Anxiety and Panic Attacks

Welcome to our Anxiety and Panic Attacks self-help page. Here we explain anxiety and panic attacks, including possible causes and how you can access treatment and support. We share tips for helping yourself, and guidance for 

What is anxiety?

The term anxiety describes feeling of uneasiness, fear and worry and includes both emotional and physical symptoms. Anxiety can be unpleasant to experience, but it is important to remember that it is a normal function of our central nervous system and is activated when we feel threatened.

Most people feel anxious in certain situations, such as when going to an interview, taking exams, undergoing medical treatment or doing something new. During these times, anxiety may cause a disruption to your normal reactions and patterns such as sleeping and eating. Recovery is usually fairly quick once the situation or thoughts which cause fear, worry and uneasiness, pass.

When is anxiety a problem?

It is sometimes hard to decide when anxiety has become a concern which needs attention, although if you are find the feelings of anxiety overwhelming and intense over a more prolonged period of time, you may benefit from seeking help. For example, if worrying takes up a large amount of your time, if you regularly cannot sleep at night or if you begin experiencing panic attacks.

What is a panic attack?

A panic attack is an overwhelming cascade of emotional and physical symptoms which usually last for up to 20 minutes. Symptoms may include:

  • Experiencing a rapid and pounding heartbeat
  • Feeling faint, dizzy and unreal
  • Tightness in the chest and throat, causing a feeling of suffocation
  • Hotness, flushing, sweating
  • Shaking and trembling
  • A feeling of desperation to escape the current situation you are in

Panic Attacks: Talking About Mental Health

Click on the picture to access the ‘Understanding Anxiety and Panic Attacks’ self-help booklet

Other Techniques


The STOPP technique has been described as CBT in a nutshell and can be used to help you take control over your emotions. Click here for the STOPP worksheet. Give it a try, and see if it works for you

Relaxation and Mindfulness

Head to our Relaxation and Mindfulness for a range of techniques which may help with anxiety and panic attacks

Recognise unhelpful thinking styles

Before you can challenge your unhelpful thinking styles or distance yourself from them, you need to be able to identify them first. Click here for a list of the most common ones

For further information, you can call Guide-Line on 01274 594 594

Useful Contacts

Anxiety UK

Overview: Support, help and information for those with anxiety disorders
Telephone: 0844 477 57 74

Anxiety Care UK

Overview: Helps people to recover from anxiety disorders
Telephone: 07552 877 219


Overview: A supportive online community which provides online peer support for anyone experiencing a mental health problem


Overview: A computer-based CBT (CCBT) programme for treating panic and phobias

Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT)

Overview: Use the NHS service search to find psychological therapies services near you

Institute for Complementary and Natural Medicine (ICNM)

Overview: Provides a register of practitioners of complementary medicine
Telephone: 020 79 22 79 80

NHS Choices – Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

Overview: Advice for people with GAD

NHS Choices – Social Anxiety Disorder

Overview: Advice for people with Social Anxiety Disorder

No More Panic

Overview: Support and resources to help those affected by panic attacks

Succeed Socially

Overview: A free guide to getting past social awkwardness

Triumph Over Phobia

Overview: Provides self-help therapy groups and support for those with OCD, phobias and related anxiety disorders

Turning Point

Overview: Offers information, support and services for people experiencing drug and alcohol issues, mental health problems and learning disabilities


Overview: Offers information and advice for people with anxiety and panic disorders

Have you checked out our Online Directory? There you will find a vast database of local organisations who offer support and advice across a variety of areas. We recommend exploring mindfulness in particular visit our mindfulness and relaxation section


"Anxiety | Talking About Mental Health - Episode 2". YouTube. N.p., 2016. Web. 10 Oct. 2016
STOPP Skill". N.p., 2016. Web. 10 Oct. 2016
N.p., 2016. Print

Contact Us

Mind in Bradford 
Kenburgh House 
28 Manor Row         

01274 730815

Get Social