Anxiety

Anxiety is a pernicious little devil; it can hold us back, freeze our creativity and diminish our ability to fight our way out of trouble. Anxiety leads to a 'vicious cycle' in which anxiety feeds poor performance which increases anxiety and . . . you get the picture.

We all understand that severe problems make us anxious -- career difficulties, financial worries, medical problems. What many people do not appreciate is the low-grade or 'background' anxiety which affects every person, every day.

Desmond Morris put it well when he said that we have constructed a "human zoo". People in modern society exhibit behaviours which simply aren't seen in wild animals -- until they are enclosed in zoos. And it's our wild nature which we need to look to if we wish to understand this 'background anxiety'.

A useful clue lies in phobias. The most common phobias all relate to real dangers in the environment. Fear of spiders is a good example, as is fear of heights. Both represented significant dangers to our ancestors. But wait, take a look at some of the other common phobias. Agoraphobia -- fear of open spaces. Why is this so common? Consider your hunter-gatherer ancestors, surrounded by predators and potential enemies. Being exposed is dangerous, so we have developed a natural awareness of exposure. In some people this gets out of hand, and becomes a phobia, but we are all programmed to be aware -- at the very least -- of situations where we are exposed, away from cover.

Social anxiety is also extremely common, with some studies showing 7% of adults suffering from the condition. Social anxiety can be extremely debilitating, and manifests in performance impairment in social situations. This also seems puzzling, at first glance. Why should humans, the great social species, suffer so extensively from social anxiety? The reasons lie in our unnatural population density. We simply didn't evolve to cope with such intense exposure to strangers. Every stranger you meet is, to your ancient mind, a potential enemy. It's remarkable that we all manage so well!

So you don't suffer from arachnophobia, agoraphobia, social anxiety disorder or any other anxiety disorder. What's my point? Simply this. All of these small anxieties affect your performance, day by day. Meeting people is stressful, because your ancient mind insists on being alert to danger. Walking down the street is an adventure in social interaction and exposure. Making presentations at work -- exposing yourself to a crowd, possibly a crowd of strangers -- is one of the most unnatural activities a human can perform.

We all suffer from anxiety, and it affects our performance and our ability to experience joy. We all need to relax. As a hypnotherapist, I always listen out for the moment in a session when my client's tummy starts to rumble. It's a good sign. It shows that the stress chemicals which routinely circulate, holding back digestion (as well as a range of other physiological roles related to 'fight or flight') have diminished. Just think about what this means. Chances are that your body is preparing you for fight or flight right now. All you're doing is surfing the Web. Within fifteen minutes of beginning to hypnotise you, I can say with some confidence that your tummy would start gurgling and your body chemistry would be changed, because there really isn't any need for this constant state of readiness.

Being aware of background anxiety is the first step towards conquering it. Hypnotherapy is incredibly powerful in this respect, but sadly, people tend to call on hypnotherapists only when their problems have reached crisis point. In my next article I will highlight some of the signs of background anxiety. If these relate to you, or if you feel that you would welcome some impartial (and free) advice relating to anxiety reduction, please feel free to contact me via Confidence Club (email [email protected])

Jim Sullivan is a hypnotherapist specialising in confidence, self esteem and stress management. He may be contacted via the Confidence Club website http://www.confidenceclub.net

In The News:

Three funds for alternative assets  Fidelity International
Community alternatives to police response  Long Beach Press Telegram

The Universal Calibration Lattice® - Your Own Personal Connection to the Universal Energy Source

Now is an incredible time to be on Earth. All... Read More

Arthritis Diet Myths- Dont Be Fooled By These Food Fables!

One of the most popular myths I hear from my... Read More

An Introduction to Bach Flower Essences Part I ? The Twelve Healers

What are Bach Flower Essences?Pioneered by Dr. Edward Bach in... Read More

Headache, Hypnosis, And Stress, A Case History

Now, more that ever, concerned physicians are beginning to ask... Read More

Guide To Some Common Herbs That Heal

Herbs have long been an acceptable way to fight common... Read More

Super Bee Nutrition

Bee's and Bee NutritionWhat is the buzz about bee Nutrition?... Read More

Hypnotherapy in the Treatment of Phantom Pain

Much of what goes on in our bodies is controlled... Read More

Eat Fiber and Avoid Constipation

To have regular bowel movements and escape constipation you need... Read More

Constipation Remedy Using Apples and Other Juices

Here are two constipation remedies that you can use for... Read More

Treating Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) Without the Use of Antibiotics

What is a urinary tract infection (UTI)? A Urinary Tract... Read More

Hemorrhoids ? What Do I Need To Do?

There are many unpleasant symptoms and diseases associated with constipation.... Read More

Lumie Dawn Simulation Wake Up Clocks - The perfect Start To Your Day!

Light plays a crucial role in the synchronisation of your... Read More

Hemorrhoids & its Symptoms

Hemorrhoids are conditions where there is a swelling of the... Read More

Laughter and Your Health

Alternative medicine: jokes and humor for your healthWhen thinking about... Read More

Alternative Medicine & Herbal Preparations

Alternative medicine is gaining more attention every day. The idea... Read More

Green Bamboo: Strength in Flexibility

Those who have watched the movie "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon"... Read More

Feng Shui for Your Health and Vitality

How many of us wake up in the morning feeling... Read More

Hidden Benefits of Reflexology

The holistic therapy of reflexology has been used over the... Read More

Why Your Mattress May Be Killing You

The organic movement, which started with organic food, is moving... Read More

Why is Prevention So Important?

One of the least known and least practiced aspects of... Read More

St Johns Wort: The Magickal Herb

It was customary in Britain and Europe on St John's... Read More

Sinus Infection Symptoms, Antibiotics, and Alternative Medicine

Modern Living, Complex Health ProblemsIn our post-modern industrial polluted stress-filled... Read More

Snoring: A Common Sleep Disorder

Sleep consumes as much as one-third or more of the... Read More

Understanding Aromatherapy

In the 1920's, a French cosmetic chemist named Rene-Maurice Gattefosse,... Read More

Diet Food Stinks!

One big thing that can keep you from eating healthy... Read More