If you suffer from anxiety, panic attacks or phobias then you are probably well aware of how your mind can be ‘hijacked’ in certain situations and as someone who used to suffer from panic attacks, I know only too well how it feels to lose control!
Unfortunately for the anxiety sufferer not only does their disorder leave them feeling cursed in some way but also, add in the anxiety of worrying about whether you are going to have an anxiety or panic attack out of the blue. So not only does the sufferer dread the attack itself – which is never pleasant – but they also learn to dread the possibility of having an attack too and this usually escalates over time and with the increased frequency of the attacks.
Now anxiety is a disorder which many never talk about let alone to admit too. ‘Mental’ disorders are still a subject that leaves many feeling uncomfortable – their issue – and it does not have to be yours! If you suffer from anxiety read up about it – find out what you can and the more information you have the better you will feel. You almost certainly are not going mad! Knowledge is power and as a hypnotherapist specializing in the resolution of anxiety, I am always amazed at how little sufferers know about their anxiety.
Anxiety can most certainly ruin your life it you let it but it can not kill you. The more you ‘dread’ the attack the more anxious you will feel unfortunately. I used to dread going into busy areas and would feel anxious before the event because I had already gone through an embarrassing episode in my mind, of having a major attack and feeling embarrassed and humiliated in front of all these people. My no wonder I felt so anxious an no wonder I was more than likely to have an attack!!
Realistically even if I did have a panic attack in public – who would actually be aware? And if some people were then it’s my choice whether I wish to feel embarrassed by it or not. And if I am not going to die from having a panic attack – then bring it on! It was only as I became a therapist that I became aware that I was programming my mind for more anxiety by the way I was ‘dealing’ with my plight.
So if you suffer from anxiety or panic, then how do you begin to take back control? How do you begin to feel ‘normal’ again? The first thing is to read up about anxiety, what it is, the causes, how to manage it and how it affects your mentally and physically. Yes an attack feel hideous but like a naughty child, the more attention and control you give it, the worse it will be.
One of the most effective ways you can loosen the grip of anxiety on your life is to re-write what you tell yourself in your mind. I am sure you have heard the saying that ‘what you focus on in life you will get’ and that is very true. Anxiety exists because you are NOT focusing on what you want. So by simply focusing on what you want – to remain calm and in control – you can change how you respond to trigger situations.
So as soon as you become aware of those ‘what if” thoughts or anxious thoughts, acknowledge them but do not get ‘involved’ in them and then immediately visualize yourself calm, in control and feeling really relaxed and happy and what this does is start to reprogram your mind. Instead, over time (usually 3 – 4 weeks) of ‘what if I have an attack’ followed by all the other anxious thoughts………..you will notice you will start with the ‘what if” thoughts followed by a sense of inner calm and your unconscious mind ‘sees’ the image of you calm, relaxed and at ease. So what the mind can see the mind will achieve – simple!’
This visualization technique is powerful and can change how you feel dramatically and in order for it to be effective you need to do this exercise every time you become aware of those anxious thoughts. Also if you have a specific event that you feel anxious about, by visualizing a positive outcome, you are instructing your unconscious mind on how to respond in that situation. And if you run through this several times your mind will begin to see the picture and you may be pleasantly surprised by the results you obtain!
The more you use this visualization the quicker and more noticeable the changes you experience will be. When you do this visualization exercise, really get into what you see, hear and feel when you are calm and in control. If there are other people there then perhaps see how well they respond to you, how they enjoy listening to what you have to say – create the ideal situation and outcome -do not focus on anything negative – because not only are you telling your mind to focus on the negative but you will feel worse to. So always focus on how great you look and feel and how well the situation goes for you and you will begin to feel more and more confident too and less and less anxious! Its a great feeling believe me!
If you struggle with time constraints then ask yourself why is it that you don’t want to let go of your anxiety because ‘never having the time’ is resistance, so you will need to ask yourself what your anxiety is getting for you or what is it keeping your from – i.e. is it ensuring that you don’t feel judged when you go out, is it keeping you from a higher position of responsibility at work? Understanding how your anxiety is ‘helping’ you can be key to letting it go. If you feel judged or not good enough then focus on this when doing the visualization and remember you have a right to feel in control of your life – it is your life.
If you have severe anxiety, OCD (pure) then you may benefit from a course of hypnotherapy. Analytical hypnotherapy is a potent therapy for anxiety as it enables you to understand why it exists in the first place and this gives you the ability to resolve the issues surrounding the initial cause to enable you to let go permanently of your anxiety symptoms.
If you would like any more info on anxiety hypnosis then drop me a line!