Self-Hypnosis for Anxiety: Why It’s an Effective Treatment
Have you ever considered self-hypnosis for anxiety?
It may sound like something from left-field, but hypnosis is an effective method for treating many conditions, including anxiety. The best part? Hypnosis is an approach you can practice on your own to find relief from anxiety symptoms.
What is Hypnosis?
Hypnosis is a technique to help you relax and be more open to suggestion.
This doesn’t mean that you can be made to stand on one leg or quack like a duck! These are examples of the parlor-trick kind of hypnosis. When used in a therapeutic setting, by a trained health care professional, hypnosis is often useful for helping clients be more open to different thought processes or ideas. You are in control at all times.
How Can Hypnosis Help with Anxiety?
When you participate in hypnosis you can learn how to better address your anxiety. By being more open to ideas and suggestions, you are able to internalize what you are learning and apply those lessons to your life. For instance, the National Institutes of Health conducted research into hypnosis as a treatment method for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) with Vietnam veterans. What did they find?
The veterans who had PTSD were more likely to be successfully hypnotized.
The hypnosis allowed the veterans to better control their access to memories that they pushed away from their consciousness.
Hypnosis can help people who have experienced trauma put the events into a different context.
Hypnosis allows victims of trauma to acknowledge their helplessness in those situations.
This helps veterans look at those memories within the framework of how they tried to protect themselves or how they have the ability to control their surroundings in other instances.
This research shows that hypnosis allowed the veterans in the study to close the loop regarding their traumatic past. They were finally able to find ways to move forward in their lives.
How Can I Practice Self-Hypnosis?
You can learn how to use hypnosis yourself for whenever you are beginning to feel the onset of anxiety symptoms. A therapist trained in therapeutic hypnosis can provide suggestions that you can practice at home. In general, keep these ideas in mind:
Try to find a quiet place without distractions to sit.
Relax your body.
Focus on your breathing.
Let your mind focus on a faraway point or close your eyes.
Count backward slowly starting at ten.
Repeat a self-affirming phrase or word after each number.
Cue yourself to bring your mind back to the present when finished.
As you can see, hypnotism isn’t brainwashing. You are in control at all times. Consider hypnosis, instead, as a way of training your brain to better respond to situations that cause you to experience persistent or intense worry or fear.
Using Self-Hypnosis for Anxiety
Consider another example. You are in a public space, such as a shopping center or a mall, when suddenly you feel the onset of anxiety. There are a lot of people in the open space of the mall. And then, you feel cornered, trapped, and want to flee. Instead, you choose to relax your body and close your eyes. You focus on your breathing. You inhale and exhale steadily. You begin to say an affirming phrase, such as “I can handle this.” You start to feel your anxiety waning and begin to calm down.
Self-Hypnosis is a word surrounded by a lot of misunderstanding. However, hypnosis for anxiety can actually be an effective treatment for those looking for relief from their symptoms. It can effectively help you train your brain to better respond to situations. Ultimately, you can get to a point where you don’t feel anxious at all.
Questions, Concerns, Thoughts?
I invite you to call me for a free 15 – minute phone consultation to discuss your specific needs and to answer any questions you have about anxiety, treatment and my practice. Please visit my website @ www.theanxietydocseattle.com or call me directly @ (206) 745-4933.