When we feel we are under threat, we experience anxiety. The threat may be real or imagined, but our response is a normal one – the Fight, Flight or Freeze response, and we have no control over it. This response has evolved in mammals to enable them to best deal with danger – fight it, run away from it, or freeze (playing dead). We can experience anxiety as physical sensations, thoughts or feelings. These can include faster breathing, pounding or irregular heartbeat, sweating, nausea, tension, feelings of dread, feeling disconnected from your body, sleep problems and many, many more.
Most people feel some anxiety at times, particularly at times of change or more than usual stress, and can manage it successfully. However, anxiety can get out of hand and can severely impact someone's ability to live a normal life. In this case, they may have one of many anxiety disorders.
There are many anxiety disorders and not all are mentioned here. Anxiety disorders include phobias, social anxiety disorder, OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) panic attacks, panic disorder (regular or frequent panic attacks without an obvious trigger), health anxiety and PTSD (Post-traumatic Stress Disorder). With Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) the sufferer may worry regularly or uncontrollably about many different things in every day life. Each sufferer may worry about different things.
Possible causes of anxiety
There are many possible causes of anxiety. A typical cause is traumatic or difficult past experiences such as losing a parent or loved one, being bullied at school, neglect, physical and/or emotional abuse and so on. However, your current life situation can cause anxiety. Some causes are overwork and stress, being out of work, having financial problems or relationship issues, feeling lonely, or being abused. In addition, living with a difficult health problems can cause anxiety, as can some medications.
Help for anxiety
It is important that if you are suffering from unmanageable or debilitating anxiety that you seek medical help. However, there are ways you can help yourself, like looking after your physical health by eating healthily an taking suitable exercise. Practising breathing exercises can also help calm you down, and this is especially important if you experience panic attacks. You can also try complementary or alternative therapies.
How psychotherapies such as hypnotherapy and BWRT can help
Here at Harrogate Hypnotherapy we use a range of techniques to treat anxiety. We devise a course of therapy customised to the specific needs of each client. It is important to understand that you can't be relaxed and anxious at the same time, so anything relaxes you will reduce your anxiety. Hypnotherapy is an excellent way to experience deep relaxation and we will also teach you how to do self hypnosis so you can practice at home. We use both hypnotherapy and BWRT to treat the specific causes of anxiety and also GAD. We also teach good breathing techniques and may also use elements of NLP (neurolinguistic programming) and CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) to help our clients to quickly access calmness if their anxiety begins to get out of hand.