Anxiety-illusions of fear

Anxiety is common.Very common.We will all at some point or another experience the sensation that we aren’t in control either of ourselves or our environment. The heart races,butterflies can be felt in the stomach,palms sweat,adrenalin starts to pump round our body as the flight mechanism in our subconscious is triggered, we may shake, feel dizzy, find breathing shallow or difficult, we can’t concentrate, our senses seem to be acutely aware of ‘a danger’ but we dont know what it is, or where it is, or if its even there at all. This overload can lead to feelings of panic if we can’t reign in our fear response or calm it to a manageable level. Living with anxiety can ruin a persons life for the very simple reason that anxiety can completely over whelm our ability to rationalize what we  experience and produce a state of almost perpetual fear in extreme cases.

Where stress can be described as our response to feeling overwhelmed by what is taking place in out lives, anxiety can be described as an irrational response to an event or situation that hasn’t happened yet (because we are premeditating something bad happening as a result of a past negative experience) or that isn’t happening at all (as a result of fearing a particular event may reccur without our knowledge or without our ability to be in control of it).

Anxiety is often triggered by an event that has traumatized us in someway. It doesn’t have to be a big event, or a life changing event, but it will be something that shook us enough to resign the experience to our conscious memory (or if its really traumatic to our subconscious memory) as something to be avoided at all costs in the future, because our sense of safety and security threatens us to our core. That wasp that flew at you when you were little and wouldn’t go away,then stung you. The angry neighbour you hear shouting all the time, puts you on edge when you pass them in the street- it reminds you of all the times you heard your parents screaming at each other as a child. The accident you had at school when everyone laughed at you, making you feel embarrassed . The time the boss put you down in front of your collegues, or your ex dumped you by text with no explanation. The car accident that left you so afraid you couldn’t leave the house. There is an endless list of events that can create anxiety. For most people, the anxiety is a transient emotion much like everything else, for others though, it becomes a fixed state of being, that controls their life.

Often this occurs because we feel powerless.We have lost our confidence in ourselves and others, our self esteem may be low, our ability to recover from these events or experiences is limited, by our sense of control. We feel we are atthe mercy or outside factors and don’t see that we are in fact the ones incontrol.

Building a persons sense of inner power by re-building lost confidence and self esteem is the first step to overcoming anxiety. Once a person feels more in control of them selves and their experiences, they naturally begin to fear less. By combining this with positive reinforcement of exposure to situations we can manage, and being aware of how we coped with them ,we can then apply that experience to situations where we feel anxious and slowly build up our self confidence, to manage our irrational responses more effectivley.

Often the subconcious needs support in this process which is where hypnosis can help. Hypnosis allows the subconscious to be accessed and for a ‘new programme’ to be established in place of the fear response.

Over a period of time we replace the message of fear and flight at the thought of a particular experience ,with a message of calm, control and self empowerment. We learn to feel the fear ,but remain in control of our response to it, rather than feel the fear and freak out. Overtime, you will realize that you ARE in control and you have THE RIGHT TO BE IN CONTROL.

I wanted to talk about this today as I have experienced anxiety myself. I have lived a significant part of my life controlled by the fear of ‘what if’. It meant lots of lost opportunities to live a fulfilling and meaningful life, it went hand in hand with depression, and created a place i no longer wanted to be. Hypnosis has helped me to turn that around. Do i get anxious still? yes at times, but it no longer overwhelms and runs away with me. It no longer leaves me petrified of moving, or trying new things, or talking to people i don’t know very well. I can sleep with the light off and don’t jump at every slightest noise, or creak in the house. I don’t feel the need to bend over backwards to please others in case something bad happens to me if I don’t. I can drive my car without feeling I’m going to be in a crash, and more significantly I’ve overcome my fear of being a passenger,so i can feel safe when others drive.

I like to think of fear as an initiator. When you can move through the experience of fear, of not being in control, to a place of empowerment, you discover you are far stronger than you gave yourself credit for. That you are more capable than you ever realized, and that fear is often a self imposed illusion, preventing us from moving forward to the life we deserve.

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