"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 »

Mark Tyrrell
Creative Director Uncommon Knowledge

Mark Tyrrell is a Director of Uncommon Knowledge and has been training therapists for over 15 years.


"Yesterday I received the CD I ordered on "Stop Panic attacks". The CD is great. It allowed me to go into deep relaxation . It is definitely the best I have on relaxation. The background info is very interesting as well. Excellent work!"

Jane Denton, London, UK


"Just a wee note to say a huge thank you for your help in the treatment of panic attacks/anxiety.? I've found your emails really interesting and...


"...truly amazing!"

" I would just like to let you know that I received your CD: 'Panic Prevention Program'. "

"Though I have only listened to the CD for a week I thought I should let you know how very helpful it has been to me. Theinformation on the first side is very reassuring. I learn something new every time I listen to it."

"The hypnotic relaxation session was like no other relaxation CD I have ever tried. A deep relaxation that leaves me feeling relaxed and refreshed for hours - truly amazing!"

"Surprisingly - today I was shopping in a medium store (where I would usually begin to feel trapped and panicky) and all of a sudden I felt as calm as before I had my first panic attack and agoraphobia - it was amazing and I hope it keeps up."

Thank you, Mary.

Mary Goodrow,
Rochester, Michigan USA