Fearing Anxiety

Fearing Anxiety comes from how we shape reality. Our focus determines our reality, change the focus and as a result, change the reality.

You see,  your fear can  distort your reality. When we focus on avoiding uncertainty, we skew our logic, taking anything over dreaded uncertainty.

The good news is that you can create your reality.

Fearing anxiety makes the things you dread seem like things you know. We assume rather than reasoning.

As therapists, one word we use for this is ‘Awfulising’.

Fearing anxiety changes uncertainty from possibility to threat. The fear of fear works its way deep inside and prevents us from critical balanced thinking, often when we need that ability most. It blurs our ability to think rationally with emotion, The Chimp in our minds is in charge.

Fear can also make you inactive when there is an opportune moment, becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy.

This is a fictional version of the world born of and bred by fear, but it isn’t always the reality.

Confronting fearing anxiety behaviour within ourselves is key to relief from it and here are some useful tools:

Identifying assumptions  helps, what is real and what is assumed on the basis of the fear?

When is the poisoned parrot on your shoulder feeds negativity into your ears, silence it.

Are you rationalising? justifying? projecting beliefs onto unrelated situations, or simply making excuses?

Do you notice yourself jumping to conclusions while stuck in those familiar shortcuts to them?

Are you seeing fiction as truth?

Are you thankful for what you do have, or struggling because you’re counting curses rather than blessings? Can you identify the difference between your strengths and your weaknesses, and can you live with your weaknesses?

Can you let go of your pain or are you identified by yourself (or others) due to it?

Are you building your own reality from guesses and maybe untruths, or your fears?

Most importantly, what are you missing out on?

Hypnotherapy and Psychotherapy aren’t magic wands, they’re spades, hard work in therapy challenges the above.

You as client do a job and so does the therapist, if the therapeutic relationship is strong then results are best when the right therapist, right client and right time coincide.

Using the questions above, and with professional focused help, you can identify the negative patterns in your thinking and begin work to check them out, perhaps challenge them…

… and maybe change them.





Anxiety Support Bolton

Anxiety Support Bolton is a resource to help understand anxiety from experiences and feedback of clients in Bolton whose anxiety I work with. See other resources here.

Perhaps a sense of interior discomfort or a feeling that their bodies are troubled by physical warning signs, it leads to the same outcome.

In trying to gain control, they can ignore the gut feelings and avoid internal awareness which can mean they hide within and from themselves.

Ignoring these feelings leads as a result to secondary feelings of confusion, and shame. That can mean closing off or panic symptoms because any sensory change makes them feel like a “little boat on a big sea”.

The result can be a fear of fear itself.

Fear comes from a primitive response to a threat where escape is difficult, impossible or embarrassing.

Perhaps we’re stuck on motorways, in planes, in meetings or in crowds.

Relief comes not just from external aids such as drugs, but more helpfully from changing how we feel by how we think, or react subconsciously.

Such fear is no respecter of intelligence, creativity, gender or status.

However it does have common threads.

The sufferer’s field of vision is probably inward not outward.

It can cause people to freeze.

Everything can suddenly seem blurry.

Making decisions, even simple ones is hard.

We can feel self-conscious.

Maybe it comes from the need to please others or conform. Perhaps fatigue, repressed emotions, setting the bar too high or too much responsibility.

Some of the feelings can include shame, self-blame, or frustration at being trapped in a repeating cycle.

In all the years, we haven’t made enough progress to break this negative mind/body link.

Psychology can explain  but those primitive parts of the brain don’t switch off so easily.

By being over-vigilant and reacting to inappropriate or misunderstood danger signals, we see danger where there isn’t any.

We become overwhelmed and therefore we dread.

We don’t feel fully alive, our senses work overtime but feel dulled, the body keeps a score.

Language, and the Talking-Cure of therapy is our solution in Anxiety Support Bolton.

By communicating, learning to move back into our inner selves and finding meaning, we can make some sense

In conclusion, We can find our peace.

Learn about anxiety

No learn about anxiety resources would be complete without looking at emotional resilience. The word comes from ‘resili’ – the Latin word for ‘spring back’ – it’s the process of adapting in the face of adversity.

Think of anxiety a bit like a see-saw with ‘perceived’ ability to cope on one end and demands on the other. When demands are lower that ability to cope, we are OK, when the demands are bigger than our perceived ability to cope, we have a problem, we can learn to be less anxious.

Ego strengthening and emotional resilience are about improving ability to cope. We all use scales of 1 to 10, if our ability is say a grade 4 and a grade 6 problem comes up, we can struggle, if the ability is a 9, then the grade 6 problem is easily handled.

This resilience can be cultivated. The more we learn about anxiety, the more tools we have to cope.

The first step is Realism, being realistic about a situation, for example one of the difficulties with depression is that people often attach inappropriate meaning to events. If a depressed person telephones a friend and they don’t ring back, they might think ’my friend doesn’t like me’ when the actual reason may be that they didn’t even get the message.

Next we look at establishing a goal that we can work towards, a favourable outcome. Now here hypnosis can really help with what we call ‘future pacing’. We all know that hypnosis can help us look back at past problems by regressing. The other side of that coin is looking forward which is equally (if not more) powerful.

Self-discipline is important, abandoning those ‘crutch activities’ that feel safe and familiar. It might be drink or drugs or avoidance. Ego strengthening techniques can really help with this process.

Cultivating wider interests helps because it gives us different versions of ourselves. Think of all the energy an anxious person uses just being anxious, once they are less anxious they have a surplus or energy and time to spend, space to ‘grow into’.

Re-framing is seeing something through a different frame and really important if you want to learn about anxiety. Say you suffer an ankle injury; you may well be focusing on how it stops you doing what you want to do. If you’re a soldier on the front line of a war zone, a simple ankle injury might mean rest and relaxation away from stress and danger.

Here’s a great re-frame that goes directly to the next in our list – Identity. It’s easy to concentrate on all our difficulties and things that have gone wrong. Look though at the old saying ‘what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’. That’s re-framing from victim to survivor, think of all the strengths you’ve built up in those hard times!

Flexibility is also key, changing change, making change into opportunity rather than threat.  Flexibility is vital for surviving life’s storms, if you bend with the storm winds, you don’t break.

Hypnosis, mindfulness and meditation can all help to moderate outbursts and reinforce neural pathways. Think of your mind like a cornfield for this one. The old outdated negative patterns of thought are like well-trodden paths in the corn, easy to tread again and again. By treading down new paths of positive neural pathways in the corn, like the old ones, they get flatter and flatter, and easier to tread.

A strong social network is good for emotional resilience; reach out in times of difficulty. Today, we live more and more isolated lives, often secure in the belief that Facebook friends mean we’re well supported. Look for support in times of difficulty; seek out therapy if you need to.

For control, look to Victor Frankl, “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” Moving your locus of control internally rather than externally can make a big difference.

Finally, test the changes, keep a journal and monitor your progress, learn about anxiety with free resources posted on this blog,  after all this isn’t work, it’s your life’s work!