Even though anxiety attacks can be powerful physical, psychological, and emotional experiences, they occur for specific reasons. Understanding these reasons can put you in control of anxiety attacks rather than anxiety attacks seeming like they are out of your control. Learning to control anxiety attacks can set you free from them.
Anxiety: A state of apprehension, uncertainty, and fear resulting from the anticipation of a real or imagined impending threat.
In this regard, anxiety is caused by behaving in an apprehensive manner, such as worrying, imagining the worst, and fearing the worst.
You can learn more about anxiety on our “What causes anxiety?” page in our Anxiety 101 section.
When we behave apprehensively, the body activates the stress response, which causes the body to secrete stress hormones into the bloodstream where they travel to targeted spots in the body to bring about specific physiological, psychological, and emotional changes that enhance the body’s ability to deal with a threat—to either fight with or flee from it—which is the reason the stress response is often referred to as the fight or flight response or the emergency response.
The Stress Response is designed to ‘supercharge’ the body so that it is better equipped to deal with a threat. This supercharge ‘boost’ is a vital part of our survival mechanism. Consequently, the stress response is our ally when in real danger.