Anxiety & Depression within The USA
Almost half of American adults are presently experiencing some form of anxiety and over one third of over 18 year olds, depression.
Yesterday the United States Census Bureau released the results from their Household Pulse Survey, period June 4 2020 – June 9 2020. The Survey is designed to measure household experiences during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
As an Anxiety UK registered clinical hypnotherapist I have seen how many more people are struggling with the difficult to manage feelings of anxiety. Dare I express concern that the mental health storm that is in full flow because of the corona virus is more damaging than the virus itself.
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The four relevant questions asked in the survey were as follows. The one option, multiple choice answer selection was; not at all, several days, more than half the days, or nearly every day?
Q32 Over the last 7 days, how often have you been bothered by the following problems … Feeling nervous, anxious, or on edge?
Q33 Over the last 7 days, how often have you been bothered by the following problems … Not being able to stop or control worrying?
Q34 Over the last 7 days, how often have you been bothered by … having little interest or pleasure in doing things?
Q35 Over the last 7 days, how often have you been bothered by … feeling down, depressed, or hopeless?
What would your answers be?
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Positive tools can be put into practice to take control of your anxiety.
If you are struggling to do this yourself some hypnotherapy sessions with an experienced therapist might be the answer for you. Hypnotherapy is often considered a magic wand with the belief that the hypnotist will re-programme the brain.
Hypnosis can be considered a non-deceptive placebo. Enabling changes in your reactions in the same way that advertising does. As with advertising it is subtle, and you will feel normal afterwards.
There is a scientific base to the work of a hypnotherapist. Anxiety is your body’s response to a situation that is threatening your life, this is handled by the reptilian brain that does not have conscious thought. When you experience anxiety or stress your brain responds quickly and efficiently to save your life.
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It does this by initially releasing adrenaline and noradrenaline. These two hormones effect you physically. For example, constricting your blood vessels and increasing your heart rate. This is why you may feel like you are having a heart attack during an anxiety attack. I have heard of many people being rushed into hospital with a suspected heart attack to find, after tests, that it was a panic attack.
At the same time as the hormone release your front – thinking brain – will start to switch off. This will prevent you from functioning in a normal day to day way. You may find it difficult to complete tasks that you usually find simple, getting out of bed or getting dressed. Self-reflection and positive thinking become particularly challenging.
To reduce the feelings of anxiety there are some tools you can incorporate into your daily life to help keep your front brain active.
With your front brain switched off it is difficult for you to see yourself from the outside and see others from the inside, you cannot empathise with others and cannot see the way you are reacting. This can make relationships tricky.
Take some time to journal and focus on how others may feel in situations and how you may be perceived. These situations do not have to focus on anxiety or have any purpose other than to help switch your front brain back on, so you may find it easiest to use uneventful situations that do not require self-reflection but help you practise the exercise.
With a non-fully functioning front brain you have an impaired ability to execute a plan. You might want to do certain things but find whenever you go to do that thing you can’t quite take the step to do it. During your day make some simple choices. Stop being habitual with everyday activities, take time to think and make choices. Instead of making the same cup of tea every morning, take a moment to think about whether you want a hot or cold drink. Do you fancy coffee, tea or hot chocolate today? When you find yourself about to sit in your normal chair, stop and think about where you really fancy sitting. If you write something down, question whether you want to use a pen or pencil.
Simple choices that enable the relevant parts of your front brain to start clicking back on.
Meditation brings your awareness back to you. Meditation and hypnosis are the same state of mind, sometimes with different purposes. There are different types of meditation depending on what you want to achieve and different types of hypnosis. All have a similar state of mind which is represented with a deep focus.
By meditating daily you will cement the connection between your body and mind. This will enable you to be more understanding of your anxious feelings and prevent them from overwhelming you or leaving you feeling out of control of your own self. Read more here to see how meditation can help anxiety.
If you are finding your anxiety hard to manage check out my quick fix session on anxiety. This includes a video with techniques to use daily to alleviate anxiety. You also get a hypnosis audio designed to change the way your brain perceives the situation to bring you out of the anxious state. And more!