Anxiety, body and mind - the conscious and subconscious

Anxious feelings can impact both physically and psychologically to prepare us for action in certain situations.

The sequence is often a combination of three systems;

  • Bodily sensations - for example unbalanced breathing, tummy discomfort, perspiration and clamminess damp skin, heart palpitations and excessive visits to the toilet, triggered by an underlying fear.
  • Your behaviour - for example how you react to the underlying fear and symptoms. 
  • Your thoughts around what you are feeling, your internal dialogue, mental images, and maybe irrational beliefs about what will happen to you in the situation where you are experiencing the anxious, fearful, feelings.

Managing anxiety can start with breaking down these three systems in relation to firstly identifying how they affect you and manifest within negative repeated patterns. Thereafter you can work on your own personal individual strategies in a controlled, safe, therapeutic environment to build strategies, once certain aspects of these systems are recognised and acknowledged.

Fear and anxiety reduces confidence which can be an added complex part of the repeated negative patterns that may be circulating.

When we are fearful we usually regress by default and maybe coping strategies developed in early human life may not serve you well in the here and now, for example in your adulthood. Learning new mature ways of coping, with flexible thinking and mindful autonomy can be the pebble dropping in the water to encourage the ripples to go out and grow.

Talking therapy: Anxiety can feel like a tension and to relieve that tension in any way you can is important. Talking therapy can allow you to release some of that tension and begin the process of alleviating tension before it builds up and feels overwhelming. Metaphorically speaking, a bit like a pressure cooker where you release a little steam in a controlled, timely way, within a safe therapeutic environment.

Psycho-education: Written information explaining how our psyche works is very helpful to help the person seeking help to become more informed about how to manage the symptoms.

Hypnotherapy: The body has a memory, just like the mind. Physical relaxation can be very helpful to relax the mind. When we physically relax we mentally relax. And when we mentally relax we see things more in their true perspective. Hypnotherapy requires deep relaxation and so can teach the body how to relax, so that the conscious mind relaxes. When your conscious mind is relaxed you are better placed for your subconscious mind to come to the fore and resolve issues naturally and timely.

Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP): Learning more about yourself as a person and what you want to improve in your life can be achieved with the aid of NLP which is your mind language and how you communicate to the world, and it to you. Having more of an understanding of yourself in different aspects of your life can alleviate anxiety and build confidence.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Counselling Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Bromley BR1 & London SE12
Bromley BR1 & London SE12

My name is Maggie Bell. I am a qualified counsellor, hypnotherapist and NLP coach. I have 25 years NHS experience working within different capacities but mostly mental health. If you are keen to know more about the subject of anxiety and/or talk about what you are experiencing then please call me. I will be delighted to hear from you.

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