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  • Writer's pictureAlexander James

Treating Panic Attacks with Hypnotic Relaxation

Panic attacks are a common anxiety disorder in which people experience at least two unexpected panic attacks followed by at least one month of worries about having another one, together with other mental and behavioural changes related to the attacks. (Panic Disorders: DSM (Anxiety Disorders).

During a panic attack you get a sudden rush of intense fear that triggers severe physical reactions. You might think you're losing control, having a heart attack or even dying and the symptoms can be very frightening and distressing.

Panic Attack symptoms include:

  • A racing heartbeat

  • Shortness of breath

  • Feeling you can't get your thoughts together

  • Depersonalisation – being detached from oneself

  • Derealisation - feeling of unreality

  • Feeling dizzy or faint

  • Nausea

  • Chest pain

  • Trembling and shaky limbs

I use Hypnotic Relaxation techniques as part of my treatment plan to help reduce stress and anxiety, and manage the symptoms of panic disorder.

Deep relaxation exercises, like the Hypnotic Relaxation exercise below, work to manage the fight-or-flight response, that is often heightened and triggered among people who are experiencing panic attacks.

The fight-or-flight reaction (also known as the acute stress response) is responsible for causing the extreme reactions that people experience when they are in the midst of a panic attack.

Relaxation techniques have been found to have the opposite effect on the body by improving the relaxation response, lowering heart rate, reducing bodily tensions, decreasing negative thoughts, and boosting self-esteem and problem-solving skills.

This 30 minute Hypnotic Relaxation exercise is designed to help you reach very deep levels of relaxation and calm both body and mind.

(please click on the image to access the resources section of the website and listen to the recording)

Each time you practice this exercise you will most likely find yourself relaxing quicker, easier and more deeply than before.

There are many factors that can influence how well you relax on a particular occasion. The exercise may work better on some days than others, that’s to be expected. Just persevere and practice as often as possible and notice how you improve over time.

The more you practice techniques like Hypnotic Relaxation, the quicker you will condition your body and mind to relaxation.

If you are suffering from anxiety or panic attacks, please get in touch with The Mindful Therapist, Harley Street, London.

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