A certain amount of anxiety and stress is to be expected in our lives. A new job, exam nerves, public speaking, money worries, are all examples of life events that may have us feeling uneasy, on edge and generally worried - and even manifesting physical side-effects such as sweaty palms, churning stomach, headaches and increased heart rate.
Symptoms of anxiety
Panic, fear, and uneasiness
Not being able to stay calm and still
Cold, sweaty, numb or tingling hands or feet
Shortness of breath
But although a little bit of stress may be useful to help us focus on an important task at hand, it is not something we should be carrying with us at all times. You should be feeling generally calm and peaceful as you go about your daily life.
“My anxiety doesn't come from thinking about the future but from wanting to control it.”
Hugh Prather, Notes to Myself
Excessive anxiety is caused by an over-stimulation of the amygdala. That’s the ‘fight, flight or freeze’ part of our primitive brain, which triggers the chemical reactions in our bodies and all the unpleasant physical sensations listed above. Anxiety can be created by a perceived threat (redundancy, divorce) - but it can also be present for no reason at all?
Your conscious (intellectual) mind knows when a threat is real or not and whether something needs to be addressed. Your amygdala does not. It likes to scream for attention at the least little thing - it doesn’t know the difference between imagination and reality, unfortunately. Just think about when you jump out of your skin watching a scary movie? Even though you are sitting on your comfy sofa eating popcorn, your amygdala doesn’t know the difference and literally thinks the monster is going to get you!
The good news is, through a combination of hypnotherapy and talk therapy, I can show you how to regain intellectual control of your mind and show the amygdala who is boss.