The experience of anxiety can be bewildering. We wonder ‘what is happening’ and hope it just goes away. Sometimes it does. Everyone goes through stressful spells in life.
Unfortunately, anxiety can sometimes take over our lives. We feel trapped and unsure; our comfort zone shrinks and we can’t see an end to it. This is when we need to try something different.
Since 2005, I’ve helped many people in Manchester rid themselves of anxiety. Read on to find out how I can help.
What is Anxiety?
Anxiety is a fearful response to an imagined threat. Compare these two scenarios:
• You’re driving along the motorway and your tire bursts. In this scenario, fear is a helpful response – you’re in a dangerous situation and need to react quickly.
• You’re driving along the motorway and, for no obvious reason, you’re feeling panicky and upset.This fear is unhelpful: there is no immediate danger, and the anxiety is impairing your ability to drive.
This difference between a concrete threat and an imagined one is the essence of anxiety. However, although the danger is imagined rather than real, we still feel fearful because of the body’s ‘fight or flight’ response. This response, which dates back to our ‘caveman’ days, is helpful in dangerous situations. Unfortunately, it is not useful when giving presentations, taking exams, or meeting new people.
And this is why anxiety needs to be resolved – it is an unnecessary fear that holds us back.
What does anxiety feel like?
The fight or flight response readies your body to escape from danger.
We start to breathe faster, increasing our oxygen intake. Our bloodstream fills with adrenalin, increasing our heart rate and changing the way we think. We may feel sick to our stomach as the digestive system shuts down, and we often sweat more to prevent overheating. Anxiety leaves us feeling jittery and upset as if something bad is about to happen
These changes are involuntary – designed to take over – which is why can’t just ‘make it stop’. Instead, we find our thoughts spiralling out of control. Anxiety can be incredibly upsetting. To overcome it we must put ourselves back in control.
What Type of Anxiety Do You Have?
Social anxiety happens around other people. We worry about being the centre of attention, other people’s opinions, or getting things wrong. Social or work situations cause self-consciousness and fear. Typical symptoms include:
Censoring your thoughts as being ‘stupid’ or ‘not funny enough’ etc.
Feeling anxious when attending parties or meetings, when queuing or in busy places, or any situation involving scrutiny.
Worrying about eating/drinking/writing in front of others.
Blushing or sweating in social situations.
Anticipating work or social situations with dread (or avoiding them altogether).
Social anxiety often reflects low personal confidence. It can be removed by boosting your self-esteem and learning to feel at ease around people. Hypnotherapy and NLP (Neuro-linguistic Programming) are very effective for this. Contact me to find out more.
Often associated with sport or the performing arts, this anxiety also occurs when giving presentations, taking exams, and within intimate relationships. It combines a fear of failure, judgement, scrutiny, and rejection. This often leads to anticipatory anxiety, leaving us worried about things in advance. Typical symptoms include:
Panicking before or during exams, tests, presentations, speeches, performances, etc.
Worrying about failure, judgement, and getting things wrong.
Procrastination, distraction, over-planning, difficulties with motivation.
Low self-confidence and a pessimistic outlook on life.
This fear reflects negative beliefs: about failure, our own worth, and things going catastrophically wrong. It can be stubborn and rarely goes away ‘on its own’, which is when you need the help of a skilled therapist.
Other Types of Anxiety
Anxiety affects different people in different ways. Over the years I have helped people with anxiety-related problems including:
Excessive jealousy and insecurity in relationships.
Obsessive thinking; pessimistic thinking; OCD-type behaviour.
Teeth grinding (bruxism); Hair pulling (trichotillomania); nail-biting; tinnitus.
Excessive sweating or blushing (including a blotchy chest) in social situations.
Selective eating disorder; health anxieties.
Generalised anxiety disorder (a ‘free-floating’ anxiety which switches from one issue to the next).
Unchecked, anxiety leaves us feeling vulnerable, frantic, and misunderstood. I have worked extensively with anxiety over the years, using an effective combination of hypnotherapy and other techniques.
How to Overcome Anxiety
Anxiety sometimes has obvious causes, e.g. financial difficulties or problems at work. However, sometimes the basis for our anxiety is complicated. My skill as a therapist involves understanding your circumstances and selecting the right techniques for you.
Where anxiety is a persistent problem, there are various factors to consider:
Past experiences, e.g. childhood family problems, bullying, bereavement, traumatic events, etc. can lead to anxiety in later life.
Present or past stresses. Stressful episodes can leave us anxious, even after they’ve passed. Anxiety is always made worse by a hectic lifestyle or difficult situations.
Low self-confidence. We all acquire limiting beliefs in life, and they can lead to significant anxiety as adults.
Distorted thinking patterns, e.g. habitual catastrophic or pessimistic thinking. We can think ourselves into anxious states.
Not being true to yourself. We often feel anxious when we ‘live a lie’ or go against our core values, hopes, and ideals.
Habitual avoidance behaviour, repeatedly avoiding difficult situations reinforces anxiety and makes it worse.
An over-reliance on other people, leaving us feeling anxious when alone or unaided. We become dependent on others.
Bad habits, including drug taking, alcohol (especially hangovers), risk-taking, etc.
Everyone is different, and so is their anxiety. To select the right techniques for you, we would consider the problems you’re experiencing, their origins, and the challenges you now face.
Our aim is to help you feel calm, in control, and that anxiety is a thing of the past. True personal change means learning to do things differently, and well-delivered hypnotherapy can deliver this.
Why work with me?
People choose to work with me because I have an expert grasp of anxiety. I understand its causes and how it can be overcome. Since 2012 I’ve helped many people move beyond anxiety by using techniques that actually work.
Like most therapists, I am passionate about helping people. Having worked with anxiety for many years, I’m used to putting people at ease. I’m friendly, down to earth, and approachable.
I like to keep the sessions relaxed, interesting and – where possible – enjoyable. People usually end therapy feeling free of anxiety and ready to get on with their lives. Nothing feels better than that.
To find out how I can help you overcome your anxiety, all you need to do is arrange a consultation.
Send Me a Quick Enquiry
Contacting a therapist can seem daunting, but you’ve done the hard part by reading this page. Overcoming anxiety is vital and you’ve already taken the first step.
Feel free to call on 07908681758 or email me