What is Anxiety?
Anxiety is something that we will all experience at some moments in our lives. Most people if not all have experienced feelings of worry or fear leading up to certain situations.
These may include sitting exams, public speaking, moving house and even your wedding day. Any moment that involves a big decision or may have long lasting and important impact on your life.
During these times, you may experience some restlessness, loss of appetite or trouble sleeping, often these symptoms pass once the event is over. This would be considered a normal response to such situations.
A Bigger Problem…
However, if the worry begins to cause you problems beyond what most people experience in the same situation and limits your ability to live your life fully or achieve the results you need Cognitive Hypnotherapy may be able to help.
Some people may experience more severe anxiety and panic in a way that becomes debilitating, suddenly they don’t feel able to live their life in a normal way.
The worrying seems to be constant and impacting every day normal occurrences. You may begin to experience anxiety symptoms more often or even experience panic attacks.
Whenever we experience anxiety of panic this is your body’s natural defence system kicking in as it responds to the feeling of fear, which is an indicator to your unconscious that there is some sort of threat on the horizon.
This is the fight flight or freeze response.
This is a natural aspect of our minds desire to survive. In a moment of threat changes in the body occur for us to be able to respond to threat.
In the good old days of living in caves and with very real and physical threats to our existence, our bodies would need to be prepared to fight, flee or freeze depending on what would be the best means of survival, given the physical threat.
Today it is usually only in our worst nightmares that we would experience physical threats such as coming under attack from a sabre-toothed tiger.
Threats today tend to be of a more mental, emotional or social nature. However, our minds still respond to those kinds of threats in the same way as they still link to our instinct to survive.
For example: If we don’t feel accepted or loved we may be excluded from the tribe and our success or survival becomes weakened. Despite the non-physical aspect of the threat we still experience these same symptoms.
How can Cognitive Hypnotherapy help?
The trigger for your anxiety or panic attacks may be something you are aware of – something you know is connected to an experience or series of events. You may be experiencing symptoms of anxiety or panic and not actually know why and that’s not uncommon.
It may be reassuring to know that If you are suffering from anxiety or panic you are not as alone in issue as you might think – I too have experience both anxiety and panic attacks.
Many people experience anxiety or panic at some point in your life and there is no red flag pointing them out on the tube or at work or in your social circle. In the same way that many people may have no clue of your problem, equally there will be people around you experiencing anxiety that you don’t know about either.
Getting to the root of the problem
Cognitive Hypnotherapy can help you get to the bottom of what is causing your anxiety. We can help to re-frame or restructure any events or beliefs that are the root of the problem.
Anxiety can be something that escalates, so each time you experience anxiety or panic the mind attaches new things to the original issue, as things to be anxious about or panic over.
So, if your first moment of anxiety included feeling hot or your heart racing more quickly. Your mind may start to place your body into fight, flight or freeze response in an everyday situation just because you are getting hot or your heart beat got a bit quicker, even though there is no threat.
Cognitive Hypnotherapy can help to neutralise those triggers and give you tools and tricks to manage your experiences, whilst we deal with the underlying causes.
There are many things that Cognitive Hypnotherapy can provide to help you feel normal again and get a sense of control over your life.
Symptoms of Anxiety
Feeling sick faster breathing
Sweating or hot flushes
Racing, thumping or irregular heart beat
Feeling light headed or dizzy
Tense muscles and headaches
Pins and needles
Raised blood pressure
Needing the toilet more frequently, or less frequently
Churning in the pit of your stomach
Experiencing panic attacks
When people experience a panic attack this is an exaggerated response to fear or worry. This can include feeling faint, tightness or pain in the chest, feeling that you are having a heart attack or you are going die, feeling that you can’t breathe, shaky limbs or jelly like legs, feeling as though you are losing control, or that you are disconnected from your body.
Find out how Cognitive Hypnotherapy can help you overcome anxiety and panic
Three simple steps to reduce Anxiety and Panic.
1. Sip Water
When we experience anxiety or panic and the fight, flight or freeze response kicks in one of the symptoms may be a dry mouth. By keeping your mouth moist you essentially convince your unconscious that you are not under threat.
2. Use Peripheral Vision
What happens to your focus when you are walking down a dark road and you think you see something stirring in a dark corner or behind a dustbin? Your vision becomes entirely focused on the potential threat.
However, when we are not under threat our vision takes in the whole scene, this is peripheral vision – try it now. Look out ahead of you but rather than looking at what is in front of you try to take in as much of the space as possible the very edges of your vision: above, below, left and right – without moving your head or your eyes.
3. 7 – 11 Breathing
Often when we experience anxiety or panic our breathing becomes shallow and fast or we may feel we can’t breathe. 7 – 11 breathing is a ratio that helps to calm the body through your breathing.
Play the video of the triangle and follow the ball as goes along each side of the triangle. Now breath in for as long as it rolls along one side and breath out for as long as it rolls along two sides. Keep doing this until you feel more relaxed. This is a good ratio for this breathing technique.