Are stress and anxiety different? I  find it useful to think of them as largely the same thing, BUT it’s where they come from that makes them different. Stress is the result of external pressures. We feel agitated and unhappy but we can attribute it to external things such as our job, relationships, and financial issues. We know we are stressed because when our external circumstances change then the symptoms do too. 

Anxiety on the other hand is the same feelings and symptoms but the stress is coming from inside the person’s mind. They feel nervousness, anger and agitation but these remain even when the external circumstances change.  

It is something inside themselves but outside their own control.

Why am I anxious?

Suffering from one anxiety problem may make you more vulnerable to developing another. For example, suffering from depression also affects your sleep leading to either insomnia (can’t sleep) or hypersomnia (wanting to sleep all of the time). 

The person who is battling with social phobia finds that their anxiety starts to spread and now they don’t like speaking on the phone or develop a mild stutter, the one anxiety problem means they are vulnerable to other problems.​

"I'm terrified of the dentist."

Working from this starting point, Analytical Hypnotherapy (Hypnoanalysis) aims to reduce the accumulation of those childhood traumas by thinking through them as an adult. The emotions they felt at the time can be released and they can now be processed as an adult. 

With less accumulated psychological rubbish, we are less vulnerable to developing nervous disorders even when life stresses increase.

​Link to Anxiety

Ever wondered why one person develops an anxiety condition and another doesn’t? 

Some people have phobias while others don’t. One person may suffer terribly from depression while the next never has to fight against the same emotional numbness.

“I had a terrible experience on a plane once - that must be why I don’t like flying now.”

Panic attacks and Phobias are symptoms of anxiety.

There is no logic as to why someone should suffer from panic, or why they are fearful of a particular thing.

Internal stress (anxiety) is causing panic attacks or phobias and is often exacerbated by the demand of our everyday lives.

Panic Attacks & Phobias

Stress vs Anxiety

Good luck to anyone who is going through the therapy and anyone who is thinking of therapy, I recommend seeing David for a free consultation - what harm can it really do?

The advice I can give you, is that if you get embarrassed or shy in situations and you can't work out why, give this a try, it will literally change your life.  And I was very happy with the service David offered, as he was honest, trustworthy and non-judgemental, everything you need during therapy.

It is also common to develop shy bladder or fear of public toilets (paruresis). Sufferers are often insecure about relationships and are self-critical, sometimes giving the impression that they are quick to take offence.

Social anxiety is something that most people can associate with to a lesser or greater extent. It is often described as a feeling of dread or nervousness in situations where you feel on the spot or judged in some way.

​Social Anxiety

Remember: we are not just affected by the things that happen to us - but by our interpretation of them.  For example, One can have the same experience as another, but it will affect one far more than the other because of what they ‘told’ themselves about it. How they understood it at the time.   Many of the causes of anxiety are the result of childhood experiences ‘understood’ with a child's mindset. 

We understood it and interpreted it as the 5-year-old. The anxiety relating to it is still there in our mind but as a five-year-old experienced it.  Like being in a ‘time-warp’ we are still experiencing the fear (anxiety) we felt as a child, except we have just missed it when we were trying to make sense of why we feel anxious.

No wonder the person suffering from anxiety disorders feels frustrated and anxious that they cannot understand their feelings.

It’s as if our mind said: “Oh don’t think about that - it was too unpleasant. Let’s pretend it didn’t happen.”

This leads us to assume that the real CAUSE of the anxiety must be something we have missed. Something we have forgotten about or haven’t understood properly. 

By understanding what we have missed in our recall of events, we have the chance to make sense of it properly this time and resolve the anxiety. 

Fight or Flight​​

Individual Differences and Emotional Problems

His heart rate increases, his pupils dilate (letting in more light), his sweat glands increase production (to prevent overheating) and his liver increases the production of Glycogen to provide energy to deal with the threat.  All the offence and defence mechanisms are on full alert.

High Self-Efficacy

"Whenever I get stressed my skin flares up - that's just me."

The heart beats alarmingly quickly and you become aware

that you are breathing more rapidly; as if you couldn't get enough air.

​There can be a cramped feeling across the lower part of the diaphragm and a tingling sensation, sometimes accompanied by hot and cold flashes. ​

You can feel rooted to the spot with an overwhelming feeling of panic.


Anxiety and Social Anxiety is most commonly treated with Hypnoanalysis, an analytical form of Hypnotherapy.

The most difficult thing of me was starting my therapy and going into the unknown. I must have mulled it over for months before I looked into the different types of therapy and therapists. Once I had gained the courage to make the initial contact I knew David would be right for me. He was very personable and trustworthy.


There are lots of different situations that sufferers identify as difficult; from talking in public to making phone calls and meeting new people.

The experience leaves the person feeling like a fish out of water, wishing they were in more familiar surroundings or sinking into the background

One way to understand anxiety is to think of it as ‘free-floating fear’. The Psychoanalyst Carl Jung referred to anxiety as ‘fear spread thinly’;  a growing fear that builds up inside the person and is projected onto something else. Fear within someone latches onto a symbolic representation of the fear.

Click Here to Download a Free Anxiety Fact Sheet

Anxiety explained and why it creates symptoms.

Low Self-Efficacy

Having worked with clients in therapy for many years it is clear that we accumulate these traumas and they create pressure within our minds. They make us vulnerable to life stresses. If life is kind to us and our stresses are minimal then we are most unlikely to be suffering terribly from nervous problems.

However, the greater the stress a person is subjected to the more likely they will be vulnerable to developing symptoms.

Self-Efficacy - An individual’s belief in their ability to cope with life challenges.

If you were to ask why they think that experience caused their phobia, they might look puzzled as if you hadn’t heard their explanation. Lots of people get stuck in cupboards or enclosed spaces when they are playing as children, do they all develop claustrophobia? Of course not. So, what made this one person different? There must be something else…

It’s a conundrum that psychologist has considered for a long time. One way to explain the individual differences in people developing nervous disorders (anxiety, depression phobias, e.t.c.) is that they have a predisposition to the condition and this makes them vulnerable to developing the condition in the right circumstances.

More than confidence…this is a reflection of a person’s self-belief in their ability to manage the pressures they face as part of their day-to-day life. 

A person’s low self-efficacy can lead to negative expectations about the potential outcome of actions, meaning they are less likely to set goals or make changes that could lead to a positive outcome.


anxiety sufferer treated with Hypnoanalysis


Book a free initial consultation to find out more about how Hypnoanalysis can help with your anxiety

Throughout the sessions David gives you honest feedback on how you are doing. I have no idea how the technique works....but 9 weeks after my first session I am a changed person for the better and much more confident.

a social anxiety sufferer treated with Hypnoanalysis

“I was never happy as a child, that’s why I struggle with a low mood sometimes.”

What about if past unpleasant experiences also make us vulnerable?

“Oh, I could  never do that!”

The fight or flight response is a way of understanding how our bodies react during moments of danger. Our body goes on alert when there is a perceived threat in our environment. 

This is automatic - an unconscious process -  which evolved to promote our survival. And it’s very useful. Imagine a prehistoric man faced with the snarling teeth of a predator. He had two choices: to fight or to flight (run away). His body reacts to help him do this. Adrenaline is released which suppresses the non-emergency functions and diverts energy to those which are going to be most useful to deal with the threat.

“The dentist I had as a child frightened me - now I’m frightened of anything to do with teeth.”

I am sure you can see that if we were to ignore the past experiences of someone suffering from an emotional problem, we are only treating symptoms and not what has made them vulnerable. When someone who is depressed, for example, wouldn’t it be silly to ignore the possibility they had disrupting experiences in their early years? 

Wouldn’t it be odd if we didn’t at least consider that those experiences might have some bearing on what made them vulnerable to this particular mental health problem?

“I know where it all began...I was trapped in the cupboard under the stairs as a child, I was terrified.

You see… that’s why I don’t like getting into lifts now…”

Imagine the person who is anxious: they feel the same ‘fight or flight’ but there is no obvious threat in their environment. Because they do not know where the fear is coming from they cannot get past it. They can’t fight it or run away from something that is not there. Instead, they stifle it down - until the next time.

The anxiety inside the person’s mind needs to find a way out. They have to consciously make sense of it and so (unknowingly) attach it to a symbolic representation of it. This becomes the trigger; the symptom. For example, phobias, some physical symptoms, panic attacks, depression and many more.

The symptom acts as a ‘pressure value’ for anxiety. It allows a person’s mind to make sense of the feelings they experience. It's an attempt to make sense of it.

It's sometimes useful to see stress and anxiety as the same thing...

Stress is something we associate with external demands: jobs, relationships and the stress and strains of everyday life.

Anxiety is the stress coming from within the person's mind. Because it is coming from inside it is difficult to overcome it on its own - you don't know where it originated.

And finally, thanks David  - it was truly a life changing experience.

AL - Kettering

It would be wrong to attribute this feeling to being embarrassed or shy (although these are symptoms many will experience), it is an irrational fear that can become very frustrating and upsetting.

Many sufferers of social anxiety also identify with physical symptoms like excessive sweating, blushing or shaking.​ Others may stutter or stammer in those situations they find most difficult.

As we grow up we have thousands of experiences and each one we interpret in the best way we can given the circumstances at the time. A large proportion of those experiences occurred when our understanding of the world was not as advanced as it is now. We had to make sense of things in the best way we can and that was not always in a helpful way.

The child who feels embarrassed in class at school for getting the answer wrong is going to feel that embarrassment as a child would and not in the same way as an adult.

We was recommended to David by a friend so i took my daughter age 11 to David cause of her fear and anxiety to cats and dogs. well I'm totally amazed with the difference in her confidence and after day 4 she was walking a dog how proud we felt is Just amazing ID totally recommend David

​TP - Kettering

The Diathesis-Stress Model suggest that someone may develop a particular psychological problem as the result of an interaction between a predisposed vulnerability and stressful life events. 

The vulnerability may be biological such as genes, or abnormal levels of brain chemicals, resulting in someone being predisposed to becoming poorly if triggered by stressful life events.  If life stress stays below a threshold then the vulnerability is not triggered and the person stays healthy.

​For example: Getting lost in the supermarket is a much bigger deal at five-years-old than at thirty-five years old.​

A tendency to take a wider view of the situation, therefore they are in a better position to decide on the most effective approach. There is a tendency to be problem-focused and evidence-based problem solvers.

When life is challenging they tend to focus on preventing the problem from escalating. They are able to ‘keep their head’ because they believe in their ability to deal with the issue. 

David is a very caring therapist who shows a genuine and deep interest in the well-being of those who come to see him.

​DL - Kettering

Hypnoanalysis resolves the bottled-up emotions that cause anxiety symptoms. We can use the mind's own ability to link one experience to another and release the 'emotional rubbish' that has been making you feel anxious. Hypnosis makes this process easier.

​Anxiety Explained

Rather than being left with a rumbling anxiety within ourselves, we make sense of it through our symptoms.  We also try and make sense of WHY. ​ We say to ourselves:

Most of the time this reasoning is not correct. Consider this: if our explanation for anxiety was correct - wouldn’t it have made the anxiety go away? Even though they were frightened at the dentist (for example) as a child, they are an adult now and they know there is nothing to be frightened of. Yet they still feel anxious.

No amount of ‘thinking’ or ‘reasoning’ our way out of it makes a difference.

Anxiety is an obstacle. It prevents us from getting the most out of life. 
Hypnotherapy can be a way to help you overcome the obstacles which prevent you from becoming the person and living the life you want to.

How does that work for problems with our mental health?

Child with fear of dogs 

Once the threat has gone then a part of our nervous system (parasympathetic) calms everything. The levels of adrenaline go back to normal and we return to functioning how we would in everyday life - until the next threat and then we are ready to spring into action.

Many of us deal with stress by changing the circumstances or getting away from them, but the anxiety originates inside the person’s mind. They cannot get away from it so they supress it. 

Of course, one has an effect on the other. We feel our inner anxieties more when the stresses of the outside world are greater.

In years gone by, people were described as ‘having trouble with their nerves, or being ‘highly strung,’ but that describes how they are and not WHY they are so.  

A description of symptoms is not an explanation.

If you were to ask the person suffering from depression or phobia, WHY they had that problem, they might shrug their shoulders and say: “that’s just the way I am.” Other times they might offer an explanation…

A tendency to believe that tasks are much harder than they are. Planning poorly for situations leading to increased stress.

In times of difficulty, there is a tendency to blame their lack of skills and talents as an explanation for their failure to cope.

Alternatively, they will use a perceived skill and talent deficit as a reason for not setting goals or making necessary life changes.