How to Manage Anxiety

What would you do if you had a child that came home from school and told you that they were being bullied? What advice would you give them to help them deal with this situation, gain confidence in themselves and eradicate this problem in their lives? Most would agree that the traditional thinking involves standing up for yourself, telling someone and not believing the hurtful words they use.

Beat Anxiety
Anxiety is just a playground bully

Anxiety is a bully. It can make us feel as humiliated, incapable, weak, talentless, afraid and depressed as the biggest bully in the playground. So the advice that we give to our children to help them deal with a bully is equally as relevant to us dealing with anxiety, no matter what the route cause. So what can we learn from the teachings that our parents gave us?

Stand up for yourself

A bully can only feel good about themselves when the balance of power is truly in their favour. A bully is unlikely, therefore, to target someone who is not easy prey and who will confidently stand up for themselves. Similarly, someone in the grip of anxiety needs to come up with a firm ‘No I don’t want to be treated like this… I don’t deserve to be treated like this and I will no longer allow it.’

Stand tall

There is a lot of wisdom in this. When we feel good we stand tall, our posture is sturdy, our facial expression powerful and our demeanour self-assured. If our brain makes such a strong neural link between feeling good and a confident poise then we can use that link to our advantage. Just by changing our physical demeanour we can trick our brains into thinking of a situation much more positively. If we look this fierce we are unlikely to be targeted by either the playground bully or the anxiety bully. Stand tall, smile and walk proud.

Use positive self-talk

If someone is trying to make us feel bad about ourselves then we must counter this with confident affirmations of our strengths. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses and so if we have a clear picture of who we are it is harder for us to be shaken by anyone who would try to put us down.

Tell Someone

It is the golden rule of conquering a bully. Tell someone… build your army… Expose them and their bullying ways. At the end of the day, we all know what it is like to suffer feelings of anxiousness. Anxiety is most powerful when we try to deal with it on our own. By telling someone that we are not OK you can get a fresh pair of eyes on the situation, you can share the burden and work with others who care to find the solution.

Remain Positive

Being bullied can be hard and, if we let it, it can consume our lives. With must, therefore, spend as much time in the positive aspects of our lives as well as dealing with the problem. Surround yourself with people, places and things that make you feel good, positive, strong and happy. It is very difficult to feel threatened by a bully when you are surrounded by so much positivity.

For help with anxiety book an appointment with Paul here

Hypnotherapy and Stress

According to Alexa the Earth has been in existence for over 4.5 billion years and humans have only been part of this journey for around 200,000 years. That’s only a mere 0.004% of the Earth’s history which we have enjoyed. In fact, if all of the Earth’s evolution was compressed into one day then, effectively, we have only been alive for a little under six minutes.

And what have we done with those six minutes? Well… Quite a bit as it happens. We evolved all the way from grunting and brutal cavemen wielding sticks and fighting off wild animals to sophisticated, cappuccino drinking, modern men and women with mobile phones and apps that control our central heating.

Yet all of this zip-wire evolution comes at a price. Whilst science may be advanced, our minds and our bodies still harp back to our Stone Age existence.

The Stone Age man and women would have survived on around 7lbs of sugar a day, now it is more like 100lbs. This rapid change in lifestyle has left our caveman bodies struggling to evolve at the same pace, leading to diabetes and heart disease. Our eyes, designed for seeking out food over huge forests and plains, are now being asked to stretch and focus on bright screens for hours at a time.

But we have also inherited good traits from our Stone Age ancestors. We associate food with communication and the ritual of sitting down to share a meal with friends dates back to the Stone Age when cavemen would sit down with other tribes to form communities and alliances.

Now if you look back at the evolution of stress, you will find it has similar roots in Palaeolithic man. The caveman would have felt a great deal of stress when meeting a wild animal. The primitive part of his brain would kick in and he would either fight it or run away. Similarly when we get a speeding fine drop on our welcome mat, the parts of our brain inherited from early man may make us shout and wave our hands…or avoid it entirely.

When the primitive man looked out of the cave and saw danger, he may have become stressed and hid beneath a fur rug. When we sense danger, such as unavoidable conflict, we sometimes do the same. This solution to the problem has simply been evolved into modern day symptoms of depression.

So stress is a hangover of the fact that we have just evolved far too quickly. Hypnotherapy can help by relaxing the part of the brain that acts as our panic button, allowing the logical part of our brains, born through evolution and inventiveness, to make decisions based upon rationality and logic.

I don’t think cavemen were ready for hypnotherapy which is a shame. Maybe if this practice had been stumbled upon at the same time as our ancestors tamed fire, we may all be just that little bit more zen.