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13 May
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Are You One Of The 1 In 5?

A recent report from the Mental Health Foundation suggests that 1 in 5 of us feels anxious a lot or all of the time. The majority of this group (60%) are experiencing anxiety on a daily basis. Understandably, young people (exams and school work pressure perhaps) and the unemployed (bills, lack of prospects, and a bleak future, maybe) feature in the most anxious groups of people.

Today there also seems to be much more pressure from employers to get more and more work from their employees without commensurate compensation. I’ve not investigated so I don’t know how true it is but I see regular comments on the internet about Wal-Mart staff in the US working full time and having to claim welfare in order to feed themselves adequately. In the UK the minimum wage is £6.31 per hour, so working 7 hours, five days a week gets you around £200 a week in your pocket. A half decent terraced house runs to £150 week in rent so that leaves £50/week for food, clothes, utility bills etc… It seems ridiculous to me that you can have a full time job and not be able to afford a decent home that you can also afford to heat – as well as feed yourself a reasonably healthy diet.

Hardly surprising that anxiety is endemic is it?

…and that’s just the financial side.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs suggests that until we have our body’s physical needs satisfied we can think of nothing else – so our primary need as human beings is for things like food, water and warmth. Once this requirement is met then safety – in the form of security and a roof over our heads – is our next requirement, until these two basic needs are met we have little time for socialising, doing fun stuff and actually living the life we want to live, growing within ourselves and developing our natural talents and abilities.

So while we are worried about survival, we can’t think about being happy and contented.

But money, or rather a lack of it, isn’t the only reason for anxiety.

Many of us were never taught healthy coping skills for dealing with the things that caused us to worry. This report suggests that 1 in 4 of us eat in order to comfort ourselves (I go into the reasons for this in my book How to Lose Weight Easily); and another 1 in 5 attempt to solve their problems by simply hiding away from the world. Of course social media makes this so easy to do nowadays. With Facebook you can stay physically isolated and yet still fool yourself that you are socially connected.

But there is still that mental health stigma that causes around a quarter of sufferers to believe that feeling anxious equates to not being able to cope. This sense of inadequacy prevents them from seeking help. Another third are simply too embarrassed to admit to anyone that they are experiencing anxiety.

Perhaps the saddest part of all of this is that half of the people surveyed said that anxiety has prevented them from doing something they really wanted to do.

Anxiety is no fun at all. Anxiety can be crippling when you appear to be powerless to change your circumstances and you are up to your eyes in debt – not from reckless spending, but from just trying to keep going with the basics that everyone takes for granted.

Unfortunately the only solution available to most people, should they admit they actually need help, is to go to their doctor and be given some drugs. In extreme cases drugs can help, but by and large they just prolong the agony, because drugs only interfere with brain function on a chemical level. Most anxiety is about real physical circumstances, or an inability to cope with what most other people take in their stride. Drugs can’t change external circumstances. Drugs don’t change the way you handle problems and difficulties. When the drugs stop the world is still out there. What needs to change is the style of thinking about the world. Thinking about the world differently allows you to access solutions – yes even solutions to financial difficulties.

The anxiety clouds your ability to think clearly and you get bogged down. Your lack of self-belief, or maybe even seeing yourself as a failure, clouds your judgment with regard to your true talents and abilities.

There is a way out.

My book Change Your Life with Self-Hypnosis shows you several techniques that will help you to move towards freedom and happiness. It’s not the only solution, but it’s certainly a good place to start. Best of all you can do it all on your own, and if you feel in need of a little guidance from time to time you can always email me and I’ll do what I can to help.


Inspired by:



The report:


Some great free downloads on Coping with Anxiety and mental Health Awarenesss


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