Over the last few months, I have noticed an incredible number of clients contacting me about anxiety. It appears there is another pandemic other than COVID so the aim of this blog is to give you some information that can help you.
The key is to change the way in which you react and think to a situation. When the brain is used to working in a certain way this can be very difficult as the pathways within the brain lead us to automatic responses. We literally fight to stay within that comfort zone as it is familiar to us. The power of the human mind to keep us with those old familiar patterns is quite a scary thought and breaking through those patterns that are familiar to us is very challenging. The reason why our brain keeps us in those old familiar patterns is because it is safe to us. It is comforting to stay with the familiar. If you think back to when you were learning how to drive, the moment you start learning a new skill you have to put such a lot of thought into what you are doing. Every manoeuvre gives us pause for thought but eventually after a few weeks/months of driving it becomes automatic, we do not even think about how we are driving we just do it! The more we do something the more automatic it becomes.
Being fixated on an idea has its benefits because it is easier to see danger and from a survival instinct this is vital. If you have been in a situation where you felt threatened, it could be someone who was bullying you, a parent you were afraid of, maybe a dog had bitten you, you will have learnt to react in a way that keeps you safe. You will avoid situations where you may be bullied, you will aim to keep that parent happy, ignoring your own feelings because you fear what the consequences of speaking up will do, you will avoid going anywhere that means you may come in contact with a dog for fear of bitten again. You do what you need to do in order to survive. With the examples I have just described to you, you can see how fears and phobias can also develop.
Those automatic responses have worked for you on keeping you safe so this has re-enforced those thoughts and beliefs. At the moment of threat, you are not concerned that the fear, anxiety or phobia is holding you back, you only care that you are safe. However, the logic has gone. Through avoiding potential bullies, you fail to put yourself out there and take risks so you stay where you are, you avoid standing up to your parents and put their needs ahead of your own, you avoid physical exercise and going out for walks because you fear getting bitten by a dog. Actually, when you can start to challenge yourself and put yourself out there you can start to build new pathways, you will quell those fears and anxieties by pushing past them. Before you know where you are you have increased your fitness levels by going out for walks and engaged in nature which will automatically lift your mood, met and spoken to new people and increased your social circle, grown in confidence and spoken up when you need to, expressing your needs and developing healthy boundaries with others. Your self esteem naturally increases and the anxieties are no longer holding you back.
The expression “use it or lose it” is very true of the brain and if those old pathways are not being used, they will eventually fade away and your new thought processes will become more automatic.
If you are fed up of living the way you are and want to live free of fear, insecurity, anxiety, and live wholeheartedly then you can. In challenging yourself and pushing past your boundaries you can overcome those old patterns of behaviour. Counselling and hypnotherapy can really help you to achieve this. For more information please do not hesitate to contact me.