First Steps to Anxiety Treatment
The steps below are designed to evaluate and gauge your level of self-care and stress management.
The first step is to pose some questions to yourself about your daily life, here are some suggestions that research recommends:
- Do you make time each day for relaxation and fun?
- Are you getting the emotional support you need?
- Are you taking care of your body?
- Are you overloaded with responsibilities?
- Do you ask for help when you need it?
If your answers seem to indicate that you are not effectively managing stress, and handling too many pressures, it is recommended that you:
- Avoid isolation by connecting with others. This can be coffee each week with a friend, support groups or time spent speaking about your worries.
- Learn simple relaxation methods such as meditation, deep breathing, and muscle relaxation methods. (Click here to gain access to my meditation audio)
- Get adequate daily exercise. This can be around 30 minutes of aerobic exercise each day.
- Get adequate sleep.
- Limit the use of caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol.
- Train your brain to become and remain calmer using hypnosis.
This last point is what we are going to focus on throughout the rest of this article as it is a step you can achieve with hypnosis. Hypnosis, as one source explains, “finds its most common clinical utilization in the treatment of anxiety and its related states, not only because of anxiety’s prevalence, but because hypnosis has such a clear role as a potent anti-anxiety agent.”
How Does Hypnosis Help You Cope with Anxiety?
To begin to understand how hypnosis helps alleviate with anxiety of any kind, you must first look at hypnosis itself. Also referred to as hypnotherapy, it is often viewed as a complementary and alternative medicine, yet many experts (as already noted) find it a suitable remedy for anxiety on its own.
Hypnosis employs healing techniques that include:
- Focused attention
- Guided quality relaxation
- Change in perception
- Taking action to fulfill needs
The goal of all hypnosis is to put the body into a state of physical and mental relaxation, sometimes referred to as a “trance state” because the conscious mind is resting while the unconscious mind remains active and alert. This is because hypnosis aims to address underlying causes of unwanted behavior and one cannot change something on a conscious level that happens at the unconscious level.
As the Calm Clinic explains, “the ‘unconscious mind’ is just a name for another type of awareness in your brain, the part that is in charge of the beliefs and emotions connected to what you say and do.” Rather than being the portion of the brain that actively thinks about what you should say or do, your unconscious remains in the background. Yet, your unconscious mind remains a potent force because your unconscious mind is what makes you feel or believe what you do. Hypnosis makes you feel better about doing something you wish to do (or in reverse, making you feel uncomfortable about doing what you don’t want to do, such as smoking).
A trained hypnotherapist will spend time discussing and evaluating your anxiety condition(s), and only then determine the appropriate course of action for your treatment.
How Hypnosis Works
When hypnosis is performed by a certified professional, it will place you in a trance state that leaves you highly “suggestive”. This then allows the hypnotherapist to treat the anxiety condition that was revealed in your pre-treatment evaluations.
According to WebMD, suggestion therapy helps “people change perceptions and sensations, and is particularly useful in treating certain kinds of pain.” There are also forms of analytical hypnosis that aim to explore the unconscious factors that trigger anxiety or other disorders. For example, someone experiencing PTSD may not know they went through a trauma at all, and hypnosis is one way of revealing it and then addressing it.
As a method for dealing with anxiety and anxiety disorders, hypnosis also trains individuals to become both mentally and physically relaxed. How? The guided thinking and breathing, focusing on the hypnotist and ignoring all other thoughts or outside stimulants can help anyone to understand exactly what they should do when they need to fully relax.
Hypnosis offers four ways to overcome anxiety:
1) Deals with emotional difficulties – True anxiety disorders cause you to experience a certain level of ongoing emotional strain. However, hypnosis aims to put you in a better frame of mind by changing your negative beliefs that are cause or trigger anxiety. The hypnotherapist is going to implant or suggest more helpful beliefs and may also even suggest to you that you are happier or more confident in your ability to control the issues or sources causing anxiety.
2) Deals with sleep trouble – Anxiety will often cause poor or disrupted sleep. Your therapist is going to walk you through steps that take you to a deep sense of relaxation and then suggest ways you can overcome the thought patterns that keep you awake. In doing so, your unconscious mind is not going to follow the same paths and your sleep will improve.
3) Overcome phobias – Anxiety can manifest as unusual fears, and hypnotherapy aims at replacing unhelpful, illogical, and unhealthy beliefs about your phobia or fear with much more useful ones.
4) Better manage physical strain – There are bodily responses to anxiety and stress, and they can do you great harm over the long term. Your hypnotist will suggest a more comfortable state than you believe, so that you become more relaxed. This helps your body to stop its physical response to a flawed perception of fear or anxiety.
Clearly, hypnosis most certainly is a highly effective treatment to address anxiety and can help anyone to overcome root causes of anxiety and uncomfortable symptoms of anxiety.
A final word of advice to remember if you plan to use hypnosis to cope with anxiety are these tips:
- You must consciously want to receive help through hypnosis.
- You must look for a certified professional.
- You should shop around among professionals until you find someone who makes you entirely comfortable.
- Your chosen hypnotist must understand what it is you want from your treatment.
- You must always keep an open mind about anything the hypnotist suggests in terms of therapy and treatment.
I hope you now have a better understanding of anxiety, anxiety disorders and how hypnosis can help to alleviate anxiety from your life. As a certified hypnotherapist, I’ve helped many individuals who experience overwhelmingly persistent and destructive anxiety to overcome these challenges and have witnessed first-hand how powerful hypnosis is as a treatment. Safe and effective for many, it is well worth your time to try hypnosis to learn how to relax and train your mind to stay calm and free of anxiety, so you can live a happy, balanced life.