Anxiety – what you can do about it

I’d say the majority of clients I work with come to see me because of anxiety in some form or another.

Anxiety can manifest itself in many ways: nervousness; panic attacks; insomnia, overly worrying about something that may never happen, etc. It can have a crippling effect by bringing on range of symptoms such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), skin complaints or negative patterns such as over-eating, drinking etc.  The symptom list of how anxiety can present itself is pretty long.

Anxiety can build up over a long period of time without us even realising it, alternative it can come on suddenly as a result of something such as illness or a change of circumstances for instance.

Anxiety

At the extreme, people who’ve been fully in control of their lives suddenly find they can’t leave their own home; can’t work; can’t drive their car etc.  For some it’s simply a matter of feeling negative or under-confident.

Case study:

Annie (name has been changed for confidentiality) arrived at my clinic having had panic attacks come on over the previous couple of weeks.  She’d been stressed at work with a heavy work load, her husband had just been posted overseas plus she hadn’t been very well a few months previously.  

In the Initial Consultation, as I explained how the brain works, I could see she began to relax and then through a few tears she said “So this isn’t me, I’m not going mad”?

The brain is a funny and complex thing.  It has its own way of ringing alarm bells when it’s had enough of dealing with stress or anxiety and can suddenly change its pattern of reaction.  Previously we might have been able to deal with whatever life threw at us, but all of a sudden it all becomes too much.

By teaching clients very basic relaxation and breathing techniques, we start the process of taking back control. The hypnotherapy allows guided relaxation showing a preferred future and because the subconscious part of the brain, the part that’s in charge of our reactions (i.e. the anxiety), doesn’t understand the difference between imagination and reality, the guided relaxation starts to bring calm and control back into our lives.

The number of people suffering stress and anxiety these days is staggering.  However people rarely talk about the negative symptoms they’re suffering.  Once you do start talking about it, you might be surprised how many other Insomniapeople have suffered the same!  Insomnia can frequently be anxiety peeking through, and how many of us suffer from sleepless nights?

If you’re suffering from anxiety try not to focus on it.  I know this sounds ridiculous if you’re anxious, but the sooner you distract the subconscious mind onto something more positive, the better you’ll feel. Using a breathing technique such as breathing in to the count of 5 and breathing out to the count of 7 helps regulate the breathing if you’re having a panic attack.

Avoiding alcohol can be very helpful! Watching good things on the TV, comedies etc, rather than watching the news is also very helpful indeed.

Alternatively, if you suffer from any form of anxiety or know someone who does, then get in touch with us here at CPHT Belfast.  We have students who are currently helping clients, free of charge whilst they are students, and they’re having good success in helping people overcome negative thinking and anxiety. Our contact details are at the top of the home page of this website.

An interesting hypnotherapy case study

Over the years I’ve worked with a large number of hypnotherapy clients who come into my clinic with all sorts of presenting problems.  The majority bring in the usual issues such as anxiety, depression or allied symptoms such as insomnia, panic attacks or not being able to keep control of alcohol or food intake.

Sometimes there’s a case that’s unusual though.

A lovely lady came in with significant back pain.  She’d tried all sorts of treatments including private consultations in Harley Street, MRI scans, Osteopathy, Physiotherapy etc etc.  Then someone highlighted that it could be a psychological rather than a physical problem, and somehow she ended up in my client chair.

After six sessions of hypnotherapy she reported back that the pain had reduced by 75%.  We hadn’t actually talked about the pain directly, we’d simply worked to offload what we call the ‘stress bucket’ of life.  By reducing stress and teaching relaxation techniques we went on to almost completely rid the client of the pain.  She now realises that the pain is simply an alarm bell the subconscious is ringing to say “I’m in trouble”.

Frequently a symptom can be ‘rung’ as an alarm bell by the subconscious, especially insomnia or an addiction.  A client will often think of the symptom as being the actual problem, i.e. “I can’t sleep”, whereas Clinical Hypnotherapists know it can be down to something completely different – the stress bucket overflowing!

Rarely will a client understand this until it comes to the Initial Consultation.  Not only do we explain how hypnosis works, but we also explain how the brain works in a way the client can understand.  This explanation is based on the latest findings from the world of neuroscience.  Once the client gains an understanding of how the brain works, they are then on the pathway to taking back control.

The range of issues we deal with as hypnotherapists is vast, yet the way we deal with those issues is reasonably straight forward.  So if you want to make a difference to people’s lives in a very positive way, get in touch and have a chat about how you could change not only their lives but yours too.

Hypnotherapy Training – The Miracle Question

I was lucky enough to be working with a group of qualified Hypnotherapists over the weekend, helping them to better use one of the major tools of Solution Focused Hypnotherapy: The Miracle Question. It can be asked in many different ways, but it does take practice and experience on the part of the therapist to be able to use it confidently and effectively.

In its basic form it involves asking the client what life would be like if a miracle happened so that the problem that made them seek therapy in the first place had completely disappeared. Of course it is not just as simple as asking one question, there are follow up questions ultimately leading to a “next small step”. For many it is not an easy question to answer, partly because clients have often been so held back by a problem in the past that they can’t see beyond it anymore.

However, at CPHT Belfast, our experience, knowledge of neuroscience and understanding of what makes truly effective Hypnotherapy shows us that it is important for the client to start seeing beyond the problem and it is our job to help them do that. The Miracle Question serves this purpose nicely. In addition it enables the client to start building a picture of what a more positive future looks like so that they can start working towards it, within the realms of what currently feels possible for them. As these changes take hold, anxiety levels fall and confidence levels increase, often the miracle happens and the problem disappears or becomes less prevalent.

During the Hypnotherapy Practitioner Diploma course at CPHT Belfast, we equip our trainees with this wonderfully powerful therapeutic tool which can literally encourage Miracles to happen in front of their very eyes.

If you want to see miracles unfolding in front of you, why not train as a Hypnotherapist at Northern Ireland’s premier Hypnotherapy Training School. Please contact CPHT Belfast to find out more.