- Seeing Me
- Contact Me
Worriers always seem to be in a perpetual state of angst about something or another, and sometimes all that worrying can tip over into anxiety. Everyone feels anxious about something at some point in their lives – it’s natural and probably more commonplace than you might think. But when feeling anxious becomes something that starts to happen more and more often, that begins to affect how you live your life, it might be the time to do something about it.
Anxiety is related to fear, but there is a distinct difference. Fear is defined as being ‘a direct response to a specific object or situation in the present moment’. The person feeling the fear is consciously aware of that feeling and the fear will activate the fight, flight or freeze response. Phobias of specific things, like spiders, or dogs, or water, would be a good example of fear.
Anxiety differs in that it’s less precise. It’s harder to pin down exactly what it is you are anxious about. Most often, anxiety involves worrying about the future, and if you are someone who struggles with anxiety in all likelihood a good deal of your day will be spent thinking about all the negative ‘what if’s…?’ that could manifest, and imagining potential situations or scenarios that (to you) seem unavoidable, uncontrollable and inevitable.
In extreme cases of anxiety, panic attacks can occur, although they aren’t experienced by everyone. They can come on suddenly and the subjective perception of danger, and the threat of what could happen, is very real to the person who is experiencing it. The problem with panic attacks is that you may find yourself getting anxious about possibly having another one. Your unconscious tries to protect you from having another panic attack by making you avoid anything and everything that you associate with having caused it, and as a result your world shrinks, until everything outside of where you feel ‘safe’ becomes a potential danger, and so the cycle continues.
Extreme anxiety is something I see a lot of in my work with people who are struggling with eating disorders. No matter whether it’s anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder or EDNOS (Eating Disorders Not Otherwise Specified), a common thread that runs through them all is feelings of intense anxiety around food. Constant comparisons, constant calculations and constant anxiety about what each mouthful will do to them physically, mentally and emotionally. In addition to anxiety around actual food, there is usually an incredible amount of anxiety around routines and rituals (there are similarities with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder in many eating disorder cases). If a routine gets broken, changed or delayed unexpectedly because of something beyond their control, huge amounts of anxiety can arise.
Of course anxiety in eating disorders is just one example. I’ve seen many clients who have struggled with anxiety about both specific and general things and each one has been completely unique and individual – no two cases are the same. This is where Cognitive Hypnotherapy can help to make a real difference. By working with each client based on their experiences of anxiety (instead of using whatever ‘label’ they may have been diagnosed with), Cognitive Hypnotherapy provides a personalised and individually tailored way of helping you to figure out the reasons behind why you are experiencing the anxiety (ie: what caused it to begin in the first place), and then resolve those issues gently and safely. ‘Control’ is often a major factor in many cases of anxiety, and so a lot of the work I do with people aims to help them regain their sense of control and influence in a world that so often seems uncontrollable.
If anxiety and/or panic attacks are a problem for you, please do contact me to find out more about how I might be able to help.