cycle of anxietyDo YOU feel like you are stuck in a cycle of panic attacks and anxiety that you cannot get out of?  This is known as panic disorder.  It can be a really hard cycle to break free from – my struggle is testament to that, but with the help of my program you will be able to stop the cycle. 

The problem with this cycle is that our bodies do not return to a state of calm and relaxation after the perceived danger threat has gone.  Instead we are lost in a world of constant stress due to our thoughts and our lifestyle.     These two factors are definitely the most common reasons why anxiety and panic attacks occur.   Another key factor why they keep happening is internalizing the symptoms.  However they start for you, our bodies are not designed to be under constant stress, so it’s no wonder we cannot function properly.

When we experience a build up of stress our body chemistry changes.  Levels of adrenaline, cortisol, etc become elevated in our bodies.  If you’re leading a balanced life with exercise, happiness and not too much stress; these chemicals get burned off or metabolized.  When this does not happen the chemicals stay in our system making our bodies more hypersensitive which triggers frequent panic attacks.

How do I achieve a more balanced state? THE POWER WITHIN

It’s not that difficult to lead a MORE BALANCED LIFE but it requires a life style change.  You have the power to reduce the physical symptoms and psychological feelings.  If you think about it,
-   we can make sure we get a good night sleep,
-   we can control how we eat,
-   we can regulate our breathing,
-   we can guide our thoughts in a positive direction,
-   etc, etc, etc..


By following my program you will be reducing the anxiety which will stop the panic attacks.  My program will help you to retrain your mind to be calmer, and flick the switch back to feeling like a balanced person again.   You will no longer build up stress and you will be able to ‘short-circuit’ the fight or flight response.

Tip from the trenches

Vigorous exercise for at least 30 minutes (you must make sure you sweat) is a great way to reduce anxiety symptoms.  This burns off those nasty chemicals and produces endorphins – your bodies feel good chemicals.  It is like an antidote to panic and gives you a buffer against stresses in your life. 

The Panic Attack Cycle

Basically when your experience constant anxiety and panic attack symptoms such as feeling nervousness, sweating, problems breathing, etc; there is no real threat.  This is the panic attack cycle going around and around in circles.  

The cycle usually consists of 5 Distinct Stages

NO1   Trigger
NO2    Fight or Fight Response
NO3    Internalizing
NO4    Fearing the Worst
NO5    Increase or intensification of Symptoms


NO 1 Trigger

Every panic attack involves a cycle that must be completed to keep the panic attack alive and active.  A trigger can be many things everyone is unique.  For example

  • Not eating correctly
  • Your thoughts such as “I can’t walk through that busy shopping mall”
  • An argument
  • Stressful day at work
  • Lack of sleep

Triggers are always one of two things – Fear of an External or Internal thing

External triggers which fire off panic symptoms can be overwork, caffeine, alcohol, dieting (anorexics are prone to panic attacks), lack of sleep, lack of exercise, poor eating habits, being afraid of places i.e. supermarkets, long term stressful event, etc.

Poor breathing techniques, negative thoughts, ‘what if’ thoughts, hormonal changes (i.e. after having a baby), anxious thoughts, internal sensations such as rapid heartbeat and feeling faint, wanting to escape from a situation, etc

Out of the Blue Panic Attacks

‘Out of the Blue’ Panic Attacks are one of the most baffling and disturbing issues with panic disorder.  I experienced lots of these.  In some ways if you walk into a busy shop or queue in the post office and you suffer a panic attack (like I did!) you knew why and what triggered it.  But out of the blue panic attacks are bewildering.

I vividly remember having an out of the blue panic in the early stages of my condition.  I was getting out of the car to check on something at work.  I was not anxious about doing this but all of sudden I felt my chest tighten and I couldn’t breathe.  I felt an intense fear of something really terrible was going happen.  I fell to my knees thinking I was going to die.   Of course I didn’t die and it passed eventually leaving me completely baffled.  This increased my anxious thoughts even more. 

I know now that the cumulative stress I was placing upon my body was building up and manifesting itself at various stages throughout the day regardless of whether there was an obvious trigger or not.   My body was constantly sensitized and it was ‘firing off’ Fight or Flight Symptoms.  It may have been that I just a strong cup of coffee before I got in my car or, it may have been my mind reacting to getting out of the car into a different environment.  Who knows? The point is the chemical imbalances in your body can make you have a panic attack anytime.  So ‘out of the blue’ attacks don’t really come ‘out of the blue’, there triggered by a tired, sensitized and stressed mind and body.

Another very important factor regarding panic attacks is your thoughts.  These are the most dangerous enemy against you.  Certain things like getting enough sleep, exercise, eating nutritiously are comparatively easy to change.  

Your thoughts however can be so ingrained and deep in your subconscious that you may not even know what their telling your mind.  Negatives thoughts are probably going to be one of the road blocks to recovery, so be prepared to put extra effort into correct these to positive thoughts.  Those dead end ‘what if’ thoughts can be changed.

NO 2  Fight or Flight Symptoms

Once a trigger has occurred the hypothalamus in the brain sends a message to the kidneys to release the fight or fight response.   The physical feelings, sensations, symptoms can be

  • The feeling of dying or going crazy
  • Fatigue or Weakness
  • Feelings like you’re disconnected or disoriented, feelings of unreality
  • Difficulty concentrating  or confusion
  • Dry throat, difficulty swallowing
  • Trembling , spasms, cramps, muscle tension, stiffness, pain, aches.
  • Headaches or pressure around the eyes or head
  • Feeling  trapped, an intense desire to escape, or lack of control
  • Stomach related problems (such as nausea, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, constipation, heartburn, indigestion, ‘butterflies’ or some sort of stomach upset.)
  • Feeling smothered, choking or suffocation sensations
  • Numbness, feeling like you can’t move, Paralyzed or ‘jelly legs’
  • Sweating
  • Tingling sensations
  • Feeling faint, dizzy, light headed, blurred vision, or spinning sensations.
  • Rapid heartbeat or palpitations
  • Shortness of breath, hyperventilation, shallow breathing, difficulty breathing.

Apart from the above symptoms of anxiety you may generally feel you have a much narrower focus on life.  You may have sensitivity to light and noise, hot flushes, constantly thinking the worse and feeling like you’re being judged by others.

For me, the sensitivity to light was particularly a strong symptom.   I found watching TV, using a computer or even reading would induce a panic attack.  The light off the screen would feel like red hot pokers being placed in my eyes.  It was frightening and painful.   It was one of the first symptoms I went to the doctors with (as described in my story earlier.)  I was convinced I had a brain tumour at the time.  I discovered by cutting out alcohol, exercising, changing my diet and not using a computer too much helped drastically to reduce this sensation.  We are all different and this symptom may not affect you.  However symptoms such as nausea or feelings that your mind is disconnected from your body, (which seem more common but did not personally affect me,) may affect you.

Tip from the trenches

Even people who do not suffer from anxiety and panic attacks suffer from triggers and fight or flight responses.  We all still have to deal with stress.  Even when you no longer suffer from panic attacks you will still get symptoms but they will not escalate.   Just take a look at the next time your work colleague takes a difficult call from a customer or you witness a row between someone in public.   You will notice they experience exactly the sensations as you, only on a smaller scale.

NO 3 Internalizing

Internalizing is the catalyst to making panic attacks the huge problem that people experience in their lives.  How do negative, anxious thoughts turn into full blow panic attacks?   When you start internalizing panic attacks symptoms, you make the sensations mean something negative about you.  Negative, unproductive thoughts not only trigger the fight or flight response but they maintain the symptoms and intensify them into panic attacks.

The difference between a balanced individual who does not suffer from panic attacks is they do not internalize their feelings

This ‘internalization process’ can take a little time to happen.  So quite often it takes a period of time after a stressful event before panic attacks manifest themselves.  This is because we internalize our feelings, think about them, mull over what might happen, and over time we convince ourselves we are ill. So guess what, we become ill.

An example would be John has just been made redundant from his job.  He is feeling anxious because he has a family to support and a mortgage to pay.  He sits at home and he’s feeling very tense.  He notices how sweaty he is and how he finds it difficult to breathe. 

What John should do........

At this point John must think this reaction is normal, as the future is uncertain.  If he distracts his mind by trying to find another job, or perhaps asking friends if they employ him with some casual labour until he finds something permanent, he will not internalize his feelings.

What John should not do.........

However if he sits on the couch and just thinks about how anxious he’s feels and it’s just his luck that he’s lost his job, he is opening his mind to negative thoughts.

Tip from the trenches

Acknowledge your feelings if you feel panicky and disempower them.  Each symptom can be talked through in your mind as the symptoms mean nothing.  Relax and calmly get on with your day.

No 4 Fearing the Worst & No 5 Increase or Intensification of Symptoms

Negative Thoughts

It’s only natural when you have all these nasty symptoms that you think something is very wrong with you.  Maybe your thoughts are telling you to escape or else you will suffer a heart attack, go crazy, or stop breathing, etc.   Your mind takes over from the logical senses and tries to trick you into believing that something bad is going to happen.  This stems from your inner thoughts.  When we do not have the knowledge to understand what is happening we assume the worst.  Instead we should be challenging these thoughts.  By assuming the worst we increase the intensification of the symptoms leading to a full blown panic attack. Additional sensations then appear which only add to the cycle of fear that something bad is going to happen.  The good news is this cycle CAN BE STOPPED. Please read on.......


Remember it’s our thoughts which indicate whether we intensify these feelings or they simply go away.  INTERNALIZING OUR THOUGHTS NEGATIVELY WILL ENCOURAGE PANIC ATTACKS.

This program will teach how to recognize these thoughts and start preventing the cycle so you can start enjoying life again.    This will give you a framework for a life change which will benefit your body, mind and spirit. 



Most people who experience panic attacks do not believe that there symptoms are harmless.  This is because their whole body is filled with intense terrifying sensations, so they assume the worst.  By acknowledging the facts, understanding them and implementing what you have learnt here, panic attacks will have no power over you.   Slowly but surely your body will calm down, and the triggers that once caused anxiety will stop.  You will feel generally more calm and confident about yourself.  

After the trigger and symptoms start, you basically have two choices - the path of peace or the path of panic.

The Anxiety Cycle
The following diagram shows how the cycle of anxiety works.  The Positive Changes in my program will enable you to break the cycle.

cycle of panic attacks

         cycle of panic attacks1




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