How can I overcome the feeling of panic attacks?

I just get anxious about minor things, my ears ring all the time and I just feel like I am being choked. I get tearful very easily, and avoid situations and people where I might end up having a panic attack.
Asked by Maria

Hi Maria,

Thank you for your message. It sounds like you are experiencing very difficult symptoms of physical anxiety at the moment. I am sure in particular the feeling of choking must be extremely distressing. And I really appreciate that you are going through a lot at the moment. The first step in seeking help is to acknowledge that we are struggling so you have begun a process by sending this message to the service.

In therapy Cognitive behavioral therapy has been proven to be very effective in helping with anxiety and panic attacks. One of the things it asks us to do is focus on is which situations, times or people can cause or exacerbate feelings of panic. I think it might be helpful for you to start using a diary to try and track when these times are happening and what you where experiencing before that might have 'triggered' these feelings and bodily sensations. The next stage in cognitive behavioral therapy would then be the look how we can put the body into a calmer state and feel like we are in control or managing the fees of panic or anxiety before they get to the stage where they overwhelm us. My personal belief is that this is best done with the guidance of a therapist who can apply their techniques and skills to guide you through different exercises to help particularly with panic. Especially with the very difficult physical symptoms you are experiencing I think it you would really benefit from specialized support and a space to talk through what you are going through. 

However, if that doesn't feel right for you at this time I would recommend looking at mindfulness techniques and engaging with resources you can find on YouTube which help us to connect with our body in a calm way. Practitioners such as John Kabbat-Zinn focus a lot on how to observe our thoughts in a peaceful and mindful way which means that we are less likely to become overwhelmed by them and it gives us an opportunity to see what is causing the physical aspects of your anxiety. As I said when we experience such intense symptoms it can be very hard to think about what is happening to cause this. So this exploration is best achieved when we can be in a calmer place within our body and mind. You may also find mediation practice helpful to allow you to create a place in your day which centers you mind. It also encourages deep breathing which is always helpful with anxiety. Again meditation resources can be found on YouTube or within many specialized books and resources. 

I hope this reply has been helpful to you and again I would encourage you to seek out more support this is a very difficult place to be but you have taken a really important step in seeking help and I hope you will be able to continue. 

Best Wishes and Take Care