Hypnosis for Anxiety – The Complete Guide
Hypnosis for anxiety covers a wide range of problems that cause fear, worry, panic or distress. It is a big subject because anxiety has six categories of problems each with its own symptoms and problems. The aim of hypnotherapy is to help the person suffering from anxiety to either manage the problem naturally or to eradicate their fears completely.
Anxiety hypnosis is an entirely natural form of therapy that is incredibly calming and relaxing which is why it works so well for anyone with these worries and fears. Even though it is a natural anxiety remedy it can be used in conjunction with medication safely. Many anxiety therapists will work with medical professionals in order to get the best results for their clients.
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Types of Anxiety Hypnotherapy
Before diving in to explain how this form of hypnosis works and what it can help it is worth discussing the six major forms of anxiety hypnosis. These categories help to differentiate how the problem can manifest itself in different forms.
All of these forms of anxiety can create feelings of fear and worry. As with any form of anxiety the intensity of the problem can vary depending on factors such as stress, how much the person tries to avoid their triggers, and specific situations.
Generalised Anxiety Disorder Hypnosis
For many people, their anxiety or fear can be pinpointed to one particular problem, for example, a fear of flying. With a generalised anxiety disorder, you may feel anxious, worried or on edge most of the time. As the anxiety seems to impact everything you do it can be initially hard to work out what is actually creating the problem.
Hypnosis for GAD can work in two different ways. Firstly it can promote feelings of calm and well-being and secondly it can help to identify what might be actually creating the feelings. Discovering the underlying cause can make a big difference in how a person feels as it changes the way they think about the problem.
Panic Attack Hypnosis
When anxiety and stress become heightened it can trigger panic disorder. This is when a person experiences regular panic attacks that are incredibly frightening and overwhelming. Many people who experience a problem with panic attacks feel as if they are dying. Their heart rate rises, they may have difficulty catching their breath and many go to their local hospital as the fear makes them feel so physically ill.
Hypnosis for panic attacks helps to reduce or stop these attacks. It is designed to calm down this heightened anxiety response and promote feelings of calm. It can also help identify the triggers for the attacks and with therapy change the way the mind thinks about the problem.
For example, you may be experiencing panic attacks that seem to come out of the blue. Under hypnosis, you tell the hypnotherapist that you have an underlying subconscious fear of failure. As things at work have been difficult lately this is what has triggered the attacks. Now a hypnotherapist can work with you to address this fear and help you address any problems at work.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Hypnosis
Post-traumatic stress disorder tends to occur after a particularly traumatic event. Most people may be aware of it in relation to the military. Soldiers coming back from war zones experience anxiety, flashbacks and nightmares related to what they may have seen or experienced. Yet PTSD can also occur in civilian life as well. Car accidents, rapes, witnessing a death or seeing someone being hurt can also trigger the problem.
Hypnosis for PTSD anxiety helps you to process what has happened to you so that it stops interfering with your life. It can also check to see whether you had any underlying fears before the flashbacks started. It is not unusual to find deep-rooted underlying anxieties which are connected to the problem.
Fears and Phobia Hypnotherapy
Fears and phobias are incredibly common with around 10% of the population having at least one. Many people may be able to live with their phobia without a problem as it doesn’t impact their everyday life. For example, you could have a fear of sharks but if you don’t live near water it would be rarely triggered. Other people have an irrational fear which creates a problem for them every day. This could be something as obscure as a button phobia or a fear of birds.
Hypnotherapy for fears and phobias works by helping you to confront your trigger whilst under the safety of hypnosis. As you are increasingly exposed to your fear the anxiety levels begin to drop as you mind becomes more and more used to it. Eventually, the problem should either disappear or become manageable.
An example of this might be fear of flying hypnosis where a hypnotherapist gets you to imagine the whole plane experience in your mind. In hypnosis you are told to calm your feelings, imagine the flight going perfectly and you landing smiling at the other end. With repeated hypnotic suggestions the fear starts to lessen.
Hypnotherapy can also help identify where a fear or a phobia has come from. If we go back to the fear of flying most of our clients have never had a bad experience with a flight so what could have happened? It is not unusual to trace the problem in hypnosis to an issue such as claustrophobia or a fear of not being in control.
Some of the most common fears and phobias include:
- Fear of Spiders
- Fear of Flying
- Fear of Being Sick (emetophobia)
- Fear of Dogs
- Fear of Needles
- Fear of Heights
- Public Speaking
- Fear of Crowds
Obsessional compulsive disorder revolves around obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviours. OCD anxiety manifests itself in a number of different ways. There may be a compulsion to wash hands multiple times because of a fear of germs. There may be a need to check doors are locked over and over again or the problem can also be linked to intrusive thoughts. A constant obsessive thought that you might hurt someone you love.
Hypnosis for OCD aims to help in a number of different ways. Firstly by teaching a client self-hypnosis and relaxation techniques, it can help to reduce anxious feelings. In addition, these techniques can be used to delay compulsive behaviours so that they can be stopped with practice. Hypnosis can also help identify why the mind is experiencing OCD. Identifying the root cause can change the thought processes.
Social Anxiety Hypnotherapy
Social anxiety disorder is another form of anxiety that is categorised by worry or fear of embarrassing yourself or being judged by others. People with the disorder begin to increasingly avoid situations where their fear may be triggered leaving them feeling isolated as well as anxious.
Hypnosis for social anxiety disorder can help a person to build confidence and self-esteem. Repeated suggestions and challenging negative thought patterns can be helpful in motivating change. In addition, practising problematic scenarios such as parties or public speaking whilst in hypnosis help to reduce the fear in reality.
Hypnosis for Anxiety and Depression
Anxiety and depression go hand in hand in a number of cases so don’t be shocked if both are looked at in your sessions. With anxiety and depression, it can be a chicken and egg scenario as to which appeared first. Getting to understand why your mind is giving you these feelings is important in therapy.
As an example are you feeling anxious because you worry about not being good enough? Feeling anxious all the time because of these thoughts can sap your strength and energy and start to create feelings of depression when you think that things will never change.
A therapist can help you unravel what is really going on and get to the heart of the problem. By helping the anxiety the depressive thoughts should also start to lift.
Sleep Hypnosis & Anxiety
Anxiety can also create problems with your sleeping patterns creating insomnia. The more you are unable to sleep the harder it becomes to cope with any anxious feelings. In fact, your anxiety levels could begin to rise as lack of sleep makes us feel out of control and unable to cope.
Sleep hypnosis may play a part in your anxiety therapy as by helping you to get a better nights sleep it becomes easier to help you manage your anxiety. If any of our clients experience insomnia then they are given a self-hypnosis for sleep download to listen to at bedtime to quieten the mind and promote feelings of relaxation and calm. You can purchase a copy to try yourself in our online shop.
Anxiety Hypnosis Therapy
As well as hypnotherapy being used to help the six main types of anxiety there are anxieties that people talk about that are worth mentioning. They are likely to fall under one of the six categories but are also stand-alone terms that people use for anxiety-related problems.
Performance Anxiety Hypnosis
Hypnosis for anxiety also involves helping people who are worried about their performance. This could be on stage, in their chosen sport or even sexual performance. Usually, the fear involves not being good enough or someone being critical of what you are doing. Generally, this fear is linked to social anxiety disorder.
Hypnosis for performance anxiety looks at ways to help you stop over analysing what you are doing and instead react without thinking. It can also help to build your confidence and self-esteem so that you believe in yourself.
Test Anxiety Hypnosis
Another named issue is test anxiety. This tends to rear its head when you are about to sit an exam or test. Fear of making a mistake or not doing well enough can paralyse you to the point of inaction. Hypnosis for test anxiety is designed to help you think more positively and enable you to remain calm whilst in the exam situation. The calmer you become the easier it is to recall information or to perform the tasks necessary for a pass.
Finally, another named anxiety is health anxiety. This is the worry of fear of either getting ill or being ill. This should not be confused with the fear of being sick which is called emetophobia. Coronavirus has increased this fear for many people who worry that they might catch the virus.
Hypnosis for anxiety may look at discovering the root cause of the problem so that it becomes easier to rationalise the fear. This worry usually stems from childhood when you may have felt ill or been in hospital and felt that you had no control over what was going on around you or to you. Hypnotherapy helps you to recognise that as an adult you are better equipped to deal with any medical problems.
Can Hypnosis Help Anxiety in Children?
Hypnosis for anxiety can be used to help childhood worries and fears. Generally, it works well for children over the age of 8 or 9 years old. Children who are younger find it more difficult to concentrate on the sessions and can be less willing participants.
Positive suggestion and visualisation are more likely to be used in these sessions rather than deep analytical work. Typical reasons for children seeing a hypnotherapist are bullying, exams, separation anxiety, confidence and nervous habits such as tics or nail-biting.
Do you always have to see a clinical hypnotherapist in order to get results? Whilst seeing a therapist is always going to have a greater success rate there are great benefits in using self-hypnosis for anxiety.
At a very basic level anxiety is the opposite of calm. Anything that can be used to help create feelings of calm and relaxation is going to make a difference. Self-hypnosis for anxiety tends to create a much deeper state of relaxation than activities such as yoga or mindfulness. This means it can be a very quick way of making a difference.
In addition, if you accept the suggestions on a hypnosis download this can help to reduce the background levels of anxiety even more. This is why I created my best selling Self-Hypnosis for Anxiety Download program for people to use. This uses deep hypnotic suggestions to help with panic attacks, generalised anxiety, worrying and negative thinking, relaxation and sleep. You can purchase the full program in my online shop.
If you want to take things a little further and use self-help for anxiety then my video guide together will all the audios in the download walks you through other methods to make a difference in how you feel.
Online Anxiety Hypnosis
Finally, a question that we get asked all the time. Is it possible to hypnotise you over the phone or video messenger? Well, the answer is a resounding yes. I work with clients all over the world to help them manage their anxiety, worry and fear. All you need is a comfortable space where you won’t be disturbed and a good internet connection. You can read some of the advantages in my post on teletherapy and online anxiety hypnosis.
I run a four-session hypnosis for anxiety reduction program online which has a great success rate at helping my clients manage the condition. For more information simply fill out my contact form to get more details and book your program.
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