A really great article from Psychology Today
A really great article from Psychology Today
A really great article about life truths from Psychology Today
Anxiety – is it in your mind?
Everything you do involves the minds – yes the minds. You have one physical brain but 2 minds, the conscious rational thinking mind which deals with data and facts and the unconscious mind which deals with emotions and the stress response patterns of depression, anger and anxiety. These three stress response patterns date back to primitive times and were responsible for survival.
Imagine primitive man hunting; off he goes with his spear hoping to bring back a large cow, well imagine his shock if instead of a cow he comes face to face with a wild tiger – his life is in danger, and the battle cry goes out when he thinks or says the words ‘oh no, what do I do now or oh no, I can’t cope, I’m going to die!’ – as soon as the unconscious mind detects those words of alarm it will fire off the anxiety response and with it come the physical responses of raised heartbeat, increased body temperature and release of the stress hormones; in this situation his rational mind shuts down, he can either fight or run away. We call this the fight or flight response and whichever he decides to do the physical changes created are designed to give him the maximum chance of survival – an elevated heart rate can pump the freshly oxygenated blood to his muscles, the raise in body temperature warms the muscles ready for action and of course today these reactions are often experienced as blushing, trembling and a blank mind!
In modern life the same process happens when we react to a situation with thoughts and words of panic and alarm. The unconscious mind races in with the stress response because the unconscious mind can’t tell the difference between us facing a wild tiger or feeling frightened about giving a presentation etc. Anxiety is further increased when we become aware of the physical responses in the body and worry that others can see how anxious we are and of course, we can rarely do a good job when body our mind and body are in anxiety mode.
So you see a lot of our anxiety is made worse by the words and thoughts we use. We need to be aware of how we react – we need to be able to choose rational and calm words and thoughts which are not interpreted as an alarm by the emotional unconscious mind. Awareness is created with a relaxed mind so the first part of this change process is learning how to relax your mind, because when we are relaxed we can react to stressful situations in calm rational ways by choosing to think rational thoughts, allowing the unconscious mind to realize there’s no need for an anxiety response pattern.
Hypnotherapy helps you overcome anxiety by helping you learn how to relax your mind and reframe old negative responses into more positive ones, because yes, anxiety begins in the mind – visit my online shop
Learn how to shift your focus to the future, stop worrying about what others think of you and create a new habit of positive self-care.
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How to strengthen the foundations of your self-belief
Just because your self-belief may not be strong at the moment doesn’t mean it has to stay that way – it can change and you can change it by changing how you think about yourself.
Create negative feelings
Which in turn create?
• negative reactions in the body
• negative choices
• negative behaviours and actions
The foundation of your self-belief is built on your thoughts about yourself, the thoughts you perceive others have of you and your self-talk. Your self-talk reflects your thoughts about yourself and of course you self-talk is like a 24/7 radio show . . . it never stops! It’s therefore important to pay attention to your self-talk as its influence on your self-belief is huge.
The quality of our self-talk stems from our own expectations of ourselves and our perception of what others think of us.
What do you expect from yourself?
Many of us expect ourselves to be perfect; to always be happy, to please everyone, to always succeed; with these unrealistic expectations we are doomed to fail and to feel negative about ourselves. Perfection doesn’t exist and when we allow ourselves to be human rather than perfect our self-talk becomes a lot more positive.
What they think of you?
We have all experienced the pain of someone thinking negatively of us and yet we know we can’t expect everyone to love us or even like us and the good news is that with 7 billion people in the world we don’t need to be liked by everyone! Whatever anyone thinks of us is based on their perceptions, not on facts and their perceptions don’t diminish who we are or change the qualities we have.
Strengthen your self-belief
Consciously choose positive thoughts about yourself. Be true to yourself, recognise your qualities and be realistic in your expectations of yourself.
The book “A Road Less Travelled’ by M Scott Peck opens with the statement “Life is difficult” which is an unusual first sentence for any book, but of course it’s true. Life brings all of us difficulties and pain as well as opportunities and joy.
Many of us have had phases in life when we feel vulnerable, misjudged and exposed to harshness and unfairness and maybe some of you reading this now will feel you are going through such a phase. It’s easy to blame ourselves when life feels hard, when feel hurt or let down by friends or loved ones, and we may end up feeling we are lacking in some way as a person, yet it’s important to remember that life is the result of a dynamic or several dynamics coming together, just like the weather! How many of us ever think about how the rain falls?
‘One way that the atmosphere can become unstable is by heating from the sun. The ground warms up, causing moisture in the ground to evaporate and rise, and the hot ground also heats the air above it. As the water vapour rises, it cools and condenses into clouds and eventually rain.’ www.metoffice.gov.uk/learning/rain/why-does-it-rain
There are several dynamics at play in the causative process here – the heating from the sun, the ground warming, moisture in the ground which evaporates and then rises etc. etc. However despite the process we only notice the end result which is the rain. When life is difficult we often fail to see all the contributing factors and the causative process involved, we notice only the difficulty and the pain and often end up blaming ourselves.
Self-belief is the emotional insulation that can protect you when life is difficult. Self-belief allows you to recognise that you are only one contributory dynamic within any difficult situation, environment, relationship or phase of your life that you might experience. Learn how to strengthen your self-belief in my next blog.