Stress is a feeling that we get when struggling to cope with the pressures of life. It can affect people in different ways. What may be stressful for one person may not be for another. Difficult life events or situations can cause a lot of stress. You might feel stressed if you don’t have confidence in your own ability to cope. Stress is a commonly experienced problem. You are likely to know others who have been in a similar situation. There is no need to feel embarrassed or concerned about stress. Stress is not harmful in itself. You are not weak because you struggle with it.
Stress over a long period of time can, however, make us more vulnerable to health problems. Physical feelings are experienced when your body reacts to stress, fear or anxiety. These symptoms are often referred to as the ‘fight or flight’ response. This reaction quickly and helpfully prepares the body for action. It prepares us to either protect against or escape danger.
In the past such a reaction would have offered us some protection. Preparing us to react quickly in case of predators, and aiding survival as we hunted and gathered food. These days we do not depend so much upon running or fighting as we negotiate difficult circumstances. The symptoms described above are therefore less helpful.
They may even end up being quite confusing. The mind cannot distinguish between real and inappropriate danger. When you are afraid, the body releases adrenalin. It does this to put you in the best possible position to survive the “threat”. It is simply our bodies’ way of preparing for action (i.e. to fight danger or run away from it as fast as possible). It is our subconscious mind that this responsible for survival. It creates these feelings through a complex network of either arousing and inhabiting neurotransmitters in our brains that either excites or calms us.
Threats like money problems, difficulties at work, unhelpful staff or rude drivers do not require such an extreme physical reaction. These symptoms are not dangerous in themselves. In many ways it is a useful response, but at the wrong time. We need not fear the fight or flight reaction. It is our body’s healthy protection system. Understanding this can help you to manage the physical symptoms. You need not worry about them or feel that you need to respond or react. You can allow them to pass, as they will do quite quickly.
The brain is lazy – it likes to take a short cut. It doesn’t want to have to try to remember how we do our everyday tasks. So when we’ve been in a situation before, the brain tries to remember what we did the last time, We tend to avoid situations that make us uncomfortable or anxious but this creates more stress, and when faced with the situation such as a phobia we panic. Once we learn an associate a situation or feeling with anxiety it tends to stick, unless we challenge it.
Habits can turn into phobias as the body and mind has created an association of how to react in the next situation.
People with anxiety tend to have a thinking style that lends itself to experiencing more anxiety. For example, anxious people have a tendency to expect that the worst possible scenario will always occur. They also feel like they must constantly be on guard in case something bad happens. They believe that by thinking about all the things that could go wrong, they will be better prepared to cope if it happens. However thinking in these ways mean they are on regular alert and find it difficult to relax and ‘switch off’. The adrenalin produced when you are stressed makes your thoughts race.
These worries or thoughts breed more anxiety because the brain interprets these uncomfortable worrying thoughts as a threat. Worrying doesn’t actually change anything. The things you fear aren’t prevented because you worry about them.
Hypnotherapy is an excellent treatment for dealing with anxiety, because anxious thoughts and feelings originate in the mind. I work with Generalised Anxiety Disorders, Panic Disorders, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, Performance Anxiety and Social and Specific Phobias. This is an area I specialise in. Free of anxiety, your world will seem to be a brighter place. Increasing happiness will lead to greater success in your relationships, your career, your life… Other benefits can include a better immune system. Also, you can look forward to less shyness as your confidence levels increase, and no longer live in fear.
Self-hypnosis is also an important tool that we will teach you and give you sound files to help, by teaching yourself the new response and how to deal with your anxiety this allows you to be in control and to stop any future on sets of worry, stress and anxiety.
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