4 Things That Trigger Panic Attacks and How to Handle Them

4 Things That Trigger Panic Attacks and How to Handle Them

Panic attacks are no fun – as you’ll know if you’ve ever found yourself in a stressful situation with your head swimming, your heartbeat all over the place and your breathing out of control. What some people don’t realize when they come to my hypnotherapy practice in London and Winchester is that panic attacks are always rooted in something very specific.

If you’re having a panic attack on a train platform, it’s probably because at some time in your life there was an incident on a train, on a train platform, or perhaps with a group of policemen (let’s say the Old Bill are thundering down platform 3 towards you). Maybe it’s the sound of a big engine or the smell of diesel: something in your past is linked to feelings of discomfort/stress/trauma, and you have been reminded of it right now. There’s an acronym we use for panic attacks and it is EMLI.

1. E is for Event
 

The ‘E’ stands for ‘event’, as I’ve just explained. None of us are born with a propensity for panic attacks: something has happened which effectively traumatized you.

2. M is for Meaning
 

The ‘M’ is that we make ‘meaning’ in that event; you tell yourself that this environment makes you have a panic attack, or this smell or that noise. For people who have PTSD, noise will very often trigger that reaction, and a panic attack is the same as post-traumatic stress, incidentally, it’s just got a different label.

3. L is for Landscape
 

The ‘L’ is that the attack changes the ‘landscape’ of your body. Your body is flooding itself with adrenaline, so it’s case of flight or fight or freeze in terms of what you perceive your options to be. Also, cortisol, the stress hormone, is flooding your body, and that’s why it feels so bad. A panic attack also changes the landscape of the brain.

The amygdala, which is about the size of a grape, regulates all of our emotions, and once you’ve had the initial traumatic experience, the amygdala is a little like a radar that becomes switched on. From then on it will be scanning constantly for an event that might be like the first one. People hear a noise or see something that is reminiscent of the original trauma, the receptor is activated, and it gives them the response.

4. I is for Inescapability
 

The ‘I’ is the idea of ‘inescapability’: you feel trapped, either physically in your body or the situation that you’re in – or a combination of the two. It all happens in a fraction of a second, leading to a panic attack.

What we’re now able to do via techniques is actually switch that response off; certain techniques help to dissolve the protein that holds that receptor in place and that’s how you can disconnect a panic attack – it forms a key part of our hypnotherapy for panic attacks treatment.

What’s interesting is that deep breathing isn’t recommended for panic attacks, what’s better is to stop breathing, to hold your breath. When people breathe too much they over-oxygenate their blood, which is likely to make a panic attack worse, whereas if you stop breathing the carbon dioxide level increases and that can help stop the panic attack.While holding your breath may help alleviate the symptoms of the panic attack, it won’t get rid of what’s causing the panic attack. For that, a session or two with a hypnotherapist will normally get to the root of the problem and help to remove your established response to given situations.

Dr. Charles Glassman
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Charles F. Glassman, MD has practiced internal medicine for over 25 years. Over this time, he has observed that many medical problems and physical symptoms arise from our abil ... Click for full bio

Most Read IRIS Articles of the Week: April 17-21

Most Read IRIS Articles of the Week: April 17-21

Here’s a look at the Top 11 Most Viewed Articles of the Week on IRIS.xyz, April 17-21, 2017 


Click the headline to read the full article.  Enjoy!


1. Market Keeping You up at Night? Look for the Right Hedge


Like so many others in the industry, I was wrong. For years, I was certain that the bull market was nearing its end. I thought the market was over-extended, and that, surely, the wild equities run was coming to an end. But everyone else was bullish, and perhaps rightfully so. And while I’ve watched equities continue on their spectacular rise, I do think now is the time (really!) to put a hedge in place. Here’s why. Here’s how. — Adam Patti

2. How to Manage Bond Market Pain and Seek the Gain When Rates Are Rising


The realities for fixed income investors have changed. How is this being reflected in markets? Bond investing has become increasingly difficult over the past decade. Markets have been heavily distorted by ultra-low interest rates and quantitative easing, as well as by extreme risk aversion in response to the global economic crisis and the eurozone debt crisis. — Nick Gartside

3. Seven Reasons You'll Fail as a Financial Advisor


Is being a financial advisor worth it? I am an optimistic person and I encourage other people to keep a positive mental attitude (shout-out to Napoleon Hill and W. Clement Stone). However, by taking a good, hard look at the negatives in life, we can successfully pivot towards the positive aspects that will help us achieve our goals. — James Pollard

4. The Secret to Turning Every Prospect into a Client


How do you treat one of your most valued, existing clients? Here’s a list of some things that come to mind. — Andrew Sobel

5. Why Do Clients Change Advisors?


According to many advisors I speak with, the only clients that leave are those who have died. And while attrition may not be a big problem in this industry, I have to assume that at least a few clients change advisors without doing so via the funeral home. — Julie Littlechild

6. Why You Should Focus on Getting Referral Sources


I was talking with an advisor last week about how to get into conversations about what he does. He was relaying the story of going jogging with a friend who could be a good client but is, more importantly, connected to a large network of people who fit this advisors ideal client description. — Stephen Wershing

7. How Big Picture Thinkers Seize More Opportunities in 7 Steps


Big picture thinkers are not unicorns - rare and mystical. And they were not born with the innate ability to think big. They do, however, pay attention to the broader landscape and take the time to think, analyze and evaluate. — Jill Houtman and Danny Domenighini

8. 5 Actions to Build Your Reputation


Your reputation is who you are and how you show up, Monday to Monday®.  Many of us take our image and reputation for granted.  Give careful thought to the kind of reputation that you would be proud of Monday to Monday® and that would resonate with your purpose and priorities. — Stacey Hanke

9. How Are You Poised to Begin Welcoming GenZ to Your Workplace?


The generational changing of the guard is a fact of life as old as time. Young replaces old in responsibility, importance, control and culture. Outside of the family, the workplace is perhaps where this is seen most regularly by most people. — Shirley Engelmeier

10. Are Price Objections REALLY Price Objections?


Next time you hear your prospects give you price objections, it’s not because of the price. The give price objections because they don’t know the full value proposition that they’d be paying for. And it’s not based on their need, or your features and functions. It’s based on the buying criteria they want to meet internally. — Sofia Carter

11. Understanding the Economic Value of Transition Deals


Last week we wrote about the economic rationale behind going independent vs. moving to another major firm as an employee. As a follow-up topic, we thought it prudent to analyze transition packages attached to big firm moves and peel back the layers of the onion to show the components of these deals. — Louis Diamond

Douglas Heikkinen
Perspective
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IRIS Founder and Producer of Perspective—a personal look at the industry, and notables who share what they’ve learned, regretted, won, lost and what continues to ... Click for full bio