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Don’t panic! How to know when it’s creeping up on you

Your heart starts beating faster; you can’t catch your breath; your vision gets blurry. If you’ve ever experienced any of these symptoms, paired with feelings of overwhelming anxiety or a sudden surge of fear, then you’re probably familiar with panic attacks.

Panic attacks can occur out of the blue, without any warnings or triggers. It is possible to have an attack only once, but it’s more likely that a person will experience repeat episodes. You can have panic attacks, but otherwise be perfectly happy and healthy.

So how can you tell if you are about to have one? There are a few common symptoms that you can look out for:

  • Dry mouth­ – One of the more common symptoms during a panic attack. If you want to counter a dry mouth and attempt to manage the attack, try sipping on water or suck on a boiled sweet to stimulate the production of saliva.
  • Shaking and shivering – When your body temperature drops, the muscles spasmodically contract, creating friction between muscles and body tissues and increasing your body temperature. During an anxiety attack, shaking and shivering is normal.
  • Heart palpitations – These are also very common during panic attacks and are caused by the release of adrenaline into the bloodstream. You may feel like your heart is skipping beats. This is perfectly normal and won’t cause any physical damage.
  • Body pain – Feeling pain in your neck, shoulders, chest, jaw, mouth and stomach, as well as having a headache is also common. When the body is under stress, parts of the body usually get tense, which results in pain. Do your best to try and relax if these pains arise.
  • Shortness of breath – This tends to be the most distressing symptom of an anxiety attack, making you feel as though you can’t catch your breath. If you experience this, the best way to counteract it is to remind yourself that you won’t suffocate, stop breathing or pass out and that this is only temporary.
  • Feeling detached – This symptom can alter the way you interact with and perceive reality. It leads you to think everything around you is part of a dream or unreal.

Understanding the symptoms of a panic attack is the first step in learning to control its effect on your everyday life. If you’d like to find out more about panic attacks and what you can do to help manage their impact on you, contact a member of our team today.

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It’s time to rid yourself of fear and take your life back

Each time you let the fear of failure take hold and stop you from taking risks that could get you what you really want out of life; you are stopping yourself from living to your full potential.

Defined as an irrational, persistent fear of a certain object or situation; it has been estimated that over 5% of the population has one or more clinically diagnosed phobia. It can be a fear of something specific such as flying, spiders, snakes or tight spaces. There are also social fears which cause you to feel anxious about social interaction or situations such as giving a speech in public or being in an environment with new, unfamiliar people.

Often these sorts of phobias start during childhood, and if left untreated carry on into adulthood and when induced can be debilitating. When a fear or phobia develops, it is important to deal with it directly in order to take control and stop it negatively impacting on your life.

If you find yourself being restrained or limited by a particular fear, before it becomes impossible to control you might like to consider an effective, non-invasive form of treatment such as hypnosis. When placed into a deep state of relaxation, the subconscious mind becomes receptive to suggestions of change. Positive suggestions are given to a person during this state; this includes motivational encouragement, confidence building statements and steps for curing oneself of a phobia.

When new ideas are introduced to the subconscious mind, a person can develop healthier beliefs, values and more importantly improved habitual thinking patterns. Hypnosis is also beneficial in helping to calm the mind and body by alleviating stress and anxiety; all of which helps someone to regain control of their lives by limiting the power of their phobia.

Hypnosis can have a positive effect on every aspect of a person’s life. It is a safe and gentle process that is suitable for a patient of any age. If you would like to find out more about hypnosis as a treatment for fears and phobias, contact us today to book an initial consultation. Hypnosis can help you to lead a happier and healthier life – fear and phobia free!

 

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Don’t let anxiety rule your life

Feelings of anxiety in certain situations can be helpful; keeping us protected from danger by triggering our survival instincts. But when your worries become persistent or are blown out of proportion, it can start to get in the way of you living your life.

An anxiety disorder is characterised by feelings of fear and persistent worry that can negatively impact and take control of all aspects of a person’s life. Some of the most common anxieties are fear and/or worry of social situations, authority, relationships, or financial matters.

A person living with anxiety will learn to avoid certain situations that create feelings of worry or panic, and don’t recognise the impact it is having on their lives. For instance someone who experiences feelings of anxiety at work may unintentionally put themselves in a situation that leaves them overlooked for promotion.

If not addressed, anxiety can lead to other mental disorders such as agoraphobia and obsessive compulsive disorder. But anxiety does not have to control your life. There are plenty of effective tips, tricks and treatments that can help you overcome feelings of anxiety.

Some simple tips or tricks that you can try are:

  • Take the time to relax….! We all think we know how to relax but chilling out in front of the TV or playing a video game isn’t true relaxation. They may seem to relieve you of stress through distraction, but it’s effect will only be temporary. For proper relaxation, try things like deep breathing or yoga to calm your mind and body.
  • Get enough sleep! Sounds simple doesn’t it? But when it comes to the right amount of sleep for your needs – think not too much, but not too little.
  • Eat healthy and exercise. Choose foods that will give you long-term energy instead of short bursts, and participate in exercises that send oxygen to every cell in your body.

If your feelings of anxiety are becoming harder and harder to manage and are negatively impacting your life, consider seeking professional help. Hypnosis is a proven, non-invasive method for overcoming anxiety. The process of hypnosis is rewarding, positive and safe. A person who has received hypnosis therapy can often feel a boost in confidence, increased self esteem and a more positive outlook on life.

Hypnosis calms your nerves, mind and the whole body, alleviating the stress that hinders your everyday life. When a person undergoes hypnosis, they are placed into a deep state of relaxation. It is during this state that the subconscious mind becomes receptive to positive suggestion, new ideas and perspectives. It is then that a therapist can provide motivational encouragement, confidence building statements and a means of overcoming anxiety. This process will help to change the behaviours and thinking patterns of the person receiving the treatment.

If you want to overcome anxiety and lead a happier life, contact a member of the Brand New Mindset team today.

 

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Claustrophobia and fear of MRI Scans, VR therapy can help

Claustrophobia is the term used to describe an irrational fear of confined spaces and it affects 10-30% of the population[1]. People who suffer from claustrophobia may find themselves becoming anxious in a variety of places from a traffic jam to a concert theatre or when they have to undergo Magnetic Resonance Imaging or a MRI scan.

If you suffer from Claustrophobia the idea of having an MRI might be so anxiety-provoking that you avoid having the scan which can have important medical consequences. However, there is a form of therapy that can help you conquer your fears. Virtual Reality (VR) therapy uses computer graphics to create the illusion of interacting with a computer-generated environment. This results in an intense feeling of ‘immersion’ in the situation.  VR Therapy targets the subconscious mind, which cannot tell the difference between the virtual and the real environment. Biometric sensors allow the therapist to monitor your anxiety levels as you are gradually introduced to anxiety-provoking situations.

Fears and phobias like Claustrophobia respond very well to exposure therapy. The more times a sufferer is exposed to the stressful situation, it appears less threatening and the more desensitized they will become which will ease their symptoms.

The advantage of using VR is that unlike going for a real MRI scan, the therapist is in control all the time, carefully managing the environment and reminding the patient of the relaxation techniques they have been taught.  The therapist teaches skills to manage both the physical symptoms of anxiety as well as to change the thoughts that cause anxiety. The patient can then practice these skills in the VR environment.

The first stage of VR Therapy is designed to work on anticipatory anxiety and psychoeducation. In this simulated scenario, the patient is located in a waiting room receiving information about the MRI scan through a TV monitor. The second stage simulation is designed to expose the patient to small and close spaces. In this space, the patient is located in a small dressing room without windows. Finally, the third stage simulation is designed to work on the Claustrophobia associated with the MRI scan. The patient is located in the MRI room, where many items of the hierarchy, such as, being in the room whilst the assistant speaks, lying down on the gurney, getting partially or completely into the machine, with more or less noise volume, and others, will be worked on.

VR Therapy provides a far more controlled and affordable, step between the safe environment of the therapist’s office and the real world.

If you want to find out if VR Therapy might work for you, contact us for a free initial consultation.

[1] http://qsprivatehealthcare.com/2016/07/13/mri-claustrophobia-dispelling-myths-managing-anxiety/ 

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