Anxiety is a broad umbrella term that describes a feeling that we all experience. It has served in the success of us as a species and so is quite necessary but some people get this feeling a lot worse and a lot more often than others. So what is anxiety?
I found these two definitions in the Oxford dictionary:
‘A feeling of worry, nervousness or unease about something with an uncertain outcome.’
‘A nervous disorder marked by excessive uneasiness and apprehension typically with compulsive behaviour or panic attacks.’
Great, so that is what anxiety is. Is it though? It sounds like a little reassurance is all that is required or to simply avoid the things that make you feel that way. This does not always work though and sometimes those things you wish to avoid are unavoidable. Sometimes the anxiety comes and finds you anyway, regardless how under the radar you remain. So, I ask again, what is anxiety?
I see many people with various types of anxiety and none of them are the same. Everyone is experiencing something unique to them, so if you are experiencing anxiety of some description, my advice is to avoid seeing anyone for support who claims to know exactly what it is and treats it in a generic way. Anxiety is not a thing. As you can see from the above descriptions it is a an experience, a feeling. So what are you doing to create that experience?
The answer differs from person to person. My metaphor of the month this month is for anxiety. I recently saw someone with a complex mix of ‘anxieties’ and ‘depression’. We have tackled these by doing several things, but the key to reducing, before getting rid of, the anxiety was finding the part of her mind that was responsible for that anxiety.
With this client, I was able to speak directly to his subconscious mind using Ideo-Motor Responses which is a consciously involuntary movement in a finger for YES and a different one for NO. This part was refusing to stop creating his anxiety so I asked if it would be prepared to speak to me verbally. YES. I was then able to have a conversation with a part of his mind that was not his conscious mind. This part of his mind told me that it was motivated by power – the power to make him anxious.
I was able to therefore persuade that part of his mind that there was more power in motivating him than making him afraid. If it motivated him he would be making changes in the world, making changes in other people’s lives. I said the power would therefore be exponential. This part of his mind then agreed to turn it’s efforts to motivating him instead of making him afraid.
There were a few other things we had to do before the anxiety was gone completely from all areas of his life, but from that day on he had had no more panic attacks and day to day life has been much easier and no longer the struggle that it had become for several years.
I have never had to do this with another client and may never again. ‘Anxiety’ is unique to the person experiencing it and therefore so is the solution.
I do not necessarily believe there was a slightly malevolent part of his mind lording it over him in a literal sense like a Scooby Doo bad guy. In a literal sense, doctors had diagnosed a chemical imbalance in his brain, but medication was not working to reset it. What hypnosis does is to turn the neurology causing the imbalance into a metaphor that the mind can then work with and change – change the metaphor and change the neurology. It is a personal experience that is unique to the individual and must be approached as such.
I have heard people say that the NHS does not have the resources to treat everyone individually, but if such an approach can get people comfortable in their lives in 3 or 4 sessions instead of several months or years, imagine how much further those resources will stretch. Hypnosis is not the cure for everything and it does not work on everyone, but it works on a lot of people with a lot of different issues. If it is therefore the first thing tried then there will be a lot more time and resources for those for whom it does not work which will significantly improve their chances of a satisfactory resolution as well. The NHS do not offer hypnosis but I do so please feel free to contact me about some Hypnosis in Worthing.