Anxiety 101, Part 2: “I’m Anxious, I Knew It, I’m Doomed, Oh My”

The Story So Far…

Having read Anxiety 101, Part 1: “I’m Not @#&@%$# Anxious!!!”, you confronted the possibility that you might unknowingly be suffering from anxiety in one of its multitude of forms.

Perhaps you were acutely aware something was amiss; you just hadn’t tagged it as “anxiety”.

Alternatively, you might be one of millions that are well aware they’re an anxiety sufferer, but living in denial and tolerating the effects.

Then again, it could be you’re under treatment already, tired of the apparent life sentence of medications and their side-effects, their ongoing expense and inconvenience.

Who’d blame you, especially if you’re one of the unfortunates who take anti-anxiety or anti-depressant medications and still feel anxious!

Right about now, it’s possible you’re ready to admit you’re more anxious than you realized, recognizing the symptoms and knock-on effects you’ve been experiencing or what they really are.

Importantly, you also now recognise that anxiety:

  • is much more common than people realise or admit;
  • doesn’t make you irreversibly flawed or emotionally crippled;
  • isn’t something you’re stuck with;
  • really has some seriously undesirable impacts; and is
  • definitely worth doing something about now, let alone before the impacts become even more severe.

Let’s Understand Anxiety In Deeper Detail

As you’ll read on my Anxiety Web Pages, anxiety is one of nature’s triggers for our fight or flight response.  It triggers a range of biochemical and physiological responses including diverting blood flows and releasing various hormones designed for fight or flight.  As you read in Part 1 of this Series, the physiological responses are very often unhelpful, even harmful to general health and our social and work performance.

These responses can give rise to a range of ailments and serious illnesses including high blood pressure and depression.  There’s a long list in Part 1. Check it out.

In short, anxiety is anything but performance enhancing or wellness promoting.


Cause For Panic?

No.  Seriously, no.   This doesn’t mean you’re chronically unwell.    It quite possibly does mean, however, that if you’re inclined towards feelings of anxiety, I’ve just stirred up some of those emotions and thoughts. Well, as Nathaniel Branden said “The first step toward change is awareness. The second step is acceptance.”  It was a teensy bit intentional.

After all, to make someone want to be well, we must sometimes firstly demonstrate that they are unwell. 

So if the best way to get on top of your anxiety is to first understand it, let’s see what we can do.

What IS Anxiety?

Well that depends on who you ask?

If you ask a pharmaceuticals company that generates billions from the prolonged use of their products by folks like you, the answer will be that the root cause of anxiety is biological and requires a chemical cure.  Go figure.  Expect more on that in Part 3.

Here’s the scoop.

Anxiety is a fact of life.  We live in a world simply overflowing with potential reasons why we can feel anxious…if we choose to.  Why would anyone choose to be anxious, for heaven’s sake?  Well, it all comes down to how you look at it.  Allow me to explain.

To experience anxiety, you consciously but more often unconsciously operate a pattern of perceptions, thinking, feelings and reactions.  It’s not a disease and it has not to my knowledge been irrefutably proven to be genetically inherited.

Here’s A Different Way To Look At It  

Anxiety is a verb, not a noun.  It’s not something you ARE or a disease you HAVE.  It’s something you DO; a pattern you run.  It’s fuelled by a set of habits you’ve learned and that have become deeply ingrained. Those habits are the ways you’ve learned to see and react to certain things.

Those ways you’ve learned to see and hear things in turn shape the way you think and feel about them and what, if anything, you’ll do about them.

The way you see things is also shaped by the “story you tell yourself”.  Stories for example about who you are, how you are and why you’re the way you are; from your perspective.  Your reasons for why things are the way they are; that rationalise why you are the way you are. We adopt those stories as our version of truth and reality.

I say “our version” because we humans can’t help but create unintended distortions in the way we recall the way things actually happened.  We don’t remember an event the way it happened, verbatim.

We remember “the way we saw it”.

So Let’s Wrap All Of That Together  

The way you “do” anxiety hinges on how you choose to see things, applied in the context around your story.  This explains why we all see things slightly differently.

I’m able to say we “choose” to see something as an anxiety trigger because of this.   Most of that “choosing” happens at the unconscious level.

Put very simply, we unconsciously (read automatically) decide how we see a situation; applying our memories, habits and terms of reference.  Those suffering from anxiety don’t necessarily “discriminate” between what’s worth worrying about or actioning and what is not. In fact most people actually struggle to do that well, all of the time. 

Why Is Clinical Hypnotherapy Useful In Addressing Anxiety?

Hypnotherapy addresses and deeply influences the unconscious mind, where those habits reside, those perceptions are held and those choices are made.  Click here to read my article that more comprehensively addresses why that’s so important to effective treatment.

As such, it’s the most powerful way to reshape and “reprogram” how you see things; replacing unhelpful habits and patterns of thinking with better ones.  Together, we can reshape them, take them away all together or replace them with something more helpful.  I can help you tap into skills and resources you might have forgotten you have to help you cope and thrive.

Through hypnotherapy, utilising Strategic Psychotherapy techniques including NLP,  EMDR and Timeline Therapy, I directly address the particular cognitive distortions that support your anxious perspectives, feelings and reactions.

All towards helping you make better  discriminations or choices around what you allow to become an anxiety trigger.

Because those views, stories and distortions are particular to you, I tailor every treatment to really home in on the “way” you do it for optimum effect. This highlights an important distinction to consider when comparing hypnotherapy approaches.

Some hypnotherapy will aim to help you simply “feel calm and worry less”.  While these objectives are commendable, it’s only by addressing the cognitive distortions that operate for you and in your particular case, that you’ll address the underlying causes of anxiety and achieve an enduring positive effect.

That’s a bigger subject that we have room for here. If you’re interested, you can read all about that in the section of my website entitled “Understanding Hypnotherapy”.  I’d encourage you to check it out.

This effectively illustrates the point that to deal with anxiety, you must address it “at the source”, rather than dumbing you down with drugs to make it just seem that things are better.

To get to the source, we must address your unconscious mind.  That, as I’ll explain in deeper detail in Part 4, is where Strategic Psychotherapy, applied under hypnosis, stands alone for its effectiveness.  

Paul Mullins

Spoiler alert:

Next in Part 3 of this series, I’ll shine a comparative light on the differences between anxiety treatments utilising clinical hyponotherapy and treatments based on traditional psychotherapy combined with medications.  I predict you will be amazed.

In Part 4, I’ll go into the full details of just how Strategic Psychotherapy can make a huge difference to your anxiety.


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