Anxiety and Panic attacks

Anxiety is a feeling of unease, such as worry or fear, it can be mild or so severe it is life limiting.

We all experience it, waiting for an interview, when that results envelope arrives, before a big date, and this is completely normal.

However when it becomes overwhelming to a point where we find it difficult to control our worries and fears, they become all consuming  and anxiety starts controlling  our lives.

Then it can become a major symptom of several conditions, such as:

panic disorder
phobias – such as agoraphobia or claustrophobia
post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
social anxiety disorder (social phobia)

So what makes us feel anxious?

As mammals we have evolved, however our inbuilt chemical processing has remained the same.

Our ancestors had to survive when faced with physical dangers, a chemical reaction occurred within them activating a built in survival mechanism, (fight or flight),  hormones were released giving them extra resources to save their lives. So when attacked by a predator, flight or flight kicked in to protect them.

These days we don’t need to fight a predator or run for our lives, however we still have our survival mechanism and it is busy helping and hindering.
Have you had an adrenaline rush, the feeling of excitement and trepidation, butterflies in your stomach before an exciting event? Thats our survival response taking affect.

It was essential when we were faced with physical danger on a daily basis. However these days the majority of our dangers are psychological and we can’t always deal with them immediately. The longer our survival (fight or flight) response remains active, the more draining it can become, physically and emotionally.

Suppose you’re online, shopping, you fill your basket, start checking out but your transaction is declined.

But why? You’re sure there is money in your account. You try the banking app but everything is offline for an upgrade and will be for a couple of days.

Physically, your heart is beating wildly, you are stunned. Fight or flight has kicked in. You are cross but have nowhere to run.

You can fight but with who, everything is online.

So you are left with a feeling of apprehension (anxiety) for a couple of days. Your fight or flight response remains activated, hormones are released and you stay on high alert. Everything around you becomes a potential threat.

All weekend you are jumpy and agitated. Blood and resources are diverted from your digestive system, you don’t eat. Adrenalin is pumping,  you don’t sleep.
By the time the bank is open, you are so angry you go to your branch ready for a fight.

When confronted with threats like lions or tigers, danger was immediate and generally passed quickly. Survival mode was activated, did it’s job and then deactivated.
These days, Fight or Flight doesn’t always turn off and causes physical reactions like sweating, increased heart rate, nausea, loss of appetite, inability to sleep, panic and many more, which we now associate with anxiety.

We see the world as a fearful place and are stuck in “survival mode” on high alert and anxious.

It is not always easy to deal with circumstances as they arise, so imagine each of life’s curve balls, blips and traumas as pebbles and rocks in a rucksack. If we keep adding more, over time the rucksack gets heavier until one day, it’s too heavy to carry any longer, our Fight or Flight is constantly engaged, we need help.

Anxiety can seem to come from nowhere, we don’t understand why, but we may have held on to so many life events, traumas and curve balls that something seemingly insignificant can tip us over the edge. What we need is a way to lighten our load.

That’s where hypnotherapy can help, by working with you to find coping strategies, to help you lighten your load, remove some of those rocks in your rucksack.

When I contacted Nicki, I could hardly get out of the house. My anxiety was ruling my life and I did not know why. Even doing the weekly shop on my own started my heart racing. My family were great they came with me, but when faced with going alone I felt physically sick and my heart pounded so much I thought it would come out of my chest. Nicki gave me a place to talk, open up and share some of my deepest fears, she helped me understand myself and the reason I felt the way I did, she worked with me to take some control and get balance into my life. She was gentle, kind and understanding allowing me to go at my pace. Life is so much better now, I am actually living it. I can’t thank her enough. CR - Norwich

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