiety levels can ‘pull’ on the tripwire, triggering a panic attack.

Your mind is constantly monitoring your state to ascertain when you might need your fight or flight response. When it perceives (unconsciously) that your situation is nearing potential life-threatening levels, it will provide you with the perfect state for survival: a panic attack.

Of course, this does not mean that your situation is literally life-threatening, it simply means that primitive part of your brain has decided it is - either because your general levels of anxiety are so high, or because it spots a pattern in your environment similar enough to one where you have previously had a ‘fight or flight’ response.

Another good analogy is that of a car alarm. With increased stress or anxiety levels, the alarm becomes too sensitive. Then it will go off if the wind rocks the car, or someone brushes it as they walk by.

To stop panic attacks, we need to ‘slacken the tripwire’ or turn down the sensitivity on the car alarm.

One lady we treated had exactly this experience. Click here to see how her stress levels raised her general anxiety and triggered a panic attack.

However, to ensure this is done in a complete way, there are several factors that need to be taken care of. They are covered in the online panic attacks course.

If you suffer from high levels of stress, anxiety or panic attacks, the course should help you do something about it.

You may also find this article on thinking styles useful.

Click here to return to the Panic Attacks and Panic Disorder FAQ index »