Anxiety? How to choose your own 'movie'...
Alfred Hitchcock knew the scariest part of any horror movie is not when the attack happens. The scariest part is just before we expect it to happen. The long build-up to the shower scene in "Psycho" is a good example. Similarly, Steven Spielberg created terror with just the hint of a great white shark in "Jaws". That rubber fin feeding our fear of what lies beneath.
Why is this? Whilst the actual stabbing or shark attack can make us feel sick, the long wait of expectation is where we really go "through the wringer". Anxiety is not a state that is concerned with what is happening now. It is concerned with what may be about to happen and if we fear something is about to happen, it kick-starts our "fight or flight" response without even the courtesy of checking with us that it's appropriate.
Anxiety is really useful in short bursts as it gets your body ready to take action; to fight an imminent threat or run away from it. Once you have done this, it should go away; "job done". When it stays though you feel as if you are living in an unending horror movie, perpetually waiting for the attack but not knowing if or when it will happen.
Life becomes difficult to endure as the symptoms of anxiety; lack of sleep, hyper-alertness, racing heart, fuzzy thinking takes over your normal enjoyment in being alive. You can feel trapped inside a mind and body that has been taken over by an alien life-form, leaving you feeling helpless and out of control. Even your sense of who you are; your identity becomes lost.
It is no surprise that given all this, you can feel the situation is hopeless. The horror movie is now your life and you may see only one way of ending it.
Shakespeare's Hamlet said, "nothing is good or bad but thinking makes it so". Your thinking has been taken over and all seems "bad". It has made your life a scary movie but this can change. Your life can become a "good" movie, (you choose the genre; romantic, comedy, adventure...?).
So, do you need to embark on a saga of gruelling therapy to battle and defeat this anxiety beast? Well, that would be one way...perhaps...but remember this; your anxiety is trying to protect you. It is not your enemy, it is a very misguided friend. Once you realise this you can begin the path to living your own movie in a way that is far easier than you could ever have imagined.
In sessions, clients have "seen" their anxiety as hovering spaceships, knights in armour, a green blob and even "Pete's Dragon". Seeing your anxiety allows you to begin a relationship with it. One which was full of hate and misunderstanding can become one of affection and appreciation. I'm aware this may sound a bit silly but I have seen it transform many lives in therapy sessions. By working together, over time, the anxiety lets go of its grip because it "learns" that it can.
Hypnosis uses images, just like the movies. Images go straight through to our subconscious which makes them a great force for change in therapy. Anxiety can help and a good hypnotherapist will help free you from the horror.
Think of your favourite movie. Who is your favourite character? What do you like so much about this character? Now imagine being like this character and living this film. It is possible. With the right help you can live the life you deserve. Choose your own movie
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