A recent survey shows that 3 million people in the UK suffer with an anxiety disorder. The good news is that recent research into the relationship between what we think and how we feel could help clients think themselves happier!
Anxiety and Stress can hold incredible power over our lives – the physical symptoms of anxiety are well known. It seems that having worrying thoughts and imagining unpleasant situations can actually produce physical stress in the body. A study, published in the International Journal of Psychophysiology in 2007 found that performing guided imagery of moderately unpleasant situations results in physical responses such as accelerated heart rate, faster breathing and sweating. It seems that imagining unpleasant events can activate the brain’s fear network and result in an activation of the sympathetic nervous system.
If we ever needed proof that worrying is not good for us, well here it is! Simply by thinking worrying thoughts we can generate the same physical reactions involved in the fight or flight response.
The good news is that the converse also seems to be true; imagining positive events can make us feel better. A large part of my role is helping clients imagine their preferred future, which as well as helping them feel happier, enables them to make the changes necessary to make that future a reality.
The validity of this approach would seem to be supported by research which demonstrates that the benefit of generating images about positive future outcomes may not be limited to mood but extend to subsequent behaviour.
I use Solution Focused techniques to help clients replace unhelpful, negative thinking patterns with more beneficial thought processes. By thinking more positively, their anxiety levels reduce enabling them to cope better with life’s challenges.
So there you have it, combat stress, think happy thoughts!
If you have any further questions about anxiety, or wondering if Hypnotherapy is right for you, please do not hesitate in contacting me. All enquiries, just like my consultations, are held in the strictest confidence, and with your safety and well-being in mind.