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Anxiety

We will all at some times in our lives experience anxiety in one form or another. Some of us may experience physical as well as emotional symptoms, but generally these symptoms will be associated with a stressful situation or specific time in our life – perhaps a challenging work interview, an exam, moving house, bereavement or relationship problems. In fact almost any situation that is out of our normal routine has the potential to raise our anxiety levels and this is to be expected.

We have an innate ‘Fight Flight’ which kicks in when we are faced with any unusual or potentially dangerous situation. This Fight flight response sits deep without our primitive brains, the original part of our brains that were formed millions of years ago – the limbic system.

brainThis part of our brain was developed to protect us from wild animals and tribesmen – modern day living, although challenging, is nowhere near as physically demanding or dangerous as the lives lived by early man. However our brains, although hugely complex and developed, still hold the primitive part, powered by our Amygdala. Our primitive and sometimes inappropriate behavioural responses are controlled by our ancient Hippocampus, linked closely with the Hypothalamus which is responsible for regulating the chemicals in the mind and body.

For today’s modern situations we are equipped with an intellectual brain, making us different from our caveman ancestors. This gives us the power to consider things rationally – our rational prefrontal cortex can weigh up the level of fear associated with a given situation. At times, the fight flight response will take over, simply to protect us. The need for our instincts to protect us from wild animals in the jungle (unless you are Bear Grylls) is somewhat less that it used to be, but those parts of our brain are still available and accessible.

chimpFor a whole range of reasons, those of us who are affected by long periods of anxiety, or those who find it impossible to think positively and rationally in a situation which is clearly not life-threatening, have got some ‘rewiring’ to do, we’ve got things muddled in our brain and our primitive mind, our ‘chimp’ is taking over, running riot.  It’s as though we are always on red alert, constantly looking over our shoulder for wild animals or danger, which in today’s society we don’t need to be doing.  We need to learn to calm our brain, putting our ‘chimp’ back into his cage!

Rationally you know that you will be ok to leave the house and cross the street, enter a shop, go to a social event – but these seemingly normal things for those with an anxiety disorder can become cripplingly debilitating, creating an environment of negativity and fear. It can result in a complete inability to live a normal life and enjoy those normal things you used to get such pleasure from.

So when do normal anxiety and nerves become more of a mental health problem?

Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is something that, although sometimes difficult, can be diagnosed by your doctor – you may be fearful, but not about anything specific.  And depending on the kind of problems you experience, you may be diagnosed with a ‘specific anxiety disorder’ for example a phobia or a panic disorder, you may be prescribed medication or you may seek Talking Therapies.

At The Good Therapy Works we offer a range of therapies to choose from, one could be just right for you – contact us today for a confidential chat or email us find out more

Testimonial

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    I had never tried Reflexology before going to Jo - but it's safe to say I'm now a convert! The actual manipulation of the feet is in itself very soothing, as generally the feet are subject to constant exertion and vigorous treatment, so it feels great to give them a treat. …

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    Jo's aroma massages are in my opinion quite magnificent.  The setting is very peaceful, calming and relaxing so even just walking through the door you feel yourself begin to relax immediately.  You can smell the oils instantly you enter the room which is a delight to the senses! Jo's manner is…

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    I first went to see Jo for support for our son and then asked for sessions for myself. Although I initially wanted support to lose weight but ended up having support with self esteem and confidence. Jo has been fantastic and although at times I still wonder if I have…

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  • 14th August 2016

    I was recommended Jo's services by my counsellor, as I was suffering with anxiety and depression. Jo was very friendly and helpful, and her therapy studio is in a nice and peaceful location. I had her sessions for a few months and it was very professional, relaxing and helpful. It…

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  • 12th August 2016

    How Solution based hypnotherapy worked for me. We all think we can cope, but often we need help.  I went to see Jo when all else had failed and immediately felt reassured and at ease through Jo’s professional kind approach.  Solution based hypnotherapy sessions have supported and enabled me to…

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  • 9th August 2016

    I went to Jo with nothing to lose and no idea what to expect. I had always suffered from anxiety and had become depressed. I felt completely overwhelmed with my new responsibilities, juggling becoming a Mum and the return to work. Eventually I hit a point of disfunction and I…

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  • 8th August 2016

    I started to see Jo in Feb 2016 after a relative spotted her advert in a local magazine and thought I should ring her to see if she could help me with my anxiety issues.  I’m so glad I did!  Now, six months later, I feel I am so much…

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