5 ways hypnotherapy can support you with anxiety
Anxiety is one of the most common reasons clients seek hypnotherapy support and it can prove very effective, but just how does this work?
1. Hypnotherapy helps you relax
During hypnosis, you have the chance to fully relax your body and mind. Many clients describe drifting pleasurably between sleep and wakefulness or say that their body feels heavy. Time can take on a different quality with a 25-minute hypnosis session feeling like just a couple of minutes. These are all perfectly natural responses. After a hypnotherapy session clients often feel recharged and ready to face the week ahead; it's a bit like a massage for the mind!
I like to make hypnosis a very enjoyable and personalised experience for my clients. I often ask whether they would prefer to relax on a beach, in a log cabin in a snowy winter, or in a Mediterranean orange grove. This can then form the basis of a unique hypnotherapy experience to promote maximum relaxation.
I give all clients a relaxation track to listen to between sessions which helps them to continue to access this sense of relaxation and calm at home.
2. Hypnotherapy helps you focus on the positives in your life
Our brains are naturally prone to look for the dangers and negatives in our lives. This is down to evolution. The first job of our brain is to keep us alive, so we have to be alert to threats. I always explain this to clients so that they can take the pressure off themselves for feeling anxious; it's a very natural and normal response!
However, this inbuilt negative reaction means we have to consciously make the effort to look for the good in our lives. When you are thinking positively or feeling grateful for what you already have in your life, you can not be worrying at the same time. Hypnotherapy can encourage you to start to think in this happier and grateful way more often. Some people see themselves as born worriers, perhaps explaining that they picked this up from their parents. But it is never too late to begin to change these habits. It is possible to change the way you think (neuroscience proves this) and hypnotherapy supports this process.
3. Hypnosis allows your brain time to catch up with itself
During our REM (rapid eye movement) sleep at night our brains are very active processing the events of the day and filing them away. This explains the old adage 'sleep on it and you'll feel better in the morning.' It is often true that things don't seem as bad the next day, or when we are able to think more clearly.
However, when we are under pressure or are sleeping badly, we have a deficit of this kind of sleep. The state of hypnosis is similar to REM sleep and hypnotherapy will allow you the extra processing time you may need. I often like to compare the brain to a computer and, like a computer, our brains work better when we have fewer tabs open. A hypnotherapy session gives you the opportunity to shut some of those tabs down, in a similar way to a really good night's sleep.
4. Hypnotherapy reduces your stress
When life is getting on top of you, whether that is due to worries over work, health, or family, your stress levels can rise. During times of high stress, your anxiety can also increase. Lowering your overall stress levels helps lower your anxiety levels.
Hypnotherapy can also help you reduce your stress by supporting you to get better sleep. During the hypnosis session, you will probably find your breathing become deeper and more regulated and blood pressure may be lowered. This all has the impact of reducing stress in your body.
5. Hypnotherapy builds your resilience
When we are feeling resilient, we feel stronger and more able to deal with challenges in our lives. And, feeling better equipped to face difficulties in our lives means we worry less. By reducing stress, you are better able to cope with life, and your resilience is naturally increased.
During a hypnosis session, your brain is receptive to positive and beneficial messages. You may be reminded about how well you have coped with challenges before and how you can continue to do so. I often remind clients about the importance of taking time for themselves, so that they can best support others, or that many of the things they worry about won't actually happen. Many clients feel that during hypnosis, they access the part of themselves that knows how to handle things, no matter what life may have in store, and they remember just how resilient they can be.
Hypnosis is not a magic wand to make your anxieties vanish overnight. But hypnotherapy can be a powerful tool in helping you develop a more resilient and positive mindset allowing you to enjoy life more fully.