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What to do when anxiety is ruining your life!

Anxiety can often feel like it is completely ruining your life!

When I struggled with anxiety it lead me to fail my combined masters degree and meant that I couldn’t enter the profession I wanted to.

Although anxiety can feel completely desperate, there is hope and ways that you can get back on top of your anxiety.

What is Anxiety?

Put simply, anxiety is a fear of a future event.

This fear can occur because of previous experiences that have been negative, a new experience that you can't control or an experience that is normally fine but somehow you suddenly become scared of it going wrong.

Anxiety is both a mental and physical condition. The mental aspect in anxiety is the mental fear of something and this comes about because of negative thoughts. The physical aspect is the symptoms of anxiety which range from slight heart rate increase and butterflies all the way through to panic attacks and fainting (vasovagal syncope).

Why do we get it?

Our brains have evolved to react fast...

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Client Story: What anxiety feels like

Please note that this client story is based on a real client however names, dates and any identifying information has been changed to protect anonymity.

 

I have chosen this client story as it demonstrates beautifully how anxiety actually feels to the people who are suffering with it.  If you would like to know why anxiety feels the way it does then head over to my blog on the role of adrenaline in anxiety.

 

Sam:

Sam was a business owner and relatively successful when they contacted me for help with their anxiety. Their anxiety was focused on their health and revolved around the idea that there was something seriously wrong with them.

When their anxiety got to the point that they were having panic attacks they felt that it was important that they did something about it. Sam had seen me speak at an event and liked my straightforward approach.

Sam was experiencing light headedness and palpitations on a fairly regular basis however medical investigations had ruled out...

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How hypnotherapy works for anxiety.

What is hypnosis?

Best explanation that I can find from research, neuroimaging and from feedback from clients is that hypnosis, when delivered therapeutically, calms and focuses the mind. When people struggle with anxiety, they often can’t control the thoughts that come into their minds. These thoughts can often remind them of past upset, encourage thinking of worst-case scenarios and contribute towards a constant negative self-talk that damages confidence and self-esteem.

Hypnosis seems to be able to cut through this constant stream and show people how they can calm their minds.

Once you know how it feels you can then do this for yourself, this is called self-hypnosis. This means that clients with anxiety learn how to calm and control their minds so that they can choose how to respond to thoughts that come into their mind.

By creating this calm and focused mind we can then add in other techniques such as positive suggestions to build confidence and visualisation to help the...

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PODCAST - How hypnotherapy works for Anxiety

This is a question I get asked a lot by potential clients and people I meet networking and, to be fair, it's a really good question!

In this episode I cover what hypnosis is, how we use it in a therapeutic setting and why I combine hypnosis with cognitive behavioural therapy for working with anxiety.

I also cover briefly some information on the evidence base behind these therapies and how you can find out more about where to get good advice on therapeutic interventions.

Listen to the podcast on iTunes

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Listen to the podcast on Podbean

 

References mentioned in the podcast and where you can find out more:

[1] https://www.intechopen.com/books/new-insights-into-anxiety-disorders/using-hypnosis-in-the-treatment-of-anxiety-disorders-pros-and-cons

[2] https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg113/chapter/1-Guidance#principles-of-care-for-people-with-generalised-anxiety-disorder-gad

 
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Self-care tips to make sure you get the most out of the Christmas period

Christmas can be extremely stressful, I have spoken to clients this week who are worried about presents, food, family relationships, time and much more.

There is always just so much to do right? All for ONE DAY!!!

So, here are my top self-care tips to make sure you actually enjoy the whole festive period.

 

Give perfectionism the brush off

A lot of the things people stress about aren’t as important as they think they are. Finding the perfect present for some distant cousin you see once a year is not worth the stress it causes.

Ask yourself questions like “What do I know they like?” and “What do I know they will use?” if you can get something that they like or will use then you are on to a winner. If you can’t answer those questions then be OK with getting them something nice and generic.

Giving can actually make us happy when we approach it in the right way so be realistic with how personal each gift can be and enjoy finding nice, funny or...

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My top attitude changes for a happy life

The attitudes that you have about yourself, others and the circumstances around you have a huge impact on your ability to be happy.

if you have a calm and rational attitude to all of those things then it stands to reason that you will be able to deal with any problems that occur without an overly emotional response.

1: Understanding that you are responsible for your emotions...

if you have read any of my previous blogs then you will have noticed that I make a big deal about what you think. This is because our thoughts affect our feelings which in turn affect our actions.

By understanding that our thoughts affect our feelings in any situation, we can learn to control our emotions.

Bad things happen to everyone. When something bad happens, it is perfectly normal to have a negative emotional response to the situation.

If you are in a car crash or going through a divorce or have lost someone then it makes sense to have negative thoughts about the situation because they are negative...

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How to overcome self doubt

When we doubt our abilities we hold ourselves back so much!!

There are many reasons why we may have developed doubts in ourselves so here are some suggestions that I have found work with both myself and also my clients...

Stop comparing accomplishments with others.

Number one in my book is to stop comparing yourself to others. I didn't get my degree until I was 30 years old, most of my friends got their degrees at the "normal" age. It really didn't matter that I got mine at a different time because I did it when it was right for me.

By comparing yourself unfavorably with others, you are opening the doors to feelings of inadequacy.

Ultimately everyone is on their own journey through life and will have ups and downs just like you so focus on what works best for you!!

Decide not to give a stuff what other people think.

This is hard to do but is so important for overcoming self doubt. Generally we worry what people think because we are scared of being judged.

Decide you don't give a...

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Anxiety disorders and long term effects of Anxiety

 

I talk about anxiety a lot obviously because that is a big part of what I do!!

I'm going to recap some stuff about anxiety but I'm also going to talk about some of the deeper issues that anxiety can cause because it is quite a difficult thing to deal with an ongoing basis, people actually can develop quite severe issues if anxiety is not dealt with.

I'm also going to talk through some different anxiety disorders as well and give you a very brief overview of what they are.

Anxiety recap

Anxiety is the fear  of a future event as to why we have that fear depends on the person, depends on the situation and depends on whether or not there's been a past issue.

It also depends on whether or not the person with anxiety is lacking in the personal self belief and their confidence to take on new things or situations.

Our perspective on a future event is also key to anxiety and I have talked extensively in workshops about how thoughts lead to feelings which lead to certain actions.

Common...

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Discover which common negative thinking patterns you have.

The way we think has a huge impact on our mental health. If you are looking to overcome your anxiety or just improve your mental health then first you need to know what thoughts are making things worse.

This download gives you a list of the most common ways we think negatively. All you need to do is see which ones you do most.

Also, keep an eye on your emails! I will be sending you a really useful video that goes with this exercise.