One of my clients told me recently that she felt like a tightly wound up ball of anxiety. She constantly felt on edge, restless and tense and couldn't find any peace from feeling that way.

No matter how much she tried to distract herself for a while, all those unwelcome thoughts and feelings kept coming back.

However, that soon changed when she used the process below to find more and more inner calmness.

The Anxiety Ball

Here’s what worked for her and if you struggle with anxiety then you can benefit too:

anxiety ball

 

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As you would expect I'm a great believer in the power of hypnosis to help you manage emotions, end anxiety, boost self-esteem, increase confidence and in helping you to achieve your goals. It's a belief that is shared by my clients (you can read what people have said for more).

But everyday we go into 'trance' like moments and sometimes you may not appreciate your own internal power to hypnotise yourself negatively. 

Have you ever:

Have you ever had one of those situations in a meeting or when talking to someone when you feel tense, uncomfortable, anxious and you just want it to be over?

Or maybe you sometimes feel that some people are more intelligent or somehow better than you and when you speak to them you get a bit lost in your own thoughts, maybe even not saying much because you don't want to look stupid?

And then you kick yourself because someone else suggests the same thing you were thinking and everyone responds positively. It could have been you who said it!

Putting People On A Pedestal

Obviously there is nothing wrong with admiring somone who is gifted at some skill, or wanting to learn from them.

However, recently I was working with a client who felt way, way down the pecking order at work and put everyone on some higher level in her mind compared to herself.

In meetings she would be reluctant to speak because her managers had been doing it longer, knew more and she thought she would make an idiot of herself. She would try to avoid giving her opinions and even try and avoid speaking to senior managers or others who she felt knew so much more than her. 

In these situations she would feel tense and anxious. Sometimes somone wlse would say the very thing she had been thinking and she'd mentally kick herself about her failure to speak up.

So how did we easily change this?

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If you suffer with a phobia or fear then you will know the levels of anxiety that can arise and you will probably do all you can to avoid the particular thing or situation. You may even feel anxious just talking about your phobia.

Recently I worked with Steve Miller, who you may recognise as the presenter of Sky 1's 'Fat Families' as well as from his books, magazine articles and other TV appearances.

Steve had suffered with a phobia around blood and a phobia around needles for forty years. When we first met he couldn't even say the words 'blood test' without getting anxious and on edge. 

In the video below, Steve talks about how he now feels about his old phobia after working with me for two sessions.

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How much time do you spend dwelling on the past and worrying about the future? Sometimes it can seem like all our time is spent looking back or looking ahead and never taking the time to be in the moment - where you are right now.

If you spend too much time looking back it may make you feel sad, depressed, low or even hopeless. And  too much time lost in future worries can lead to anxiety, stress and worry. You may also find that you put happiness and health on the 'never-never' - it becomes something you hope to have in the future without doing anything about it right now.

A Time And A Place

It can be useful to look back over the past to see how we have grown and moved on, to remember challenges we've overcome and successes we've achieved and to learn for the future.

It can be useful to think to the future to help us plan to successfully achieve what we want to in life.

However, it is alos important to make sure you spend some time in the current moment - in the now. We can forget to enjoy the moment and miss opportunities to experience gratitide. love and happiness. When you are more in the now, fears about what might happen in the future start to diminish and feelings from the past are put to one side or behind you.

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If you struggle with anxiety then you will be very aware of the two main symptoms that come with anxiety - those anxious feelings that you notice in your body, and the anxious thoughts that race through your mind.

Everyone is very different in how and when they experience their own anxiety - for some the feelings and thoughts are a constant burden through every moment of the day whilst for others they may come and go or be more acute in specific situations.

So when someone with anxiety comes to see me they are desperately seeking relief from the physical feelings and the worrying thoughts.

Your Stressed Brain

The simplest way to explain anxiety is the state in which your mind is on high alert looking out for any sign of danger so it can take action to keep you safe and protected. Of course you probably aren't in any actual, real danger but your mind can't tell the difference between worrying about a hungry wolf coming towards you and all the worry and stress that you are experiencing from work, family and all the other areas of your life.

Your mind registers all that stress, worry and anxiety and gets ready to take action - and so your body responds by getting you ready to move, and your breathing increases, you get hot and sweaty, the adrenaline pumps around your body. You notice all these things and start to interpret them as anxiety, which causes more worry and stress and leads to more physical symptoms and a cycle develops where the feelings and thoughts feed each other and fuel each other.

Anxious people often talk about thier brains feeling full or lilke cotton wool, how they have trouble concentrating and how tired they feel. It's like having a stressed out brain working as hard as it can and therefore has no room for anything but anxiety.

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How much news do you follow? I've worked with people who watch the news over breakfast, read the paper on the way to work, check their news app throughout the day, look at news online at lunchtime then back home for the evening news and the ten o'clock news before bed.

And as much of the news is full of disasters, pain, suffering and sadness, that's a lot of worry and stress being force fed into your mind.

Limit Your News Intake

Let's be honest, most news stories don't change so quickly that you need to check in on them dozens of times a day. What tends to happen is you get the same story wrapped up in several different ways. 

And all the pain, suffering and disaster you are absorbing is like waving a red flag in front of an anxious mind and screaming 'it's dangerous out there!' No wonder many people with anxiety would rather stay indoors where it feels safer from all that worrying stuff 'out there'.

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Could caffeine be contributing to your anxiety and stress levels?

Many of us like a few cups of tea or coffee each day. Or you may prefer energy drinks or other drinks that contain caffeine. You may like the taste, enjoy the ritual of taking a break at the same time or maybe you use them to help you overcome your tiredness and lethargy.

How Caffeine Fuels Anxiety

Caffeine is a stimulant that can help perk us up and keep us going. Yet the effects of too much caffeine can be symptoms such as feeling on edge or jittery, agitation, over-alertness and palpitations. In essence, it produces effects similar to stress on our bodies.

And if you suffer with anxiety, several of these symptoms may seem all too familiar already - such as those shaky, jittery, on edge feelings and those palpitations.

If you are already anxious or stressed then the impact of caffeine can be enough to amplify all those feelings. And the more you feel them, the more you focus on your anxiety, creating a cycle of worry and even more anxiety. It's like pouring fuel on your anxiety and then trying to cope with the fire you've created.

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If you currently suffer with anxiety then you may constantly feel on edge, tired and tense. Your mind may race through worrying thoughts and those 'what if's' that focus on things going badly in the future.

Often clients tell me their minds feel full or like cotton wool, they can't grasp onto things going on now and they often struggle to concentrate and focus.

In basic terms, all that worry and anxiety leaves your brain feeling stressed out and your body feeling exhausted.

Learning to relax

So to combat anxiety effectively you need to start learning how to relax, to give your mind a bit of a pause and some peace from all that other stuff whizzing around inside. 

Often anxiety cleints tell me they don't or can't relax. They have to keep busy to try and distract themselves from their anxiety. Yet as soon as they do stop, like when they try and sleep, all those thoughts and feelings come flooding back.

But just as you learnt to feel anxious, you can start to learn how to relax again.

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In this video testimonial, Eloise talks about how she struggled for over two months with anxiety around sleeping.

What started as a couple of nights struggling to get to sleep escalated into a cycle of worrying about going to sleep and then feeling too anxious to actually sleep. And the longer it went on, the more exhausted she felt and the more of a struggle it became to sleep.

Overcoming Anxiety Around Sleeping

Yet very quickly after working with me, she soon found that she could easily relax into a deep sleep and awake feeling refreshed and ready for the day.

As she put it: "I can honestly say that my two sessions with Dan were life-changing. I was becoming very low due to my constant lack of sleep, and it was having a severe knock-on effect on my life, however Dan enabled me to get a grip on the problem and overcome it. I can’t quite put my finger on how he did it, but he did, and for that, I will be forever grateful."

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