I’ve been there… for relief from those dreaded “sudden panic attacks” Prior to my first panic attack, I’d never had such circular and continually anxious thoughts.
Once I suffered for a while, I intuitively felt that things were not right and had an eerie feeling that I was experiencing something that was not going away as minor illnesses had in the past. However as I’ll reveal here: there is an effective treatment to change such feelings.
The truth is there are many different reasons why you or I came down with sudden panic attacks and the associated anxiety. While it can be intellectually satisfying to rationally explain what brings them on, this is not the typical route to recovery.
I ultimately learned through my struggle with anxiety and sudden panic attacks, the more I continued to try and figure out the cause of sudden panic attacks, the more this led to “what if” thoughts.
At times you might be feeling some anxiety which suddenly explodes into a full blown panic attack. You might feel like a victim who can do nothing.
The point I’m trying to make is the more I analyzed the situation, the more I became trapped by it.
One simple saying explains it all: “analysis equals paralysis.”
When you analyze or try to figure out the circumstance that initially brought on your anxiety and panic attacks this worsens your symptoms. You become paralyzed by your own circular thoughts.
You might be asking: “Okay we’re not supposed to analyze this, but what can we do to get better, but how does this provide me with any panic attack relief?”
Heard of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)?
CBT was certainly effective for my recovery from anxiety, panic attacks, and agoraphobia.
Consider what the American Psychological Association says: “Research has demonstrated that a form of psychotherapy known as “cognitive-behavioral therapy” (CBT) can be highly effective in treating anxiety disorders.”
Furthermore, research has demonstrated that CBT can be extremely effective for others, sometimes more effective than medications used for anxiety and panic disorder.
The idea behind CBT is that your thoughts cause our emotions and if you can look at our own thoughts, identify the cognitive distortions present, and substitute healthier thoughts, you can feel better. This process is called cognitive restructuring.
A great thing about CBT is that it’s a rational, systematic approach but it allows your analytical mind to go to use. This is beneficial for persons with anxiety who tend to have analytical minds.
Instead of becoming more anxious, you create new thoughts that lead to healthier and more accurate beliefs about reality which allows you to feel less anxious, not more.
I’m not suggesting that you perform CBT to analyze all of the reasons you became anxious or prone to panic attacks. Instead you should isolate your negative thoughts, identify the distortions, and then replace healthier thoughts/beliefs. CBT allows you to be in the present moment versus stuck in a past thought pattern.
You can begin to feel better quickly. But there’s more: overtime, it is quite possible to convert your overall unhelpful beliefs to healthier ones which will bring about a much longer lasting change and an healthier perspective. You then do not need to fear sudden panic attacks.
I hope that you have found this information helpful. I would encourage you to check out the many specific examples of CBT being put to use on specific thoughts within the section of the site entitled Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Panic Attacks.
Also in my free newsletter (see below to subscribe for free) I do ongoing work with particular thoughts of anxiety, panic attack and agoraphobia sufferers in the form of step-by-step CBT analysis and restructuring of thoughts.
If you become a free subscriber, you can submit your own thoughts and questions too. This can all be very helpful for panic attacks.
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Reference (Panic Attack Relief)
Understanding anxiety disorders and effective treatment. (Updated June 2010) Retrieved October 27, 2010 from American Psychological Association Website