Anxiety symptoms

Anxiety disorder  

If you are prone to constant worry and anxiety you won’t be able to enjoy your life and achieve peace of mind. It could lead to panic attacks and even depression. What causes you to feel anxious? Everyone becomes anxious at times, it’s only natural. However, when anxiety affects your performance or prevents you from achieving your goals or results in a panic attack it can be debilitating.

The Problem with the symptoms of anxiety 

Anxiety is usually caused by negative thinking about something that may or may not happen in the future and anticipating that something bad or even catastrophic is going to happen. The reality is that it very rarely does happen, but nevertheless the subconscious part of your mind can’t tell the difference between something that is real or imagined. That means that those negative thoughts can trigger what is commonly known as the ‘fight or flight’ response, even though the threat you are thinking about is imaginary and not real.

Symptoms of anxiety and the 'Fight-Flight response'

When you are faced with danger, a life threatening event or even just an imaginary threat your mind sends a message through your nervous system asking your body to prepare you for dealing with the danger. Your heart will then start pumping blood faster and direct it towards your limbs and brain which is why you can hear and feel your heart beating faster. Your muscles become tense and your body produces adrenaline to give you more strength and energy. These are just some of the physiological changes that take place.

These physical changes will help you to fight or run fast but are of no use to you when you are taking your driving test, sitting in an aeroplane or a car, in a social situation, when speaking in public, sitting an exam and lots of other everyday activities.

The Solution to anxiety disorders 

Part of the solution is to learn how to think positively. There are a number of different CBT strategies and techniques that can help you to think more positively. The opposite of being anxious is being calm and relaxed. Hypnosis can be extremely effective because it can induce a deep state of relaxation and create a highly suggestible state so the therapist can influence you to think more positively and utilise guided visualisation to access the solution focussed part of your brain.

The Spence Practice approach helps you to focus on the present instead of the future so that you can control what is happening to you and how you respond to situations as they happen. Unless you have a crystal ball you will never know what’s going to happen to you in the future so why waste so much time and energy on thinking about it?   


See Louise's story and success stories from people who have become happier, more positive and more relaxed with The Spence Practice.

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