Solution Focused Hypnotehrapy – Using Brain based knowledge to Help with Anxiety
Anxiety is not caused by our external environment. If that was the case then everyone who suffers bereavement, bankruptcy, redundancy etc. would be clinically anxious, angry or depressed, and we know that this is not the case. So, it must be an internal process, which are causing us our problems.
Using up to date scientific knowledge and understanding, our practitioners seek to support you in amending your unwanted anxious thought patterns and get you focusing on the positive aspects of life. Increasing executive function and literally stopping those recurring thoughts that can perpetuate anxiety, their expertise helps to reduce the levels of stress hormones in the brain, which in turn helps to bring anxiety back in check. Our customers usually start to see significant improvements in their symptoms very quickly.
Scientists have discovered that our brains store memories of fear and anxiety in a different way to ordinary memory
An anxiety response is essentially the same thing as a fear response. In people who suffer anxiety, these fear memories override the ordinary memories, and are much stronger. Fear memories are stored in the brain as an “emotional memory”, as opposed to rational memory. Unfortunately, emotional memory is pretty much permanent, whilst rational memory can be readily manipulated. But that’s not to say that an emotional memory must be the dominant one.
Hypnotherapy can Help with Anxiety
There are various degrees of anxiety ranging from mild to severe and not everyone who suffers from anxiety has panic attacks. The anxiety may be just a temporary thing, such as examination or wedding nerves, which can be helped relatively quickly and in many cases very effectively using hypnotherapy. If the anxiety is more persistent then more sessions are required, which can be discussed during the initial consultation.
Getting back to the Intellectual Brain
Ultimately, whatever the situation, the pre-frontal cortex appears to have the ability to take control, or regain control from the limbic system. The mind will generally respond to the most dominant thought. If that emanates from the intellectual mind then that has the priority, even in the most desperate situations. This explains how individuals can show exceptional abilities to remain calm, in control, and brave when faced with a life-threatening situation, particularly where a member of the family faces the danger, such as in a burning building. They can overcome the survival response that insists that they keep away from the danger. Secondly, it is possible, with modern techniques, to reduce anxiety and to move memories that have become locked into the emotional, primitive brain such as phobias.
Positive Thought, Positive Activity, & Positive Interaction
As anxiety in life is reduced the intellectual mind regains control. This would be brought about by a reversal of the exact process that caused anxiety in the first place. Learning to think, act and interact in a positive way will, in due course, reverse this process. This is because, when we do this right, by their very nature, we will be significantly reducing the amount by which we are adding to our already existent anxieties, stresses and worries.
Ceasing Anxiety creation through Serotonin
When we go in for positive thought action, and activity, the rewards we get are significant. They include the production of neurotransmitters such as Serotonin, which are what make us feel good. And whilst we are feeling good, we are not feeling anxious, it can be as simple as that.
REM sleep deals with Anxiety
Once we have created anxiety we have to rely on the mechanism of REM sleep to deal with it. In practise, our nocturnal REM (rapid eye movement) literally ‘moves’ trauma from the amygdala/hippocampus to the main cortex. We view the situation in ‘clear’ or in metaphor during the dissociated state of sleep (dreaming). Re-running the events of the day like this changes them from emotional, painful, memories to narrative memories i.e. memories of painful events, which we have control over.
Unfortunately, for one reason or another, we have R.E.M time is limited to about 20% of our overall sleep. If we are unable to deal with all the anxiety/negativity being created during the day then this becomes a backlog and raises our stress levels generally. It is this level that is critical to the brain. At a certain point, the balance begins to shift from the intellectual area to the emotional primitive area. Now the mind is operating within the parameters of anger, anxiety, or depression.
The Primitive Mind encourages Anxiety
This part of the brain we share with other animals, and it is essential for our survival, helping us to stay alert, and increasing our strength in the face of near and present danger, and we can be glad of this aspect. This response is great when we are actually faced with danger but it can become disproportionate to the point where our brain gives the same stress response as it would to a life threatening situation.
It’s a Negative, Obsessional & Vigilant Mind
The centre and influential part of the primitive brain is called the Amygdala. This is referred to as the fight, flight, depression, and freeze area of the brain. The amygdala assumes general influence very easily whenever it becomes aware of a (perceived) threat. As it ‘fires-up’ it encourages negativity and always sees things from the perspective of the ‘worst possible scenario’. It is also an obsessional mind. If there were actual danger we would need to be reminded of it constantly. And because it is not an intellect, it cannot be innovative. Instead, it has to refer to previous patterns of behaviour. These patterns are invariably negative, and the combination of negativity, increased vigilance, and obsessional thought, invariably add to the Anxiety, Stress, Depression, or Anger we are feeling, and even contribute towards serious illness.
The Primitive Mind can Over-React
The amygdala responds very quickly to perceived threats. At the same time a slower more considered process occurs. The sensory cortex picks up stimuli from your surroundings. The hippocampus, which stores all of our behavioral patterns and experiences, then checks whether we’ve experienced this kind of situation before and how you reacted to it. The brain then processes the information and, if it decides that the danger is false, the flight or fight response is turned off. We are then able to calm down and return to a calmer more normal state. If the perceives that the danger is real, then the flight or fight response continues.
However, the slower, more thoughtful process can effectively ‘short-circuit’, especially if our levels of anxiety are already high. The result is increased anxiety, and other associated symptoms, and our reactions to situations may well be very irrational.
The Intellectual Mind is Solutions Orientated
The main cortex of the brain tries to arrive at the best possible options and solutions based all information to hand and is not biased. It will consistently endeavour to come up with a proper assessment of any given situation, and is generally fairly optimistic. The main cortex of the brain is capable of extremely effective evaluation procedures, provided that the mind is not being over-influenced by emotional arousal. The neo-cortex is evolution’s answer to mankind’s need for adaptable responses to an ever-changing environment.
Solution Based interaction during Therapy
The intellectual mind continually makes new connections, strengthening valuable ones as we make use of them and allowing others to wither when they are less useful. It can hold onto and store whatever information is pertinent to its current project and use new information to modify or de-select other responses. This is extremely useful for our solutions-focused practitioners, as they apply the principles of positive focus during their sessions. Furthermore, skilful practitioners are able to promote and encourage intellectual brain activity using other techniques such as Hypnosis for Anxiety, and appropriate cognitive questioning.
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