Anxiety and media overload
There is no doubt in my mind that the rising levels of anxiety we are currently seeing in our society, are inextricably linked to the massive increase in the amount of data we are now being bombarded with every day of our lives.
From my experience, this appears to be particularly prevalent and harmful among young females roughly between the ages of 14 – 25.
After trying to understand why this phenomena has had such a dramatic effect on our mental state, I have come up with the following findings. According to researchers studying the brain’s capabilities, the average human brain has a finite limit on the amount of events it can successfully process at any one time.
Take for example listening to conversations. Most people can just about handle listening and comprehending what two people are talking to them about at any one time. If you add another conversation to the mix the brain starts to become very confused and if you add another you tend to lose the ability to differentiate all of the separate details of each conversation and then the experience becomes pretty stressful.
Now imagine if you are constantly trying to keep track of all the media sources you have without taking sufficient downtime from them. Facebook, Instagram, text messages, email, SnapChat, TV, News updates, phone calls and much more. How do you think your brain is going to react. Well, I think its pretty plain to assume that it’s going to feel overloaded and thereby threatened and you will naturally undergo the stress response causing a rise in your anxiety levels.
That is exactly the time when hypnosis could be very effectively delivered to implant messages into the subconscious to counter the effects of this response in a number of ways according to the situation and the type of client involved.
For example for anyone that tends to experience a high degree of stress in anxious situations leading to potential panic attacks, the therapist could embed messages that strongly reminds them at the time of the experience that it is just the result of a chemical release, adrenaline predominantly, and that they will not suffer a serious or fatal episode despite what their panicked thoughts are telling them.
Further suggestions could also be embedded to urge them to remove themselves from the threatening situation to a safe place, so that they are not trying to process and resolve in situ. Finally, hypnosis could then be used to suggest that they could then use calming techniques to quell the adrenaline effect which will then soon pass. Breathing, distraction, gentle exercise, self-talk to name a few.
Now I’m not suggesting that you trash all your media devices and live a disconnected existence, as there are many positive aspects to the new Interweb world. However as well as using hypnotherapy, if this is an issue, I do suggest that it’s now time to consider giving yourself daily breaks from all forms of media and perform mind calming workouts to alleviate that build up of anxiety you may be experiencing. Self-hypnosis, meditation, physical exercise and mindfulness are all excellent ways to achieve this.
Remember, just as we are continually informed that regularly working out your body is vital to a healthy, longer and a more contented life, so too is regularly working out/calming your mind.
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About Mark Lidster
Hi I'm Mark Lidster and I'm a clinical hypnotherapist and anxiety coach. I've been helping clients with all manner of personal issues from my practice in North Harrow for the past 10 years.
Of particular interest to me has been the rising issue of anxiety. I'm also a personal trainer and author of published fiction and nonfiction material.