Anxious seems to be the new normal

Anxiety is normal. It is a natural defence mechanism to protect us from danger. In the past, the sabre toothed tiger would be lying in wait in the bushes. We only needed a suggestion of its presence and we would be running back to the cave. And this hair trigger reflex remains with us, but most dangers are social - risks to our self-esteem or confidence, fear of making a fool of ourselves in front of other people. The symptoms of anxiety are very unpleasant - dry mouth, sweaty hands, palpitations, shaking legs. These are the direct result of the fight or flight hormones that flood our bodies at the first perception of risk. They are not dangerous, but they are horrible. We would do almost anything to avoid them.

Job insecurity, relationship breakdown, the rotten economic situation, all these can make us feel jittery and worry about our future. So it is not surprising that anxiety is on the increase. And anxiety really does interfere with our daily lives. We might feel people are talking about us at work, scheming against us, if we are worried about losing our jobs.  Money might be tight, and so there might be arguments and anger at home about where the money is going. Or we might feel overwhelmed by the thought of years of being short, and decide What the Hell, and just go out on a spending binge. We might feel grotesquely jealous when our partner talks to someone else, for fear they might leave us. And this might lead us to keeping a tight control over them, wanting to know where they are all the time, so they feel hemmed in, and then they really do leave, proving you were right all the time. A self-fulfilling fallacy.

But anxiety can become a habit. You respond to the same situations in the same way, and gradually extend these unhelpful ways fo responding to new situations, so we can feel that we have lost control.We start to avoid doing the things that give us pleasure. We stop going to the pictures, we give up our evening classes, we don't go to the gym.  We can even end up taking time off work (and most of us enjoy working). So we end up feeling anxious and doing nothing enjoyable. We could even become depressed.

Anxiety is well-treated with CBT, which is recommended by the National Institute for Care Excellence. And when you add hypnosis to the mix, it works quickly. And it is enjoyable and interesting too. So, if you are finding your anxiety is spoiling your life, then get help now. Don't wait. You will be surprised how quickly you feel better. If you are near Glasgow, come and see me.

What is your experience of anxiety? What were the symptoms? How did you get better? How long did you wait before you sought help?

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