What is Anxiety?
Anxiety is a natural human response when you feel that you are under threat. It can be experienced through thoughts, feelings and physical sensations. Your behaviour can have an effect on all of these. What one person classes as anxiety can differ greatly from one person to the next. Some feel stuck with a small amount. Whereas others can function on a high amount of anxiety, even seem to thrive. Ultimately, anxiety is to do with the anticipation of imminent or future danger in an attempt to avoid avoidable risks.
The problem with anxiety is that you try to explain or rationalize it on a conscious level but fear and emotions are stored subconsciously. Working more automatically like breathing or walking. The important thing to remember is that the No.1 job of the subconscious mind is to keep you safe and secure.
When it senses you are feeling unsafe it starts showing you the warning signs – i.e. Anxiety. Usually these signs or symptoms are useful – they get you to stop when you are crossing the road if a car is travelling faster than you foreseen, and it helps to keep you safe.
It can however, be overzealous sometimes connecting moments in your past when you have felt unsafe to now. Where seemingly unrelated events can have you panicking that you'll pass out or feeling out of control. Each time you experience the thing you fear it cranks up the symptoms to get you to stop, so you aren’t in danger.
Anxiety gets a bad rap, but its intentions are good. That connection with the past and now can all happen within seconds. Suddenly your mind is racing, you are living in fear and nothing you do seems to help. So, you rethink, second guess yourself, worry, overthink in an attempt to figure it out. However, until you work with the subconscious mind to correct the imbalance of the unhelpful security guard you now have on 24hr watch the problem persists.
How anxiety affects you
Everyone identifies with anxiety in different ways. My own personal experience included overthinking, over planning to avoid potential risks/mistakes, second guessing myself and all my decisions I was making which led to a feeling of fear, exhaustion and finally panic attacks.
I never considered myself an anxious person, in fact, I avoided using that label, I didn't identify with it at all. I also knew I didn’t want to continue to feel like that for long. I found it hard as it limited my independence, something I’d always been passionate about. Ironically, the solution to overcoming your anxiety is to no longer focus on the things that scare you, because by focusing on the problem your anxiety is getting worse.
Anxiety manifests in many forms. It may stem in a real event(s) or an imagined event. Either way the mind feels it as real whether the event happened, or it was a perceived truth.
Further anticipation of such things only further exacerbates the issue and because you think considering all the worst case scenario’s will help you to be prepared if they were to happen you do it more, making the issue bigger.
I’ve heard people describe it differently;
I’m a bit of a worrier,
I have full-blown anxiety,
I’m a super planner,
I just can’t turn my mind off.
I like to be prepared, I can’t go to bed until everything is just so.
I’m sure you have a few of your own....
There are some common symptoms, and I’ll discuss them below, but It also resides in each of you differently. During consultations. I describe how anxiety affects you either in your behaviour, your thoughts, your feelings and motions or in physical sensations. Often 1-2 of these are more prominent however all 4 can be playing their part keeping you stuck. You maybe be aware of where the problem starts, or it may well be happening on a subconscious level from something that happened without your even realizing in earlier life.
Your habits can make you anxious. The best well-intentioned habit or avoidance of something that you fear can be the habit which is arguably keeping you too safe. Yet simultaneously in a perpetual state of fight or flight. Double-checking messages, social apps and talking about how you are or aren’t coping can all be habit’s which you think help, but is leading you one step closer to increasing your own anxiety. Not stopping, keeping busy, not resting is all adding to this.
Many clients keep themselves so busy they can’t hear what their thoughts are trying to communicate with them. If you give them time you can determine which thoughts help you and which are coming the over the top security guard who you didn't employ. Some find that constant noise, TV, radio or social media is a big enough distraction to occupy their minds but all it really does is delay the inevitable until bedtime. Yes, bedtime. The mind has time to tell you everything it was trying to tell you during the day. Some might say their thoughts spiral into a what if hole of despair whereas others find that voice gets louder, telling them all the worst things about themselves. That inner critic finally having a moment to be heard. Some clients have found that the voice isn’t even theirs. It’s a critical parent or a friend’s voice inside their head pointing out their mistakes. A racing mind is hard to escape no matter how much you cramp into your life. Working with it can help you to resolve your deepest fears.
Feelings and Emotions
Often we experience emotions which can be related to a specific event or time in our life. These emotions can continue to have an impact of us long after the memory fades. You may not even realize they continue to hold you back. When emotions are strong it can be natural to try and push them down or deal with them later however, this doesn’t lessen the impact. Whilst hypnosis can’t change memories it can help to release these feelings so that they no longer continue to be part of the problem. And just like a thought, a feeling can be evoked and felt regardless of whether it is experienced in real life or imagined. Being able to recognize both thoughts and feelings which are no longer helping you can be useful to overcome fear and anxiety. Finding the event is an important part, but you have to do something to release the issue from the root cause. Hypnosis helps you to address these times without reliving the event. Being able to release the feeling or emotion from the original event can help you to move forwards. If you don't find the root cause each time you try to overcome the fear or expose yourself to it without dealing with the feeling you can feel more and more anxious.
How you feel anxiety in your body or your mind can have an impact physically. Anxiety is often described as tingling or numbness in your hands or feet. It can cause you to feel dizzy and nauseous feeling like you’re going to pass out and lose control. Others feel it as heart palpitations which is why some confuse the symptoms as a heart attack. Sweaty hands, shaking legs and dry mouth can all be symptoms, some experience all of them and others find they are isolated to one or two.
The good news is however; you already have the skills to overcome anxiety. As an over thinker, you have practised being worried. You already have focused on something so intently that is happened. Up until now that part of your brain which has been focused on the threat has been conveniently ignoring all the signs that you were safe.
Hypnosis helps you to re-direct and look for the signs that life is better than it may appear. It still reacts when real danger is present but no longer alerts you to the tiny things that you only perceived to be a danger.
By using this part of your mind you can start to see and celebrate the signs and symptoms that you are doing well. And because you already know that you can make this change because you are either sick of talking to your friends and family about it or you have exhausted all possible logic to feeling better without success.
If you would like to know more about how you can live confidently and without a worry. To understand how hypnosis can be incredibly effective to help you to reduce your anxiety and give you the confidence to do the things that scare you.