What relationship do you have with your Anxiety?
By: Michael van Soest
Anxiety is a serious topic in today’s society and it seems that it is becoming more common amongst young adults.
To get to know more about anxiety, everyone experiences anxiety to some degree as it is a normal part of our body’s function. It is your body’s way to increase your attention and focus to problem-solve, become motivated to work harder toward a goal, or to warn you about a potential threat. Essentially to elevate your awareness to something that needs attention.
To a greater degree, anxiety is in a sense your threat response system. When your brain believes you are in danger, it sends out a series of signals to your body, eventually resulting in the fight-or-flight response.
In the short term, anxiety increases your breathing and heart rate, concentrating blood flow to your brain, when you need it. This physical response is to prepare you to potentially face an intense situation, if needed.
Throughout life, we are subject to many different aspects of life: vast amount of information, environmental pollution, excessive thoughts, and other. It is no wonder that for some of us our body’s natural alert system is going off continuously. The more curious question is: why does it affect some people more than others? This has been a question I have asked and have dedicated myself to find out, having gone through continuous severe anxiety while I’ve noticed other people without.
Many psychologists speculate that severe anxiety is a learned behavior. We condition ourselves over time to react to stressful or fearful situations in a particular way that can create a momentum of growth. We may even have picked this up from our parents or people that were close to us at a young age.
Although everyone has the potential to experience anxiety in some way, it is obvious that for some, myself included at one point, that anxiety can be quite a serious health concern, unable to calm down for days, sometime even months, eventually feeling burnt out and unable to sleep while others it barely affects at all.
Research has led me to many great answers that I have been able to experiment on myself. This was the beginning to reverse and manage my own anxiety to a point where I could begin to live a more pleasant life. That being said we are all unique and just because it has worked for me, it may or may not work for you.
There is lots of information online about how to overcome anxiety, lots of temporary stuff, but temporary wasn’t the goal. I was on the search to permanently deal with anxiety without the need to continuously have to go to someone or take something.
So let’s get into some more permanent common threads that I have found and have helped others with, that could potentially help you out today.
fMRI brain scans show that anxiety lights up the imagination center in the brain. So let’s think about this for a moment. Most of the time… Almost every single time. We are safe and sound not being chased by a wild animal in a life-threatening situation. So where is the danger for anxiety to be activated? It is, believe it or not, a product of the mind. not just the mind, but imagined and not actually real in the present moment. Next time you experience anxiety ask yourself: is this real or imagined by me?
There is a reason your anxiety “alert system” is going off. Some people say breathe deeply and count backwards from 10. Let’s be real. Very temporarily it may work. Breathing is great, don’t get me wrong I love breathing. But the truth underneath it is, there is a reason anxiety is happening. It is simple, find out the reason or reasons. Don’t try to seek pleasure and run away from it, Identify it!! Be curious, journal and write it out.
The most important… If your thoughts are influencing your anxiety then what is driving your thoughts? The way we think is influenced by our beliefs. Two people in the exact same situation, one person is naturally calm, while the other is naturally anxious. The main difference is our beliefs that is influencing the way we think and behave. If your anxiety alert system is going off, first what is the situation causing it, then what is the belief that is influencing your thoughts that is causing your anxiety? By changing your beliefs, you may just be surprised what will happen.
I’ve always thought I was doomed with anxiety, and every time I’ve tried to overcome my anxiety I struggled. I wasn’t the type of person to mask it with something or temporarily keep it at bay. I had a feeling that there was a reason for why it was there. Through research, seeking help from others and doing the personal work, I figured out what was causing it for myself and did the work to change it with the right information and help. I now experience a healthy dose of anxiety only when needed – activating attention and focus only when I find it to be necessary.
I believe that everyone can do the same. Having no anxiety is not good. When you need to do something that is under pressure or when you are in a critical situation, you don’t want to be care free with no alert stimulation. Anxiety is a good thing when at a healthy level. Too much anxiety on the other hand is overwhelming and can simply do your body harm. Definitely not ideal.
Healthy anxiety is the key. What is a great therapy that can help with this?
When severe anxiety becomes habitual, it is best to work on a subconscious level to begin to reverse the severe pattern of anxiety and also figure out what is causing the anxiety in the first place. With lots of studies and research, hypnosis has been shown to be an effective and valid treatment.
Hypnosis is not what most people think. We go into a state of trance / hypnosis many times throughout the day. Most commonly watching TV. Yeap. Other times while we are driving (“zoning out”, in a sense losing track of time while traveling distances) and listening to music (tuning right into the rhythm of music being in your own zone)
Stage hypnosis is entirely different than clinical hypnotherapy. As I done what I’ve needed to become a clinical hypnotherapist, I see stage hypnosis as quite a stage act. There are many people who already want to do silly things on some level or else they would wont even do it. All hypnosis is self-hypnosis. It will not work without your permission. Similar to meditation. You can go into a meditative state and pull yourself out of a meditative state at any point.
95% of people can be hypnotized. Again we go in and out of a trance / hypnotic state many times throughout the day. The primary factor is you giving and allowing permission to be hypnotized.
A variety of medical associations and healthcare organizations recognize hypnosis as a valid treatment option for anxiety. Including the British Psychological Society, the American Medical Society and the British Medical Society.
Benefits of hypnosis for Anxiety:
• Reduction in Anxiety
• Long lasting Relaxed state
• Improved sleep
• Identify root cause of Anxieties
• Strengthening will power
• Increased Meta Cognition
• Manage a Healthy Anxiety
• Increased sense of self-worth
• Increased confidence
Hypnotherapy allows us to reverse the severity of habitual anxiety while working with the client over a number of sessions. This allows for an effective and efficient way to reduce severity of anxiety to a healthy manageable state. Through hypnosis, it is also possible to find out the cause the anxiety. With the permission and willingness of the client it is possible to change the root cause (usually a belief) to a more constructive an empowering belief. Let’s empower our mind to be a better friend.
For the best results to take place, the client must be certain they are ready to commit to their change. This is about working together. All hypnosis is self-hypnosis. In order for the hypnosis to work the client must be willing to give permission for the hypnosis and techniques to work. Change takes a process and with the right information change can be easier than expected.
A little about myself, My name is Michael van Soest. I am a certified and registered clinical hypnotherapist with the international medical and dental association. My personal journey of dealing with anxiety and health concerns has led me to where I am today. Hypnotherapy has really changed my life for the greatest good. I am now primarily focused on helping others work through their anxiety and am fully dedicated to be of service.
If you are curious and would like to ask for more information feel free to email: email@example.com
Wishing you greater health
Michael van Soest