Searching for the Cause of Panic Attacks
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Many people have asked about the cause
of panic attacks. I would approach this question by discussing a
documentary featuring Michael J. Fox. In it Fox tries to figure out
why some people are optimistic and how being hopeful and positive affects one's happiness and quality of
In the documentary Fox makes a trip to
a place called Bhutan. Bhutan is small Buddhist nation situated between China and India which has a government
policy that dictates happiness. Instead of a Gross National
Product, they've adopted the idea of Gross National
Happiness. The Bhutanese constitution states that government
programs should be judged by the happiness they bring rather than by the economic benefit.
This is interesting because many folks
probably think of happiness as a state that just happens to them.
The truth is, happiness takes work. That’s why I thought discussing
Bhutan was such a great lead-in.
What does this have to do with the
cause of panic attacks?
Because happiness is nothing more than
a product of your collective thoughts. But the same is true for
your anxiety and panic attacks.
Now we all have long held
beliefs. While many find it possible to change their thinking
temporarily, in order to create real change in these deep seated beliefs requires a different
But in tackling panic attacks and
anxiety, the central “switch” is changing your thought processes.
Really, though, your thought processes
taken together are the root cause of panic attacks and anxiety. To be clear, I am not suggesting that the
biological and neurological links are not real. They all must be considered. I am not suggesting that medication
or other medical or biological interventions should not be considered. Click here for more clarification about my perspective would be helpful.
As you’ll know, if you’re a regular
visitor to my website or a subscriber to my free newsletter, there is a process called Cognitive Therapy which
allows you locate the specific Cognitive Distortions in your thinking and then replace them with more realistic
thoughts. Cognitive Therapy is very important to use with your thinking.
In order to ensure you are using
Cognitive Therapy on a consistent basis requires that you take control of your life – by creating an agenda
to do so.
On a practical level, the key to taking
control of your life requires two things:
1. Having an agenda in which you commit
to taking control of your life
In #1 above I refer to having an agenda
in which you committee to taking control of your life.
In #2 above – being resilient – I’m
referring to being committed to working on your thoughts each day, using Cognitive Therapy, whenever the need
arises, in spite of how poorly you might feel, how many times you’ve had similar thoughts, etc. You need to keep
I'm not suggesting that doing these things is a small feat but it’s definitely worth the
effort. I suggest that if you have not already done so, you get started on these steps today. A
great way to achieve the above is to subscribe to my newsletter (below).