treating anxiety
More and more frequently in our UK hypno psychotherapy practice, we are seeing clients who present with symptoms of extreme anxiety and panic attacks. These feelings can and do have a really profound affect on a person’s life, often seriously curtailing his or her ability to function normally in their personal, work or social life

But what, in fact, is anxiety and what is its relationship to panic?

Well, anxiety itself is simply a symptom that is produced in response to a fear. It is based in the feeling that something bad is going to happen, and this triggers the flow of the hormone adrenalin in the body, eliciting a ‘fight or flight’ reaction.

Because of this, the body produces a number of responses which may include increased heart rate, sweating, muscular tension, rapid breathing, churning stomach and even nausea.

Anxiety can quite easily turn into feelings of panic when the symptoms of anxiety become so acute that they are allowed to consume the individual, producing heightened feelings of loss of control. As symptoms are experienced, they seem to feed the fear and, in so doing, they thereby enhance it and – hey presto, panic!

A good example of this is hyperventilation, or too rapid breathing, that causes us to breathe in a shallow manner forcing us to exhale too much carbon dioxide, which in turn produces its own symptoms, ranging from pins and needles to muscular stiffness, dizziness and perhaps even spasm.

It feels like the person is trapped in some kind of vicious cycle: fear just creates more fear and symptoms create more symptoms leaving the individual with feelings of being overwhelmed and trapped in a rapidly accelerating downward spiral.

Needless to say, such experiences can be filled with terror for the individual who is forced to endure them.

Perhaps the first thing that needs to be done when actually experiencing a panic attack is to slow things down and focus on breathing calmly. If necessary, a paper bag can be quickly inflated and held to the nose and mouth, enabling the person to breathe in and out a few times, thereby increasing the level of carbon dioxide in the blood, and slowing the breathing down.

Above all, it is important to remember that you will not die because you experience a panic attack. In fact, it is the fear of fear which really drives and magnifies the experience. Just take the time to practise, remembering to focus on breathing deeply and slowly; learning to relax your muscles systematically, the whole experience will be over and you will be able to pick yourself up and go on. But there is a far better way to live your life than having to constantly manage symptoms. That would be a bit like living with an elephant in your living room – yes, you could perhaps learn to cope with it being there, but how much better it really would be if you simply evicted the elephant.

The truth is that there really is no reason why you or anyone you care about should continue to suffer from anxiety and panic attacks.

Now, feelings of anxiety and panic are initiated at the subconscious level of the mind — because the subconscious is the powerhouse of all feelings — and this part of the mind has latched onto the incorrect perception that the person is in very real danger. Now, the subconscious mind simply cannot tell the difference between a real and an imagined event, and it is reacting as though the situation and thought that provoked the attack was indeed dangerous. The anxiety and the feelings of panic are actually symptoms of this process.

Through the medium of transformational hypnotherapy, we are able to connect directly with the subconscious mind and re-programme its beliefs in line with reality. Once we have uncovered the origin of its faulty perception, we are empowered to correct and neutralise it. The individual is then free to move forward, leaving this difficult and restricting condition in the past.

No-one was born to live in a constant state of anxiety and panic. With the correct treatment, you can put these states behind you. You can move on.

In short, with effective transformational hypnotherapy, you can get your own life back – and back on track.

By: Peter James Field

About the Author:

A leading British hypno-psychotherapist, with practices in London and Birmingham, UK, Peter Field is the author of many articles on psychotherapy and hypnosis. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Health and Member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. More articles and useful information can be found on his website: Peter Field Hypnotherapy

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