Overcome Test Anxiety

0pencilOf the most common fears, test-taking ranks one of the few that we are legitimately made to face. We can avoid heights, spiders, and death for a time, but in order to get through school, get into college, or finish an advanced degree, test-taking remains one of the fears we have to repeatedly face.

 As with any fear, the symptoms tend to be expressed in the anxiety cluster and may include:
  • Physical symptoms – sweating, increased heart rate, tingling or numbness in the arms or fingers or face, increased body temperature, feeling of dizziness or being light-headed.
  • Visual symptoms – hives or red blotches, pink/dark flush of the face or chest, increased blinking.
  • Internal symptoms – increased rate of thinking, feeling of panic, feeling of inability to move or react, pain or tightness in chest or stomach, digestive issues such as increased need to vomit or void bowels, digestive and gastric noises, headache.

0zebHow an individual experiences distress from test-taking varies, but each of these symptoms is an appropriate physiological response to stressors, if the stressor is life-threatening, which exams may feel like they are, though they are not. When zebra sees a lion, zebra responds physiologically as human may be responding in the event of test-anxiety. However, test is not a lion.

I utilize a form of clinical hypnotherapy called Rapid Resolution Therapy® which works directly with the subconscious to teach the mind that test is not lion and allow the appropriate response to continue to turn on in the event of an emergency, but to then turn off when the emergency has passed, and to cease to confuse events that may not be actual emergencies.

RRT is a short-term therapy that is done on an outpatient basis. It is fast, effective, and cost-efficient. Unlike talk-therapies, months and years do not need to elapse before change is felt. Most clients feel relief after just 2-3 sessions, and many people have finished clearing their issue after just 5-6 sessions. It is also useful for trauma, other anxieties, depression, grief, and addiction.

To make an appointment for a consultation appointment, please call Autumn at 954-612-9553 and specify you want to overcome test anxiety.

Pop quiz

The fear of taking tests is also known as:

a) testophobia

b) examphobia

c) nitophobia

d) sollicitudophobia

If you answered a), you’re correct. They were not thinking very far out of the box on that one, were they?

Autumn Hahn is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist practicing at Clear Mind Group in Weston, Florida. Call 954-612-9553 for a consultation. Follow Autumn on TwitterFacebook, and Google+. Sign up for the e-newsletter HERE.

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Being Calm in Depression or Anxiety

DandelionI’ve been going through a depressive episode for some months now. I’m taking antidepressants because it feels chemical, like PMS, as symptoms come on in waves. I’ve been steadily seeing my doctor and we have upped my dosage once, about a month ago. It feels relatively stable, or it did, until the election, which put me into somewhat of a tailspin.

This morning, I was watching Netflix, and began to feel as if I could not get enough breath. I knew, logically, that I was breathing and was fine. But the underlying feeling of despondency was giving me that physical feeling. It felt different than anxiety (and I’ve had just 2 panic attacks in my life time), but had similar features.

Ever the scientific-minded me, I said, “What would you tell a client who came in with this item?” Here’s my answer, and what worked to walk me through it:

  • Sensations in the body are completely normal.
  • Noticing them is completely normal.
  • The mind is working perfectly when it brings to awareness that which is potentially dangerous. That sensation seemed potentially dangerous.
  • The body is not meant to live in a state of crisis. That sensation is not dangerous. Responding to it is making you freak out. Let’s kill the response to get body out of crisis mode.
  • Right now, I am aware of a sensation in my body right now. So what?
  • Right now, I am aware of a feeling in my lungs…heart…chest…right now. So what?

Despite that the sensation exists, even at this moment, I am not longer responding to it. I am no longer freaking out. I am breathing. I am fine. I am chill. Back to Netflix.

To learn this process and self-calm during anxiety or depression, call for an apopintment at 954-612-9553.

Autumn Hahn is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist practicing at Clear Mind Group in Weston, Florida. Call 954-612-9553 for a consultation. Follow Autumn on TwitterFacebook, and Google+. Sign up for the e-newsletter HERE.

Entrepreneurs face Anxiety, Fear

0plateIn September, 2013, Inc. Magazine‘s Jessica Bruder discusses the issues that entrepreneurs face with regard to mental illness. They often suffer from depression, anxiety, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), or bipolar disorder. Entrepreneurs are often swept up in new ideas and bouts of creativity that are actually mania or can mirror the symptoms of mania or hypomania. When followed by doubt in their business or product, failure to see growth, failure to make certain incomes, or not achieving certain markers of success, there can be depressive feelings. If these phases cycle, it can mimic bipolar disorder, or be an expression of bipolar disorder. Anxiety is often found in the entrepreneur as he/she worries about product launch, deadlines, and if the business is “good enough” to be a hit. The tendency to jump form one part of the project to the next is often a marker for ADHD and adults with ADHD will gravitate toward work that allows them to function in time with their brain chemistry.

lionInc. Magazine‘s article uses the metaphor of a man riding a lion. Everyone looks at the man and says, “Wow, he’s so brave,” while the man is thinking “How did I get on this lion and how do I keep it from eating me?”

I can speak to many of these feelings as I’m the owner of one business, the co-owner of another business, and a published author. As someone with my hands in many pots, I understand the struggle to want to see a project to fruition while at the same time spinning all the plates on broom handles and letting none of them fall, giving proper care to each one. This is no easy task on the best of days, and some days are not the best.

To be a successful entrepreneur:

  1. Balance your life. Find time for everything. I know, I know, but there’s so much to do already! Do it anyway. Work, play, relax, exercise, eat well, drink only in moderation, feed the business monster all that it needs, and spend time with friends.
  2. Be honest. Tell your friends and family what is going on with your business. Tell them where you are struggling. Ask for support and for help when needed. Maybe one of your friends is fantastic with spreadsheets and would be willing to spend 30 minutes getting part of your project organized for you so you can be freed up for innovation. Maybe hiring a temp for a day would get your marketing caught up so fliers can go out on time. If people don’t know where you are with things, they can’t be there for you in the ways you need and may see your struggles as less than (or more than) you feel them to be.
  3. Set goals. Studies have shown that people who have realistic goals and are marking progress toward them are the happiest people. Set a long term goal and break that down into many short term goals with due dates or markers. Break those down even further so you know what needs to be done this month, this week, and today to get those goals met. Cross them off; mark your progress. Even if a deadline slips because life gets in the way, you know exactly where you are and nothing is “ruined”, just delayed. With this kind of organization, sometimes you can anticipate delays and make up time.
  4. Seek help. If you have a chemical imbalance or feel that the amount of anxiety or depression you are facing is due to an insurmountable stressor, ask for help. There are many good therapists and psychiatrists out there who can get you back on track.

Autumn Hahn is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist practicing at Clear Mind Group in Weston, Florida. Call 954-612-9553 for a consultation. Follow Autumn on Twitter and Facebook.

Entrepreneur Success

0clEntrepreneurs are faced with stressors that are uncommon among the rest of society. There is an ebb and flow of fear and excitement, worry about project failure and success, a feeling of being an impostor, anxiety over being in over your head, self-assuredness and self-doubt.

When explained to a 9 to 5 employee, these things make no sense as a pattern for every day living. People will wonder if you’re crazy for this emotional roller coaster – and so will you. It only makes sense that those who are up late and up early with ideas, who are perceiving the pressures of time and deadlines differently will be seen as different. You even see yourself as different.

Having a therapist who is also an entrepreneur allows you to skip the explanations and get right into the feeling better – and knowing what you need. This saves valuable time in therapy and benefits you immediately.

Call for an appointment to reduce the stress of being an entrepreneur. 954-612-9553

Autumn Hahn is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist practicing at Clear Mind Group in Weston, Florida. Call 954-612-9553 for a consultation. Follow Autumn on TwitterFacebook, and Google+. Sign up for the e-newsletter HERE.

The Chiropractic Model of Therapy

0brainTherapy is best served in a model like that of chiropractors.

Imagine you’ve strained your neck.

  1. When you are in acute physical pain, you come in for several sessions close together until relief is gained, usually over a week or two. Let’s say this is 3 times the first week and 2 times the second week.
  2. Now that your pain is moderate, but no longer limiting your range of movement, you come once a week for a few weeks until the pain is minimal. Let’s say this is 3 sessions over 3 weeks.
  3. Once that neck pain is minimal, but still present, you come less often until it is gone. Maybe this is a visit every 2 weeks twice and then every 3 weeks once.
  4. Once the pain is gone, the injury may still be present in the form of swelling or a ligament out of place or some misalignment in the vertebrae, so you come once a month twice and then every 3 months twice to finish the adjustment.
  5. The body is adjusted, and you follow up every 6-12 months just to check that all is well, provided nothing new is hurting the neck. Of course, if you have a new injury, you begin again on that area of the body.

Imagine you’ve experienced a trauma, been depressed, had anxiety, or someone close to you had died. Your mental health is just as important as your physical health!

  1. When you are in acute psychological pain, you come in for several sessions close together until relief is gained, usually over a week or two. Let’s say this is 3 times the first week and 2 times the second week. Sessions can also be longer instead of more frequent, or both.
  2. Now that your pain is moderate, but no longer limiting your daily functioning, you come once a week for a few weeks until the pain is minimal. Let’s say this is 3 sessions over 3 weeks. Again, session length is flexible to accommodate your specific needs.
  3. Once that internal pain is minimal, but still present, you come less often until it is gone. Maybe this is a visit every 2 weeks twice and then every 3 weeks once.
  4. Once you feel you are coping well, there may be some additional items that come up as you work through the one you came in for, so you come once a month twice and then every 3 months twice to get you back to optimal mental health.
  5. The mind is well, and you follow up every 6-12 months just to check that all is going the way you want it to, provided nothing new has happened that is upsetting. Of course, if you have a new circumstance, you begin again on that area of treatment, targeting the therapy to only what is necessary.

Proper follow up and routine mental health care could eliminate certain problems from becoming large or provide additional tools to get through stressful times as preventative care.

Autumn Hahn is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist practicing at Clear Mind Group in Weston, Florida. Call 954-612-9553 for a consultation. Follow Autumn on TwitterFacebook, and Google+. Sign up for the e-newsletter HERE.