Anxiety, we talk about it all the time, but what is it?
Anxiety is a primitive response to a perceived threat or dangerous situation.
That all sounds relatively straight forward, right? We all know if we saw a tiger in the street we would feel pretty anxious, we would be scared, unsure what to do and our body would do one of three things, we would fight, flight (run) or freeze (stayed glued to the spot terrified).
Most people are aware of fight or flight, its spoken about a lot in terms of anxiety and depression, BUT why do we have these responses?
Well its an inbuilt mechanism that we have virtually no control over, its part of our primitive brain and its main function is survival. The primitive brain is massively important to our survival and we need it, what we don’t need is it being in control every day and taking over our lives.
Anxiety is our bodies way of alerting us to danger, we all recognise the sweaty palms, heart racing, stomach churning responses we have to certain things, it could be something like a spider or it could be something like public speaking or worst case scenario it’s something that actually could hurt or harm us.
Over time as a species our brain has developed beyond that of our cavemen ancestors and with it we have developed, rational logical thinking, we have an intellectual mind that allows us to interact with the world in a positive way. When we operate from this part of the brain we make assessments of situations and its generally pretty positive.
For example if we have to public speak and its not something our primitive mind sees as dangerous we get on with it, we do it and we move on, rational logical intellectual brain in control, BUT If public speaking is something that terrifies us then our primitive anxious brain steps in and we get all those overwhelming anxiety feelings and we want to run away and definitely not get up and speak, there's no real threat so its not logical as it cant actually harm us in any way.
Why can some people do it easily and others not? Its all to do with previous patterns in our brain, templates our primitive brain looks to when it needs to know what to do.
When we see the tiger quite rightly our primitive brain takes over sees danger and we run away, logical.
Another example of this is spiders, when you were a baby you were not scared of spiders, no one is, but if you are scared of spiders now then your brain has learnt overtime that spiders are dangerous creatures that you don’t like. Not logical.
Luckily for us we can unlearn this anxious response to certain situations, not the big terrifying life threatening ones involving tigers!, (we need those) but the ones that are actually stopping you moving forward with your life. The ones that stop you picking up the phone, making a zoom call or going outside to socialise, the ones that aren’t life threatening but for some reason your primitive brain has decided that they are very scary things to do, so you don’t do them.
There may be no obvious reason for this onset of anxiety in regards to living life the way you want to, it can just be a gradual build up of “stuff” life throws things at us and we deal with it but sometimes we don’t actually process it, we just move on to the next day and gradually all that stuff becomes bigger and bigger and our brains slip into primitive mode more and more often.
Solution Focused Hypnotherapy helps the individual get intellectual control back, it helps stop the noise in our heads telling us there is danger everywhere and it allows us to take back our lives.