The causes of anxiety can be vast, and trying to pinpoint an exact cause can be very difficult. A general anxiety condition normally develops over a period of time, and is the result of a series of negative experiences and stress during certain situations. It is also common for people to develop a specific anxiety (or phobia) of one particular thing, due to an event which triggered the fear response in someone’s past.
An awareness of what is physically going on within the nervous system during an anxious episode can be of great benefit, as an individual can learn to recognise these symptoms and feelings as they begin to occur. This self-awareness can bring a sense of control back to the situation, so that the symptoms themselves do not create additional anxiety.
The fight or flight response works within the amygdala in the brain, and causes the sympathetic nervous system to release adrenalin so that we are ready to either run or fight for our lives. So this has evolved to protect us from threats, and therefore at the right times can be of great use to us. The problem is that in the world we live in today we rarely have need for this mechanism. An excessive anxiety response can be due to an individuals amygdala being over-active by default. Meaning that sometimes our brains can be inadvertently trained to become hyper-vigilant to our surroundings, which can cause us to always feel on edge and anxious, as well as over react to the things people say to us.
Obsessive rumination on past experiences or what could go wrong in the future is another huge cause of anxiety. As the unconscious mind does not know the difference between real events and what is being imagined by the individual, it begins to send signals to the amygdala to initiate the fight or flight response, when negative images and scenarios are being imagined. Over time these pathways can become so strong, that a single thought or image is enough to trigger extreme anxiety or a panic attack.
When similar events occur in a person’s life to those which occurred during a past episode of anxiety, this can also be enough to trigger an anxiety attack, as the individuals brain has become conditioned to recognise the event as a threat, when in reality here is nothing to fear.Hypnotherapy is one of the best ways of resetting these mechanisms and replacing them with new ones, which are useful to the individual as opposed to working against them. Techniques can also be introduced which show someone how to initiate the relaxation response when they need to.
Although Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) can help to control unwanted thinking patterns, one of it’s main limitations is that it is all cognitive, thinking based work. The work that needs to be done on a deeper level sometimes needs to be felt internally, rather than simply thought about.
With Hypno-psychotherapy we address both the unconscious and the conscious parts of your mind so that they can work together in harmony, rather than conflicting with each other.