In my experience, many people first seek professional help for anxiety when they have experienced panic attacks, which often involve feelings of dread and terror. Symptoms include shortness of breath, fast heart rate, sweating, shakes and dizziness.

In my Smart Therapy (ST) approach, people must learn to stop paying any attention whatsoever to their panic attack symptoms. All awareness of rapid heart rate, sweats or shakes is slipped immediately out of focussed attention and into peripheral attention. It is essential to show complete DISINTEREST in the panic attack symptoms. Instead people must immerse their full focussed attention into constructive activities like mental maths, crossword puzzles, vigorous conversations, going for a run, or (if you are in the car) listening to talk-back radio.

The central tenet in ST is that when we direct our brains to pay attention then we are telling our brains to LEARN – which involves building brain synapses, consolidating memories and more readily retrieving the information to which we have been paying attention.

If we want to eliminate unwanted brain habits like panic attacks, then we must stop paying them attention and allow the synapses to break apart (from lack of use) and the dendritic spines to retract and lose their input capacity. This leads to permanent recovery.