In the older days before modern living standards got to where they are now, life used to be very simple. We all used to live in caves and had to hunt for our food. We lived active physical lifestyles, and as humans we have a built in fight or flight mechanism, which is used to alert us to danger and served us very well in the caveman era.
This also serves us well in most situations in modern day life.
The Natural Flight or Fight
For example if you are in danger, your flight or flight mechanism will kick in and prepare you to either fight or run away. Your heart rate increases and what is happening at this stage is that your body produces lots of adrenaline. Once the danger has gone, your heart rate slows back down and
your adrenaline rush slows down, and then you can return to normal. You might be a little shaky afterward but it calms down and you go about your business again as normal.
Our flight or flight mechanism is there to protect us, BUT as we have evolved, we have slowly started to become less active. The activities that we used to do whilst having to hunt for our food helped us burn off the extra adrenaline. Back then, we also never had the mental pressure of modern day living. The society we live in now is a very stressful one. We have pressures put on us that we are just not designed to be able to cope with; financial stress, marriage and relationship stress, and the on-demand society that we live in today takes its toll on our mental heath.
An Overload Can Cause a Panic Attack
The easiest way to explain how and why we have panic attacks is as follows, if you have a plastic cup with lots of tiny small holes in the bottom, and you slowly fill the cup up with water (the water being adrenaline), the water will slowly leave the cup at the bottom and the level of water in the cup will be reduced slowly. Thus the adrenaline being burnt off and leaving your body, and you return to a normal state again. However if you are suffering from anxiety and suffer with panic attacks it does not work like this, as your flight or flight kicks in, your adrenaline will rush in. If you were to compare it to the above, the little holes in the bottom of the cup would be blocked up and the tap would slowly fill up, but because there is no way of the water escaping, it would fill out and start to overflow, causing an over load of adrenaline, this should slowly leave your body, but will not do so if you are suffering from anxiety and panic attacks.
Common Anxiety Attack Symptoms
This will then lead to the panic attack and all the physical symptoms will start to appear, this will panic you which will then lead to the mental panic also kicking in and the overwhelming fear that you are about to pass out or die. Its perfectly normal to have problems with catching your breath, chest pains, feeling dizzy, starting to sweat, but everyone is different so each will get different symptoms. From my experience the immense temperature rise and nauseas was the worst and after I used to have a panic attack, I just used to feel unbalanced and dizzy for quite some time.
Panic Attacks can be brought on or triggered by stressful situations, so try to limited the stress you put yourself under. Another incredible tip is to find ways to positively release stress through meditation, exercise, writing etc.