I am increasingly seeing more people who are suffering anxiety and having panic attacks.

They are usually under treatment and are taking two or more psychotropic drugs, medically prescribed. They want a more instantaneous method to handle their problem. So they come to see me.

I do hypnosis. The process allows the practitioner to reach the subconscious mind and program it for more positive reactions to situations. The client is given a posthypnotic trigger method they can use to shut down the fear response before it gains momentum and becomes an anxiety and escalates into panic. Used this way it is described as hypnotherapy.

Fight or Flight is the natural reaction when we are threatened. Ever since we were prehistoric people and were threatened by a flesh-eating animal. Fight it or run away from it. The same thing happens when we are threatened by social, or other situations, today. In our brain there is a limbic system designed to detect negative pending events and the amygdala portion sends a signal that will prepare us for Flight or fight. Our heart races, our breathing steps up, we perspire more, our muscles tighten.

But we can’t run. We can’t fight so we react against ourselves with anxiety and often panic.

In this article I will give you a quick, easy method to overcome those feeling and regain control .

WHAT IS PANIC?

A panic attack is mostly made up in the mind because of a supposed threat.

Here’s what the mind does:

•It receives a stimulus

•It interprets the meaning of that stimulus

•It selects a response and….

•Enlists the body to cooperate as needed.

YOU ARE NOT ALONE

•7 out of 10 people feel anxiety at least once a day.

•54 percent of people feel they have more stress in their lives then did their parents.

•Most people report they lose their temper at least five times a month.

•75 percent of people say fear and anxiety is preventing them from enjoying their lives more.

•46 percent of people worry about losing their jobs.

•90 percent are stressed out at work at least once a week.

•24 percent are stressed and anxious every day.

Most people don’t know how to reprogram their minds to relieve fears, anxiety and feelings of panic.

ABCs OF ANXIETY

Understanding anxiety can be as simple as A,B,C.

•A is an Activating event.

•B is your Belief.

•C is the Conseqeuence. That is, emotional feelings that result from holding these beliefs.

So, something happens, you believe it affects you and you suffer some consequences of that event. You may have no control over the something that happens, but you have control over your belief as to how it affects you.

How do you control your belief regarding the event?

You can change your “A”. Now that means modifying your environment. If you can’t then that means you must modify yourself as to how you allow the event to affect you.

You need to change you. Modify your belief that is triggering the anxiety. Use your own past experience to know it has to be something other than what you have believed it to be. Realize your anxiety is self-induced. By doing this you can teach your self to imagine something different At my clinic I use hypnotherapy to help the client imagine a different, more pleasant possibility. Imagination is very powerful and will change belief and the consequences.

Your subconscious mind learns a different belief and decides on a different consequence for the same activating event. With practice on your own, it is easy. It takes a little time.

I have heard some people say, “Oh that’s just me. And they live with it never knowing they are actually shortening their lives.

TAKING ANXIETYTO HEART

Anxiety and stress play a role in circulatory disease such as coronary heart disease, sudden cardiac death and strokes.

This fact is not surprising because anxiety increases blood pressure, constricts blood vessels, raises your cholesterol level, triggers arrhythmias and speeds up rate at which your blood clots.

Anxiety and stress are considered major risk factors, right up there with smoking and obesity.

HITTING BELOW THE BELT

Ever notice how your anxiety finds it way to your stomach? Your gastrointestinal system can be a target for much of the anxiety in your life.

Anxiety affects the secretion of acid in your stomach and can speed or slow down the contractions in your intestines.

Constipation, diarrhea, gas and bloating can all be anxiety related. Anxiety can contribute to reflux disease and can play a big role in irritable bowel syndrome and colitis.

Yes, anxiety can make you sick. Here’s what the anxiety reaction can affect in you: The anxiety reaction results in an outpouring of adrenaline, a stimulant that goes into the blood stream. It happens as a result of a thought or as a reaction to an actual situation. (remember the ABC formula)

It affects the body in many ways:

•Increased heart rate. Then fatigue.

•Sensitivity of senses. Even pain or itching.

•Less blood to the skin. (cold hands)

•Temporary shutdown of organs.

•A feeling of exhaustion.

•A rise in blood sugar.

COMMON SYMPTOMS OF ANXIETY

Check yourself out. Are you suffering from anxiety? Most of us are for one reason or another.

•Physical: Fatigue, headache, insomnia, muscle aches/stiffness (especially neck, shoulders and back), heart palpitations chest pains, abdominal cramps, nausea, trembling hands, face flushing or sweating, frequent cold sores, frequent colds.

•Mental: Decrease in concentration and memory loss, indecisiveness, mind racing and not being able to track, confusion, loss of humor.

•Emotional: Feelings of Panic, nervousness, depression, anger, frustration, worry/fear, irritability, impatience, temper.

BEHAVIOR CONNECTION

How you act and react will determine your anxiety levels. How you manage situations in the future will be directed by how you manage them in your imagination

•Reframe: Change the way you look at things in order to feel better. One of the methods I use at my clinic is to help clients do a mental time travel. Project into the future in your imagination. Know there are many ways to reinterpret the same situation. Pick the way that gives you the most comfort. Live it in your imagination Your mind will be happy to makes this trip a part of your reality.

•Adjust Your Beliefs: Remember the ABC formula. Much of your anxiety results from your beliefs. You have made thousands of assumptions about all kinds of things you hold as the truth. Most of these things are not truths. They are your opinions based on your experiences of the past. You don’t necessarily want what you had in the past. So you must allow these beliefs to be changed with future thinking. (Mental time travel)

PROBLEMS

Everyone has problematic situations.

•A problem free life is an illusion — a mirage in the desert. Accept the fact that we all have problems. This will help you move ahead instead of staying stuck on your stress and anxiety producing spot. Mental imaging can help you see beyond this problematic time.

•Every problem has a limited lifespan. Every mountain has a peak and every valley has a low point. Also, your life has its ups and downs. Storms are followed by sunshine. Winter is followed by spring. Your problems will get resolved. Accessing your mind through positive Imagination will enable you to get through and solve your anxiety producing problems.

•Every problem holds positive possibilities There are two sides to every coin. Hospitals are there because people do get sick. Garages are there because cars do break down. Everything is fixable or changeable. Your own mind programming will help you fix or change your situation.

(Dr. Bill Stiles has semi-retired from his consulting business and has dedicated himself to a teaching ministry. He also is the founder of The Hypnotherapy Clinic in Wexford. Contact him at (724) 656-0454 or at drbstiles@aol.com.)

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