How does hypnotherapy help anxiety?
What kinds of anxiety does hypnotherapy help?
If anxiety is at the core of any issue, hypnotherapy can help.
All forms of hypnotherapy are likely to be helpful, but Solution Focused Hypnotherapy in particular combines an understanding of neuroscience, classic Solution Focused Brief Therapy techniques and hypnotherapy to empower you to master your own anxiety with relative ease.
Solution Focused Hypnotherapy is ideal for helping you manage, reduce or even eliminate specific anxieties including: generalised anxiety, social anxiety, panic attacks, phobias, exam fears, sleep issues and travel anxiety.
Many people come to me suffering from anxiety they can’t explain. It’s as if anxiety has seeped in to their psyche when they weren’t looking, and now it’s overtaken their lives.
If you find yourself worrying about small things, like going shopping, answering the phone or picking up the children from school, it’s likely that you are suffering from generalised anxiety. This sort of anxiety isn’t pinned to anything in particular. It just seems to pervade every aspect of your life. Now it’s impacting your sleep, making you irritable, causing headaches regularly and impacting on your work, your social life, your friendships or your family life.
Solution Focused Brief Therapy explores how you would like to feel rather than focusing on analysing your problems or talking about the past. It’s a form of neuropsychotherapy that leverages the brain’s ability to change itself, called neuroplasticity, which helps to create positive long-term changes to thoughts, behaviours and attitudes.
Imagining your future as you would like it to be uses a part of the brain that opens the mind to new possibilities and begins to change the way your mind perceives those things that are causing anxiety.
The carefully crafted suggestions in the accompanying Solution Focused Hypnotherapy help you to create new, healthy templates in your primitive subconscious mind, and healthier responses to everyday challenges. Over a few short sessions, in general, the anxiety dissipates enabling you to once again enjoy family life, work and friendships.
Many people suffer from social anxiety. Sometimes it’s underpinned by a fear of being judged or not fitting in. If you have been struggling with a difficult situation, such as the death of a loved one or acute illness, it may be that you don’t want to discuss it. Well-meaning friends may ask you direct questions you are not yet ready to answer.
Or your social anxiety may not seem to have any root cause. You just get anxious in the pub, at family gatherings or when invited to social events of any kind. As a result, you may be withdrawing from any kind of social gathering, missing out on exciting opportunities, losing friends and tipping towards depression as you feel more and more socially isolated.
Solution Focused Hypnotherapy is ideal for this sort of anxiety. The client is encouraged to create dynamic visual images of the future they prefer, and this in itself allows your subconscious mind to begin exploring new and better possibilities. The hypnotherapy element, with its open suggestions and positive affirmations helps to embed a new sense of confidence and clarity that over-rides the anxious response, and gives you back your sense of self and enables you once again to live life to the full.
Panic attacks are debilitating. Your heart races. You feel it is hammering in your chest. You struggle to breathe. Your palms go sweaty and you feel nauseous.
Panic attacks are, in effect, acute bouts of anxiety. Often they result from being stressed or anxious over a long period of time; but are triggered by specific events that make you feel out of control.
You know when you are having a panic attack. They can be extremely frightening for the sufferer and for anyone who witnesses them. Attacks can be triggered by all sorts of events, from seeing dogs to a visit to the dentist. Hypnosis can help change the way you react to the triggers to reduce, usually eliminate, panic attacks altogether.
The fear of having a panic attack can actually trigger an attack. Solution Focused Hypnotherapy can help you to build the inner resources and strength to enable you to change the way your mind and body deal with anxiety and stress, until you no longer experience panic attacks at all.
We all know what phobias are and they can be crippling. They can limit your life considerably, stopping you from flying, visiting friends with a dog, or even going in to the garden shed where the spiders live! More seriously a needle phobia might mean you don’t get the medical treatment you need.
However, oddly, people often choose to live with their phobias rather than address them because they imagine they will be retraumatised during the therapy process. They have also adjusted their lives around the phobia and almost don’t perceive it as a problem; that is until some specific event makes them want to tackle the issue. An invitation to fly to a wedding means facing the fear of flying, or an emergency procedure means having an injection.
Solution Focused Hypnotherapy doesn’t involve re-experiencing the trauma. In fact, the sessions ensure you stay calm and in control throughout, and your phobia can be eliminated quite easily, often in just one or two sessions.
Getting ridding of your phobia can be hugely liberating and can reduce general anxiety levels as you stop avoiding the thing that causes the fear.
Constant stimulation and fast-paced information overload can also lead to anxiety. Not to mention the content: political debate, gossip, personal judgements and violent images are all likely to cause anxiety when they are viewed frequently. More often, the issue with social media is that it’s addictive and can so easily dominate your life. Your phone disturbs you with its pinging late at night; you are obsessed with staying in touch with friends or you feel rejected and anxious when friends don’t get back to you quickly.
Solution Focused Hypnotherapy can help you get control of your social media habit, reduce the time you spend on line and minimise the impact on your state of mind.
Exam Stress and Anxiety
Exams are stressful. Firstly, we know the results matter. We will be judged on the outcome. You may be depending on the results for your university place, or to pursue your career. There may be additional pressure from your school, university, peers and parents. I deal with exam stress and anxiety in other blogs in detail, but in short, Solution Focused Hypnotherapy can help you get in the right frame of mind to take your exams, can keep you calm and focused during the study season, and stop you ruminating on your results after you have taken your exams.
Insomnia is a sleep disorder characterized by difficulty falling or staying asleep. People with insomnia sometimes find it hard to fall asleep in the first place, wake up during the night and then find it hard to go back to sleep, wake up far too early in the mornings, or always feel tired upon waking.
Solution Focused Hypnotherapy focuses on reducing the stress levels that are at the heart of sleep disorders. By reducing your anxiety and stress levels, it becomes easier to get to sleep and to stay asleep. When you start to sleep better, you experience more REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep, the time you spend dreaming and processing the stresses of the day.
The right amount of REM sleep means you will wake up more refreshed, breaking the cycle of sleep issues that lead to chronic anxiety.
Anxiety around travelling is remarkably common. I have found that after childbirth, when women are exhausted, sleep deprived and overwhelmed by their new responsibility, they can develop anxiety around travel. Or travel anxiety develops as a result of generalised anxiety, or because of a specific incident.
The fear of travelling can be related to driving, being a passenger or flying. ‘Templates’ that driving or flying are scary are laid down in your primitive mind. Solution Focused Hypnotherapy is very effective in changing these templates to enable you to drive, fly and be a passenger once more.
Why do we become anxious at all?
Anxiety is pervasive and natural. We are meant to be anxious about some things, like being attacked by another wild tribesman or a sabre toothed tiger. But in our modern society it isn’t quite so helpful in keeping us safe.
A sycamore seed is caught by the wind, spins and whirs, falls and takes root. It grows in to a magnificent tree without conscious effort or anxiety. You can create your future without anxiety too.
When anxiety becomes pervasive and illogical then it’s time to take action. And nothing could be less stressful or more effective than Solution Focused Hypnotherapy.
For more information see www.sense-ability.co.uk
Or contact Jane Pendry, Solution Focused Hypnotherapist & Coach at:
07843 813 883