By Daniel Browne, Oct 10 2017 04:09PM
Today (Tuesday 10th October) it’s World Mental Health Day, so I wanted to write something about anxiety and gift you with some helpful tips to overcome it.
Obviously, that’s easier said than done. Anxiety can be crippling, so it’s all very well writing a few tips, but how will that actually help you? Well I hope that when you read the tips below and understand why I specialise in helping people to overcome anxiety, you will feel better placed to begin the journey of recovery yourself.
You see, I really understand anxiety. I don’t specialise in anxiety as a hypnotherapist because I think I know a little bit about it or because it’s a money maker. I specialise in this area because I really do understand anxiety. When I was younger, I experienced anxiety every single day. I can trace it back as far as being seven or eight years old. Of course, all those years ago I didn’t know what anxiety was. I’m not sure I had even heard the word anxiety at that point. However, I felt it. I felt it deeply.
I always lacked confidence as a child and had incredibly low self-esteem. This was due to a variety of factors, that I won’t go into now, but suffice to say that my childhood was not particularly pleasant and it shaped the person I became. As I went through secondary school, my anxiety and low self-esteem reached critical levels. Then one day, at the age of 19, I went to bed and barely got up or left the house for a six month period. Anxiety had crippled me.
At that time, I had more of an understanding of anxiety. I knew what it was and that I was living with it. I knew that there were things I could do to help myself rise from the black hole that you find yourself stuck in when experiencing severe anxiety, coupled with low self-esteem and depression, but I was stuck… Stuck in that black hole, feeling that there was no way out, despite deep down knowing that there were things that could help me.
My recovery from that episode of anxiety and depression took years. It was a long and painful journey, but one that I ultimately succeeded in. It wasn’t plain sailing and I had to face some things that I didn’t particularly want to, but as I look back on that time I’m glad that I took the plunge and rebuilt my life.
Fast forward 15 years and I’m now living out my passion and dream by working as a self-employed hypnotherapist in private practice. Training to become a therapist completed my journey to becoming anxiety free, as I developed a deep understanding of the condition and was able to reflect in ways I’d never thought possible. As my clinical work developed, I knew that I needed to specialise in helping people to overcome their anxiety. An increasing amount of clients were coming through the door of my clinic needing help to overcome their anxiety. I believe that anxiety issues have now reached endemic proportions and something must be done about that.
Now every day I help people to overcome their anxiety with the power of hypnosis. The anxiety that I used to feel is a thing of the past, but I’m able to draw on the experiences that I’ve had in order to have a deep understanding of other’s people’s pain. Having been through what I have, I feel I can use that to help others. Yes, I may not have experienced the exact same situation as someone else, but the pain is the same.
Hypnosis is a great way of overcoming anxiety. It helps you to overcome anxiety relatively quickly, compared to counselling, for example. You don’t need to tell me why you have anxiety. I won’t ask you to talk about your childhood or drag up things from your past, unless you want to talk about it (which is fine, by the way). It’s purely about the present moment and helping you to live your life without anxiety in the future. By accessing your powerful subconscious mind, hypnosis can help you to ‘reprogramme’ in order to take control over your anxiety instead of letting it continue to control you. It works, and the results can be life changing.
So apart from hypnosis, how can you begin to live your anxiety free life? Here are some top tips to help you:
1. Look after yourself. It sounds so simple, but it’s something that we don’t do enough of. For example, how the body feels can affect the mind. So eat healthily, exercise regularly, and make sure you take some time out for yourself. You’ll need to force yourself at first, but try to get into the habit of looking after yourself and you will soon reap the benefits.
2. Breathe. This is something that can really help. Breathing exercises do work if practiced enough. Breathe in for a count of seven. Hold your breath for a count of five. Then breathe out for a count of eleven. Repeat this for two minutes at the beginning and end of each day, and see how you begin to benefit from it.
3. Repeat a positive affirmation. Tell yourself every day that you are now in control of anxiety, or say something such as “Today I choose to be free of anxiety and live life how I choose”. You could even stand in front of a mirror and repeat it to yourself. Say it with strong conviction, as if you really believe what you are telling yourself. Let that positive affirmation shape your thoughts and beliefs.
4. Interrupt unwanted thoughts. If you begin to feel anxiety coming on, interrupt that feeling and the associated thoughts by distracting your mind. You could get up and go out for a walk, put on some music and dance, call a friend and catch up with them, do something that’s going to make yourself feel good, or try out an activity that will make use of your brain. For example, you could count backwards from 500, but do it in twos or threes so you have to think about it.
5. Practice mindfulness. It’s better to be mindful than to have a mind that’s full. Just ten minutes of mindfulness each day can help. If you’re not sure about how you go about practicing mindfulness, I have a recording of a mindfulness session on Youtube that may help you begin. Simply click here to access it. Mindfulness helps to clear your mind and be rooted in the present moment. It clears negativity from your mind, including anxieties.
6. Think about what is right in your life. Anxiety may be like a dark cloud that hangs over you and makes you feel like everything in life is crap, but the truth is that there will be good aspects of your life that are fulfilling or that you enjoy. Every day think about what is going right in your life and focus more on the things that you enjoy.
7. Know when to get help. If you are struggling with your anxiety, there’s no shame in seeking help. You could visit your GP (although they tend to prescribe medication and my personal belief is that medication masks the issue rather than getting rid of it), or seek out a therapist or alternative health professional that could help. As I mentioned earlier, hypnotherapy can help and as a specialist in helping people overcome anxiety, I’d be happy to work with you to banish anxiety from your life for good. There’s more information here.
As awful as anxiety is, you don’t have to live with it. Help is available and the tips above can assist too. I sincerely hope that if you are currently living with anxiety, you are able to lift yourself out of it or gain support from someone who can help. It’s difficult at first, but it does get easier.
I’ll be writing more blogs on anxiety and releasing some videos soon, as this isn’t just an issue for World Mental Health Day. It’s an ongoing and growing issue for many people, and I want to do all I can to help.