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What is Anxiety?

We all suffer from anxiety and worry throughout our lives in response to common stressful situations and the pressures of life. For many people, however, anxiety can become overwhelming and out of proportion, affecting them on a regular basis. If you struggle with anxiety problems you may find that your worries are very intrusive and prevent you from doing many of the things you would like.

The main symptoms of anxiety and stress are as follows:

Feeling ‘on edge’
Sense of dread
Difficulty in concentrating
Being easily distracted
Pins and needles
Irregular heart beat (palpitations)
Muscle aches
Dry mouth
Excessive sweating
Shortness of breath
Stomach ache
Excessive thirst
Frequent urination
Painful or missed periods
Difficulty in falling, or staying, asleep
Panic attacks

During a panic attack you may suffer many physical symptoms, including rapid heartbeat, chest pains and/or tightness, shortness of breath, sweating, shaking, lightheadness and tension. Many sufferers feel as though they are going ‘crazy’. A panic attack often includes a feeling of being out of control, or that ‘something terrible is about to happen’ and may include a specific fear of dying. Indeed many people fear that they are having a heart attack.

Those with Generalised Anxiety Disorder tend to be worried by a wide range of issues and if you suffer from this condition you may find that you are anxious most days. Many other problems and conditions include anxiety symptoms, for example phobias, obsessive compulsive disorder, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and panic disorder.

What causes Anxiety?

Anxiety is created by people’s beliefs and ways of thinking. It is never the feared situation itself that causes anxiety, but the way in which a person thinks about it.

In particular, people’s perceptions of control are really important in determining whether or not they will create anxiety about a particular scenario. As famous psychologist Bandura (1988) stated: “People who believe they can exercise control over potential threats do not conjure up apprehensive cognitions and, hence, are not perturbed by them. But those who believe they cannot manage potential threats experience high levels of anxiety arousal. They tend to dwell on their coping deficiencies and view many aspects of their environment as fraught with danger.”

Many people suffering from common psychological and health-related conditions believe that their symptoms are happening to them and they, consequently, feel completely powerless to improve their situation. This, however, just isn’t true! By joining together new research and unique clinical insights, This gives us a better understanding of what exactly is driving the symptoms and problems.

Research has indeed shown that people’s beliefs and thinking play a huge role in anxiety. In particular sufferers have a strong external locus of control. Locus of control refers to how much control, or power, you believe you have over events in your life. People with an external locus are those who believe that their lives are mostly controlled by fate, luck, chance or powerful others. They don’t see themselves as having the skills and resources to thrive.

When you genuinely understand how your mind works, i.e., the interaction between your thinking, your personality and your feelings, you feel much more in control and empowered. When you recognise that nearly all of your problems, stresses, symptoms and ill-health are either caused or made worse by poorly-managed thinking, you feel fantastic … because you caused these problems, then you can change them!

The assertions and explanations given within the programme are fully backed up by established research. This, together with the exercises and examples used throughout, demonstrates the veracity of the information given, and helps them people to apply the principles to themselves. Working through the programme can be likened to assembling a jigsaw; once you have the pieces and understand how they combine to influence the way you think, it is easy to see the full picture and understand exactly what you need to do in order to Thrive.

"Participating in the Thrive programme empowered me to deal with anxiety and mild depression effectively. When I initially started the programme, I felt low, overwhelmed and that my levels of anxiety were unmanageable. As this was a problem that I felt I had had for quite some time, I wanted something that would help me manage this long-term, rather than go on medication for a few months with the possibility of finding myself back at square one as soon as I finished. Thrive was exactly that. Thanks to what I learned through Thrive, I now feel that I have the ability to manage my levels of stress and anxiety by effectively dealing with my negative thought processes. I am no longer overcome by feelings of negativity, and when I do start to feel negative I know that I can stop these negative thoughts from getting the better of me, something which I would have struggled with previously. I would highly recommend the Thrive programme to anyone who wishes to make a significant change in their life and who wishes to make that change in a self-empowering way."

Treatment with Nigel at Portsmouth Hypnotherapy can help to resolve your problems.

To contact Nigel for a confidential discussion, or to book your free 30 minute Initial Consultation please contact Nigel on mobile 07702 042220


There will be a nominal charge of £20.00 if the initial consultation lasts more than 30 minutes. Skype consultations also available.

Hypnotherapy Portsmouth - providing professional therapy services to the people of Portsmouth, Cosham, Drayton, Havant, Hayling Island, Waterlooville, Fareham and Gosport.

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