Anxiety is a normal but sometimes unpleasant part of life. We need to be concerned or alerted when there is real or imminent danger but when our imagination is overactive with negative thoughts and feelings, anxiety can persist as a background state which limits our energy and potential to enjoy life.
One vital thing to realise, about anxiety, is that it has existed as a physical and psychological state since our cave-man ancestors. As a survival mechanism, our “fight or flight” response, which activates below the level of conscious thought, enabled our ancestors to overcome or escape very real dangers. However, in today’s world, full of mainly psychological rather than physical stressors, this mechanism can be often wrongly and inappropriately activated in everyday situations when stress has built up throughout the day. Some major stressors such as divorce, moving house, undergoing surgery or the loss of a loved one may also create higher levels of anxiety than seem bearable.
Anxiety can also become a habitual way of being which may have been triggered by major life events in the past which have either traumatised us or led us to develop a negative view of ourselves or the world around us.
“When I first came to see you I felt anxious on waking most mornings and habitually slept through the morning in an attempt to hide from the day and myself. However, at present, it is 9.00 on a Monday morning and I am up, busy, happy and positively looking forward to the tasks of the day and week ahead of me.” Miss K. Davies
Symptoms of anxiety
People often experience physical, psychological and behavioural symptoms when they feel anxious or stressed.
Some of the most common physical symptoms of anxiety are:
- Increased heart rate
- Increased muscle tension
- Tingling in the hands and feet
- Hyperventilation (over breathing)
- Difficulty in breathing
- Wanting to use the toilet more often
- Feeling sick
- Tight band across the chest area
- Tension headaches
- Hot flushes
- Increased perspiration
- Dry mouth
- Choking sensations
"Although I was sceptical regarding hypnotherapy, based on a friend's positive experience I decided to give it a go. Daniel has helped me enormously with my anxiety. I would fully recommend him."
Some of the most common psychological symptoms (the thoughts or altered perceptions we have) of anxiety are:
- Thinking that you may lose control and/or go “mad”
- Thinking that you might die
- Thinking that you may have a heart attack/be sick/faint/have a brain tumour
- Feeling that people are looking at you and observing your anxiety
- Feeling as though things are speeding up/slowing down
- Feeling detached from your environment and the people in it
- Feeling like wanting to run away/escape from the situation
- Feeling on edge and alert to everything around you (1)
N.B. If you have any of these symptoms it is advisable to rule out any physical cause which could be creating them, so do consult your G.P.
If you’re experiencing heightened levels of anxiety, unfortunately you’re not alone. According to the UK Office of National Statistics, 1 in 6 adults suffer from such difficulties.
Managing anxiety in an imperfect and often stressful world is possible with improved diet – many foods such as caffeine, sugar or alcohol can stress the body which could trigger an episode of anxiety – increasing physical activity, meditating to calm the mind and body or simple positive activities such as reading or spending time with a good friend.
“After having sleeping problems and anxiety at night for years, a couple of sessions with Daniel has helped me no end and I'm now no longer anxious at night time and sleeping better than I ever have been. Thank you!” Charlotte
Hypnotherapy for Anxiety
Hypnotherapy can help reduce anxiety by seeking out the root cause and processing the psychological material and/or helping develop coping mechanisms for the possible triggers or during times of high stress. Research has shown a considerable amount of positive results for hypnotherapy and a variety of anxiety disorders and situations including medical procedures (2), test anxiety (3) and Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) (4).
Learning self-hypnosis to manage anxiety is also a helpful approach as the individual can apply what they have learnt within the sessions and build upon this towards developing a more relaxed state of mind.
Hypnotherapy for Anxiety In Bath and Salisbury
Hypnotherapy for Anxiety In Bath and Salisbury
If you are in need of reducing the level of anxiety in your life please do get in touch so that you can see how hypnosis can change the way you feel about yourself and the world around you.
1. Information from www.anxiety.org.uk
2. Hypnosis to Manage Anxiety and Pain Associated with Colonoscopy for Colorectal Cancer Screening: Case Studies and Possible Benefits Gary Elkins, Joseph White, Parita Patel, Joel Marcus, Michelle M. Perfect 1 2, and Guy H. Montgomery International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis Vol. 54 , Iss. 4, 2006
Hypnosis Reduces Preoperative Anxiety in Adult Patients
Saadat, Haleh MD; Drummond-Lewis, Jacqueline MD; Maranets, Inna MD; Kaplan, Deborah; Saadat, Anusha; Wang, Shu-Ming MD; Kain, Zeev N. MD
Anesthesia & Analgesia May 2006 - Volume 102 - Issue 5 - pp 1394-1396
"A controlled trial on the effect of hypnosis on dental anxiety in tooth removal patients." Glaesmer, Heide, Hendrik Geupel, and Rainer Haak. Patient education and counseling 98.9 (2015): 1112-1115.
3 . Hypnotherapy and test anxiety: Two cognitive-behavioral constructs: The effects of hypnosis in reducing test anxiety and improving academic achievement in college students Sapp, Marty Australian Journal of Clinical Hypnotherapy and Hypnosis, Vol 12(1), Mar 1991, 25-31.
A systematic review and meta‐analysis of randomised controlled trials evaluating the effect of hypnosis on exam anxiety Baker, Jennifer, et al. Effective Education 1.1 (2009): 27-41.
4. Investigation of the Effectiveness of Hypnotherapy on Generalized Anxiety Disorder Tajeri, Biouk, and Samad Valizadeh Jahanshahi International Journal of Psychology and Behavioral Research. Vol., 4(2), 245-249 , 2015
The efficiency of ericksonian hypnosis in diminishing stress and procrastination in patients with generalized anxiety disorder Craciun, B., I. Holdevici, and A. Craciun European Psychiatry 27 (2012): 1.