Anxiety And Your Attention – Nigel Hetherington

Anxiety is a feeling and emotion that indicates to the sufferer that everything is not right. Being overly anxious will drain and deplete energy and to excess can cause illness and wear the immune system away. Hypnosis Newcastle is an affective way for people to learn to change the feeling of unease in a variety of situations. Anxious people are not anxious all of the time, attention is not always directed at anxiety and Newcastle hypnotherapy can teach you ways to direct your attention on what is more important.

In order to know you are anxious your attention must be directed to consciously recognising the feeling and then consciously labelling or naming the physiological feelings that you call anxiety. Anxiety by definition is felt in the now and is directed to events and situations that are in the immediate or long term future but, the feeling is in the now and so it steals attention.

Anxiety is about uncertainty and the more anxious you are, the more you do it the more neurological responses you will have anticipating anxiety.

What You Have Learned To Expect = Dopamine

Dopamine is the neuro-transmitter that is largely responsible for for motivation to get you to a particular response. Dopamine is not discriminatory between a desired or undesired response … it is basically a motivator. Did you know, like any addiction your body can crave a stress response? The more unsurity about a ‘known’ reponse, the more dopamine. Anxiety is all about unsurity.

We can only have conscious appreciation of our state, in this instance anxiety, by registering and then labelling this emotion linguistically and in comparison to our past experiences. Our emotional or limbic brain, particularly the pituitary gland, stress hormones and amygdala are key neurological players here. The more worry, the more reactive response the bigger the snowball effect.

Anxiety is a form of anticipation. Anticipation can be positive or negative and what comes next should surprise you; both negatively and positively.

There is research that conclusively proves that having mastered one kind of experience, when you anticipate it again in the same kind of environment and situation when the words maybe or could be, that is when it is a 50% likely hood you are massively more likely to experience just that. Now this has a huge affect on your dopamine production. And it is dopamine that is your motivation to draw you to a specific experience. This is shown in the graph above.

Individual triggers for anxiety responses do naturally vary from person to person and will include two distinct categories of ‘behaviour’. These two categories can be conceptualised as a reactive responsive or meta-response to feelings labelled as anxiety and proactive behaviours that can generate the anxiety feelings in the first instance. Both types of response have a huge amount influence based on where an individual learns to put their attention.

Reactive behaviours to anxiety are the ways of thinking, behaving and worrying about anxiety that is already being experienced and then will logically create the next consequences that are being predicted as almost inevitable. This is a reaction to stimulus and with practice and dedication can be greatly diminished because people can, with practice and guidance learn new ways to respond.

Proactive behaviours to create anxiety are like cognitive exercises, such as worrying ahead of time, taking to yourself in rapid and unfinished sentences and hyperventilating that can all activate the reactive response that activates the sympathetic nervous system, speeds up the heart, releases glucocorticoids, adrenaline and gives that all too familiar body response that we call anxiety.

Anxiety can be pretty much summed up as a neuro-physiological stress response that is completely out of proportion and inappropriate response relevant to what is actually happening in the moment. For example imagine a person that is anxious about public speaking and is in one moment speaking publically, any anxiety response in that moment of public speaking is not about public speaking.

Anxiety is the thief of attention. It is a very much learned response and because we are, as a species, extremely good at learning once you have that pattern it can be the first and easy approach to a variety of situations. But being very good at learning, with some determination, practice and focus of your attention you can learn to have a very different and much more appropriate response.

OK so What Can You Do?

It is very simple but not necessarily very easy because making lasting changes and incorporating them into a life style that is salubrious ( look that word up ) will take some more effort on your behalf. And it is very worth your while.

I work with a great deal of clients who’s lives are so demanding they come home from work from massively stressed jobs and quite literally switch off from themselves, their partners, their friends and children. I also work with people who are seriously anxious about their relationships at home and at work so how they are with people and upcoming situations. Here is what you can do.

  1. In stead of knowing and anticipating anxiety, consider you maybe ( 50 % ) wrong about anxiety and that upcoming situation will be more or less OK.
  2. If the worst comes to the worst … acknowledge it and consider what you can do instead.
  3. Take up a regular exercise like running, weight lifting or meditation; and notice over a week and a month having done this how much more able you are managing.
  4. Notice when you are talking to yourself and stop! Put your attention outwards and be present. This does take practice and the paybacks are massive. This is a very much get out of your own head routine.
  5. Do some proactive relaxation. Lots of FREE hypnosis audio’s here.

So if none of these suggestions are for you, you do want to learn to stop anxiety and be more relaxed and present in your day to day situations then consider professional hypnotherapy Newcastle. Not expecting a one session turn around for 20 years of anxiety and making a commitment to change with Newcastle hypnosis with Nigel Hetherington can help you to to learn much better ways for coping with day to day anxiety triggers and stressors. Hypnosis in Jesmond and now Newcastle City Centre at week day lunch times. Anxiety? Act Hypnosis Newcastle solutions.

 

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