The degree of stress response and its associated physiological, psychological, and emotional changes are directly proportional to the degree of perceived threat. The more threatening the perceived threat seems, the more powerful the stress response.
What is an anxiety attack?
An anxiety attack is a high degree stress response activated by either overly apprehensive behavior (worrying/fearing something really bad may happen) or by the involuntary action of an overly stressed body.
In other words, anxiety attacks have two main causes:
Voluntary anxiety attacks: When we worry something really bad may happen and the body responds with a high degree stress response.
Involuntary anxiety attacks: When the body activates a high degree stress response due to persistently elevated stress.
Voluntary Anxiety Attacks:
Most anxiety attacks are voluntary anxiety attacks caused by overly apprehensive behavior: believing something really bad is about to happen, which activates a high degree stress response. Once the high degree stress response is activated, the physiological, psychological, and emotional changes that result can be powerful. These powerful changes, even though they are our ally, can seem like something really bad is happening, which many anxious people react to with more fear…which activates another stress response, and so on.