….because Anxiety doesn’t actually help you at all!!
The top independently rated therapists at Manchester Hypnotherapy specialise in anxiety treatment. They are highly experienced in helping you understand your anxiety and more importantly, overcoming it.
There are very few people who’ve never felt anxiety, stress or panic. So many things in life can cause anxiety and worry. Money, health, our family or friends, fear of meeting new people, are common worries. Fear of loss (of a job, a house, a relationship, of status) call all make you feel worried. Anxiety about making the wrong decision, fear of embarrassment or of what others think about us concern us hugely. Insecurity about relationships, worrying about making a mistake; fear of being physically or emotionally hurt – all these can cause you to feel anxious.
Anxiety and phobias
But anxiety, stress and panic don’t actually help you! They don’t change what happens. They just ensure you feel awful in the meantime. Often, anxiety means you are much LESS able to cope with what is happening. But you can learn to get rid of it and to cope better.
Panic, anxiety and stress – it’s all adrenalin
Anxiety – and sometimes panic – are what happen when your body senses threat, fear and danger. This is known as the “fight or flight response”. This is all explained lower donw. But fight or flight only really works for you if the danger is real, immediate, and physical. And most of the anxiety you feel is not about this. It’s about money, relationships, mistakes, jobs, health, or an argument you had. But your body – and brain – still responds the same way as if you’re really in danger!
Anxiety changes your body’s response
When you’re afraid, the body releases adrenalin. It does this to put you in the best possible position to survive the “threat”. Adrenalin makes everything go faster – your heart, your breathing, and even your thoughts. Adrenalin makes the body more responsive – quicker at running away (“flight”) or more able to protect yourself (“fight”). Other physical changes happen too. You become more aware of everything around you. Your senses are sharpened, so that you respond more to noise or to what you see. Muscles become tense. This is because the heart is pumping your blood around more quickly, providing oxygen to the muscles. You might feel light headed or dizzy too.
You might feel sick, have stomach ache or need the loo. These changes happen to help you survive the “threat” – you don’t run fast or fight well on a full stomach. So when they body feels that you may need to run or fight it tenses your muscles. It prepares to empty the stomach contents. In severe cases you might even actually be sick or need the toilet. Or it may just feel like “butterflies”. But it’s all part of your body’s response. Your body is trying to make you as safe as possible by putting you on the defensive and giving you the best chance of survival.
Evolution means we can ALL feel anxiety and stress
By running from a vicious animal or a falling tree, or fighting with an angry human or animal which they feared, our predecessors were more likely to survive to pass on their genes is why the trait still exists. If they didn’t feel fear and get that extra boost of adrenalin, they probably didn’t survive. There aren’t many people who get through life without feeling anxiety at some point. A little bit of fear and anxiety can even help you.
A little bit of anxiety is still good for us
Without it, we’d get ourselves into dangerous situations, because we wouldn’t understand there was danger. We need to be aware that actions have consequences. However, it’s easy to get into the habit of ALWAYS being aware of potential danger, and that things going wrong. This leads you to overthink and over analyze. You do this because you believe that this will prevent problems from happening and keep you secure. It’s very quick and easy to go beyond the “good” level of anxiety, which actually helps to keep you safe. You can very quickly get to the stage where it stops you from functioning properly.
Modern Anxiety and Panic are usually NOT about physical threat
Most modern day anxiety and stress has nothing to do with physical threat. But your body doesn’t recognise this! Unfortunately your body responds in the same way to troubling thoughts and worries as it does to physical danger. Anxiety and fear help you to survive physical threat. They boost adrenalin, helping you to think fast and to move quickly.
But most modern day stess is about other threats – financial, emotional, social, about your health or your career. The adrenalin produced when you are stressed makes your thoughts race, round and round. You feel the urge to just “think things through”. You want to get things straight in your head, or to work out how busy you’re going to be tomorrow and how you’ll tackle things. You go over what that conversation you just had meant. The thoughts sometimes seem to go faster and faster. It niggles you and you can’t seem to stop thinking about it. But you never seem to resolve it.
Thinking about things when you’re anxious….. just makes you more anxious
Thinking things through when you are anxious doesn’t seem to produce any positive result. Remember, your the brain interprets uncomfortable, worrying thoughts as threats. This leads to it producing adrenalin to “help” you. But panic, anxiety and stress simply makes life less pleasant; sometimes significantly. It makes relationships difficult, stops you concentrating at work, and affects your health. It stops you enjoying the things you should enjoy.
Anxiety and Panic are often just a bad habit.
We’re very good at developing habits. Think of brushing your teeth, sending a text, tying your laces, or even driving the car down a long straight road you know well. You don’t really need to pay full attention. It’s as if you’re on autopilot. The first time you did these things, chances are you really needed to concentrate. But the brain is lazy – it likes to take a short cut. It doesn’t want to have to re-invent the wheel every morning.
So, when we’ve been in a situation before, the brain tries to remember what we did the last time, so that it doesn’t have to work it out again from scratch. This is often helpful. But when the brain remembers that we have been anxious or felt panic in a situation before, it assumes that being anxious again will “help”. The brain is trying to give you an “edge”, which is what it thinks the adrenalin will do. This can cause a phobia to develop, as we come to automatically associate the feeling of fear and panic with flying, or dentists or driving or not being able to find a loo.
But because thoughts are not things you can escape from, the only function of the adrenalin is to make your thoughts race. This triggers further anxiety, in a vicious circle.
Anxiety treatment works because you learned to feel anxious – you can UNlearn it too
Hypnotherapy and hypnosis can help you to overcome anxiety, stress, and worry. Anxiety is a learnt response. You weren’t born anxious – ever seen a worried baby? No! You pick it up as you go along, being told to be careful, to watch out. That cars are dangerous (“Don’t run across the road!”), that other people are threats (“Don’t talk to strangers” “Don’t trust anyone”). That if we don’t work hard enough, and keep on top of things, we will fail in life (“if you don’t pass these exams you’ll never get a job”), that germs will make us ill or even kill us, that if we make a mistake it will be disastrous.
There are hundreds of thousands of examples. Of course, some planning, preparation and caution is good. A little bit of anxiety can spur you on to accomplish things in life, and to avoid very dangerous situations. But if you suffer from anxiety, the amount of worry and stress and fear you feel is disproportionate. Most people have a little bit of anxiety, and can cope with it. But if you really suffer with anxiety, then you feel overwhelmed by worry, uncertainty, fear and apprehension. You are thinking all the time, about everything, and everyone. It feels very hard, if not impossible, to switch off your thoughts.
Too much anxiety is negative
The only effects of too much anxiety are negative. Not enjoying yourself, unpleasant thoughts, physical sensations, not being able to focus, being unable to do what you set out to… So it makes perfect sense to unlearn being too anxious. Sometimes we misunderstand what is truly dangerous – just because it “feels” risky.
Flying is a good example of this. But people can become overly anxious about anything. You name it, someone somewhere will be anxious about it. And someone else, somewhere else, will just love that thing. Spiders, cats, flying, buttons, heights – for some these things are terrifying, for others a real passion. Whilst many things may trigger your anxiety, it is up to how you choose to respond to that trigger. Hypnotherapy, hypnosis and relaxation techniques are straightforward, common sense ways of learning to let go and overcoming anxiety. There’s a huge amount of clinical evidence for their effectiveness.
Hypnosis in Manchester to stop anxiety
Put simply, hypnosis teaches you to relax and let go. Not of what’s important – it doesn’t stop you from thinking; but it does stop you from over-thinking, over-planning, over-analyzing those things that you can’t control, or predict, or change. Remember that worrying doesn’t actually change anything. The things you fear aren’t prevented because you worry about them. The things you hope for aren’t more likely to happen because you worry about them not happening! So it makes sense to learn to let go of worrying.
Once you’ve taken whatever practical steps you can to change things or to make plans, then hypnotherapy trains your mind to let go of further thoughts. First you learn to relax physically. This prevents the body from producing adrenalin. Then your thoughts will slow down; over time, you will be able to think more clearly and realistically about the things which worry you. Also, you are more susceptible to suggestions about how to change your thinking, when you are in the very relaxed state of hypnosis.
Anxiety Symptoms and Panic Attacks
The short term effects of anxiety can include upset stomach, feeling exhausted, headaches/migraines, and difficulty sleeping. You may lose your appetite, increase consumption of alcohol, cigarettes and proscribed drugs. You might suffer aching neck and shoulders, palpitations, dry mouth, sweating and feeling physically sick or needing the toilet. Longer term problems include an increased propensity to heart problems, cancers and strokes due to suppression of the immune system.
Sleeping patterns and fertility are often affected. Restless Leg Syndrome, tinnitus and IBS are made much worse by stress. Around half of IBS – Irritable Bowel Syndrome – cases are thought to be caused by stress. The vast majority of sufferers of IBS report that their symptoms get worse when they suffer stress.
Stress at Work
To add to this unhappy list, stress at work is worsened because your lack of ability to concentrate, or your feelings of disinterest, make you unable to do your job to your full ability. Worrying about making mistakes adds to the feelings of stress, anxiety and worry. When you suffer stress at work, this may also have a knock-on effect on those working with you, causing them to experience anxiety, too. Anxiety often causes insomnia too as many people with stress, anxiety and panic start to worry at night. This leads to insomnia and sleep problems. You then add this to the list of things you worry about.
Stress management Techniques
Learning techniques for stress management, whilst in hypnosis, significantly lessens both short and long term risks associated with stress and anxiety. You will learn to let go, and to get away from the vicious circle of anxious thoughts.
The physical symptoms of Stress, Panic and Anxiety
Click onto this link for a list of the physical effects of anxiety and panic
These symptoms are often more severe when you have a panic attack
Any or all of the symptoms of anxiety may be experienced during a panic attack. Sometimes you can interpret these very unpleasant sensations as being a sign of serious physical illness, particularly heart attack. This in turn worsens the anxiety, making a vicious circle. Your panic attack symptoms, like all other forms of anxiety, can be significantly improved by hypnotherapy and relaxation.
Around one in five of us will suffer with depression during our lives. Depression is far more than occasionally just feeling low, fed up or sad. It’s important to distinguish clinical depression from normal mood changes, which everyone experiences. Depression is a constant state of mind which affects you for weeks, months or perhaps years, and many physical and psychological problems accompany it. You may feel hopeless, or that the depression will never stop, or that you have never been happy.
You feel as if you have nothing to look forward to. Perhaps you can no longer enjoy daily life – even those thing which you used to love doing. You feel tired all the time – yet when you go to bed you can’t sleep. You can’t just “pull yourself together”. Anyone who says this to you has never experienced depression.
Causes of Depression
The causes are not fully understood. But they are widely believed to be a combination of genetics and social factors. These include childhood experiences and the way those around us reacted to those experiences. Reaction to life events such as bereavement, redundancy, or divorce can also be causes.
Whilst feelings of sadness in response to life events is something we all experience, if it is severe or prolonged then you may be depressed.
Symptoms of depression
These include fatigue and difficulty sleeping. Perhaps you wake early and can’t get back to sleep. Or you might not being able to get to sleep when you go to bed You might also notice lack of enthusiasm, weight loss, loss of interest in food, (although some sufferers overeat or resort to binge eating instead). Feelings of lethargy, preoccupation with your own behaviour and excessive guilt, low self esteem, and self-consciousness, are common symptoms. You may be pessimistic, unable to make decisions, and lose interest in sex.
Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy at Manchester Hypnotherapy
Depression, stress and anxiety are not merely responses to things which happen. They depend on your view of the world and your beliefs about your future. It is easy to think that stress and anxiety are just unavoidable responses to certain things which happen to us in life. Or perhaps you tell yourself that it’s just the way you were made.
However this is true only to a degree. Hypnotherapy can’t of course change the events which happen to you. But it is very successful in re-shaping your views and beliefs This in turn will enable you to change how you react to those events, and how you feel about them.
Replace the negative thoughts
Once a full history has been taken, the most appropriate techniques within hypnotherapy and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy will be identified. Going into hypnosis will help you easily, and with minimum effort, get rid of negative, unrealistic, fearful, uncertain thoughts. You can then replace them with more positive, appropriate and rational ones.
Whilst in hypnosis you will imagine yourself in those situations which you have found very stressful or which trigger your feelings of anxiety and depression, whilst at the same time practising relaxation and breathing techniques. During hypnotherapy you will also imagine responding in new and different ways to situations which have previously troubled you, and by doing so, overcoming anxiety. You will be encouraged to practice new, positive ways of thinking using self hypnosis in order to combat panic, stress and anxiety.
What about medication?
Modern antidepressants have far fewer side effects than older generation drugs. You may not be aware that modern antidepressants – SSRIs such as Prozac (Fluoxetine) and Citalopram (Cipramil) – also deal with symptoms of anxiety. These medications do not need to be taken indefinitely. Unlike older drugs which help anxiety these drugs do not have possible side effects of making you drowsy or unable to copy with everyday tasks.
Relaxation techniques, hypnosis and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) are the most studied forms of therapy for both anxiety and depression and have repeatedly been shown to be effective in their treatment. But if you feel that your anxiety is completely overwhelming, and you really cannot think about anything else, you should speak to your GP. Discuss the possibility of medication to get over the worst of your symptoms. This will get you to the stage where you can make the most of CBT, hypnosis and relaxation techniques.
Anxiety treatment in Manchester
The therapists at this south Manchester hypnotherapy clinic are the UK’s top independently rated hypnotherapists. They specialise in anxiety and phobia treatment. If you are looking for anxiety treatmentin Manchester, for help with claustrophobia, emotional problems such as jealousy and insecurity, then just give us a call.
Manchester Hypnotherapy – Hypnosis and hypnotherapy in Didsbury, Manchester. Convenient for Chorlton, Gatley, Cheadle, Stockport, Altrincham, Hale and all areas of south and central Manchester. Click here for further details ofhow to find us