Do you hate going to the dentist? Is the thought of it enough to bring the nerves and fear that stop you going?

Along with needle phobia, dentist phobia is one of the most common fears I help people to overcome.

Most people with a fear of the dentist will do all they can to avoid making an appointment - they may go years without even a check up - until something happens like tooth pain and they are left with no choice.

And the nearer the appointment gets the more you feel anxious or try to not think about it. In the waiting room you may feel hot, sweaty, on edge and like you want to pace up and down the room. And once they call your name you may find that panic increases, sometimes even to the point of a panic attack where you have to get out of the dentist chair as quickly as possible.

I have worked with clients who in the past had been to the dentist four or five times, but every time their dentist fear had taken over and they had left without treatment. Some have even been told not to come back until they have sorted their dentist phobia.

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Do you struggle wih exam anxiety and exam nerves?

It may be that exams have become an ordeal for you because of your panic and nerves. Whilst most people get some nerves before exams, if those feelings of anxiety and panic get too overwhelming they can stop you performing to the best of your ability (or sometimes you can't even do the exam at all).

And the added pressure of knowing that, if you perform badly, you will disappoint family, teachers and yourself can intensify the anxiety. 

Recently I was working with a student who was overwhlmed with exam anxiety and panic. The nearer the exams got, the worse the anxiety and, based on previous experiences, the worse he performed in the exam room.

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Do you take the time to enjoy the little positive things in your life?

Too often you can get lost in focusing on only the big things – and you let all the good stuff that happens every day fall through the cracks of your life.

Maybe you tell yourself you’ll be happy when you earn this/have this/are free of this/own this etc and you forgo the enjoyment of the journey – and only to find when you get there you still don’t feel content.

So from today take the time to savour the little things.

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As you go forward with your goals and dreams this year there will be plenty of people ready to knock you back, rain on your parade and tell you to stop wasting your time.

These people will drain you of your motivations, enthusiasm and joy.

And they may be doing it for good reason - maybe they want to protect you from wasting your time (in their opinion) or failing or falling flat on your face.

BUT.....

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Do you struggle with anxiety around appointments, particularly medical appointments?

Many people with anxiety find that as meetings and commitments approach, their anxiety levels rise. Some won't sleep the night before an appointment and many others start worrying days before, the volume of their thoughts and intensity of their anxious feelings increasing the closer it gets.

Recently, I helped Danni to end her anxiety around appintments for the detnist, doctor and optician. Here's what she had to say:

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Do you worry excessively about what others think about you?

Maybe you are scared of rejection or failing and so you put on a mask around others and feel anxious because you aren’t being yourself.

Worrying about what others think can drain your confidence and leave you feeling stuck, unhappy and avoiding doing or saying the things you really want to. You may worry about being criticised or messing up or freezing or in some other way giving people the opportunity to think badly about you.

Recently I was working with a client who would let others rule her life - she was too afraid to say no and be thought of badly or invite hostility - and so she put her own life on standby waiting to be called to help others live theirs.

And another person stayed in a job he hated that didn't earn enough for him to live on because he felt he wasn't good enough to move onto bigger and better things.

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Think like Rocky for instant motivation!

Do you ever find you need more motivation to get going and get it done? Ever wish you had the energy and drive to get up and take action?

If your house was on fire or you'd just won the lottery you'd soon be getting up and taking action! But as I hope your house is ok and the odds of winning the lottery are pretty small, here's another way to tap into that inner motivation to get stuff done.

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Use this simple technique to quickly calm your anxiety.

When you feel anxious, the emotions can take over – you get all those anxious feelings and sensations and you probably just want to get out of that place to somewhere you can feel safe and calm down. 

As well as those anxious feelings, you also get the anxious thoughts – people often describe it to me as a racing mind, or feeling overwhelmed or like they can’t think straight or concentrate.

It's like there are two parts to your mind - the thinking part and the emotional, anxious part. When the anxiety increases, your ability to think clearly or rationally diminishes. You just can't think straight like you do when you feel calm and relaxed.

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Suffering with social anxiety can be a daily nightmare with meetings, parties and other events around others taking place all the time.

You probably worry about what others think about you and do all you can to avoid looking or sounding stupid or making an idiot of yourself in front of them. When around others you may feel on edge, anxious and worried. You may feel inferior in some way or not as good as others.

In extreme cases, you may structure your life to avoid any potentially anxious situations and so you avoid meetings, meeting new people, going out, presentations, dating or any other similar situations.

To combat the anxiety, here are 5 things you need to do:

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If your anxiety levels are sky high right now then follow these two steps to ease it down:

1) Close your eyes and sit comfortably. Put your hand on your stomach and with every in breath imagine inflating your stomach like a balloon. As you do this say that word ‘relax’ in your mind. Then with every out breath the balloon deflates again and you say ‘relaxed’ in your mind. Breathe in calmness and breath out and relax deeper (you can get your free rapid relaxation hypnosis MP3 to help with this - just enter your details on the right). 

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