It is believed that more than 1 in 10 people will experience a significant anxiety disorder at some time in their lives in the UK, according to Anxiety UK.
Anxiety disorders are common. Anxiety differs from stress, which is usually related to something external e.g. a job, or perhaps a relationship. Anxiety however is experienced internally, it is similar to fear or a feeling of dread. It’s a natural response to a perceived fearful or stressful situation.
However, an anxiety disorder can develop when that fear begins to interfere with normal life or if it appears without a cause. Anxiety disorders can develop as a general feeling of anxiety not related to anything particular or it may be a specific anxiety, such as social anxiety.
Why Are We Anxious?
Early man responded to danger (such as a predator) by running, fighting or by freezing on the spot in response to any threat, sending blood and oxygen to our muscles and heart and releasing hormones to support this. This results in us having physical responses that we have no control over. If we are anxious we may experience:
Even though we may no longer face this early threat of being eaten by a predator, we will experience an array of perceived threats. Anxiety sufferers may continually endure this automatic response, through simply just thinking about the day ahead. This leads to a feeling of exhaustion and an elevated fear of what’s coming next, which becomes a cycle that’s hard to break. As anxiety levels rise, our trigger point rises too, meaning the most minor event can cause feelings of deep anxiety.
Anxiety can have a huge impact on our daily lives, making us not want to attend social situations, making us feel nervous and shy, or make us fear public places. It can affect our emotions, making us more susceptible to cry or feel irritable or affect our decision making. Anxiety can lead to OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) or phobias or sufferers developing panic attacks, which can occur without warning, although these can be very frightening they are NOT dangerous.
Today people are looking for hypnotherapy for anxiety. It is an effective tool that doesn’t require drugs or have any side effects. It enables people to cope with symptoms and lessen the severity and number of panic attacks. As a Cognitive Hypnotherapist I will teach you self-hypnosis for relaxation and stress relief and techniques to help you cope with anxiety.
As we have discussed, anxiety is our automatic response to perceived difficult situations, the way we react is controlled by our unconscious mind. (It is thought that 90% of our behaviour is controlled by the unconscious mind) By using hypnosis to make positive suggestions to the unconscious mind, making us feel more confident and in control, we can reframe these automatic thoughts, meaning we can change our response. Over time these neural pathways deepen. This changed response, means that the brain’s automatic pathway changes too, so that once situations that we would find difficult don’t have the same impact on us.
Hypnosis for social anxiety is also a powerful tool, as it can help the sufferer to not feel overwhelmed by a social situation. It allows them to override feelings of self-doubt and self-consciousness by offering them the opportunity of experiencing situations without the usual feelings that social anxiety normally brings. Hypnosis helps to change this response by reprogramming the unconscious mind.