What is Anxiety?

Anxiety is a symptom/condition experienced by many different people on many different levels, and can be caused by a wide range of different issues. It is a natural condition that most of us will experience at some point in our lives. Most of us suffer from a mild form of anxiety at times when faced with challenging or stressful situations, such as exams, interviews presentations and confrontations. In fact, the act of being anxious is not at all unnatural, it is the body’s natural response to fear which prepares the body for what it believes it is about to experience. The brain actually believes that it is protecting the body and mind, and at times it is and does. However, when anxiety becomes the dominating feeling, it completely disrupts your life and takes over. Words often used to describe anxiety are: Worry, concern, apprehension, apprehensiveness, uneasiness, fear, fretful, agitated, angst, nervousness, nerves, tense, stress and a sense of foreboding.

An anxiety disorder is a much more serious and debilitating condition. For those with a true anxiety disorder life itself can become somewhat overwhelming, so much so that their anxiety controls their lives on a day-to-day basis. The inner panic is always present, affecting everything they think about, do, or even want to do. If a person struggles with serious anxiety, it is very common for them to frequently avoid certain situations because of the fear that they have attached to this particular event and/or activity. The more they avoid the situation, the more anxiety takes control. This makes living a normal and fulfilling life very difficult for them, often causing the individual in question to frequently miss out on opportunities, which may be work related, or affect their personal relationships.

How can Hypnotherapy help with Anxiety?

Hypnotherapy is a very effective way to help reduce feelings of anxiety, and has become more widely recognised as an effective method for treating it. Hypnotherapy aims to get to the root cause of the anxiety by using hypnosis and targeted questioning, which will lead to the release the negative emotions associated with anxiety. This process helps to bring about change in your thoughts, feelings and beliefs about the causes of your anxiety, allowing you to move forward in life without feeling fearful, trapped and overwhelmed. This transformation is frequently accompanied by an increase in confidence and self-belief, dramatically changing your life and opening up many new possibilities that had previously been holding you back. It enables you to develop a calm and peaceful state of mind that will help you to deal with life much more calmly, easily and effectively.

How does it work?

The hypnotherapist will collaborate with you find the root cause of your anxiety by accessing your unconscious mind. This will begin with an initial in depth conversation/consultation about you, what issues you are having, the levels of your anxiety, the common triggers and what you hope to achieve from hypnotherapy. This will also help the therapist to understand you as a person, and to find the best way in which to help you. In the case of anxiety, this will usually involve some Hypno-analysis, with your permission, in order to understand the reasons and ‘triggers’ for your anxiety. Often anxiety is symptom, that is often ‘tied up’ with other issues such as stress, low self-esteem, phobias and can sometimes leads to depression. The use of hypno-analysis makes the final results more long-term and permanent, as it will give you the opportunity to sub-consciously release your negative emotions before being offered more positive suggestions.

Once the negative emotions have been released, the hypnotherapist will ‘hand-craft’ personal positive suggestions specifically for you, in order to promote positive change. These suggestions will be specifically ‘tailored’ to target your triggers of anxiety and will help you to control and deal with them and react more positively when faced with challenging situations. It will also help you to understand what triggers your anxiety, so that you know how to cope with it in a clam and controlled manner.

Whilst hypnotherapy cannot change what has happened in the past, it can help you to change how you think, feel and behave to any given situation. It will also help you to gain/regain control of your life and will allow you to experience a normal and fulfilling life again.

Hypnotherapy for Anxiety

The success rate of using hypnotherapy for anxiety is now widely accepted and increasingly successful in helping people to transform their lives and release their full potential. It is important to understand that whilst in hypnosis ( trance), you will never be out of control, or be made to do anything that you feel uncomfortable about.

During a Typical hypnotherapy session for Anxiety

  1. Initial in depth chat/Consultation: Initially you will begin with an in depth chat with the hypnotherapist in order to discuss what you hope to achieve from hypnotherapy. Generally, they will ask you questions about your life so that they can help you to establish any triggers or causes for the way you feel. The more your therapist knows about you as a person, the more she can fully understand what hypnotherapy techniques will be the most helpful for you.

  2. Explanation of Hypnosis: After this initial consultation, your therapist will explain to you how hypnosis works and how it may help you with your anxiety. The whole process will be explained to you, so you fully understand and know what to expect, and to make sure that you are completely comfortable to continue with the session. It is good for you to view your hypnotherapist as a coach/mentor, whose aim will be to facilitate you to bring about positive change in your life.

  3. The Hypnosis Induction: You will then be relaxed in a heighten state of awareness (hypnotic trance), which will be very natural, pleasant, calm and relaxing.

  4. Whilst in Hypnosis (Trance) Regression/Hypno-Analysis: nce you are deeply relaxed and in a trance, your unconscious mind will be more open and receptive. At this point, your hypnotherapist may talk to you and ask you to speak back, depending on what technique they use. Typically, if they will use hypno-analysis to explore the root of your anxiety, they may also use various forms of regression. You may be asked to revisit a times when you have previously felt anxiety, and you will be asked to focus on the feeling and emotion behind the event or experience. This will help you to release the feeling whilst in a trance. By releasing this emotion/s you are making way for new and more constructive and positive beliefs and emotions to replace them.

  5. How Many Sessions? Together, your therapist and you will work together to decide believe will be most effective. After a series of sessions, you will be ready to accept and believe new positive suggestions in relation to your anxiety, and will replace your old negative beliefs and habits with more positive ones.

  6. Positive Suggestions and Mantras: When your therapist is satisfied that you are ready to receive and accept positive suggestions, they will use carefully worded scripts, which will be specifically ‘tailored’ to you to help change any negative beliefs that are holding you back. The idea behind positive suggestions and mantras is that these calming keywords and phrases that will act as a ‘trigger’ to help calm down your conscious mind when dealing with challenging situations and will help you cope with it more rationally and effectively.

  7. After care: Your hypnotherapist will typically check in with you a few days after each treatment via email, to see how things are progressing. They may also teach you self-hypnosis techniques that you can use at home to reinforce the positive suggestions. Practising these techniques on an ongoing basis is a positive way to continue working on your anxiety to ensure you keep control of it.

Will hypnotherapy for Anxiety work for me?

The way in which hypnotherapy works is by changing your perceptions and beliefs about a number of things, including your fears. What is incredibly important that you are ready to make this commitment and are willing to work with your hypnotherapist for this to be successful;

How do I know if I have an anxiety disorder?

Because we live in such a very fast-paced society, anxiety can often become part of our normal life without us even recognising when it is becoming more constant and serious. The symptoms and issues related to anxiety will differ greatly from person to person, but if the symptoms are becoming overwhelming and debilitating in any way, it may be time to seek help. With just a few sessions of therapy you can become person you once were or want to be.

Below are some of the types of anxiety:

Generalised Anxiety Disorder

If you are suffering from (GAD), you may find that you are somewhat macabre and often anticipate tragedy quite irrationally. This condition can interfere with your day-to-day life as you may find yourself irrationally worrying about family, money, health, world disasters, or just about anything. (GAD) is typically diagnosed when an individual spends in excess of six months or more worrying excessively about normal, everyday problems.

Social Anxiety Disorder

Social anxiety disorder (social phobia) is when you experience extreme anxiety and discomfort in any social situation. If you suffer from this condition, you are likely to be fearful when around, or and are very self-aware and feel like you are being judged in a negative manner by those around you.

Panic Disorder

This condition is defined by feelings of absolute terror that can happen very suddenly and without any warning. Panic attacks are a common symptom of this condition, however, not everyone who experiences a panic attack will have panic disorder. If you are diagnosed as having panic disorder this can mean that you will often feel afraid in very minor situations. This fear can often lead directly to panic attacks. Panic disorder is actually quite more common and affects a large proportion of the population.

Other conditions associated with anxiety

  • A family history of addiction

  • A traumatic childhood experience

  • Mental Health – If you have experienced extreme stress, anxiety or depression, you may be more inclined toward developing an addiction

  • Agoraphobia

  • Anticipatory anxiety

  • Claustrophobia

  • Depression

  • Phobias - e.g. Fear of spiders, flying, dogs etc.

  • Seasonal Adjustment Disorder

  • Generalised anxiety disorder

  • Health anxiety

  • Acute Stress Disorder

  • Injection/needle phobia

  • OCD

  • Panic disorder

  • Panic attacks

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder

  • Simple phobias ie, fear of Spiders/Flying

Some Symptoms of Anxiety

If you are experiencing some the symptoms below, it may be time to seek help:

  • Heart palpitations or a racing heart rate

  • Excessive Sweating

  • Being short of breath without reason

  • Unexplained chest pain

  • Unexplained dizziness, and/or nausea

  • Unexplained Numbness, or tingling

  • Fear of being out of control

  • Feeling disoriented and detached.

  • Excessive and unexplained fatigue and tiredness

  • Lack of concentration

  • Insomnia

  • Irritability

  • Unexplained aches, pains, muscle tension and cramps