Panic attacks and their effects are as real to us as anything else that we may fear. Fear is frightening. When we are frightened our body reacts in a way that increases the feelings of fear that we are experiencing. If panic attacks are caused by an unrealistic fear, how is our body affected in such a real way? The answers to these questions are things that are beneficial for us to know.
Most people have experienced an anxiety or panic attack at some time in their lives. It is different for everyone. Some experience them all of the time, while others may only have one in their entire lifetime. No matter how frequent or not a person has them, the symptoms related to these attacks are just as real for all, with the most typical being a shortness of breath and fast heartbeat.
The brain can misinterpret the messages from the nerves especially if the nerves are overly stimulated or not stimulated enough. This produces a physical reaction of intense anxiety. Our body is covered in nerves. These nerves detect any and all stimuli that we come into contact with. The same as they perceive external stimuli, they send the message to the brain, who in return relays the message to the body internally for action.
The body in readying itself for action restricts all blood flow from other areas in providing increased blood flow to the brain, heart and large muscles of the arms and legs. Your heart is beating wildly as it is increasing blood flow and the tightening of the muscles may make your chest hurt and the muscles to become sore. The muscles around the lungs constrict as well which is why it becomes difficult to breathe.
Restriction of blood vessels can cause numbness of your head, face and extremities. You need to tell yourself that the symptoms though they are real enough, do not have a real reason for being there. There is not any present danger and the brain needs to be informed that this is a false alarm.
You can talk yourself out of a panic attack. Each person who has them experiences different reasons for having them, and genetics is a factor too. Sometimes problems have a way of throwing us into an attack, due to absently dwelling on an issue. Or some silent fear comes to the surface for some unknown reason. We need to send a new message to the brain to override the previous message sent by the nerves in error.
It takes three minutes for your body to receive a full amount of adrenaline to respond to the brains message to be in readiness for an emergency. It takes that same amount of time to tell your brain that it was a mistake and that the adrenaline is not necessary. Once the brain relays the new message, the body will stop the adrenaline from entering the bloodstream.
Why do panic attacks happen? Because we need to be more aware of our surroundings and of how our life is impacting us. We need to reduce stress and relax more. When problems arise, we need to confront them head on instead of allowing them to eat at us while we dwell on them. Taking care of ourselves and investing in our happiness will sharply decrease the likelihood of having panic attacks.