Beyond anxious how do you feel...
Anxiety is a common emotion that most people have experienced at some time or another in their lives. For some it can be for a fleeting moment or two but for others it can feel crippling and all-consuming and become very debilitating with seemingly no light at the end of a very long tunnel.
Like its close relative ‘stress’ it can be useful in the short term as it enables us to be mindful of our actions. Short zaps of anxiety can be useful for example before an important exam as it enables you to recognise the importance of the occasion and allows you to concentrate more fully on doing well. If you are walking alone down a quiet lane late at night the anxiety you will most certainly feel prepares you for the fight or flight response caused by a rush of adrenaline and enables your physiology to be psyched up and ready should anything untoward happen.
However, too many people allow anxiety to consume them until it become what feels like a permanent fixture of their being. They constantly feel overwhelmed by events in their lives never being able to overcome any problem or trauma fully, allowing them to move on.
What starts off as an uneasy feeling slowly manifests into physical symptoms which can be very distressing, making them feel even more anxious and there starts a vicious circle – the anxious feeling leads to physical symptoms which in turn, makes them feel worse. Anxiety → physical symptoms → more anxiety.
Some of the physical symptoms a person with anxiety may feel include palpitations. These can be very distressing and frightening as the person is suddenly very aware of their own heartbeat thumping in their chest. It feels like it is so loud that surely those around can hear it and the more anxious they become the harder and louder it pounds, gaining momentum until it is all they can concentrate on.
Shortness of breath is also a common symptom which goes hand in hand with anxiety. No matter how deep a breath the person takes, it is never quite enough and feels like the oxygen isn’t reaching deep enough into their lungs. The more they try and gulp enough air down the harder it becomes and they start to panic internally convinced that they must surely die of suffocation if this continues any longer. This can go on for some time with distraction being the best way to deal with it. If it carries on it can lead to a full blown panic attack. As frightening as these may appear, they rarely last for more than 20 minutes. Air of course is getting into the lungs but the mind's perception is that it isn’t and common sense disappears as they desperately fight for air even wondering if this could be their last breath.
Other symptoms of anxiety include perspiring heavily and having sweaty palms as inner panic takes over. People may also visibly shake or lose concentration easily as anxiety builds. They may develop tics or fidget uncontrollably as they fight to regain control internally.
Most people know the reason why they are anxious and do their best to alleviate whatever the problem is either through medication or alternative methods such as hypnosis or mindfulness. Some people are able to recognise the cause and deal with the underlying issue by either fixing it or removing the source of it from their lives.
However, some people experience anxiety which appears to come out of the blue without having any idea what the underlying cause is. This can be more difficult for them to address as they have no idea why they suddenly feel the way they do. And the same vicious cycle can start of feeling panicky then feeling anxious at the panic until they feel a nervous wreck no longer in control of their emotions which can affect their work and family relationships. Long-term anxiety if left unattended can also cause health problems and lower the immune system causing depression, fatigue, stress, sleeplessness, poor eating and a general feeling of being unwell.
Of course, whilst they may not be able to consciously remember why they feel this way, their unconscious will know why. Many people refuse to seek medical advice as they think their doctor will dismiss their general feeling of unease and show little concern if there appears to be no cause or explanation.
Hypnotherapy can be very successful in helping someone overcome their anxiety. Through guided relaxation the therapist can help them explore their unconscious mind and resolve any issues which have manifested there. It doesn’t matter whether the person is consciously aware of the root cause or not as the therapist is trained to help the unconscious mind adjust the behaviours and rectify the underlying problem associated with the symptoms of anxiety.
The therapist can teach their client self-hypnosis and breathing techniques to help them overcome any symptoms should they re-emerge, as it is the unconscious mind that controls our breathing and other physiological behaviours it is a safe and effective way of dealing with anxiety without any unpleasant side effects.
Find a therapist with experience of dealing with anxiety, ask for testimonials and realise you don’t have to feel this way any longer. The only palpitations you should experience in future are ones of excitement or when you are in love.
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