Patterns of Anxiety

Algorithms; where would we be without them? Even though I know my mind is constantly firing off its equivalent complexes and striving to effect a cause, I still get caught out every now and then. There I was, having just vacuumed the hallway as you do pre-client, duly noting how there was no loss of suction in the way we’re primed to do by the no-so-young Mr. Dyson.

So far nothing out of the ordinary.

At exactly (and I mean exactly) the same time as I unplugged it to take it upstairs, the downstairs extractor fan stopped. Working on algorithmic autopilot, I found myself switching the socket back on to check that it hadn’t become the power supply for the extractor fan. Of course there is no connection but that doesn’t stop that still small voice of pattern hunting certainty from telling me that the extractor fan was now broken.

The really odd aspect of it all is that all the while, my Cognitive Hypnotherapist mind was telling me what was happening, even down to which algorithm was firing and which past experiences were colliding to form the triggers.

It made not one jot of difference.

Through trivial example, my Unconscious mind insisted on demonstrating how it tries to make sense of my universe. Needless to say, I defused the new pattern and laughed myself quietly free of a potential worry over miswired domestic circuitry.

It is from such misconstruances and misconnections that all manner of anxieties, fears and superstitions come into being. Coincidence isn’t something we’re wired to see. Cause and effect reasoning is much more persuasive. After all it gives us a far better narrative. Gods, demons and superstitions are born of such stories.

Mostly though, the connections are innocuous and leave us feeling just a little silly or out of sorts. Occasionally they are bold and brash and insidiously convince us that life is dangerous and filled with disasters waiting to happen. Herein lie the precursors of depression and anxieties; fears and phobias; destructive habits and negative self-talk.

So if you worry that something awful might happen or you’re frequently nervous, anxious or on edge, it might be interesting to unwind the patterns and triggers of the past and find yourself stepping out into a future happiness you didn’t think existed.

I’d be more than happy to be your hypnotherapeutic guide.

Anxiety, Stress, Depression, hypnotherapy

Effective connections

Journey’s End?

It occurs to me that the course last the weekend may contain more benefit than I had imagined. Even though life is more than full of its unfair share of challenges, I’ve still warily taken on, in a semi-volunteering style, the role of leader for the next period of putting learning into practice until the start of the module that I’m not certain I’ll be attending.

In itself this is an improvement because until recently, I was certain that I wouldn’t be attending it at all.

Anything more than nothing is progress.

Not only that, I posted yesterday’s 100 word habit on my PostsOfHypnoticSuggestion blog and got back comments from bloggers I’ve not heard from since writing went by the wayside just as last year’s turbulence hit.

It was really nice to know I’d been missed.

It seems that the end of my journey to Master Practitioner could be the start of something more than a qualification.

pain relief mp3

Somewhat Zen
© Tony Burkinshaw 2014

Learning to Reduce Stress

You know how I write a monthly column for ‘Only Peterborough’ magazine? It’s the Understanding You, mental-health well-being column. Well, this is the article I wrote for the November edition. I thought you might like it.

It’s about my other interest in life, helping people learn how to learn.

These days, qualification never ceases and people have to take  professional qualifications for much of their career.

All of a sudden, you find yourself trying to use the same study methods you used at school or University except this time you’re also trying to hold down a career, keep a family happy, not to mention earn a living and desperately search for that mythical work-life balance.

Strangely enough, almost no-one gets taught how to learn.

How to use the way you, as an individual, relate to the world and other people. Take the way you do the things you love. You just do them. It just happens. It flows. And all the effort is worthwhile.

What I do is uncover these aspects of you and show you how to use them to learn everything in that same way. Learning becomes fun again – no matter what the subject matter.

Anyway. Here’s a high-level version of that other side of what I do.

Learning to Reduce Stress

Have you ever seen a toddler achieve some mighty task such as saying a new word, taking their first steps, kicking a ball. Notice that immense concentration followed by the pure joy and delight at learning something new. The human brain is designed for learning and not just in early childhood. Constant challenge can keep it functioning at is best.

So why as we settle into the new academic year or undertake professional qualifications can learning become such a challenge, filling so many of us with anxiety and self-doubt?

Given the choice we’d rather find something that grabs our attention and feeds our preference for mastering things we enjoy. Think about the huge variation in what people choose to learn. Some learn a sport, others become XBox experts, yet more will learn to cook, surf, speak another language, make clothes, take photos, design apps for iPads (other good tablets are available); the list is endless.

But when we’re required to learn, we revert back to our early days of homework and find ourselves trying to learn in that same way again. Without meaning to, we end up recreating a classroom every time we have to ‘study’ whether it suits our learning style or not.  Add in the expectation of having to pass and it’s no wonder that taking exams becomes one of the most stressful things you can do.

So what is the alternative? Uncover what you do when you’re learning something you enjoy and then learn everything else in that same way. If you delight in being with others, then learn in groups or with friends; if you love to sing or play guitar, put it to music. Colours, movement, sounds or shapes, even textures and smells can all be built in to help you learn the way your brain prefers to learn.

It can take a little time and may need some guidance. But once you’ve found your way, learning ceases to be a chore and you just might feel that burst of pure delight at achieving something new once more.

Related:

Only Peterborough Magazine: website

Tony Burkinshaw Cognitive Hypnotherapy: Learning & Memory Coach

…and if it’s all too much: Mindfulness Meditation mp3

Memory, learning, mindfulness, stress

Mindful of the Stress