Can Hypnosis Help With Anxiety; Yes it can
I know why you’re here and like most others that search for hypnosis and anxiety land on this page, you probably suffer from anxiety and you’re looking for a way to remove your triggers or cure your anxiety altogether. You wonder, “Can hypnosis help with anxiety.” Most people will go their entire lives either not knowing they have anxiety or not finding a way to treat it. Unfortunately, the psychological culture we have today makes many shy away from seeking mental health experts and to be honest, it’s a shame.
The most important thing to realize is that it’s perfectly normal to have anxiety and not everyone has every symptom nor the same triggers. Everyone needs help from time to time on a lot of issues and to me the most important thing to take care of, aside from the body, is the mind. But before we answer the question, “can hypnosis cure anxiety” we first have to understand what it is and what it is not, clinically speaking. Before you travel down this article I encourage your to read up on what is hypnosis first to get a feeling of what to expect later.
What is Anxiety?
The American Psychological Association defines anxiety as “an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts, and physical changes like increased blood pressure.” I don’t know about you but for me this seems like a definition that’s missing a few things. They do go on to further delineate and specify “people with anxiety disorders” and how the previous definition is recurring. Does that mean if you have an “anxious moment” only twice in your life that you don’t have an anxiety disorder? No, not necessarily. Does the same type of moment only occurring once remove you from that definition as well? No, not necessarily. What if you have a bunch of “anxious moments” that are all basely different? My point is, there’s room to clarify in the APA’s definition of anxiety.
Real anxiety can cause severely debilitating and crippling physical reactions from shaking, dizziness, increase in heart rate, sweating, as well as lightheadedness and more. Aside from the physical symptoms of anxiety one can also mentally distance themselves from situations or people–a type of conditioned response to outward stimuli. Are your friends throwing a party? How many people will be there? Is my ex going to be there? Will there be drinking? What if no one talks to me or worse, what if I go and everyone talks to me? What if they make fun of me? These are a few things that might run through your mind and cause you to have a mental or physical response, hence, causing anxiety. It can keep you from enjoying life, it can keep you from loved ones, and it can keep you from living a full and enriching life. Anxiety is not easy and sometimes you’re your own worst enemy when it comes to trying to cope with anxiety. This is why it’s imperative to seek help, which in and of itself can cause anxiety but it must be overcome for your own sake. Generally speaking, the most common types of anxiety are generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety (me), specific phobias (me, again), panic disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), as well as Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). With all that said, let’s look at what anxiety isn’t.
What Anxiety is Not
Anxiety takes many forms and has different impacts on a person. It’s very difficult to determine what is and what is NOT anxiety; mainly because nearly everyone has anxiety. At its most basic form anxiety can be looked at as a self-preservation method for pessimists. The inner dialogue you have with yourself and your knee jerk negative reactions to situations are anxiety! Trying something for the first time, trying something for the first time in front of a crowd of people, going to a place you’ve never been before; situations like these can cause anxiety. It comes down to what level your anxiety affects you and how you process the information at hand. Over time having a negative outcome in repeated situations build a type of Pavlovian response. Even optimist have trouble in repeatedly negative situations, but perseverance wins out for them most of the time. I’m sure you’ve heard from your friends, like me, “Oh, don’t worry about it, it’ll be fine.” It’s never that simple and no one knows exactly how things affect YOU personally. I’ve missed weddings, I’ve missed funerals, I’ve missed graduations, and I’ve lost friends. Ultimately, what anxiety is not, anxiety is NOT your fault.
Anxiety Treatment Options
All in all there are many ways to treat Anxiety and the causes leading up to them. “Standard Anxiety Therapies” include cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), exposure therapy, and group therapy. They are all worth a shot before going to the next stage of taking drugs to manage the emotions and feelings associated with anxiety. I’m not an expert on any of these and I can only speak to my personal experiences. CBT works mainly because if you suffer from anxiety you’re already analyzing things, how it doesn’t work is when you’re in a crippled state it’s very difficult to snap to the behaviors you’re supposed to attempt. Each type of therapy will have different results on you but please try them before you move to drugs. The whole point of this article is to answer the question, can hypnosis cure anxiety. So I’d ask that before drugs and maybe even before any of the standard therapies you should see a hypnotherapist for anxiety. Lets look at what you can expect.
Can Hypnosis Help with Anxiety?
I won’t leave you guessing any more. It can’t cure anxiety because anxiety is a normal part of people’s lives. It’s natural to get anxious and to some extent it’s natural for it to take over your thoughts and actions. Hypnosis for anxiety is more about focusing on the triggers of anxiety. The habits and the non-habits that lead to the anxious moments in life.
Hypnotherapy for Anxiety
If you want to try and see hypnotherapist for anxiety then you have to enter with an open mind and put aside any predispositions you have to hypnosis in general. The moment you decide to see a hypnotherapist can be both exciting and quite daunting. The day of your appointment you might start to feel anxiety flare up and take hold. While it’s flaring up, feel of that anxiety and focus on the potential outcomes. The mending of relationships, the ability to enter social situations without any triggers pulling at your brain.
What to Expect at your Hypnotherapy Appointment
A trained clinical hypnotherapist will first get to know you, like any other therapist does. He or she will find out more about you, your history, as well as current situations you might have struggled with that lead to the appointment. Any hypnotherapist worth their salt will not be abrasive, judgmental, or rude and if they utter the phrase that makes us all mad, “get over it.” Get out.
Once the hypnotherapist establishes who you are when it comes to anxiety and the triggers you face they’ll walk you through the session before it happens. This was very useful for me as they brought me to a place of ease before even beginning. Once the patter begins for inducing hypnosis the hypnotherapist will guide you into a type of trance where the decision making processes of the brain are put on hold. Don’t worry hypnosis is perfectly safe and they can’t make you do anything you aren’t willing to do. Your brain is very smart and it knows how to protect itself. You’ll be taking through some scenarios and the hypnotherapist might implant some post-hypnotic triggers that kick in when an anxious situation arises. They also might include some imagery and key words that you can even use for yourself later. For example, social situations were difficult for me with large crowds like weddings. Using the phrase “I will be okay” was implanted and it only worked when I said it. It worked. I was able to attend one of my good friends weddings and had an amazing time, FINALLY!
I know I’m not cured but had I not gone to see a hypnotherapist for anxiety I wouldn’t be writing this article and I wouldn’t have enjoyed so many situations since my three sessions in all. My therapist at my last session gave me some tools to use on my own at home to work on my anxiety. Utilizing a tactic called Self-Hypnosis I’ve been largely anxiety free for 2 years now. Good luck and please let me know your experiences or questions below. I’ll let you be the judge but, can hypnosis help with anxiety? Yes, yes it can.