When anxiety hits, it influences your thoughts, actions, and you feel this stress in your body too. People who experience severe anxiety can literally be stopped in their tracks because of the overwhelming thoughts and physical symptoms that anxiety creates.
An example of this might be when you make a minor mistake at work. If your mind is healthy, you’ll understand that it’s just a mistake, it can be fixed and you can positively move forward not giving it much more thought.
Those that experience anxiety will blame themselves, the negative thoughts will start and then continue to persist, getting stronger and stronger. As these thoughts continue the body may begin to feel symptoms of stress such as jaw tightening, muscles clenching, heart racing etc, in preparation for us to fight or flight. If these symptoms continue we may find ourselves overly reactive or defensive in relationships and situations in life that trigger us.
The good news is that if you can start to improve in just one of these areas, you should start to feel better overall. For example, if you can start to generate more positive, calming thoughts, this will help the body calm down and create less anxious behaviours. Or, If you can consciously focus on your breathing and calm your body, the thoughts will calm down, as will your reactions.
Because these actions are often automatic reactions or safety behaviours learnt from past experiences, it’s almost impossible just to “calm down” when our body is in a fight/flight response. This is because the subconscious mind believes that it’s in danger and needs to get us out of there.
This is also where hypnotherapy can really help with anxiety-related issues. In hypnosis, we can reframe certain experiences and change unhelpful behaviours to create new, positive ways of behaving.
When we work in the state of hypnosis, we are connecting directly with the subconscious mind, creating new neural pathways making change easier. We can access those patterns of behaviour that keep us stuck in the anxiety loop or cycle of distress and then heal and reframe these patterns enabling us to create a better future for ourselves.
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