Anxiety can take many forms. It may be a general feeling of unease, you may experience fears or worries. These feelings can either be mild or they can be so severe that they begin to affect your daily function.
ca recent study conducted globally which was aimed at providing a snap shot of the prevalence of anxiety disorders found that women were almost twice as likely to suffer with anxiety than men. The report found that women are also more likely to suffer from other mental health problems such as depression.
The reason for these gender differences is not entirely clear and some researchers believe that the findings may be exaggerated because women may be more likely than men to see a physician if they are feeling unwell.
Hormonal differences are cited as a major contributing factor. Compared to men women experience more fluctuation in hormone levels than men that are associated with symptoms of depression.
Women tend to be more involved in relationships than men and reports have found that women often find it difficult juggling job and family responsibilities. A major European study covering over 30 countries with a combined population of 514 million people recently reported that depression in middle-aged women had doubled in 40 years because of these pressures. Women between the ages of 25 and 40 were three to four times more likely to become depressed than men.
Anxiety can be triggered by a number of factors including, stress, hormonal imbalances, physical conditions and even genetic background.
A technique that I teach clients that is particularly useful for people suffering with anxiety is known as grounding. The next time you're experiencing feelings of anxiety I implore you to use this technique to either reduce, minimise or even eliminate those feelings. The technique is simple in it's approach and very effective:
Look around you and identify + name
5 - Things you can see
4 - Things you can feel
3 - Things you can hear
2 - Things you can smell
1 - Thing you can taste
Other things you can do when you're experiencing anxiety or a 'disconnect' from your body are:
Change your posture
If you're sitting in a slouched position, sit upright and push your shoulders back. This will naturally allow more air into your lungs and will alter your emotional state.
You may consider getting up and going for a walk, changing your scenery or dis-associating yourself from the place where you're currently feeling anxious may make you feel differently.
Tend to your breathing
Become consciously aware of your breathing. I've mentioned this in many of my other blogs however, breathing is an important part of our well being. Practice deep diaphragmatic breathing during periods of calmness. When you experience anxiety attacks, it will be far easier to achieve the correct breathing because you've rehearsed it.
Alter your emotional state
If you're feeling sad, think of a time that you were at your happiest. This may have been a time you spent with close friends or family several weeks ago or even many years ago.
Having an opposing emotion is almost impossible. It's very difficult to feel sad if you're feeling or thinking of happy times.
Consider seeking help
If you're experiencing prolonged or frequent feelings of anxiety that may include but, are not limited to:
Feelings of depression
A lack of confidence or motivation
Being Self conscious or experiencing self loathing
Overwhelming fears or worries
Then you may wish to seek out additional help from a therapist. This may involve practitioners such as myself who use a range of hypnotic and talking techniques to unravel and change the way you think and feel about things.
There are many places that you can seek out private an confidential help and you can find a practitioner in your area by searching the hypnotherapy directory.
Jason Simmons is a hypnotist and sports performance mind coach specialising in anxiety and trauma.
Jason is the author of the forthcoming book: The Hypnosis Hand book: A spellbindingly good read