Anxiety, Anxiety Disorders and Anxiety Attacks in Nanaimo
What’s the difference between Anxiety, Anxiety disorders & Anxiety attacks?
There are so many various descriptions, opinions, and theories on the subject of anxiety that I thought the easiest way to answer this question would be to provide you with Wikipedia’s non-bias facts on the subject. So here are some excerpts taken from Wikipedia for you and links in case you wish to read any further.
- Anxiety is a feeling of fear, uneasiness, and worry, usually generalized and unfocused as an overreaction to a situation that is only subjectively seen as menacing. It is often accompanied by muscular tension, restlessness, fatigue and problems in concentration. There are many differing anxiety types such as stage fright, test anxiety, social anxiety and stranger anxiety. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anxiety
- Anxiety disorders are a category of mental disorders characterized by feelings of anxiety and fear, where anxiety is a worry about future events and fear is a reaction to current events. These feelings may cause physical symptoms, such as a racing heart and shakiness. There are a number of different anxiety disorders: including generalized anxiety disorder, a specific phobia, social anxiety disorder, separation anxiety disorder, agoraphobia, and panic disorder among others. While each has its own characteristics and symptoms, they all include symptoms of anxiety. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anxiety_disorder
- Panic attacks are periods of intense fear or apprehension of sudden onset accompanied by at least four or more bodily or cognitive symptoms (such as heart palpitations, dizziness, shortness of breath, or feelings of unreality) of variable duration from minutes to hours. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panic_attack
What causes anxiety to occur?
After reading all of the above regarding anxiety, anxiety disorders and panic attacks you may have noticed a common theme regarding how our nervous system provides reactions to the feelings and emotions because of FEAR with many differing but yet similar symptoms. Have you ever wondered why that is and what makes our bodies react in such a way? The answer has to do with our fight or flight response mechanism within our bodies.
What is fight or flight response and what does it have to do with my anxiety?
Put very simply, our sympathetic nervous system automatically sets into motion our adrenalin to respond by discharging a cascading hormonal secretion of catecholamines which are specifically designed to immediately cause many physiological changes within your body in order to prepare you for a fight or flight response. You may have already noticed this yourself whenever you have had a feeling of fear that your heart would suddenly beat faster, your blood pumps harder, your muscles are suddenly tighter, and even your digestive system gets prepared for whatever is about to happen so that your whole body is on the alert and ready to make a quick decision to either fight this opponent or to run away and take flight.
Here’s an example of how fight or flight works:
Let’s just say for instance that you are walking along a wooded trail one day and you happen to see a bear a distance away in the forest........ you immediately getting scared and your body quickly responds ....you are able to make a quick judgement call as to whether you’re physically capable of fighting off this bear or not (ex. you’ve got a gun, you have bear spray etc.)....your rapid reasoning reminds you however, that you don’t have a weapon and the bear is much stronger than you....so your next choice is to run as fast as you possibly can....somehow you’re able to run quicker than you’ve ever run before....suddenly all of your internal systems are working at peak performance because of a flood of catecholamine hormones rushing into your body! You really lucked out this time because you were able to outrun the bear and found a safe hiding place and perhaps the bear might have even lost interest in you and wandered away. Breathless by now you are so thankful that you got away, and it’s over, whew!
Soon after, your body needs to calm down again because you are no longer in any danger and you don’t need all of those extra hormones anymore from your adrenalin for support. This is when your body signals your parasympathetic nervous system to bring you back to normal functioning just like before. And so you go back to feeling like your happy, calm, self once again. Or do you?
Some of us find that we never quite go back to that normal calm state or your body’s natural normal CALM homeostasis state again because you are always feeling afraid or anxious, how come? Some of us are always activating our fight or flight response even though we might not need it.
Now let’s be realistic here, most of us have probably never even seen a bear in the forest and maybe we never will, but yet we are still feeling very afraid and anxious all the time because of many other types of dangers, traumatic events, episodes, or remembered traumatic events, that we need to face in our modern world today. Some anxiety and panic attacks can even be triggered by internal memories or environmental triggers that happen around us every day.
How Can Hypnotherapy Help You Overcome Anxiety and Panic Attacks?
I think we can all agree that having this fantastic mechanism in our bodies called the ‘fight or flight’ mechanism is a pretty darn good thing to have. It’s there for a purpose and that purpose is for our continuing survival as a species. We have evolved and survived as human beings over many millions of years because of this wonderful, natural, mechanism within our bodies. But here we are today living in a world of traffic jams, high mortgage payments, job layoffs, soaring food prices, poor relationships with our families and loved ones, environmental disasters, wars, traumas from accidents, abuse, illness, poor parenting, and the list goes on and on. Kina miss the bear in the woods now don’t you?
So if you think about this carefully your body and mind may be reacting constantly to these perceived feelings of fear that are either from remembered traumatic events or they are about fears and worry of what is about to come. So how can hypnotherapy help?
Hypnotherapy can help you to:
- Learn the difference between what is a real threat or a perceived one.
- Help you to get back to that calm, comfortable, ‘in control’ state once again so that you can think clearly and efficiently.
- Help to guide you through hypnotic imagery to release any negative past memories that may be holding you back from living a free and light life today.
- Give you the tools needed to help you with remaining calm even during stressful circumstances.
- Show you how to continue practicing these new thinking patterns (by self-hypnosis) so you no longer have a dependence on drugs, alcohol, or any other addictive substances.
- Learn how to go into a relaxed state completely and use the power of your own mind to create the outcome that you truly want in your life through positive imagery.