There are three specific things that people who have developed anxiety do that other people don’t. The good news is that everyone can learn to change any of these things.
1.Negatively forecast the future.
People with anxiety use their imagination to imagine all the things that could possibly go wrong and all the things that could be possibly happened as a consequence of something. They will do this consistently and your brain, that doesn’t know the different between imagination and reality will interpret this negative forecasting as som sort of emergency, crisis or danger and activate the flight or fight systems.
When you use your imagination to look into the crystal ball of tomorrow, next week or any time in the future, you imagine all the things that could go wrong, then go over and over it in your mind looking for even more things that have a negative outcome and your brain believes your imagination. You forget you are making it up, your brain thinks it is real. It is actually more akin to hullucinating than imagining.
What’s more, the primitive flight/fight part of your mind, responsible for protecting you from danger interprets it as some sort of crisis, emergency or danger and dispatches the signals to the rest of your body to act in accordance with the perceived danger. Your brain doesn’t know the difference between going to see the teachers of one of your children and a sabre tooth tiger; it just knows the feeling you’re creating by worry about it.
This worrying we convert into anxiety and store it up in what we call our ‘stress bucket’. The anxiety piles up and sometimes it overloads, that’s when we start having panic attacks. When get to a certain level of anxiety, we move from an intellectual part of our brain where we do rational thinking to the primitive part of the brain which then encourages us to focus even more on everything that could go wrong.
Of course, we then get into a vicious cycle and we start piling even more into a stress bucket. So the first thing to understanding and realize is that it is not normal to worry irrationally about things there is no need to worry about. Not saying that you abnormal, but not everybody worries, if you have anxiety, it is something that you do to an excessive level that put your brain in this flight/fight mode and you need to learn how not to worry because it not necessary.
You know that worrying about something with it might or might not happen is not going to change a situation, make it any better or stop whatever it is you’re worrying about from happening and it is not going to solve the problem either. Focusing on a problem is not going to solve it, you need a different thinking. You need to think from your intellectual mind and not your primitive mind to find a solution. It takes a different type of thinking and solution focused hypnotherapy helps you get into the right frame of mind to solve problems, come up with solutions and think rationally
2. Look for the Cause of a problem
The second thing people with anxiety do wrong is look for the cause of their anxiety, they focus on reasons for it. It’s not necessary. Going over and over it on your mind, looking for reasons for your anxiety just encourages you to focus on it even more, creating more anxiety.
Then we’re back up to number one above, creating the anxiety that activates your flight/fight systems and putting your mind and body into hyper alert.
Finding the cause will have no bearing on the solution, it takes a different type of thinking to and when you are focused on the problem, it takes priority so there is little room for solution thinking.
3. Over-Thinking Problems
The third thing that people with anxiety do wrong is they over-think. It tends to be people at the higher end of the intellectual scale and people who have good cognitive ability who develop symptoms of anxiety because they over analyse and over think. Instead of just accepting situations or other people they use their imagination to predict outcomes and risk assess. They also imagine what other people are thinking or how they are being perceived.
This over thinking is not helpful because it encourages negative thinking which leads us right back to the primitive brain stepping in believing there is some sort of crisis, emergency or danger, ultimately manifesting in panic attacks or physical ailments if left unchecked.
Somewhat depending on your personality archetype, we see many symptoms manifesting from anxiety creating habits in our hypnotherapy clinics such as OCD, IBS, Anger, Headaches & Migraines, unwanted obsessive thoughts, or Social Anxiety for example, all linked to anxiety and negative forecasting.
If you would like to learn more about how our thoughts and ways of thinking negatively and positively impact on our lives and the people around us, you can keep in touch with articles from Old Town Hypnotherapy a number of ways:-