Effective Strategies for Managing Panic and Anxiety


Is the quality of your life being affected by feelings of anxiety or panic attacks? Are you dwelling upon situations in your life in a way that is not helpful? As a therapist I frequently encounter people who are experiencing feelings of anxiety that are seriously restricting their lives. Although not harmful in itself, anxiety can cause unpleasant sensations and can sometimes be extremely debilitating. Anxiety is a natural human response when you feel under pressure and you are struggling to cope with challenging situations. Recognising some of the early warning signs of stress and anxiety can be a real support in helping you to manage the feelings and cope better. The most common symptoms of anxiety include excessive sweating, palpitations, tension headaches and feelings of nausea or dizziness. When pressure builds up and the anxiety becomes extreme, it can turn into a full-blown panic attack, which can feel very frightening.

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Practising Mindfulness

What is Mindfulness?breathe_mindfully
Mindfulness is a practice that has its origins in Buddhist meditation and is a way of being completely present in the moment. It’s about being fully aware wherever you are and whatever you are doing, whether it’s brushing your teeth, washing the dishes or sweeping the floor. Engaging in a practice of mindfulness involves being deeply attentive and receptive to the present moment and experiencing it with real openness and curiosity. There is nowhere to go and nothing to do. Just simply savour the moment. All that is needed is to stay focused, present and deeply attuned to your experience, as it unfolds from moment to moment.

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The Key to Living a Fulfilling Life


To live a fulfilling life you need to understand that nothing is missing in your life and that you have within yourself all that you have been searching for, perhaps for a very long time. You may believe that living a fulfilling life is about getting somewhere other than where you currently are. If you just stop for a moment and pause, you may come to realise that there is nowhere for you to go. All the great wisdom teachings throughout the ages convey the message that a deep sense of peace and true fulfilment come from within, through being fully in the moment and accepting whatever life may bring.

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Are you Thriving or just Surviving?

Research has shown that the human drive to move away from pain is far stronger than the drive towards pleasure. What this means, in effect, is that it’s not uncommon for people to stay in situations that don’t fulfil them if they believe that leaving the situation would pose a threat to their security. If things are not uncomfortable enough, you may be unwilling to take active steps to make changes and as a result drift, perhaps staying in an unsatisfying job or relationship for many years. Sometimes it can feel as if you are just going through the motions. When you function at survival level, you may be constantly adapting to situations in an attempt to protect yourself from perceived threats, which may not have any real foundation. Then you often end up having a sense that you are just coasting and that you have a lot of unfulfilled potential that isn’t being expressed. When you are just doing what you need to do to get by on a daily basis, life can feel flat and loses its vital spark.

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