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The Anxious Mind

Anxiety is one of the most common reasons for people to seek therapy.  Many clients only seek help when their anxiety is becoming unbearable to the point they are becoming ill or suffering panic attacks.  Others notice the signs sooner and seek help before it gets to that point.  Some clients believe they are born worriers and that they will always be the same.

Whatever the case, the good news is that anxiety is normal. It’s there for a reason. Apprehension, fear and anxiety are all there for our survival.  The human brain has evolved over millions of years.  When humans first walked the earth we were in far more danger from predators and the environment than we are today. We have a threat alarm system that uses our sensory inputs to detect potential dangers.  Now that environment has changed and we are somewhat safer than our ancestors, our built-in alarm system can sometimes be excessive for our needs.  Although our unconscious minds are perfectly capable of turning that alarm system on quickly and automatically whenever needed, quite often people leave the alarm going when it’s unnecessary. It’s tiring and can be detrimental to health. 

There are different levels of anxiety and we all need a degree of anxiety to survive.  However difficulties arise when in a constant state of angst, over-thinking, catastrophizing etc.  Many people have such an amazing imagination that they make up ridiculous scenarios on how things will play out.  They are on full alert, their alarm system has been left on for too long and has started to cause problems.  Certain life events can cause anxiety, however if feeling anxious is your default setting, it’s time to get some help.  If not dealt with it usually gets worse and can present in a variety of ways such as restlessness, headaches, loss of concentration, panic attacks, insomnia, OCD, irritability, heart palpitations.  Many end up in the A&E department. 

I was anxious and overactive in everyday life situations that didn’t warrant the levels of anxiety I felt or the behaviour I would display. The sessions helped by giving me techniques which I could use to control, analyse and then rethink the way I was feeling. They also helped me to relax which is something I rarely do. Overall I now feel that I am much more in control of my anxiety with a few simple techniques I am able to take control of the way I feel on a day to day basis.

MT, Essex

Not all anxiety sufferers are the same. We are all unique. When working with anxiety clients I try to understand more about them. What makes them anxious? Exactly how do they worry? How do they process those worries? What exactly they are worrying about? The messages are there for a reason! Simply ignoring the anxiety messages doesn’t work.  The messages will come back louder. Are the worries of any use? If they are, then having strategies to deal with them. What other areas of their lives might be having an impact (general health, environment, work, relationships etc)?  I help clients to see and think differently so that they can identify any real fears, find a way to deal with those fears and then to safely turn down the alarm signal when it’s not needed.  Using the tools and techniques, the clients become calmer and more able to deal with worries past, present and future. 

Having tried conventional therapy to try and combat anxiety and panic-related issues for some considerable months to no avail, I found Jo and was struck by the immediacy of relief and change which she induced both through a combination of NLP and hypnotherapy. She has an incredible ability to put you at ease, help you clearly identify and work through your difficulties and for me personally discover a renewed positivity for life and its direction.  I found Jo’s approach very personal, empathetic, supportive and understanding and it felt like she went above and beyond that that I had previously experienced to ensure my return to my previously happy and confident self !  I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending Jo, thank you for all that you have done for me!

LO, Essex

Some people internalise the anxiety and don’t deal with it terribly well.  When we are anxious we generate adrenaline and cortisol which are useful if were are in physical danger and need to move quickly, to run or fight.  If we are not in physical danger yet produce the fear and stress hormones, when we don’t need or use those chemicals in ours bodies, they it can become toxic and can cause illness. I once had a client who had his gall bladder removed to try to rid himself of the chronic pain, a pain which was still there long after he’d recovered from surgery.  The pain had originated from painful emotions which had tried to ignore.

Learning to deal with anxiety and emotional pain are crucial life skills.  Most of us undergo some form of traumas, grief, shock, overwhelm. If you or someone you care about is suffering with anxiety, get some help before it seriously impacts quality of life or becomes just too much to bear.