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Page 66

66 • THE QUERCY LOCAL

Anxiety - you bet!

Irena-Marie Makowska works as a mind management coach and here are her views and tips on how to deal with stress and anxiety. She uses a combination of BrainWorking Recursive Therapy®, clinical hypnotherapy and mindfulness:

I would say nearly every one of my clients suffer from some degree of stress and anxiety, and even depression. Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is on the increase and its certainly tougher living in a country that isn’t quite ‘home’, no matter how much we love living here. You are not weird or mad, you do not ‘have a piece missing’, and anybody who believes you should just ‘pull yourself together’ hasn’t got the first idea what they are talking about… So, why on earth do you feel the way you do? Well it’s a necessary response to threat and danger that’s been handed down via DNA from generation to generation from the days of our ancient ancestors. Back then those survival instincts is what kept them alive – they were monitoring every split second of every day of their life. The problem is our basic structure is unchanged. Our brain still responds in the same way. It is overloaded with messages every second of the day from contact with the outside world concerning our survival and relationships, financial security, everyone from family and friends, to colleagues, the media… It also bombarded self-talk, negative thoughts, perception of needs, wants and demands. Phew its hardly surprising feeling the way we do. Of course, you are not even vaguely aware of all this activity going on in the subconscious because it’s completely invisible to your conscious mind and very powerful. Only last week I worked with two children, one seven-years old and one 13, both suffering from anxiety. One so serious it had developed into OCD. Two people will react quite differently to the same stressful situation, one of them going into a complete tizzy over something that the other thinks is no big deal at all. That has a lot to do with our childhood experiences and what we learned about the way we fitted into the world. Even as adults we are still responding to most of the things that you learnt back then.

Why is this? Information comes in as data into our Reptilian brain, the part of our brain that keeps us functioning, our heart pumping... It is also the ‘fight or flight’ part of our brain. A good example is someone who has a fear or phobia of spiders. Their immediate response is freeze, or panic and run. Conscious thought hasn’t even happened, before they spontaneously reacted. So information comes in as data, then travels into our Limbic brain. This is where value judgements reside - our emotional memory; anxiety etc. – and finally travels to our Neo-Cortex. This ‘executive’ part of our brain is responsible for our conscious awareness; decision making; working memory... What is staggering is it takes 1/3 of a second for data entering our Reptilian brain to come into our conscious awareness. This is why we react before we are even aware. Our brain is responding to a pattern already set up. Many of us don’t even know why we feel depressed, we just do. However there are things we can do such as meditation, mindfulness and hypnosis… One tip is the Emergency STOP*: Close your eyes “Imagine a clock face, an analogue clock with an hour hand, a minute hand and a second hand. Think about the colour of the hands and the face and if there are numerals or markers. The clock is working and you can see the second hand moving – make it vivid (we all can imagine to some degree, even if we think we are not visual).

The Quercy Local • November 2016 - February 2017 Please support our advertisers and tell them you saw their advert in The Quercy Local

Profile for The Magazine Production Company

The Quercy Local November 2016 - February 2017  

A free regional magazine for the ‘English Speakers’ of the Quercy region of S W France – covering the Lot, Lot et Garonne and Tarn et Garonn...

The Quercy Local November 2016 - February 2017  

A free regional magazine for the ‘English Speakers’ of the Quercy region of S W France – covering the Lot, Lot et Garonne and Tarn et Garonn...