Anxiety - Is there a Cure
An introduction to studying Anxiety
An introduction to studying Anxiety, what anxiety is, how an individual is affected by anxiety and how he or she may react to its symptoms? Anxiety is a state of fear, possibly an overreaction of the mind in attempt to overcome a difficult environment. A sufferer of anxiety may complain of fatigue (often selective), panic, shyness, inferiority, eating related problems, urinary problems and heart issues etc. Giving the understanding that anxiety is both a mental problem and a physical problem.
We need to understand the mental symptoms encountered by a person suffering from Stress, how feelings, interest and concentration can all become affected. Some of which may include a lack of interest in life and other people; feelings of self-hatred, ugliness, neglect; feelings of having failed as who they are and of having no one to confide in; fears of diseases, places and loneliness; difficulties with concentration, making decisions, letting oneself go and laughing and generally enjoying oneself; fear or even dread of what the future holds; inability to organise and work methodically, rushing tasks.
Now, knowing some of the symptoms of a person affected by stress, we need to seek some possible methods/ideas of reducing this stress. Many of these methods, in my opinion, seem to revolve around TIME!
Working hours, daily and weekly need to be capped, and if one isn’t happy at work, consider ones options, maybe move on; work methodically; allow time for meals and eat slowly and consider the balance of ones diet; walk, talk and move at a slower pace, work without setting any deadlines.
Furthermore, but still relating to time, one needs to relax or meditate on a regular basis, maybe taking a massage or practicing Yoga, even listening to relaxing music. It is also better to take up a creative hobby as opposed to a competitive one. Have a real holiday each year, ideally a relaxing holiday where one can forget about ones stress. One should concentrate more on the present rather than on past downfalls or future possibilities.
One should accept personal responsibility for ones life, avoiding drugs and not putting blame on other people or events, one should be able to express ones feelings openly without antagonism or hostility.
For certain stress causing problems, emotional or sexual for example, one should seek professional advice.
Overall, the ideas relate to spending more time on ones self rather than on work, and doing things at a more leisurely pace.
I understand that there isn’t one positive definition of the word “hypnosis”, any professional asked to define it could provide a totally different answer to the next.
Hypnosis, used to treat and understand anxiety, could be described as a normal physiological, altered state of consciousness, similar to, but not the same as being awake, similar to, but not the same as being asleep, (is it an in-between state?).
Hypnosis is produced by the presence of two conditions: a central focus of attention and surrounding areas of inhibition.
A hypnotic state will produce three things: an increased concentration of the mind, an increased relaxation of the body and an increased susceptibility to suggestion.
Hypnosis when combined with any therapeutic treatment is known as hypnotherapy.
A little history regarding hypnosis:
It’s earliest references date back to ancient Egypt and Greece and that further references have been noted from ancient China and in the Hindu Vedas.
Regarding the actual word “hypnosis”, coined from the word “hypnos” meaning sleep, I understand that James Braid later regretted his choice of word as hypnosis does not actually involve sleep.
James Esdaile, a British surgeon used hypnosis as a form of anaesthetic prior to the use of medical ether. During hypnosis, endorphins are released into the brain; sufficient endorphins can create an anaesthetisation effect to the body and a coma effect to the brain.
Emile Coue pioneered a method of self-hypnosis called autosuggestion, his work emphasised the role of positive thinking in self-improvement, proposing to bridge the gap between behaviour and cognition. This concept began 250 years by Blaise Pascal, who was responsible for the mantra “Every day, in every way, I am getting better and better”.
As previously mentioned, the word “hypnosis” is difficult to define in one answer that would be agreeable to all, but for the purpose of this hub, I will agree with the statement: “Hypnosis is a state of awareness dominated by the subconscious mind”.
This brings us to the definition of a “hypnotic state”, again difficult to define in a way that all would agree on.
Research has shown that our brains consist of three parts, the main part being the neo-cortex that consists of a right and left hemisphere, these being joined by the corpus callosum. It is believed that the right hemisphere deals with imagery, creativity, imagination and emotion, the left hemisphere being the calculating, logical department. Some believe that during a hypnotic state, the right dominates over the left thus suppressing logic and becoming imaginative, creative and emotional?
Hypnotherapy techniques can be used to achieve deeper states of relaxation and stress control. A hypnotherapy session would normally proceed through four stages, Induction, Deepening, Therapeutic Intervention and Release.
Slowly spoken and paused between instructions, and client must be in a comfortable position.
Without describing the whole process in detail, I will attempt to briefly describe each stage.
Induction. Is the creation of a safe, secure and comfortable environment? Inducing relaxation through deep breathing and a suggestive voice, suggesting a beginning for this relaxation and suggesting that it spreads through the body.
Deepening. Taking the relaxation process even further. Doubling it. Suggesting that every fibre, organ, gland, tissue right down to the tiniest body part doubly relaxes.
Therapeutic Intervention. Adding suggestions. Suggesting constant good feelings. Suggesting better self-confidence, being positive and optimistic. Suggesting that worries be gone and replaced with constructive concerns. Suggesting that all thoughts will be good, creative and clear. Suggesting that one can have total control over sleep, that sleep will come instantly and wakening can be controlled to an exact time, this sleep will be undisturbed with the exception of emergencies, that can be sorted then back to restful sleep. Suggesting that all dreams will be pleasant. Suggesting that on wakening, one will instantly feel alert and prepared for the enjoyable day ahead.
Release. Arousal (not wakening) from ones relaxed state. Suggesting a wonderful, happy and content feeling. Again suggesting self-confidence, motivation and ambition. State that the client feels wonderful, comfortable and refreshed (not asked directly as this could give cause to wonder?).
Having never been put into any type of hypnotic state, I personally cannot comment as to whether or not such treatment could produce a stress free person? Can you?