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How normalising and understanding anxiety can actually reassure you.

Learn about why we feel anxiety, how our body responds to anxiety, what anxiety actually is and how it is all your ancestors fault !

Firstly, I can offer you my experience, empathy and a whole lot of information about anxiety. As a clinical hypnotherapist I understand how it is you are feeling. I have felt as rubbish as you do now, as anxious, stressed out and sleep deprived. I aim to simplify things for you. Allowing you to start regaining control of your anxiety, so that it no longer impacts negatively on your life and your job.

Anxiety is something we all feel at some point, but for some people is more amplified. When you are at the bottom of the dark hole of despair, silently screaming,it is hard to imagine that there will be a time when you will feel calm and in control. But I assure you, that you can.

Before we go any further, you need to know that as a human it is ok that you do not feel ok. But you will get through this and you will be ok soon. One day your anxiety will have no power over you.

The first small step that needs to be taken in your journey is to: learn what anxiety is, why it happens and what goes on in your body when you are feeling anxious. All we all know knowledge is power ! Trust me, knowing what anxiety is and why you feel that way will help you. Only then ,can you learn what to do about the anxiety.

fight or flight response to anxious thoughts
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So…what is anxiety?

It is no secret that our bodies have a  ‘fight or flight’ response and that it was essential for survival. The anxiety our ancestors felt when they were being chased by a lion is obvious and logical. It was also a quick feeling and soon passed (as long as you survived !). But for today’s world there is no big physical threat, our lives are no in mortal danger but anxiety is still a challenge for most people.  it always seems to be there. For me, I had a tightness of the jaw, and a sickly feeling in my tummy everyday of my old job, all as a result of being stressed and anxious. My body was yelling at me to take notice but back then I didn’t know how to listen to my remarkable body.

The anxiety I was feeling was not because of one big event such as losing my job, moving house  or any other pinch points in a person’s life. These are part of living. I expected to feel anxious during stressful times such as getting married, but the feeling in my stomach was a low, slow, quiet anxiety.  I was not listening to my body, I was unable to connect the dots from all areas of my life, but I plodded on and the quiet stress grew louder and louder.

Survival Mode

The long term stress I had put myself under, damaged my nervous system and it became extremely over sensitive. I wonder how many people you know that have been off work with long term stress? They have stopped flourishing and thriving as humans, and instead they are struggling to cope with most basic aspects of living. They have become more susceptible to stressors, negative thoughts, worry and fear.How terrifying that 1 in 6 people report experiencing a mental health issue each week in the UK. Although as a species we have evolved, parts of our body and brain still respond and react to stress in the same way to being chased by a bear. Your brain doesn’t care what the threat is, it just wants you to survive.

knowledge is power when overcoming anxiety
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What is happening with your brain chemistry ? 

What follows is a basic breakdown of your brain chemistry, which will easily help you understand more about why your brain reacts the way it does when you are feeling anxious. 

The key parts of your brain when it is anxious are the prefrontal cortex, the amygdala, the hippocampus, the stress hormones and the stress regulatory systems. The prefrontal cortex is the part of the brain that enables you to reason, plan and be logical. It is the most evolved and higher thinking part of your brain. The lower part of your brain is the subcortex and this is our primitive, lizard or animal brain which has evolved very little.

The sub cortex contains the limbic system which includes memory and emotions. It also contains the amygdala, a walnut shaped structure which governs emotions and triggers an alarm signal of fear in the brain. The amygdala directly interacts with the hippocampus and together they connect an emotion to an event, leading to a release of stress hormones ,putting the brain and body on high alert.  The limbic system triggers the nervous system and floods the body with stress hormones that cause the fight or flight feeling. Problems arise when the amygdala becomes overactive and thinks you are in danger (even when you are fine).

The amygdala is also one of the brain’s memory systems, meaning it constantly  triggers the warning alarm, even when there is no actual threat. So if something in the present is similar to something you found frightening once, it can trigger negative feelings from the past. 

Exhausted Cortex?

Furthermore ,the stress signals can be so strong that when stress is experienced over a long period of time, it can take over the prefrontal cortex and all thoughts become tainted with fear and worry.

When you are worrying a lot, feeling mis-trusted, overwhelmed and worrying about your life, eventually your prefrontal cortex becomes exhausted , and your amygdala is setting off warning alarms, flooding your body with cortisol. But the good news is you get your higher brain functioning well once more, it can regain control, and calm your thoughts, releasing soothing chemicals into your body. And the even better news is that you can train your higher brain,to maintain a better balance.

what happens to your brain chemistry when you have a panic attack
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How can I help you overcome anxiety ?

 Anxiety can hit you at any time and can have a major impact on your life. Helen Birch’s unique method reprograms your subconscious mind to let go of anxious thoughts and feelings and let you regain control of your life. Hypnotherapy can transform your thinking from feelings of overwhelm, impending doom,  dread, panic and breathlessness to a sense of calm and control. It can re-programme your mindset to a state of ease, comfort and confidence.

The reason hypnosis is effective is because your defence barriers come down and your mind becomes receptive and open to instructions. Hypnotherapy reaches parts of your subconscious mind that you are unable to access, allowing you to stop overthinking and return to your confident self. After the hypnotic session you will feel an inner sense of peace, self love and self confidence, no more racing thoughts and a clearer perspective. Helen Birch will instil in you an inner coping mechanism to break free from anxious thoughts and take back control of your life.

Finally, hope this information is helpful to you. It isn’t your fault you are feeling the way you feel. Anxiety is a physiological result of your body trying to protect you. Modern life is stressful and the pressures will always be there. But try to take comfort in the knowledge that stress and anxiety are necessary for your survival, and your brain reacts to it in the same way as our ancestors when they were being hunted by predators.

To find out more about how hypnosis can help you overcome your anxiety contact me on or visit my website .

Helen Birch hypnotherapist at Hypnosis in Yorkshire can help you overcome your anxiety

Thank you for reading.

Helen Birch

Hypnosis in Yorkshire

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