What is Anxiety
There’s hardly a week goes past without someone tells me they’ve suffered from anxiety for at least a part of their life. Not surprising you might think as I am a hypnotherapist who specialises in anxiety issues. What is surprising though is that it’s not just people coming to see me for therapy who tell me, it’s people I meet in every day life…. at the gym, on nights out…. A woman even shared her story with me in the local supermarket this week! . When they hear what I do for a living they very often tell me about their experiences. Like me, these people very often didn’t realise they suffered from anxiety at the time. It’s only years later looking back that the name anxiety has been added. My own experience was that I never told anyone about how I felt. I thought it was just me…. a wee bit weird and not very likeable… at least that’s what I thought when I was young. I now look back recognising I was experiencing anxiety and it held me back for a long time before I got help.
Who suffers from anxiety?
Another surprising thing is who these people are. They don’t meet the stereotypical picture we have of someone suffering from anxiety. They’re people who have experienced anxiety, got help and overcame it and learned how to manage any symptoms that pop up in the lives. The truth is that there’s no ‘look’ for someone experiencing anxiety. It can become a problem for ANYONE, male or female, young or old, rich or poor. The vast majority of the people who have shared this with me are now successfully in control of anxiety and are getting on with their jobs, their own businesses, happy relationships or whatever they now choose to do without anxiety.
What is Anxiety?
So what is anxiety? Anxiety and fear are part of our natural built-in survival system. Every single one of us experiences anxiety at some time. Anxiety is our natural response to a perceived dangerous or stressful situation. Without anxiety we would not run away when we are in danger. When anxiety is controlled it is useful to us.
However, when anxiety is not well controlled it can ruin our life. Most people are aware of the usual symptoms to describe anxiety, e.g. heart thumping faster, breathing shallower. My experience with clients has led me to include a whole lot more descriptions of anxiety. The following are just a few from real clients:
“This feeling in my head as if my head is going to explode”
“I get this horrible feeling in stomach, it feels like i’m starving but when I eat something it doesn’t go away”
“My whole body feels as if it’s tingling and I feel sick to the pit of my stomach”
“I feel as if my power drains and I’m going to faint…. I don’t faint but I feel as if i’m going to”
“that horrible feeling, it’s hard to describe, it feels heavy and dark in my stomach”
“my head feels as if something’s going round and round and I can’t get it to stop”
“my legs feel so heavy as if I can only drag them along with me”
“I can’t stop myself thinking the worst…. I lie imagining the absolute most horrible things that could happen to me and my family and I feel myself getting more and more anxious…but I can’t stop it”
The most surprising thing for me in this is how common anxiety is and how people don’t realise they’re suffering from anxiety as it doesn’t meet the classic descriptions that they are familiar with. I think the word anxiety is actually not very helpful at all because of that as it covers so many different experiences for people and can stop them from recognising that they are in fact experiencing it.
Impact of Anxiety:
Anxiety impacts on people in very different ways. Some people don’t live their life to the full because of it….. like not putting in for that promotion because you can’t bear the thought of being rejected….. like not going to a party because you’re scared people don’t like you…. like not leaving a relationship because you’re scared you won’t find anyone else. I could go on and on. For others it is so extreme that they are not leaving their homes and completely limiting their lives as they are not able to work, have hobbies, pay their bills, meet friends or meet a partner.
Anxiety doesn’t just make people feel bad either. It can lead to the person drinking too much, binge eating or taking drugs to help them cope. It can cause them to develop depression and other mental health issues. One of the biggest effects is also that it can totally isolate a person from their community as they avoid going out and taking part in life.
Anxiety and Hypnotherapy:
Hypnotherapy can be very effective in helping people take control of anxiety. I know this because of my training and also because I’ve experienced so many people making changes and getting back in control. I’ve seen people start off upset and not coping at all and then see them transform into the people they were meant to be.
Hypnotherapy is a natural focused state of relaxation. It’s safe and nearly every client I see tells me they’re surprised at how much they actually enjoyed the experience. If you want to find out more please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Don’t let anxiety stop you living the life you were meant to live.