The Arbitrary Nature Of Fear And Worry

This article is about the arbitrary nature of fear and worry and the way that your subconscious ignores most of your ‘real’ fears in favour of just one, specially for you.

If you suffer from one of the many anxieties that modern life offers read on. From fear of being sick, fear of food poisoning, fear of fainting or going mad,fainting,blushing,needing the loo,having a panic attack,looking nervous,public speaking,being trapped; the list is endless.

Anxiety and fear is based on the idea that something bad is going to happen and that the terrible event is too awful to contemplate, it would be earth shattering and must be avoided at all costs.

Yet, is it not strange that so many different people suffer from so many different fears and anxieties, but each person suffers from just one? Yet all of them are rational, in the sense that they are all possible. Somehow the sufferer of a fear of X is very likely not to have a fear of Y, unless you have a fear of mathematics! Very rarely does someone worry about all the possible things that could happen to them. It is as if one fear is enough. We know that dreaded thing could happen, so we spend a lot of time and energy trying to reduce that possibility of that particular thing happening. Planning, avoidance and dread is the order of the day.

In my work as a therapist helping sufferers of anxiety I often ask them why they do not fear all of the other things that could happen in their life. They often respond with the confident assertion;” Oh I will deal with that if it happens”. In other words they cannot be bothered to worry about it in advance, even though the possible experience would be unpleasant and upsetting. They are too busy worrying about their own personal fear to spend time worrying about all the other ones, however possible or rational.

My point here is that the chosen fear is abitrary. The fear could be any one of a hundred possible ‘worst case scenarios’. Yet the subconscious has settled on just the one, leaving the other 99 to chance, with a happy go lucky shrug of the shoulders. We dismiss the 99.

How could this perspective help those that suffer from anxiety?

Well, it often helps to look to your strengths instead of dwelling on your weaknesses. By concentrating on your ability to shrug off all those 99 fears, you can use this fact to help build your confidence. Because you clearly are coping very well in a world of so many possibilities and have a natural ability in dealing with those 99 fears. OK, so you go weak and wobbly at your own chosen fear but look at how you deal with the 99. Resourcefulness is the opposite of anxiety and by musing on your innate happy go lucky attitude to the majority of terrible things that could happen is a confidence builder.

Try it.

Hypnotherapy In London

Arachnophobia reduced in new study

The way people develop fears and phobias has always been a mystery. But a new study gives new hints at how the brain may successfully process a phobia and how dwelling on the phobia is the last thing we should do.

Arachnophobia, the fear of spiders, is quite a simple phobia to induce. Show a picture of a whopping big tarantula and boom, the heart rate soars, sweaty palms, the body responds with a phobic reaction.

The new study involved showing arachnophobics very short glimpses of pictures of spiders. By using MRI scans ( its always MRI scans nowadays- the toy of choice- I want one), the brain could be monitored on how it responded to these images. What the researches noted was that the brain reacted in quite a different way to the images if exposed for a short time compared to a longer period. Different parts of the brain were activated. The almost sub conscious glimpse seemed to inspire the brain to reduce its fearful reaction, as if, by not being fully conscious of the image, somehow it was learning to calm its response.

A fear or phobia is often practised, usually unwittingly by the sufferer. The fearful memory or image we have in our minds is often recreated, dredged up, and we end repeating the fear reaction for as many times that we conjure it up. It never gets better, in fact the fear is being embedded. The phobic pathway through the brain is being strengthened, the path is more defined each time it is being used.

The fleeting glimpse of the spider picture, as evidenced by this new study, is being recognised by the unconscious but the body isn’t been given enough time to react. A good long stare at the tarantula would give the phobic patient long enough to access the fear. But the short glimpse gives the brain and body a new experience, an exposure to the trigger without the trigger response. And thus it learns not to be triggered, that the spider is not a threat.

As a hypnotherapist, my take on this is that the important part is not necessarily the brief exposure time but the fact that the body is not reacting. The brain is learning or indeed creating a new pathway, by staying calm through the process of exposure. The new useful pathway is being laid down due to a vital combination of events. Calmness combined with exposure.

So that’s the message today folks, you have heard it before.

Keep calm and carry on.

Andrew Cunningham contributes to the anxiety magazine site Modern Anxiety.

The Dreaded “What If” or Living in the future…negatively

How much time do we spend thinking about the future? Christmas is coming, plans are being made, holidays booked…or dreaded!

For the person suffering with anxiety the future is a place filled with awful events that they are convinced are going to happen. The mind has already mapped out the future and it’s not looking good.

Part of effective therapy is to wean the fearful client off the habit of the dreaded ‘what if’, the mindset that bullies you into trying to avoid all those things that might happen.

People are not stupid. They are aware of what could or might or even probably happen in the future and whatever you say as a therapist cannot change that fact. The ‘what if’ thoughts are possibilities and not facts. Dragging the client away from their habit of mistaking facts with possibilities can be a big task.

Ready to think differently about the future? Why not? It hasn’t happened yet…so you can think what you like!

Agoraphobia Help With Hypnotherapy In London

Agoraphobia can be one of the most inhibiting of fears, which can make the house into a prison as you struggle to go out into the world.

Agoraphobia is a problem that takes some time to beat. Feeling that you can beat this distressing phobia is central to building your confidence and  encourage to leave the comfort of your own home.

Do let me know at Hypnotherapy in London by contacting me on the website

Claustrophobia Help With Hypnotherapy In London

Claustrophobia can surface in many different situations. Lifts,trains,crowded spaces or really any place where you start thinking…can I get out of here?

If claustrophobia is a problem for you do consider coming into London for some hypnotherapy.

Find out more from my website Hypnotherapy in London by clicking here

Hypnotherapy In London For A Fear Of Tube Trains And Buses

London is a busy place and many have fears and anxieties about going on tubes and trains and buses.

If you suffer from the fear and anxiety that often comes with having to travel by train or bus. Do let me know, maybe some hypnosis in my Harley St London clinic might help.

Try the Hypnotherapy in London site.

Click Here

Or to watch on Youtube Hypnotherapy for fear of trains and buses