What causes a panic attack in the first place?Think back to the example of the lady walking down a quiet dark alley way and how her thoughts trigger fear responses. (See What Triggers Panic Attacks?).
Therefore we know are thoughts can trigger panic attacks. However one of the most common questions panic attack sufferers ask themselves is what causes panic attacks when there is no obvious threat in front of them? And why them when other people seem more stressed?
One of the most intriguing things about panic attacks are sometimes they seem to just happen out of the blue. Quite often there is no trigger event. This makes people even more anxious because they think it can’t be a panic attack as there is no logical pattern to it. That’s when their mind starts to wonder that they have some other terrible problem such as a brain tumorous heart defect.
The fact of the matter is if you look closely she will fine there is some minor trigger. It may be so small you didn’t notice it, but it caused some very small bodily sensation.
Whether you consciously or unconsciously were aware of it, it has sparked off a chain of thoughts that has led to the sufferer worrying about their condition. Therefore a panic attack is initiated. For Panic disorder sufferers this thought process has become a nasty habit and that is all it is –A NASTY HABIT. Your thoughts lead down neural pathways which affect your behavior. If you were watching a really funny movie and laughing a lot,your neural pathways would be firing off feel good chemicals and you would be feeling happy. Your memories of the film would be positive and you go to sleep afterwards and probably get a good night’s rest.
The mistake a panic disorder sufferer makes is they internalize everything.
Your body is not designed to look inwards.Our bodies automatically takes care of blood pressure, body temperature, heart rate, blinking, breathing, the list is endless. It’s an amazing machine and its lets us get on with living and hopefully enjoying ourselves. To be constantly internalizing every ache and pain that we feel is not good for our mind or body.
Even though we may not be aware of some of the thought processes that are leading to these terrible feelings (because there so en grained into our make-up), they can be unlearn and the habit broken. Below are some factors that may have caused severe anxiety or panic.
A minor increase in anxiety. Perhaps when entering a situation which has caused you severe anxiety before or worrying before the event has led to the start of a panic attack. Although the person thinks this has come out of the blue, the reality is they have conditioned themselves to react in this way given the correct circumstances.
It is a fact that other emotional states of mind can cause the body to react and tip over to a panic reaction. Most panic sufferers are very impatient people. Being stuck in queues, dealing with annoying people at work or not feeling rewarded are all attributes to bringing on an attack. It is one of key tools to a recovery is to be able to relax and not fight against things you have no control over.
The only person you can change is yourself.
Feeling angry as somebody in your mind has wronged you in some way can only lead to negative feelings. As does worrying about events that may happen to you at some point in the future. These are all hypothetical. If you live in the moment and enjoy each day as it comes you will live in a much happier place.You’re constantly thinking about ‘what I should have done’ and living in the past, then your living your life with regrets. you’re thinking about ‘what ifs’ regarding future events then your living in fear of the future which will only trigger attacks.
As discussed before that slight changes in body feelings can cause panic attacks. But sometimes these changes are unavoidable i.e. exercising. Exercising is one of the best ways of releasing tension and promoting the feel good chemicals in the body. But this is a kind of double edged sword as it will encourage the symptoms of anxiety and panic attacks, such as rapid breathing, pounding heartbeat, etc.
Often changes in a person’s physical state can cause an attack and this is probably one of the most underrated causes of an initial panic attack. Pres-menstrual women or women who are pregnant feel dramatic physical changes happening inside their bodies. These can manifest in all sorts of different ways because the female body is under stress. Often as the body returns to normal the anxiety will go as well. Also illnesses can trigger stress and panicky nervous reactions.