10 Feb

Taming the Beast

Taming the Beast

Taming the Beast:

Getting to the Heart of Anxiety and Self-Hypnosis

You’re no stranger to anxiety. It creeps up on you when you least expect it, that tightness in your chest, the racing thoughts, the feeling of impending doom. We’ve all been there. But where exactly does anxiety live inside us? What creates its stranglehold over our minds and bodies? The answers may surprise you. Understanding the root of anxiety is the first step to taming this inner beast. With new insights from brain science and psychology, we now know how anxiety takes hold in the nervous system. And luckily, we also have tools to counteract it – including self-hypnosis. This article will take you on a journey to the origins of anxiety and how you can find your way back to inner calm. Read on to learn how you can transform anxiety into an ally, not an enemy. The power lies within.

Understanding Anxiety: The Body’s Fight or Flight Response

The Biology Behind Anxiety

Anxiety is the body’s natural response to perceived threats. When you experience anxiety, your body thinks you’re in danger and activates its fight or flight response. Your heart rate increases, your breathing quickens, and your muscles tense up as your body prepares to confront the threat or run away to safety.

The Problem With Chronic Anxiety

The problem is, for people with anxiety disorders, this response gets triggered too easily and too often. Your body perceives threats that aren’t really there and overreacts to normal situations. This constant state of high alert and fear takes a major toll. Over time, chronic anxiety can lead to fatigue, insomnia, gastrointestinal issues, and other health problems.

Where Anxiety Lives in Your Body

Anxiety manifests itself physically in your body. You may feel tension in your chest, stomach pains, rapid heartbeat, sweating, shaking. This is because anxiety lives in your body’s stress response systems, including:

Your autonomic nervous system: Responsible for regulating your heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, and other automatic functions. Anxiety activates your autonomic nervous system’sfight or flight response.

Your hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis: Triggers the release of stress hormones like cortisol that prepare your body to respond to perceived threats. Chronic anxiety can cause your HPA axis to become overactive.

Your gut: Often called your “second brain,” your gut is home to billions of neurons and neurotransmitters that influence your mood and stress levels. Anxiety frequently manifests as gastrointestinal issues like nausea, diarrhea, and cramps.

Your muscles: When you’re anxious, your muscles tense up in preparation to flee from danger. Chronic anxiety can lead to pain, tension headaches, and other issues caused by prolonged muscle strain. Learning to recognize how anxiety impacts your body is the first step to gaining awareness and control over your anxiety levels. With practice, you can learn to interrupt anxiety’s effects on your body and retrain your response to stress.

Some anxiety is just in your DNA. If your close family members struggle with anxiety, there’s a good chance you may too. Don’t worry though, genes are not destiny. While you can’t change your genetics, you can change how you respond to anxiety-provoking situations.

Traumatic Events

Experiencing a traumatic event like a natural disaster, accident, injury or loss of a loved one can trigger anxiety. The fear and stress felt during and after a trauma often persists, leading to anxiety. Talking to a therapist or counselor can help you work through traumatic experiences.

Health Issues

Certain health issues like thyroid disease or adrenal fatigue can contribute to feelings of anxiety. In some cases, anxiety may even be a symptom of an underlying health condition. It’s a good idea to talk to your doctor about any health concerns that could be related to your anxiety. They may order blood tests or other exams to determine if there are any medical causes.

Lifestyle Factors

Lifestyle factors play a significant role in anxiety levels. Lack of sleep, poor diet, substance abuse and lack of exercise can all exacerbate anxiety. Developing better self-care practices is one of the best things you can do to gain control over anxiety. Making sure to get 7-8 hours of sleep per night, eating a balanced diet, limiting alcohol and caffeine intake and exercising regularly will help you feel less anxious and better equipped to handle stressful situations. While the causes of anxiety are complex, the good news is there are many effective strategies for overcoming and managing it. Understanding the underlying factors that contribute to your anxiety is the first step towards developing a comprehensive treatment plan. Physical Manifestations of Anxiety in the


When anxiety strikes, you’ll likely feel it physically. Anxiety is fear on steroids, and your body responds accordingly. Your heart races, your breathing quickens, and your muscles tense up. These reactions were

useful for our early ancestors facing physical threats, but today they often do more harm than good.

  • Rapid heartbeat. Anxiety activates your body’s fight or flightresponse, releasing adrenaline that causes your heart to pound. While a racing pulse can make you feel panicked, it’s usually not dangerous and will subside once you calm down. Deep, slow breathing can help slow your heartbeat.
  • Tight chest and shortness of breath. Feeling like you can’t get enough air is a common anxiety symptom. Although scary, it’s not medically dangerous. Practice breathing exercises to help yourself relax.
  • Tense muscles. Anxiety causes your muscles to contract and tighten, especially in the neck, shoulders, and back. Release muscle tension through yoga, massage, or simple stretching. Warm baths can also help relax your muscles.
  • Nausea or upset stomach. Anxiety and stress can wreak havoc on your digestive system. Reducing anxiety and practicing self-care will help settle your stomach. Staying hydrated, limiting caffeine and sugar intake, and eating balanced meals may also provide relief.

The good news is that anxiety symptoms, while frightening, are not usually dangerous or harmful in themselves. Understanding the underlying cause of your anxiety and learning strategies to manage symptoms can help you feel more in control and at ease. The key is addressing anxiety from multiple angles – physically, mentally, and emotionally. With time and practice, you can master the beast within.

The Vicious Cycle of Anxiety and Stress

Have you ever felt trapped in a cycle of anxiety and worry that seems impossible to escape? The bad news is anxiety tends to breed more anxiety. The good news is there are ways to break the cycle. It starts in your mind.

Anxiety begins with stressful thoughts, like worrying about the future or replaying past regrets. These thoughts activate your body’s fight or flight response, flooding you with adrenaline and cortisol. Your heart races, muscles tense, breathing quickens.

Physical symptoms fuel mental anxiety.

As your body reacts, those physical sensations become frightening in themselves. Your mind starts to panic – “What’s happening? Am I having a heart attack?” This panic creates more stressful thoughts, and the cycle continues.

Breaking the loop.

The key to stopping the anxiety cycle is addressing both the mental and physical components. Some effective techniques include:

  • Deep breathing: Taking slow, deep breaths helps lower your heartrate and blood pressure, signaling your body to relax.
  • Progressive muscle relaxation: Systematically tensing and relaxing your muscle groups one by one helps release pent-up tension and anxiety. Challenging negative thoughts: Notice negative thoughts as they arise and replace them with more constructive ones. Ask yourself questions to gain a more balanced perspective.
  • Take a walk or do some light exercise like yoga. Exercise releases feel-good hormones that help boost your mood and ease anxiety.
  • Get enough sleep: Aim for 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night. Lack of sleep exacerbates anxiety and stress. Sleep helps your mind and body rest and recharge.

The anxiety cycle may feel inescapable, but by addressing both the mental and physical components, you can overcome it. Be patient and consistent in using coping strategies, and know that anxiety is a normal human emotion – you have the power to break free from its grip.

Self-Hypnosis and Visualization Techniques for Anxiety Relief

One of the most effective ways to tame anxiety is through selfhypnosis and guided visualization. These techniques teach you how to relax your body and mind, gain awareness and control over your thoughts and emotions.

Relaxation and Deep Breathing.The first step is learning how to relax. Find a quiet place, get comfortable, and practice deep breathing. Breathe in slowly through your nose so your belly expands, hold for a few seconds, and exhale through your mouth. Repeat for several minutes until you feel your body relax.


Once you’re relaxed, start visualizing a peaceful calming scene. It could be a beach, mountain, meadow, etc. Use all your senses to imagine the sounds, smells, textures, and feel of the location. The more vivid you can make it, the more relaxing it will be. If anxious thoughts intrude, gently bring your focus back to the visualization.


Repeat positive affirmations to reframe anxious thoughts. Say things like “I am calm and relaxed,” “My anxiety will pass,” “I have the power to control my anxiety.” Repeat them as you breathe slowly and deeply. The affirmations, combined with the relaxed state, will help lessen the anxiety and make the positive messages sink in.

Release the Anxiety

Visualize the anxiety leaving your body. You might see it as a dark cloud, heavy weight, or dense energy you’re releasing through your breath. Picture it flowing out of you with each exhale, leaving you feeling lighter and calmer. Release as much as you need to feel at ease.

With regular practice of these techniques, you can achieve a relaxed, meditative state and gain more mastery over your anxiety and fearful thoughts. The anxiety may not disappear instantly, but you will have tools to help you stay grounded in the present moment rather than being overwhelmed by worries of the future. Over time, self-hypnosis and visualization can be a powerful way to tame the beast of anxiety.

Lifestyle Changes That Can Reduce Anxiety

Exercise Regularly

Exercise is a natural anxiety reliever. Even taking a 30 minute walk a few times a week can help lower anxiety levels. When you exercise, your body releases feel-good hormones called endorphins that act as natural mood boosters and stress relievers. Exercise also helps burn off excess energy and tension, improves sleep, and boosts confidence. Find physical activities you enjoy and stick to a regular schedule.

Practice Relaxation Techniques

Deep breathing, meditation, yoga, and mindfulness are simple yet effective ways to lower anxiety. These techniques help slow your breathing and shift your mind from worrying thoughts. Aim for 10 to 15 minutes a day of focused relaxation. As you get into a regular practice, you’ll notice your anxiety levels decreasing and your ability to stay calm in stressful situations improving.

Both caffeine and alcohol can exacerbate anxiety and stress. Caffeine stimulates your nervous system and can make symptoms of anxiety like rapid heartbeat, sweating, and restlessness feel worse. Alcohol may temporarily reduce anxiety, but as it leaves your body it can cause anxiety to spike. Limit coffee, tea, and alcohol consumption, and stay well hydrated by drinking plenty of water.

Connect with Others Social support from family and friends can help reduce anxiety and keep you grounded. Connecting to others can distract you from worries and boost your confidence and self-esteem. Make time each day to call a friend, meet up with a loved one in person while following social distancing guidelines, or join an online community to build new social connections.

Making meaningful changes to your daily lifestyle and habits can significantly decrease anxiety levels over time. Stick with what works for you, be patient with yourself, and know that you have the power to overcome anxious thoughts and feelings through self-care and life adjustments. You’ve got this! Stay calm and breathe.

When to Seek Professional Help for Anxiety

Anxiety is a very normal part of life, but when it starts interfering with your day-to-day activities, relationships, or happiness, it’s time to consider speaking to a mental health professional. A therapist or counselor can help you develop strategies to better manage your anxiety and start living life again.

Can’t Function Normally

If your anxiety is so severe that it’s hard to leave the house, engage in social interactions, or participate in usual activities, seek help right away. A professional can determine if you’re experiencing an anxiety disorder and recommend an appropriate treatment plan to get your symptoms under control.

Self-Help Isn’t Working

You’ve tried exercising, meditating, journaling and self-help books but your anxiety persists. A therapist is trained to help you uncover the underlying causes of your anxiety and provide targeted strategies and coping skills. Speaking to someone who understands anxiety and how to properly treat it can make a world of difference.

Feeling Hopeless or Suicidal

If you’re experiencing feelings of hopelessness, despair or thoughts of suicide, seek emergency help immediately. Call emergency services or a suicide helpline for support and next steps to keep you safe. Your mental health should always come before any feelings of embarrassment – don’t hesitate to ask for help right away.

Relationships or Work are Impacted

Has your anxiety caused problems with relationships, social interactions or job performance? Speaking to a professional counselor can help you better manage anxiety, repair relationships, and succeed at work. They can also help determine if you need medication or other interventions to feel like yourself again. The bottom line is, if your anxiety is causing significant distress or impairment in life, don’t suffer in silence. Speaking to a mental health professional about your anxiety is often the first step to feeling better and living well. Help and hope are absolutely available.

Medication Options for Treating Anxiety*

*I do not suggest any of the medications and are not licenced to do so. Consult your doctor og therapist. I refrain from any liability when it come to any medications.

The medication treatment options for anxiety range from mild to intensive, depending on the severity of your symptoms. The most common types are:

Antidepressants: These work by balancing chemicals in your brain that regulate mood and stress. Common options like escitalopram (Lexapro) or sertraline (Zoloft) can help reduce anxiety and improve mood. They tend to have minimal side effects but can take several weeks of use before becoming fully effective.

Anti-anxiety medications: Drugs like buspirone (BuSpar) specifically target anxiety and worry. They work fairly quickly but may cause dizziness or nausea in some people. Benzodiazepines like clonazepam (Klonopin) or lorazepam (Ativan) are fast-acting but can be addictive if used long-term.

Beta-blockers: For occasional anxiety like performance anxiety, a beta-blocker such as propranolol can help reduce rapid heartbeat, sweating, and shakiness. They work right away but only provide temporary relief.

Therapy: Counseling or cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can be very effective for anxiety, often used in combination with medication. Therapy helps you understand the underlying causes of your anxiety and learn skills to better manage worry and fear. The treatment approach that’s right for you depends on several factors, including the severity and type of your anxiety, other medical conditions, and personal preferences. Don’t hesitate to discuss all options with your doctor to determine what will work best to calm your anxiety and allow you to live life fully. You may need to try different medications or combinations to find what helps you feel most like your usual self again. But with patience and persistence, you can tame the anxiety beast.

FAQs About Managing Anxiety With Self-Hypnosis

Self-hypnosis is a useful tool for gaining control over anxiety and calming your worried mind. Many people have questions about how it works and whether it can help them. Here are some common FAQs and answers about using self-hypnosis for anxiety relief.

Where does anxiety come from?

Anxiety originates in the amygdala, the part of your brain responsible for detecting threats and triggering the fear response. The amygdala acts as an alarm system that can become overly sensitive due to genetics, environment, trauma, or learned behavior. Self-hypnosis helps retrain your amygdala to respond in a more balanced way.

Can self-hypnosis stop an anxiety or panic attack?

Self-hypnosis can help reduce anxiety and prevent panic attacks when practiced regularly. During an active attack, self-hypnosis may provide some relief by helping you relax and shift your mindset. However, for the best results, practice self-hypnosis even when you’re feeling calm so you can gain awareness and control over your anxiety triggers and reactions.

How long does it take for self-hypnosis to work for anxiety?

The effects of self-hypnosis tend to build over time with regular practice. Many people start to notice reduced anxiety and improved ability to relax within a week or two of daily self-hypnosis sessions. It can take 4 to 6 weeks of consistent practice to substantially retrain your brain and nervous system to respond in a calmer way. Ongoing self-hypnosis will help you maintain these benefits long-term.

Should I see a hypnotherapist or can I do self-hypnosis?

Either self-hypnosis or working with a hypnotherapist can be effective for anxiety relief. A hypnotherapist can provide guidance and accountability, but self-hypnosis allows you to practice at your own pace. Many people find a combination of both approaches works well. The most important thing is that you choose an option you feel comfortable with so you can fully relax and benefit.

With regular practice of self-hypnosis, you can gain awareness and control over your anxiety, retrain your mind and body to respond in a calmer way, and find deep relaxation and inner peace. Keep practicing and be patient with yourself as you master this skill. Self-hypnosis is a journey, not a destination. Stay committed and you will get there.

My friends, there you have it.
Anxiety is no fun, but with some simple tools like self-hypnosis, you can start to tame that inner beast. Sure, it takes some practice and dedication, but just think of the freedom you’ll gain. As you learn to quiet those anxious thoughts and relax your body, you’ll find more space for joy. And the more you practice self-care, the more that inner critic loses its power over you. Be patient and keep at it. You’ve got this! Rooting for you as you continue on your journey toward peace and presence. The path winds on ahead, but you’ve got good shoes. One step at a time, you’ll get to where you want to go.