Have you ever been in a situation where you start perspiring, feel your heart beat begin racing, some of us might feel disassociated from what is going on over associated feeling everything that is going on – like you have entered a different dimension from the one that you were in just seconds earlier – one where you no longer feel you have control of what is happening.

At best it can be uncomfortable at its very worst you may be experiencing a panic attack where the disorientation is so strong you experience symptoms that include:

Shallow breathing
Unable to visually focus
Distortion of your ability to hear and focus on what is going on around you
A sense of being unbalanced as if you are going to fall
A sense of fear and being out of control
As an adult a few years ago I remember sitting in a room learning photoshop and not quite getting what was being taught, the teacher was not one of the best I had ever experienced – though he meant well, I just was not getting it and he seemed to be getting more and more frustrated with me – which of course I found uncomfortable and was annoyed by.

As he spoke to me all of a sudden I could not hear what was being said, understand what was being explained or communicate in a way that felt like I was being an adult!

I had become an anxious child of 9 – however now as an adult I could choose to stay or leave – my 9 year old self was demanding we leave. How dare I be patronised in this manner!

My adult self was suggesting we move through the emotions and come out the other end of what I was experiencing and calling a “a really weird feeling” in as adult fashion as I could manage.

As I had then just qualified as a hypnotherapist I found the whole experience quite interesting as I had not previously “consciously noticed what was happening to me from the position of understanding how the mind works and what my mind was DOING TO ME – now I could use the experience as a learning tool!

I really did not have full control at that second in time – though I was doing my best to get it back

At some point in my life my mind had computed that not being able to do something speedily enough for my teachers = STUPID


X = Y


And Y =

ANXIETY = a negative voice

= a negative feeling

= a combination of the two plus other horrible stuff!

I “choose” to leave the lesson early with my head whirling and a feeling of somehow being wrong or bad – I definitely did not leave feeling fab about photoshop!

And I did not leave as a full adult or a full child – I left somewhere in between as the adult part of me tried to cope with the child response to what was going on.

Eckhaart Tolle, author of the fabulous book The Power of NOW coined the term “Pain body”.

He uses this term in describing when a negative emotion takes over you

Literally I felt that my mind and body was taken over by alien invaders from the past – a 9 year old child who did not feel good enough in dealing with a teacher that was not patient enough.

All the elements I had experienced as a child in school reared their head in my photoshop class.

And now , when I work in school with young people, I see them doing exactly the same things I did at school – unable to read the question correctly as even before they have started there is a level of belief that they won’ t be able to do it, acting out aggressively or shyly as they find it hard to cope with not understanding and what that equals in their minds.

Somewhere along the line they picked up that idea and that IDEA sits in the middle of their brains waiting to be set of by that crawling feeling that may erupt at a moment’s time; like a spider crawling into the web to eat up its victim – bit gory I know!

One event can create connections around it and then sit in your brain those spiders just sitting and waiting to be released.

Those connections could be compared to a spiders web with a solid centre representing the initial event and the web developing around it representing situations and connections that you make over time. That event/situation/tone/person/ spider waiting to set of an unhelpful response.






Whatever you call it it’s pretty horrible and the more it happens the stronger the networks become dictating our behaviour and taking away our power to be in control

A self fulfilling prophecy that our brains have computed at some tender point in our lives.




So one event can create many unwanted networks – now the panic has spread to the tube tunnels, theatres, glass stairwells.

Thankfully research around the brains ability to change i.e its plasticity has shown that networks can be stopped and new networks created so that event has a more USEFUL MEANING as it sits in your brain.

Through hypnotherapy you can change the meaning of the significant event in a deep way – by supporting it in having a different meaning that network can be transformed or eroded.



My experience as a hypnotherapist has demonstrated to me how differently clients can respond to an event that is significant to them –it is not necessarily a big thing or a small thing that has to happens to you – just something thing that has impacted at that moment in time, a moment when you are sensitive to an experience that can then stay with you for years and years.

Actually it is not your fault – it is just how your brain dealt with the situation at the time and ironically it is because your brain was trying to protect you – it felt your anxiety and wanted you to get out of the situation – in some situations and circumstances it probably was exactly what you needed to do.

Now we are older – old events and responses that belong to the past having control over us is not useful – thankfully there are now strategies that work brilliantly and quickly  to get rid of panic attacks and anxiety.

Time to pull the spiders web apart and create a new network of positive responses to challenging situations in your head.

You are not alone and it is not your fault,  it is just a physiological response that thankfully now can be undone.

If you would like a confidential chat about your specific issue please feel free to give me a call.