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Archive for the ‘anxiety’ category

Being present in your daily life is easier said than done, but once you harness the power to live in the moment, it’s like a weight has been lifted from your shoulders. When you learn how to be present-minded, you’ll quickly notice that there are several life-changing benefits, including improved social skills, reduced stress levels, increased creativity, less over-thinking, the ability to be more open, playfulness, and a greater appreciation for the world around you. During times of uncertainty, it’s all the more important to know how to be more present. Here are some key ways to help you on your journey to living a more balanced and stressless lifestyle.

Swap Angst With Curiosity
Is fear precluding you from growing on a spiritual, emotional, or physical level? The fear of making the wrong decision, taking a risk, or being a perpetual people-pleaser could be holding you back from getting that promotion, living in your dream home, or finding the perfect relationship. Instead of feeling fearful, look at these scary scenarios as an opportunity to act on feelings of curiosity instead. It will help you be more open to trying new things and meeting new people.

Trust Your Gut
Believe it or not, you can rarely go wrong by making a decision based on trusting your first instinct. The tricky part is learning how to trust your gut. Practice by acting on what your instinct is telling you when it comes to making a small or large decision. Once you get into this habit, you’ll have greater confidence in your decisions.

Practice Gratitude
Gratitude is defined as feeling thankful for what one has and being ready to express that appreciation. When we practice spiritual gratitude, we are expressing our thankfulness for what we have received, including material or monetary gains, positive feelings, and the people in our lives. Make an effort to cultivate gratitude every day by writing down what you’re grateful for (even the simplest things count!), learning how to recognize the feeling of gratitude within your body, getting support to stay strong (friend, family member, psychic or otherwise), and staying consistent with your practice.

Surround Yourself With Positive People
While constructive criticism can help you grow, destructive negativity can cause you to doubt yourself. Maybe it’s because someone is jealous of you or perhaps they are just miserable in their own lives. Whether it’s friends, family, a significant other, or spiritual advisors, surround yourself with positive people who make you feel more confident and motivated. Of course, with social distancing in place, you’re going to have to connect in different ways. Have daily phone calls with family, video chat a dear friend, or get a group chat going to keep up with multiple loved ones. Spending extended periods of time away from others can tend to feel isolating, but luckily technology allows us to still feel closely connected during this experience. Stay connected with others to remind yourself that you are not alone, and we are all in this together.

Practice Self-Care
A healthy body equates to a healthy mind—one that is more apt to stay present. Taking care of yourself is crucial on a normal day let alone during uncertain times. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep, exercising, and eating a balanced diet filled with nourishing whole foods. Self-care can also be defined as carving out some time for yourself to do something you enjoy such as reading, gardening, listening to music, taking a bubble bath, cooking a healthy meal, etc.

Schedule some time in your day to take a deep breath and clear your mind. Even if it’s just for 10 or 15 minutes, meditating each day can be a very effective way to reduce your stress levels, increase relaxation, and improve sleep. This can also help you practice mindfulness, increasing your self-awareness so you can address how you are truly feeling. If you’re looking to get started, try out guided meditations found on YouTube or download apps such as Headspace and Calm.

As you will have seen elsewhere on my site, hypnotherapy is very much about using your unconscious mind and the strength you have there.

But sometimes it can feel as if your unconscious is working against you.Filling A Brain With Funnel Vector Stock Vector - Illustration of ...
You might be keen to quit smoking, or be friends with every spider you see . But down in the back of your mind, where you may not even be aware of it, there could be a part of you that has other ideas.
Your unconscious mind has a number of roles, one of which is to keep you safe. In order to do this, it creates anxiety and fear around situations that are – or could be – dangerous. The problem is that the unconscious mind is emotional rather than logical. So it can’t always judge the level of threat correctly.
This is where the spider problem can arise. Here in the UK spiders are generally harmless, but if you had an experience in the past that associated them with bad feelings, your unconscious mind loses sight of the actual amount of risk you are in and will try to keep you away.
The closer you come the higher your anxiety gets, until it’s so bad you run away, and your unconscious mind thinks ‘Yay! Now we’re safe!’ and next time it will do the same again.
Change – even good change – can be scary, so your unconscious mind treats it like a dangerous situation. While you might have had enough of smoking, your unconscious might believe that quitting would be really difficult and stressful, or worry about how you would feel if you failed. To protect you from that, it stops you even trying, or sabotages your attempts and sends you back to the cigs.
This isn’t the only reason people struggle with change, of course, but if you find yourself stuck and unable to create any positive change in your life, this could be what’s happening.
Now imagine – what if all the strength of mind that goes into preventing you quitting was working for you instead of against you? Wouldn’t life be easier? You’d make every change effortlessly, with ease and enthusiasm. Everything could just flow. What you need to do to achieve this is to negotiate successfully with your unconscious mind.

How to negotiate successfully with your unconscious mind:
Remember your unconscious mind works with feelings, imagination and memories, not logic.
It sends its messages as physical sensations, like butterflies in your tummy when you are anxious. However, just because you’re receiving a message doesn’t mean you have to act on it. You have choices. Think of the sensation as a suggestion and you can decide if it’s a good one to listen to or not.

Tap into your unconscious mind.
Your unconscious mind is active when you are doing activities automatically or in a trance or daydream state. So, if you have a question like ‘why is it difficult for me to quit smoking?’, write that at the top of a piece of paper. Then start brainstorming answers. Just write them down as they occur to you whether they seem right or not. Imagine your hand is writing them by itself with no input from your logical self, almost like doodling. You might feel silly at first, but let the creative part of your brain take over and keep writing words on the paper. Most of what you write will be irrelevant or something you know already but keep going until new ideas start to come out. Avoid giving up too soon because your intuition will tell you when you discover something important or something that will help you make the changes more easily.

Make friends with your unconscious mind.
It’s trying to be helpful even if the way it has chosen to do that isn’t working out for you Suppose you find it hard to save money. There is a reason for that, a part of you that either believes having money is bad, or that having little money is good. Using meditational techniques can be useful. Clear your mind as much as possible, and relax your body. Ask yourself questions and listen to the answers. Sometimes it helps to imagine having ‘another you’ to ask, a kind of ‘wise advisor’ version of yourself who has all the answers. Once you have them, negotiate a compromise. Maybe your unconscious believes that having too much money is selfish or greedy. You could ask if giving some of your increased earnings to charity would be acceptable.

Enlist the help of a hypnotherapist.
In hypnosis, your unconscious mind is much more accessible than usual, and it’s possible that information you didn’t know you had can be reached. This might include what is holding you back, and also what you can do about it. Properly worded hypnotic suggestions can also help the unconscious mind see new ways forward so that change is possible.

Remember that your unconscious mind might be behind the mental blocks you’re experiencing, but it’s not to blame.
It’s trying in the only way it knows to keep you safe. Unfortunately, it can’t do much logic and may have faulty data or information taken out of context from your past experiences. For example, just because one dog growls at you doesn’t mean they all will, but your unconscious mind may not realise this.

It’s important to know how to skillfully negotiate with your subconscious.
If you are experiencing a disagreement between what you know (in your logical mind) and what you feel (in your emotional, unconscious mind) what you feel nearly always wins. The trick to resolving the disagreement is to get what you know and what you feel working together because fighting with yourself is the biggest obstacle of all.

Up to 5% of the population suffer from diagnosed health anxiety, while at least 10% have some form of clinical anxiety. However, anxiety levels for everyone can increase during high-stress situations such as this Coronavirus outbreak.
There are several reasons why health anxiety may increase;

Medical uncertainty – Currently, there are very few answers to our question about the virus, which can increase anxiety levels as we lack control over treatment and avoidance.
Unfamiliarity – Having to change routines and being in an unfamiliar situation can also cause our panic levels to rise as we are typically creatures of habit.
Leadership failures – During international events, we look to leaders to take control of the situation, when leaders and their interventions fail; we become distrusting and anxious.
Conflicting information – We look to experts for reassurance, and when there is conflicting information from medical experts, we don’t know what to do or expect.
Synergistic anxieties – Medical concerns can couple with other anxieties, such as financial worry, which tap into our personal stressors.

With all of these aspects, it is entirely understandable that you may be suffering from anxiety, stress, or simply being uncomfortable or uneasy about your routine being interrupted.
However, this anxiety, stress and worry do not help your mental health or the situation. If you are feeling concerned, then it is well worth taking measures to manage this anxiety for the good of your physical and mental health and wellbeing.

The Negative Effects Of Health Anxiety

When we suffer from stress and health anxiety, then our bodies have two natural responses.
Irrational decision-making
High levels of stress have an effect on our parasympathetic system. This can influence our usually logical approach to decision making. Typically, in times of stress, we favour reward-centred decisions. This could be turning to comfort food, drinking, overspending or other vices. These reward-focused activities may seem to help our wellbeing in the immediacy but often has a negative effect in the long term.
Stress can also make us more likely to choose high-risk, high-payoff options. This means we may choose to put our health at risk, rather than selecting the most sensible options to look after ourselves.
Reduced immune system effectiveness
Stress and anxiety causes the stress hormone corticosteroid to rise. In turn, this hormone lowers the number of lymphocytes in the immune system, which can suppress its effectiveness to combat illnesses.
During times of health concerns, it is vital to boost immune functionality as much as possible. Consequently, it really is important to manage your stress, where possible, to keep your body healthy.

How To Manage Coronavirus Health Anxiety

Reduce News Exposure
Anxiety is contagious and the more you expose yourself to other people’s concerns will increase your own stress. While it is important to stay in the loop; you do not have to be glued to the web for advice. There are lots of fake news and opinions out there that can increase your anxieties.
Instead, try to pick just one or two trusted sources and limit the time you look at them, to no more than three times a day.
It may be best to avoid social media at this time. While it’s good to stay social, it can help to limit your exposure to other people’s stress which may aggravate your own anxieties.
Getting good quality sleep can help to improve your mood, reduce anxiety and boost your immune system too. Turn off devices at least an hour before bed and indulge in a relaxing bedtime winddown routine. From a warm bath, gentle stretching, meditation and reading a good book, preparing yourself for sleep can help to ensure you can fall asleep in good time and give your body the rest it deserves.
Breathing Exercises
Deep and relaxed breathing can help to slow down the sympathetic nervous system. This is where our flight or fight response comes from, which can heighten with anxiety. Furthermore, deep breathing can also help to engage the parasympathetic nervous system. This will allow you to experience a sense of calm, focus and positive, rational decision making.
In my free Manage Coronavirus Anxiety program, I will take you through the best breathing techniques for focus, calm and clarity.
Let Go Of Control
With this Coronavirus outbreak, there are many things we cannot control from vaccinating ourselves to travelling. It is important to let go of obsessing over the things we cannot control and focus on what we can. Personally, you can maintain good hygiene and safety practices. However, worrying about sliding stock prices or the number of cases will not help your mental health. Furthermore, your worry will not change the situation.
Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), also known as tapping, has been shown to help the body’s stress response and promote relaxation, especially for health anxiety. One study has found that 90% of participants saw a reduction in anxiety. Many other studies have found that EFT treatment can significantly decrease stress, worry and fear.
If you want to learn more about EFT to reduce negativity and stress, check out my quick instructional video.
Alternatively, I offer a Coronavirus-specific EFT practice in my free Manage Coronavirus Anxiety program.
Meditating for just five minutes a day can cause significant improvements to our mental health. In fact, studies have found that those who meditate enjoy a high quality of life and better coping mechanisms in times of stress and uncertainty.
Follow my meditation advice and add health anxiety specific affirmations to your practice here.
Focus On Your Needs
During periods of stress, it is vital that you are aware of your own needs and feelings so that you can look after your wellbeing. It is crucial to maintain healthy activities that you enjoy, which can help to release feel-good endorphins. Take time to relax and keep your usual routines as much as possible with sleep, exercise and healthy eating.
Remember, that as soon as you feel on edge, try and keep things in perspective.

Can’t concentrate,  attention span seems to be short and your either eating more or have gone off food altogether? What is going on?

We have never known anything like this to happen before so we are all adjusting to the changes we are making in our lives. Hopefully they will only be for the short term but we don’t really know how long that short term will be. Being alone or isolated can be hard. It’s a very sensible precaution to make sure you keep your distance and follow all of the advice that you are being given.
Sometime we don’t really understand some of the things that are happening. It’s quite clear and perhaps easy to understand why we may be suffering from stress and anxiety at this time. Not knowing what will happen can do that, although you can learn to let go of those worries…right now though let’s talk about why you feel anxious and why it is so hard to concentrate.

Lack of concentration and short attention span.

What is going on here? Well it is all about something called Hypervigilance. We have evolved to do so many amazing things in our lives but parts of our brain haven’t quite caught up with that intelligence and are still behaving as if they don’t really know what is going on.

So, take yourself back a few hundred years and imagine you are searching the forest for some food when you hear a noise in the distance. You look across and there is a huge bear in front of you and he has seen you…he is coming for you and you start to run away. You manage to lose him and make your way back to where you are settled in camp, but now you don’t know where he is. So now it is on your mind. Thinking about eating isn’t so important suddenly. More important is to look out for that bear, could he attack you and your family? If you see him in the distance you need to keep on looking out for him and making sure you are very careful and always on alert. You won’t be going back to normal until you know that the problem the bear is causing is over.

Ok, this  is just an analogy and I’m sure you can see the correlation between the bear and the disease Covid 19. It’s perfectly normal to have a *flight* response and only to be expected. Right now it feels like we are all living in fear of that bear and the stress he is causing us. Having a short attention span and finding it hard to concentrate is a normal reaction.
Try and find other things to do. Distract yourself with jobs, gardening, art, music, exercise, writing, being daft! or meditating, there are thousands of ideas out there at the moment to help with this. Just bear in mind that looking after yourself and learning to let go will help. Breathe deep and enjoy this time of reflection.

Imagine being able to put Anxiety into the past with a 3 minute exercise. Over half of my clients are seeing me for anxiety relief. It seems as though the scourge of society today is anxiety/panic attacks. And yes depression or the symptoms of depression are there as well but I want to focus on the impact that anxiety has on people everyday. I have taught hundreds of clients how to control and alleviate the symptoms of anxiety and panic attack and I’d like to share one technique with you now.

Anxiety is affecting more and more people every day but it doesn’t have to be that way. Anxiety is NOT a part of the conscious mind. It resides in the unconscious mind. The most common symptoms that someone experiencing anxiety or panic are:

  • tightening of the chest muscles leading to shortness of breath and heart palpitations,
  • Sweaty palms,
  • A rolling or uncomfortable feeling in the stomach … sometimes nausea,
  • Tightening of the neck and shoulder muscles leading to having a light head or tension headaches.

If you want to have control rather than being out of control, I’ll walk you through the steps.

  1. Close your eyes and allow yourself to focus on the anxious feeling. Where in your body is it located?  Now focus on (or observe) where the feeling of fear or anxiety starts.
  2. Imagine that there is a wheel spinning in the location of that feeling. eg chest, stomach. The wheel could be metal, wood, plastic or whatever you imagine it to be. And see or be aware of how it moves, and how it spins.
  3. Increase that spinning feeling, getting faster and faster … now see that you have the ability to take it out of your body so that it is now spinning in front of you.
  4. Then count to 3 and flip it upside down so that it is spinning in a different direction, then change its colour to a calming colour (your choice), keep the spinning going faster and faster then imagine pulling this spinning wheel back into your body keeping the spinning going in this new direction.
  5. Now as if you were applying a handbrake, slow the spinning down to a leisurely pace … and notice that your breathing … and heart beat has slowed as well. And just before the wheel stops you can open your eyes.

As you bring your focus to your breathing … be aware of what you are now feeling.

If anxiety is an unwanted element of your day, you can put it into the past with effective Hypnotherapy. Give hypnosis a go. It might be one of  better decisions. For more information on Stress and Anxiety check out the link

When you are in the midst of a problem, it seems reasonable that you would worry. You’re only human after all. A small amount of worry is ok when it is productive but when it starts to be all that you do, going over and over things, trying to solve the problem but not getting anywhere with it, it can become detrimental. In fact, it can keep you in the problem for longer.

Before we go any further, let’s look at what worrying is. The dictionary definition of worrying is to feel or cause to feel anxious or troubled about actual or potential problems.

Our thoughts have a lot to answer for. They are, as the definition above states, what can cause us to feel anxious or troubled about something. Your thoughts are not innocuous, falling on deaf ears as you think them. Sure they are just words but they are words with power. You know all too well that your thoughts affect you in a number of different ways. They affect your emotions and behaviours but also impact you on a physiological level too.

I talk a lot about thoughts with my hypnotherapy clients, how they can be more aware of them, identify any thinking errors they might be having, disputing the negative thoughts and ultimately restructuring them into something more supportive and useful for them.

I have lost count of the times that clients tell me that worrying helps them. This is quite a commonly held belief among people with stress and anxiety. Unfortunately, holding this belief can be quite limiting. If you think worrying is helpful, then you’re going to want to keep doing it and then you’ll be stuck with the anxiety or stress for even longer. Here I am going to talk about some of the most commonly held beliefs about worrying.

Worrying Helps to Prepare Me
Anxious people often believe that worrying helps to prepare them for situations and events. I get that you want to be prepared for things. And thinking about upcoming situations can indeed be useful to ensure that you have everything in order. However, worrying about it all the time and thinking about all those what-ifs doesn’t help you be more prepared. Just think about all those times where something happened spontaneously and you were able to handle it. You weren’t able to worry about it beforehand because you didn’t know it was going to happen but everything turned out ok. There are so many ways that you can help prepare yourself both physically and mentally for something that doesn’t involve worry.

Worrying Helps Prevent Bad Things from Happening
Some people think that thinking the worst is a good thing because then when something bad happens, they aren’t surprised (and disappointed) by it. Other people with anxiety think that worrying actually helps prevent bad things from happening. Worrying can indeed make you decide not to do something, to avoid a situation. You might think that this is preventing something bad from happening but the avoidance behaviour reinforces your worries, making anxiety worse. This is when fears and phobias can start to form too. There are no guarantees in life and bad things do happen but there are many ways that you can build your resilience and be more in control so that if something does happen, you can cope effectively.

Worrying Motivates Me
There are some people with anxiety who believe that their worrying motivates them to do things. I kind of see their point in that when we have something in our life we don’t want, we can strive to move away from it. However we need to know where we’re heading too otherwise we can lose momentum. But wanting to move away from and towards something and being motivated to do that has a very different result to worrying about the situation you are in or the goal you have set yourself. Let’s say you had a goal to start exercising regular, perhaps do Couch to 5k, in order to get fit. If you worried about every aspect of the programme, what shoes to wear, where to run, who to run with, will you be able to even run for 1 minute, how long will it take for you to get to 5k, is that even possible or are you going to fail and just stay put on that couch. I don’t know about you but I wouldn’t bother going for a run at all if I kept thinking all those things. I would not feel motivated. Realistic and measurable goals can help to motivate you, as can focusing on the benefits of whatever it is you want to do.

These are the most commonly held beliefs about worrying that I’ve come across over the years whilst seeing clients. However, there are more. Some people believe that worrying shows that they are a caring person and it becomes a part of their identity. They mistakenly believe that if they stop worrying, people will think that they no longer care about things.

A little like the belief above about how worrying helps you prepare for something, some believe that worrying is an effective way to problem solve, that they are taking action to help them out of their problem. But worrying is not the same as problem-solving and nor is it taking action. Sure there are some similar characteristics perhaps, looking at the pros and cons of something, and the positive and negative what-ifs. However, problem-solving tends to have a goal in mind and is more structured whereas worrying tends to be more chaotic and all over the place with no specific destination in mind.

And another belief is that worrying protects you from negative emotions. But this is so far from the truth. When you’re worrying, how do you tend to feel? Not amazing I bet! You’re experiencing negative emotions as a result of the negative thoughts that you are having. They might be different emotions to the ones that you were trying to avoid but they are negative emotions nonetheless.

Do you recognise any of these beliefs in yourself?

If you are experiencing anxiety or stress, in order to break away from it, you need to be aware of whether you are holding any of these limiting beliefs about worrying and then recognise that worrying gets you into far more trouble than you perhaps once thought. And then it’s time to rethink those beliefs. What would be a more useful belief to have about what worrying does for you?

Just for a minute, think about something that happened recently that you worried about. And ask yourself these questions: What happened? Did the worrying really help you? Did it protect you? Prepare you? Motivate you? Prevent negative emotions or bad things happening? If you hadn’t worried about it, do you really think it would have been worse? Now imagine that you hadn’t worried about it, what do you think the most likely outcome would have been then? Would it have been better, worse or about the same as when you spent all that time and energy worrying?

It is very possible to gain all the perceived benefits that you get from worrying elsewhere. By learning a variety of ways to relax and destress, gain control over your emotions, build confidence and resilience you can become more prepared, motivated, and in control so that you no longer feel the need to worry.


We will all experience a form of anxiety at some point in our lives and during those times it can feel as though we are completely alone.

But it is important to remember that even the stars we see on TV, who appear confident and in control, will still suffer bouts of anxiety.

Celebrities are no exception when it comes to panic attacks. Whether it’s a one-time event or something they consistently struggle with, dealing with a panic attack is never easy — and many celebrities are the first to admit it.

Who else suffers?

Not so long ago Robbie Williams, who is well known for his anxiety, was helping Grammy- winner Adele to overcome her severe stage fright whilst preparing for her first Oscars performance.

The ‘Rolling In The Deep’ songstress  has suffered with terrible stage fright since she was 16, but it became worse than ever as she’d been out of the spot light for some time and needed something to help her with it. Robbie and his wife, Ayda helped her with breathing and relaxation exercises.

Zayn Malik, former member of One Direction, cancelled a show in Dubai due to ‘extreme anxiety’. In a message sent to fans, Malik explained how, while he is learning how to deal with nerves, he didn’t feel comfortable playing a live show.

However, it’s not just stage fright with some famous stars. Below are six celebrities who have suffered from panic attacks:

  • Amanda Seyfried.
  • Lena Dunham.
  • Oprah Winfrey.
  • Emma Stone. …
  • Ellie Goulding.
  • John Mayer.

In a 2012 interview with Rolling Stone, singer/songwriter John Mayer admitted to suffering from panic attacks set off by his fear of ending up in a mental institution.

Actress Amanda Seyfried told a well known magazine that she regularly sees a therapist to cope with her panic attacks.  “I still do get terribly nervous, and that’s partly due to the fact I think too much and overanalyze things,” she said. “I’ll start worrying about my parents or my dog, and I’ll picture him opening the window of my apartment and falling out, even though I can’t get that thing open myself.

During an overwhelming period at work in 2013, even Oprah Winfrey had a panic attack. She was filming Lee Daniels’ “The Butler” alongside doing a number of celebrity interviews.

You are not alone

When you are going through a bad time, remember that you are not alone. You are not the only one who is experiencing these issues, even though it may feel that way. Talking about how you feel and explaining what you are going through can be very helpful, though we understand that you may not feel comfortable talking to a loved one. While everyone may experience anxiety differently, there are steps you can take to reduce symptoms and hypnotherapy can help you to cope when feelings start to reappear, if not get rid of them altogether.

Hypnotherapy for anxiety

Hypnotherapy can be an effective treatment in reducing feelings of anxiety. The process looks to discover the root cause of the problem, then working to change the thoughts and feelings associated with it.

A hypnotherapist can begin to teach you how to regain a sense of control. You will discover how to alter negative or distorted thoughts that may be operating subconsciously using the reframing tool NLP. This will help remove the triggers for your anxiety and replace them with powerful, positive and confident thoughts enabling you to take on new challenges easily.

In trance you can replay stressful situations visually whilst viewing them from an emotionally detached perspective enabling you to gain new insights which help to resolve long standing problems.

I include EFT in many of my sessions, this is a tool which helps to calm the amygdala part of the brain, which keeps us on high alert, and reduces the cortisol(stress hormone) levels in the body.

Mindfulness is also very helpful in reducing mindfulness. For a great free course follow the link