Hypnotherapy for Anxiety and Panic
Do you feel anxious and struggling to cope? Do you have an irrational fear?
Anxiety disorders and feelings of panic are surprisingly common and have been around for many thousands of years. These anxious feelings and fears can seem so irrational, yet they have the power to emotionally hijack us and change our whole physiology in a moment.
Anxiety is experienced by many people at different times in their lives. Everyone gets anxious from time to time and this is perfectly normal but some people live with a constant, general sense of worry and anxiety, as in Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD). Sometimes the cause is apparent e.g. financial worries, relationship difficulties, etc. However, sometimes there is no apparent cause and the person feels tense and uneasy much of the time.
For some people certain social situations can cause anxiety and they can become easily embarrassed and insecure. They can feel that all eyes are on them and that they are the centre of attention. This kind of anxiety is called Social Phobia and people feel intensely uncomfortable in situations such as when speaking in front of others, attending a social gathering or in fact any situation where they feel that all eyes are on them or that they are being judged. People with social phobia are often labelled as being shy, or even rude. This of course exacerbates the situation and increases the anxiety that the person is suffering at that moment. Whatever the underlying cause the symptoms of anxiety are common to all but vary in degree: dry mouth, tension, irritability, fatigue, pins and needles etc.
Some people feel a more focused anxiety as in a Panic Attack. When a panic attack strikes, it feels anything but normal. Panic attacks are triggered by anxiety and attacks can happen completely ‘out of the blue’ and can be very unsettling. It is difficult to comprehend the immense fear, dread and feelings of impending doom that a person experiences whilst in the throws of a panic attack. The person may have a strong belief that they are about to experience a physical or psychological collapse, perhaps in the form of a heart attack or stroke. The symptoms of a panic attack will vary from person to person, but can include any of the following:
- Difficulty in breathing, or shortness of breath (Dyspnoea)
- Abnormally rapid heartbeat (Tachycardia)
- Excessive sweating (Hyperhydrosis)
- Chest tightness
- Chest pain
- Abnormal sensations of the skin (Paraesthesia)
- Raised blood pressure (Hypertension)
- Tension and apprehension
- The feeling that ‘something terrible’ is going to happen.
- A specific fear of death
The first panic attack a person experiences leaves them with a strong fear of potential future panic attacks. From then on the person is ‘sensitised’ or continually on the look-out, and desperately trying to avert future episodes of panic. This can lead to an avoidance of situations in which the person feels they may potentially have another panic attack. The fear of a panic attack leads to a greater avoidance of everyday situations, such as shopping, driving, using public transport and so on. This avoidance of situations is called agoraphobia and often goes hand in hand with symptoms of panic. The person affected can sometimes have such a fearful view of life leading to depression as well.
How hypnotherapy can help
Hypnotherapy is a remarkably effective treatment for panic attacks and anxiety. Whether you are suffering from extreme anxiety without obvious cause, or mild panic attacks in specific situations; hypnotherapy can help. Firstly the deep relaxation you experience in hypnosis successfully counteracts a great deal of the anxiety and enables you to feel relaxed, grounded and stress-free. Secondly, hypnosis can help to deconstruct the anxiety by working directly with the unconscious mind, relieving feelings of panic and restoring you back to a state of inner harmony. You will feel much calmer, and more able to lead your life free from panic as a result of hypnotherapy. By helping you to adopt more positive ways of thinking and acting, hypnotherapy can significantly improve quality of life. Regular practice of self-hypnosis can also be very beneficial in aiding relaxation.
To overcome your anxiety and learn new coping strategies:
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