Kirsty Louise Hypnotherapy

Anxiety and Panic Attacks

 

That feeling of dread in the pit of your stomach, like you’ve swallowed a lump concrete.

Your mind constantly whirring and not being able to shut it off as thoughts rush through like a river.

Your palms become sweaty and there’s a tight, heavy band across your chest…

Sound familiar?

You’re not alone.

Anxiety is becoming an increasingly common problem as our lives become ever busier and more demanding, with higher expectations. It’s becoming ever more difficult to switch off and disconnect as emails come streaming on, notifications ping away and there’s a need to be contactable at all times. A need to be living your best life - to be on top form at all times. Things are changing and it can be a struggle to keep up and adjust.

Our natural fight or flight response is deeply ingrained and is there to keep us safe from danger. Historically this would have been in response to a real physical threat, such as escaping a predator, and our physical response would have used up all the extra adrenaline and hormones produced by getting us to safety. Nowadays, however, we no longer face the same threats and this mechanism can be inappropriately activated, and so all the extra ‘reserves’ produced by the response are not used up as we can’t physically attack or run away from our modern worries.

What is the difference between anxiety and stress?

Anxiety and stress are often confused and there isn’t always a clear distinction. Stress is a specific response to a specific external trigger (or stressor). Examples of external triggers are circumstances such as work issues, relationship or problems, traumas or daily life struggles. Stress is a normal response that we all experience in times when we’re feeling under pressure which comes and goes, and the response duration is in line with the specific trigger. Anxiety is something that can persist and the reason for it is not always obvious. Although anxiety can be caused by a build up of stressful events that can be overwhelming and feel too much to cope with, and this can lead to panic attacks. Panic attacks are sudden and intense feelings of anxiety , and the physical symptoms can build up quickly. They can be incredibly frightening and it’s not unusual for to be afraid that you’re having a heart attack or that you may even die. Although they usually only last between 5 minutes and half an hour, it can feel like an age when they’re actually happening. It can then become a difficult cycle to break of being anxious about panic attacks, and the fear building up to tipping point.

What does anxiety feel like?

Effects on your body include:

  • Increased heart rate

  • Shortness of breath

  • Shaking or trembling

  • Palpitations

  • Feeling dizzy or lightheaded

  • Stomach ache

  • Feeling sick

  • Excessive sweating or sweaty palms or hot flushes

  • Headaches or other aches and pains

  • Dry mouth

  • Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep

Effects on your mind include:

  • Feeling tense, nervous, uneasy or unable to relax

  • Feeling like the world is speeding up or slowing down

  • Having a sense of dread

  • Feeling detached or unreal - that you’re losing touch with reality.

  • Feeling like you can’t stop worrying or that bad things will happen if you do stop worrying

  • Feeling the need for lots of reassurance from others or worrying about how other people feel towards you; that they are angry or upset with you

  • Difficulty concentrating

  • Wanting to avoid specific situations

Everyone experiences anxiety in different ways and so the symptoms tend to vary from client to client, and especially the emotional aspects as these are thoughts, feeling and perceptions.

How can hypnotherapy help?

Hypnosis is naturally a relaxing experience which, in itself, is a good place to start! Anxiety doesn’t have to be something that persists, and hypnotherapy can help you to take back control.

Hypnotherapy can help reduce anxiety by discovering the cause(s) behind it and making positive changes. We’ll then use a range of techniques to help desensitise you to stress triggers so that you respond differently in the future, and in a more calm and controlled way. All of this will enable you to effectively manage your anxiety.

You will also be taught self-hypnosis and other relaxation techniques, and given a self-hypnosis recording, to reinforce the positive changes and to strengthen those feelings of calm.