Can Hypnosis Help With Anxiety?

Hypnosis has been long used for many issues including smoking cessation, weight loss, sports performance, fears/phobias, pain alleviation, among many other things. In addition, it is a very powerful tool for the management of anxiety and is something many people seek hypnosis for when other modalities have failed. This is one of the safest, quickest and non-medication based approaches to healing from anxiety. 

Anxiety can be debilitating and if a person has suffered from this, they deeply understand just how much this can destroy their quality of life.

Hypnotherapy is clinically supported by many institutions such as Harvard, Mayo and the National Institute of Health for its effectiveness when provided by a trained clinician and has been the secret weapon for many individuals helping them break free of old patterns.

Anxiety can present as:

  • chest discomfort 
  • brain fog
  • difficulty sleeping
  • spiraling thoughts
  • catastrophizing
  • shortness of breath
  • heart palpitations
  • sweating
  • hot flashes 
  • stomach upset/nausea
  • panic attacks
  • loss of libio 
  • difficulty sleeping
  • among many other symptoms…

Hypnosis is often seen as a last resort for many people. Although should be considered first line intervention given the safety and efficacy of this modality. Now let’s break down why this is so powerful. 

Here are some ways in which hypnosis can help:

  1. Relaxation: Hypnosis induces a deeply relaxed state, allowing the person to experience a sense of calmness and tranquility. By promoting relaxation, hypnosis can help reduce the physical and psychological symptoms associated with anxiety, such as muscle tension, racing thoughts, and a rapid heartbeat. When used over time, hypnosis can begin to program automatic relaxation responses into the body. Rather than defaulting to stress and anxiety, the body becomes accustomed to feeling calm and safe. 
  2. Altered State of Consciousness: During hypnosis, individuals enter a focused and highly receptive state of consciousness where there subconscious mind is open to new ideas and ways of being. The subconscious mind is the storehouse of all experiences, good or bad. The body as a result, responds based on the subconscious expectations. If you wake anxious everyday, the subconscious begins to expect this which feeds back into actually creating this reality. In the hypnotic state, a person becomes more open to positive suggestions and are able to explore and address the underlying causes of their anxiety. By accessing the subconscious mind, hypnosis can help reframe negative thought patterns and beliefs that contribute to anxiety, replacing them with more positive and adaptive ones.
  3. Addressing Root Causes: This may be one of the most powerful benefits! Hypnosis can assist in uncovering and addressing the root causes of anxiety, such as past traumas, negative experiences, or deeply ingrained beliefs. By delving into the subconscious mind which records all of these experiences over time, hypnotherapy can help individuals gain insights into the origins of their anxiety and work towards resolving and healing those underlying issues. With this insight, a person has a deeper understanding of why this has been their default. They are then empowered to be able to CHOOSE a new outcome that supports the goals they want in life. 
  4. Desensitization and Exposure: Hypnosis can be used to facilitate desensitization and exposure therapy, which are commonly employed to treat specific phobias and anxiety disorders. Under hypnosis, individuals can visualize and experience anxiety-provoking situations in a controlled and safe environment. This is usually done in a way that allows them to be disassociated or “removed” from the threat, while simultaneously exposing them to source of the fear which helps them confront the fear safely, build resilience, and reduce the anxiety responses over time.
  5. Self-Empowerment and Coping Skills: Hypnosis can help individuals develop and strengthen their coping skills for managing anxiety. Through suggestions and imagery, hypnotherapy can enhance self-confidence, self-esteem, and self-control. It can also teach relaxation techniques, breathing exercises, and other strategies that individuals can use to calm themselves during anxiety-inducing situations.

With management of anxiety, a trained hypnotherapist will generally incorporate all of the areas above. You will likely also learn techniques such as EFT tapping or other stress alleviating modalities to complement the hypnosis. It’s important to note that hypnosis is typically used as part of a comprehensive treatment plan for anxiety and is often combined with other therapeutic approaches, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), mindfulness techniques, and lifestyle modifications. If you are considering hypnosis for anxiety, it’s recommended to consult with a qualified and experienced hypnotherapist who can tailor the treatment to your specific needs. 

When seeking a hypnotherapist, enquire about their level of training and how much of their practice is dedicated exclusively to hypnosis. Many individuals are trained, but only receive a one or two day course and rarely use it with their clients. A certified hypnotherapist who only practices hypnosis will be most familiar with the methods of hypnotherapy that will best suit your needs and goals.

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