Does Hypnotherapy work for Anxiety?
If you have anxiety, you will be only too aware of the intense emotional impact this can have on your life. Anxiety can build up gradually over time, for some it happens suddenly because of a life changing event or illness. Anxiety makes many everyday tasks and routines difficult, holding you back from enjoying life the way you may have done in the past. For some anxiety can simply be a matter of feeling negative or under-confident.
The good news is that Hypnotherapy helps you take back control and teaches you strategies to think clearly, feel better and make lasting changes so you can get you life back on track. So, let’s explore a little more about anxiety and discover how hypnotherapy can help you recover.
What is Anxiety?
These days, anxiety is what you feel when you are worried, tense or afraid, often about events and situations which are about to happen or scenarios you imagine happening in the future. Anxiety can affect your thoughts, feelings, physical sensations and can continue even when the cause of anxiety is not clear to you.
You may have a clear cause of your anxiety such as a traumatic incident, prolonged periods of stress or been through a significant life event such as moving house, having surgery or getting divorced. When you don’t know the reason for your anxiety, I may be because stress levels can rise and accumulate very gradually, which can happen simply from the ongoing stresses and worries of daily life. If you stored all your stress in a bucket in your mind, it would gradually overflow. When this happens, we can experience all the symptoms of anxiety, which is why it can sometimes feel like anxiety creeps up on you.
How to recognise Anxiety?
Anxiety can hold you back from living life the way you want, it may leave you thinking, I just want to get the ‘real me’ back again. There are different forms of anxiety and one of the most common is Generalised Anxiety Disorder. A long-term condition causing you to feel anxious and worried about almost any situation rather than anything specific. You may not recall when you last felt relaxed. As soon as one anxious thought is dealt with, it is replaced by another, caught in a trap of negative thinking.
Social Anxiety is another common issue associated with anxiety sufferers. A persistent, overwhelming fear of social situations, leaving you fearful of engaging with people in everyday activities, such as shopping or speaking on the phone. It causes you to worry excessively about dealing with people before, during and after the situation. In addition to feeling fearful, anxiety can also cause you to be preoccupied with what other people may think, which can be severely affecting your confidence and self-esteem affecting our work and relationships.
Panic attacks are often a common issue with anxiety disorders. It can leave you feeling out of control producing very real physical symptoms, from a rapid increase in heartbeat to a churning stomach sensation. These physical symptoms are naturally unpleasant which often sets off a cycle of worry and fear about the experiencing a further panic attack.
When does Anxiety become a problem?
Anxiety can continue to creep up and it becomes a problem when it holds you back from living your life they way you want. Anxiety may be a problem for you if:
- your worrying affects your daily life, including your job and social life
- your fears or worries are out of proportion to the situation
- you avoid situations that might cause you to feel anxious
- your worries feel very distressing or are hard to control
- you regularly experience symptoms of anxiety, which could include panic attacks
- you find it hard to go about your everyday life or do things you enjoy
There is a lot of support available for anxiety disorders and there are many things you can do to cope and manage it. I help my clients overcome their anxiety using Solution Focused therapy techniques combined with and hypnosis. Not only does it help them see things from a different perspective, it also helps resolve the thoughts and reactions that create anxiety, helping clients relax and break the cycle of anxiety and dread. Hypnosis which is a relaxing and positive process, helps bring about lasting therapeutic change at a subconscious level to behavioural responses to everyday life.
How does hypnotherapy work for Anxiety?
If you’re suffering with Anxiety related conditions, the great news is that Hypnotherapy can help you see things from a different perspective and resolve the thoughts and reactions that create your anxieties, helping you to relax and to break the cycle of negative thinking and dread, building your confidence and self-esteem.
In my practice, I use Solution Focused techniques which means together we focus on the present and the future rather than analysing the past. Sessions are positive and we avoid problem-talk, instead I encourage clients to think and express themselves in a positive way which helps reduce their anxiety. Solution Focused Hypnotherapy is different because it uses a specific structure, which incorporates Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) and combines this an understanding of how the brain works, in combination with using hypnosis.
Hypnosis itself reduces anxiety, and this is done very simply through relaxation and visualisation, allowing the client to focus on the positive aspects of their life that encourages a shift in perspective.
The process begins with an initial consultation which is one of the most important sessions for clients. Together we’ll explore their concerns and understand the changes they hope to achieve and discover if hypnotherapy is the right approach. Crucially we talk about how the mind works in a very simple way to give clients an understanding of how anxiety is created and why they feel the way they do.
How many hypnotherapy sessions are needed for Anxiety?
The number of hypnotherapy sessions required for lasting change is different for everyone because each of is unique in terms of our feelings and experiences. We’ll discuss the number of sessions required at your initial consultation, whilst Hypnotherapy is not a magic wand, the solution focused approach does help you create positive change in a relatively short period of time. Typically for anxiety and stress related issues, a minimum of 6 – 8 sessions are required, sometimes more to get you where you want to be.
What happens during Hypnosis?
Hypnosis, sometimes described as trance is a natural human state that we all experience to varying degrees every day, when we experience a shift in our conscious awareness. It is a state of relaxed focused attention where your mind is more responsive to suggestions, which are designed to be to help you change unhelpful thought patterns. Importantly trance work in hypnotherapy is very different from the things that are portrayed on stage.
In this calm trance state, it’s an opportunity for your mind to relax and reflect on the ideas and solutions discussed during our session to understand how they can help you. During hypnosis you are in control and you can decide whether information or suggestions are useful. In fact, clients often describe trance as feeling a bit like daydreaming, it’s a very relaxing and uplifting experience.
What are the benefits of Hypnosis?
As you relax during hypnosis we’ll use guided relaxation and mental imagery which encourages a trance state. It also causes a natural shift in our brainwave patterns, perhaps from being in a fully alert mental state, into other more relaxed states. As we are guided into deeper levels of relaxation, the brain demonstrates more alpha and theta wave activity, where we feel calmer and more relaxed but can also visualise images and reflect on different ideas that may be useful to us.
The great new is that Solution Focused Hypnotherapy can be so beneficial, because it combines powerful solution-focused discussions, followed by encouraging a relaxing trance state so that the ideas and solutions discussed can then be explored and utilised by the brain for positive benefit.
Do you need support to relieve Anxiety?
If you’d like to explore how hypnotherapy could help you overcome your anxiety, please get in touch for a chat in confidence to explore if solution focused hypnotherapy is a good fit for you.
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