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- Something triggers our fear: This is a feared thing or event which causes an anxious response.
Our body reacts physically to this fear with a range of symptoms or feelings which are part of the 'Fight/ Flight' response.
- We then have associated thoughts, which may ‘sound' something like; "I'm in danger", "I can't handle this", "Everyone is watching me", "I'm having a heart attack", "I can't cope", or "I'm going mad". This results in increased fear and physical symptoms.
- Feelings are evoked by the trigger and may include; a racing heart, faster shallower breathing, shaking, cold hands and feet, nausea or the sensation of ‘butterflies' in the stomach, or chest tightness.
- Eventually we 'act', and this is usually some sort of avoidant behaviour, something we do to get us away from the feared situation.