Coping With Anxiety
For many, if not most, people anxiety is a blip on their radar. It comes when they can't find their car keys or they are running late for an appointment and then it disappears when they have a good night's sleep.
If only that were true for all of us but I would say that as a hypnotherapist, anxiety and stress is one of the most common issues that people come to see me about.
Strong Mental Foundations
Why is it that some people can just shed anxiety like water off a duck's back and yet for others every setback in life is more like a millstone around their neck?
It comes down to coping mechanisms and the mental foundations we have set up to cope with the tribulations that life invariably throws at us. This is why some people smoke, as a crutch to handle their anxiety.
This may seem obvious to many people but there are a lot of stressed out and anxious people out there who have no idea why life seems so hard for them.
The Straw That Broke The Camel’s Back
We have all heard of the straw that broke the camel's back, possibly so often that we've never even thought about what that means. I'm going to take a moment to describe what it means for me.
A camel is a beast of burden. They carry people and huge loads of supplies through the blazing heat and cold of the desert relying on their own reservoirs of fat and water to carry them through the journey. Imagine being so loaded up that just one more tiny weight is enough to make you break down and cry mercy.
The thing that makes most anxious people like that camel is that they are used to carrying that load. That is their coping mechanism. They carry all that stress, all that anxiety with them and they don't let it go. Ever!
Anxiety: The Breaking Point
Eventually they reach their limit and they break in some way. Maybe an actual breakdown, maybe withdrawing from their life or job, maybe experiencing weight gain, maybe having the traditional midlife crisis.
What anxious people often don't realise is that a lot of us learn to let go of the stressors in our lives. Stressful events get categorised by successful coping mechanisms. Things get sorted into 'things I can't do anything about so I can ignore them' or 'things I can do something about'.
Because they don't carry a seemingly unending load of dead weight around they find it easy to take on individual stressful tasks as they happen. More importantly they have the emotional reserves to cope with the big problems when they come up.
Anxiety and Hypnotherapy
My task as a hypnotist is to help the first sort of person find a way to become the second. It's not always easy to do, often we have to change a lifetime habit or habits to do so (for example: selective eating disorders). To even start the process though we have to dump all the dead weight that's been holding every person with anxiety problems down.
Luckily, hypnotism is great for this sort of thing. A hypnotic trance can be very peaceful and relaxing. It's a great way to temporarily de-stress. Unfortunately, this only goes so far and with bad habits still in place all the self limiting worries and fears soon come back. For more information, check out this article on the effectiveness of hypnotherapy.
Dealing With Bad Habits
It's just as well that hypnotherapy is good for the next bit too. Dealing with bad habits. Helping the part of the mind that deals with stress to find a new, more successful way forward. It may sound silly but the reality is that most of our stress and fears are internal rather than external and the solutions are internal too.
We've all heard of lottery winners whose lives fell apart shortly after winning huge amounts of money. It's not that their life was terrible that led to their downfall. It's that they were mentally unprepared to deal with a windfall and so it became a problem for them. That's an internal problem, rather than the world having it in for them.
How Hypnotherapy Can Help
Anxiety is the same thing, it's an internal mental condition that holds us back unnecessarily. It doesn't have to be that way. We all have it within us to cope with just about any sort of anxiety and stress and hypnosis is one of the most powerful tools to help unlock that ability.
Hypnotherapy may be the tool you need to help that camel take a load off and get back out there to enjoy the journey once more.
If you’re feeling anxious and you feel that no matter what you try, you just can’t seem to shake it, get in touch and let’s talk. I’d love to see how I’d be able to help you.
Wellington, New Zealand