We are increasingly becoming aware of mental health issues like anxiety.
Traumatic events such as the Grenville Tower fire, the Manchester bombing and London attacks highlights the challenges people face emotionally in very difficult situations. What support may be offered to these survivors, both immediately and months or years later, and how this helps people to adapt to new circumstances, broadens our understanding of services available and what can help.
The media coverage of such events increasingly raises the impact of trauma on an individual’s mental health. Therapeutic support is encouraged and considered necessary after such events. This may cause individuals observing this process to reflect on difficult experiences they may have witnessed and how it has affected them emotionally.
People in the public eye are increasingly feeling able to discuss their mental health challenges, what they have tried and what has helped them, more openly. This influences our perceptions of emotional challenges and with more openness about struggles, and may cause us to consider people we know with similar concerns. We may also feel more questioning of our own mental well-being.
As it has become more acceptable to talk about mental health issues, both in our personal relationships and in the working environment, our awareness has grown of how difficult experiences impact on how we function in everyday life.
Social media, news coverage, screen time, multi-tasking, increasing expectations and less personal connection all impact on how we feel emotionally. There are many other influences too, and research shows that anxiety is on the increase.
So what is anxiety?
Anxiety is part of a natural body response, where the sympathetic nervous system is activated to react to a threat or danger by initiating the ‘fight or flight’ response. The normal response raises our heart rate, to get the blood pumping around the body, so we can either fight or run away. This is part of the autonomic nervous system and the complementary part of this system, or parasympathetic nervous system, allows the stress reaction to be turned off, therefore allowing you to return to a calmer state. This response slows down the heart rate and is sometimes referred to as ‘rest and digest’. These systems act largely unconsciously.
As we live in much safer times and with few physical threats, we can misinterpret irritations and challenges in everyday life, causing us to be on high alert even when no danger is present. In this situation the sympathetic nervous system can malfunction, leaving you with the feelings of dread or fear, as associated with anxiety.
To start you on the journey for addressing these feelings, you could consider hypnotherapy.
There is a growing body of evidence of what helps with anxiety. Organisations like Anxiety Uk offer hypnotherapy along with CBT and counselling to help individuals develop skills to manage anxiety.
To understand how hypnotherapy can help, check out my profile on the Hypnotherapy Directory.