Anxiety and stress therapist in Harrogate
I have been working as an anxiety and stress therapist for the last nineteen years before setting up as an anxiety and stress therapist in Harrogate. I see every day individuals who are amazing people but are struggling with this condition.
I work with individuals to help them resolve their stress and anxiety by offering a variety of therapies. I will talk to you about how your stress or anxiety is affecting you and how I can help.
On occasions I may use Acupuncture to relieve Headaches, I.B.S or Hypnotherapy to help boost your confidence, massage to help relieve neck pain and sometimes coaching or counselling to resolve negative ways of thinking. In essence, I will work with you to help you feel better, more confident, relaxed and able to move forward in your life in a positive way.
Please get in touch if you need some support, Patti 07787 831 275.
We are all subject to external stress whether that’s having too much to do, financial pressures, difficult relationships at work or at home, children that need our love, attention and support or older parents that need practical help and emotional support or living with a chronic illness or losing a loved one or changing jobs.
The list can be endless of the demands made on us, so how do we cope!
Most people cope remarkably well given the extent of the demands made of them. However, on some occasions whether through tiredness, physical illness or overload the cracks can begin to show. Many individuals are embarrassed to admit that they are struggling to cope and often express the view that they must have some kind of character flaw or are weak, as they are finding life stressful and difficult. These people are immensely strong individuals but often have such huge demands and expectations of themselves; along the way they have forgot to look after their own needs, both physically and emotionally. This neglect begins to accumulate and slowly or sometimes rapidly the cracks begin to show.
During the course of our lives we face huge challenges that are often outside of our control, whether that’s the loss of a loved one, the end of a close relationship or maybe we are finding our new job overwhelming, whatever the circumstances we all need to learn to take time to nurture ourselves.
In our society we are often taught to achieve and work hard so we can get on in life. The flip side of working hard is that we can forget along the way to care and love ourselves, ignoring our body’s and minds clues that all is not well.
So how do we know we are stressed or anxious!
The physical, emotional and mental signs and symptoms of stress and anxiety are varied, individual and extensive.
For some people experiencing stress and needing an anxiety and stress therapist in Harrogate may have difficulty falling asleep, for others they may find their concentration and memory is reduced, alternatively, there maybe more physical symptoms such as neck or back pain, migraines, bowel or digestive problems, repeated colds, low energy or low mood, nausea sensations, tight muscles or aches and pains, loss of sexual desire, ringing in the ears. Now many of these physical and mental symptoms can be caused by other factors but stress will make the condition worse.
For individuals who are anxious they may experience regularly or infrequently palpitations, sensation of choking, shaking, excessive sweating, feeling short of breath, chest pain or tightness, dry mouth, panic, extensive fear and uneasiness.
The first step to reducing stress and anxiety is for the individual to acknowledge that there is a problem and to start to make steps to make time for themselves and seek help from a anxiety and stress therapist in Harrogate if they are in need of support.
For further information on anxiety see Anxiety UK at www.anxietyuk.org.uk, www.mind.org.uk or www.mentalhealth.org.uk, www.nhs.uk/conditions/mentalhealth, www.samaritans.org. to find out more about an anxiety and stress therapist in Harrogate.
The well respected Doctor Rangan Chatterjee explains in his book ‘The 4 Pillar Plan: How to Relax, Eat, Move and Sleep your way to a longer, Healthier life’ that we need to pay attention to our basic human needs for sleep, eating healthy foods, appropriate exercise and taking the time to relax.
Dr Chatterjee emphasises the need each and every day to take 15 minute ‘me time’ to relax without using a smartphone, laptop, t.v. which enables the mind to become calmer and clearer.
Often learning to breathe deeply and calmly will help calm our nervous system. Practicing mindfulness and living more in the here and now can help reduce our anxious predictions.
The impact of stress and anxiety is huge both for the individual, their family, on services and even globally.
A common factor for many people who are experiencing Stress and Anxiety is that they have a overzealous critical voice (I often refer to this voice as the ‘poison parrot’). This critical voice is the dialogue that the individual has with themselves which is very judgemental and harsh. Sometimes we need reminding that actually the way we communicate with ourselves is so important to our mental and emotional well-being and an anxiety and stress therapist in Harrogate can help.
To feel positive and well we need to practice the skill of accepting ourselves in a caring and loving way. Unfortunately, for many people they have either forgotten how to approve or like themselves or they have learned to be hard on themselves. My role as a therapist is to teach the individual how to be kind and supportive to themselves.
Further definition of what is Stress?
The word stress is usually used to describe the feelings that people experience when the demands made on them are greater than their ability to cope. At such times individuals can often feel overloaded, under tremendous pressure and very tense (physically or mentally) or emotional. Stress affects everyone, young and old and is a completely normal reaction that all human beings will experience from time to time when faced with situations that they feel frustrated and under pressure.
Stress can be looked at in terms of external and internal stressors. External stressors are sources of stress that we aware of around us, these include traumas, life events or simply having too much to do. Internal stressors are the habit of overthinking, unrealistic expectations, uncertainties, low self esteem and apprehensions.
DIY self diagnosis
If you can answer YES to 5 or more of these symptoms then you may be experiencing stress and need an anxiety and stress therapist in Harrogate.
- Obesity & Over-eating
- Increased or excessive drinking of alcohol
- Loss of appetite
- If you smoke-you’ll smoke more
- Increased coffee consumption
- Excessive and continuing irritability with other people
- Substance abuse
- You can’t make decisions
- Unable to concentrate
- Increased and suppressesd anger
- Not be able to cope with life, feeling out of control
- Jump from one job to another without finishing things
- Excessive emotion & crying at small irritations
- Lack of interest in anything other than work
- Permanently tired even after sleep
- Decreased sex drive/libido
- Stress can cause nail biting, pulling out hair or picking at the skin
Chronic Stress puts your health at risk.
Your body is hard wired to react to stress in ways meant to protect you against threats from predators and other aggressors. Such threats are rare today, but as discussed above today we face a variety of pressures and potential stressful events.
Understanding the natural stress response
When you encounter a perceived threat- a large dog barks at you during your morning walk, for instance- your hypothalamus, a tiny region at the base of your brain, sets off an alarm system in your body. Through a combination of nerve and hormonal signals, this system prompts your adrenal glands, located at the top your kidneys, to release a surge of hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol.
Adrenaline increases your heart rate, elevates your blood pressure and boosts energy supplies. Cortisol, the primary stress hormone, increases sugars (glucose) in the bloodstream, enhances your brain’s use of glucose and increases the availability of substances that repair tissues.
Cortisol also curbs functions that would be nonessential or detrimental in a fight-or-flight situation. It alters immune system responses and suppresses the digestive system, the reproductive system and growth processes. This complex natural alarm system also communicates with regions of your brain that control mood, motivation and fear.
When the natural stress response goes haywire.
The body’s stress response system is usually self limiting. Once a perceived threat has passed, hormone levels return to normal. As adrenaline and cortisol levels drop, your heart rate and blood pressure return to baseline levels, and other systems resume their regular activities.
But when stressors are always present and you constantly feel under attack, that fight-or-flight reaction stays turned on.
The long term activation of the stress response system and the subsequent overexposure to cortisol and stress hormones can disrupt almost all your body’s processes. This puts the individual at increased risk of numerous health problems, including:
- Digestive problems
- Heart disease
- Sleep problems
- Weight gain
- Memory and concentration problems.
What is it?
Anxiety can be experienced in lots of different ways.
Some commonly diagnosed anxiety disorders are:
- Generalised Anxiety disorder (GAD)- this means having regular or uncontrollable worries about many different things in your everyday life. With GAD it is common to constantly overthink a situation and over analyse what others have said or done or worry excessively about what might happen in the future.
- Social Anxiety Disorder-means you experience extreme fear or anxiety by social situations such as the workplace gatherings, parties, presentations or public speaking to a group. Any situation where you have to talk to another person or group.
- Phobias– a phobia is an extreme fear or anxiety triggered by a particular situation (such as flying or having a medical procedure) or a particular object (such as spiders).
- Obsessive compulsive disorder-this form of anxiety involves having repetitive thoughts, behaviours or rituals.
- Post Traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)– is a mental health condition that is triggered by usually a terrifying event, either experiencing or witnessing it. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event or physical reactions to something that reminds the individual of the traumatic event.
- Health Anxiety– is an anxiety condition that is often housed within the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) spectrum of disorders. The individuals that are affected by health anxiety are convinced that harmless (minor) physical symptoms are indicators of serious disease or severe medical conditions. Unfortunately, because the person is feeling very anxious they can often experience physical symptoms such as chest palpitations. The constant worrying and anxiety will stimulate the release of Adrenaline which increases the individual’s heart rate, elevates blood pressure and boosts energy supplies. Cortisol, the primary stress hormone, increases sugars (glucose) in the bloodstream, enhances brain’s use of glucose and increases the availability of substances that repair tissues.
Stress & Anxiety management strategies include:
- Eating a healthy diet, regular exercise and plenty of sleep.
- Practicing relaxation techniques such as mindfulness, yoga, practicing deep breathing, getting a massage or learning to meditate.
- Taking times for hobbies, such as reading a book or listening to music.
- Fostering healthy friendships (avoid isolation).
- Having a sense of humour
- Volunteering in your community.
- Seeking professional counselling/support if you are struggling.
The positive payoff for learning to manage stress and anxiety is a calmer mind, improved relationships and a greater sense of enjoying a healthier life.
If you feel you are struggling please get in touch.
Patti Hemmings anxiety and stress therapist in Harrogate. Contact Patti here on 07787 831 275.