5 Things You Need To Know About Anxiety & What You Can Do About It by Seed’s Hypnotherapist and Mental Health Expert, Clare Cogan.
It’s not you, it’s your brain. We all have the capacity to get anxious – it’s part of our survival mechanism, our ‘primitive brain’, to help us focus in on danger and keep us alive. It’s our level of anxiety and how it impacts our lives which makes the difference. ‘It’s not a problem until it’s a problem’.
Anxiety is not a reaction to the events in our lives which we may be worried about – it’s the thoughts around those events. So, for example, nerves around an upcoming exam or job interview can vary from person to person depending on their own previous experiences
Anxiety is not fixed in your life. You do have have to define yourself as an anxious person or ‘anxiety sufferer’. We all have the capacity to reduce the part anxiety plays in our lives.
Anxiety can build up slowly over time and almost without us noticing. It can lead to small shifts in behaviour and reactions to accommodate those anxious thoughts and feelings. It can also lead us to feelings of anger and depression, all of which are primitive brain survival mechanisms.
When we feel anxious, we struggle to make even the simplest decisions and become frustrated by our limited capacity to do so. This is because the part of our brain which is logical – able to think things through using perspective and a proper assessment of the situation goes ‘offline’ and our worries about making the ‘right’ decision over-ride feeling comfortable with the conclusion we have come to
So, what can we do about it?
Empty the bucket – I support people to understand how they can support their mind with processing the negative thoughts which may be cycling round and round in their mind. We conceptualise them as being contained in a ‘stress bucket’ and that when this bucket is full to overflowing, anxiety can feel more overwhelming or difficult to manage day to day. By understand about the importance of Rapid Eye Movement Sleep (REM) and using guided relaxation at night to support good quality sleep, we can start to empty that bucket and feel more in control of those thoughts, feelings and emotions.
Focus on the 3 P’s (positive action, positive interaction and positive thinking) can start to encourage those mood enhancing chemicals to build in our brain such as dopamine, endorphins and serotonin and help us feel less anxious.
Positive action – doing things you enjoy, small achievable activities which can distract your mind and in turn, lift your mood.
Positive Interaction – spending time with/connecting with people who have that mindset of looking for the good things, even in challenging times. Just being in the same space as people like this can lift us.
Positive Thinking – reframing our thoughts to the more positive aspects. This can take time to achieve but by working on reducing our anxiety and emptying our stress bucket, this can start to become easier.
1. See your anxiety as something you can control, not something that controls you
2. Understand your brain – the interaction between the primitive and intellectual minds and the balance achievable between them.
3. Know that help and support is out there – it doesn’t have to be long term and can help you get back on the right track
For more information about supporting your mental health please visit our website & our blog.
Disclaimer: Please note that all health concerns should be discussed with your individual instructor or therapist before commencing classes or treatments. Seed Wellness is not liable for any injury or issue that might arise from your association with an instructor or therapist listed on its website.