Everyone has anxiety sometimes

How often do you feel anxiety ... Once a year, a few times a year, once a month, once a week, 2 or 3 times a week, every day ... and where on this scale would you like to be?

Everyone has anxiety sometimes. The difference is that some people only have fleeting moments of anxiety, maybe once a year … while others have anxiety feelings almost every day. For many people, living with anxiety is so normal to them that they do not realise that it is quite possible to live life with little or no anxiety.

The big question is: Has your stress and anxiety reached a stage where you want to do something about it? Knowing that you could reduce your anxiety levels and get back in control of yourself, would you actually want to do that? What would your life be like when the anxiety is gone.

This is not a simple question to answer, because if you do want to do something about it, you need to put some effort in – and there are no miracle cures – it doesn’t change overnight. I tell my clients, “You have spent years training your brain to be anxious, and now it is very good at it. It will not change overnight – but in a few weeks you can make significant changes, once you have decided to put the effort in.”

Infographic: Majority of UK Adults Have Experienced Mental Health Issues | Statista

So, if you have decided that you want to lead a less anxiety-filled life, what can you do about it? There are basically three main avenues that you can pursue:

Self-help – there are lots of things that you can do to help yourself, including exercise, mindfulness, taking a positive outlook on life and so on.
Medication – if you go to your doctor, you may well be prescribed medication to help reduce the anxiety – although the modern trend seems to be to start with therapy first.
Therapy – there are many types of therapy – hypnotherapy, cognitive behavioural therapy, emotional freedom technique, cuddle therapy and the like.

I help people who want to reduce their anxiety levels using hypnotherapy. In particular, I concentrate on solution-focused hypnotherapy, which looks at what my clients want to achieve rather than digging up their past. I find that typically within 5 to 10 sessions (see note below), my clients have significantly regained control of themselves and are able to live their lives without the symptoms of the anxiety they used to suffer from.

Contact me if you want a chat about your anxiety, and what your want to do. If you want hypnotherapy sessions, I work face-to-face out of my clinic in Fleet, Hampshire, and I also work with clients over Zoom.


Note

I cannot guarantee success in 5 to 10 sessions – some clients take less than 5 and others take more than 10 – but 5 to 10 is about average.

An Overview of Anxiety and Stress

There are loads of people who suffer from stress and anxiety, especially in these uncertain times.  Today, I want to tell you something about it.

Anxiety comes from a primitive part of your brain deep in the limbic system that seems to have a mind of its own. You can’t just say to it, “Today I not going to be anxious or stressed”. It’s not a question of will-power, because that primitive part of your brain won’t listen – It will stress you out anyway.

This primitive part of the brain is designed to protect you from sabre-toothed tigers when you are out hunting or gathering. It makes you on edge and gets your body ready to run the moment a sabre-toothed tiger appears.

So when something happens that makes you upset or angry or even just a bit down, this primitive part of the brain thinks, “Maybe there’s a sabre-toothed tiger around.” And it makes you anxious so that you’ll look out to see where the danger is, and it will get your body ready to run.

Sometimes, the primitive part of the brain gets a bit ahead of itself, and makes you anxious when there’s no reason to be. It can learn to get really good at getting you anxious when there’s nothing there.

The other thing that happens is that all the stresses in your life build up. It’s like you’ve got a bucket in your brain that all your stresses go into, and it’s filling up. Now, when you’re asleep, when you’re dreaming, your brain starts to sort through the bucket and empty it. The problem occurs when you’re filling it up faster than you can empty it.

So you’ve got two problems. One is that the brain has learnt to make you anxious when you don’t need to be, and the second is that you have a bucket full of stress that’s filling up too fast.

Okay … so what do you do about it?

My job is to help people with stress and anxiety in all its forms. I use hypnotherapy to help them learn new non-anxious patterns and also empty their bucket of stress faster than they can fill it up. But what can you do on your own?

Firstly, you can learn to be calm and have that sense of well-being: The key thing here is to practice being positive. You may only manage it for a few seconds to start with, but with regular practice you will build it up. Think about the positive things in your life. Interact with people in a positive way, and do something positive – even if it just doing the washing up. Take a few seconds to acknowledge that you have done something positive.

Gradually, over time, you will find that your brain gets used to being positive, and the anxiety diminishes.

Then you have that bucket full of stress that needs emptying. This is done quite naturally during sleep, so … don’t cut yourself short of sleep. You can empty even more of your bucket by doing things like meditation and mindfulness, or simply doing something that gets you totally absorbed – getting immersed in a good film, or a video game or a sport where you can just switch off and focus totally on something you really enjoy. When you do these things, your mind goes into a light trance and your brain can start sorting out that stress bucket in the background.

Hypnotherapy can speed things up a lot, but you can tackle it yourself. Whatever you choose to do … I wish you all the best.

Photo by Keyur Nandaniya on Unsplash

Pandemic Worries? Pandemic Stress?

Are you one of the many who are stressed by the pandemic? The Health Foundation reported, as early as June this year, that 69% of UK adults are feeling somewhat or very worried about the impact of COVID-19 on their lives. The World Health Organisation (WHO) are concerned about a potential mental health crisis with substantial increases in depression, anxiety and insomnia being reported throughout the world.

Worries about catching the virus, worries about the future of their jobs, worries about their children and family, increasing loneliness through isolation, worries about going back to school or work, anger at other people’s behaviour … these are just some of the mental health issues that the world is facing. And they are magnifying other underlying anxieties, depression and other mental health issues

By June this year, mental health had worsened by a staggering 8.1% since the beginning of the pandemic, and this in a time when access to mental health services has reduced.

The NHS has also recognised the issues of increased mental health issues, and has published their “COVID-19 anxiety tips”. When you analyse these 10 tips, you will see that they are all focused on the three P’s – Positive interaction with other people, Positive action through meaningful activities, and Positive thinking.

Hypnotherapy is a great way of helping you reduce your anxiety levels. Bad things (such as COVID-19) happen in the world, and hypnotherapy can never stop that, but it can help you cope with it better. Hypnotherapy can help you forge new neural pathways in your brain that help you reduce anxiety and cope better with everything that life throws at you.

In my practice, I use solution focused hypnotherapy, which looks at finding solutions rather than digging up the past – solutions that are unique to you, not simply generic tips. Following the NHS generic tips on coping with anxiety will be a great help for many people, and is a really good place to start. However, if you want to do more and find solutions that are unique to you, give me a call.

Tim Maude Hypnotherapy

07730 315503

Acknowledgements

Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash