How inner child healing hypnosis can help with anxiety and trauma
It is said that children are only born with two fears; the fear of falling and the fear of loud noises; other fears are picked up as we grow. In prehistoric times it was essential that we learned what was safe and what wasn’t - fast. So we watched our parents and other tribe members to learn what we should fear and what we shouldn’t fear. Fear kept our ancestors safe from predators but in the modern world, we no longer have the same immediate threats and we, therefore, find our fear instinct often manifests as anxiety. Where fear was once helpful to us, anxiety is not that useful; we are now an apex predator and we don’t have sabre-toothed tigers roaming the street threatening our lives. But the anxiety persists - and living with constant anxiety can be very limiting. It can cause sufferers to struggle with work and relationships.
Fears, phobias and anxiety are usually picked up in childhood. We learn by watching and imitating our parents and other carers; regularly witnessing your mother or father in a state of anxiety can have a long-lasting effect. As mentioned, children look to their primary caregivers for feedback on their environment. If you saw your parents constantly anxious you may have adopted the belief that the world is not a safe place and this belief could be causing you to suffer with anxiety yourself.
Anxiety is natural
I know many anxiety sufferers are not going to be happy with this news and some might even argue that because anxiety is listed in the diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (DSM) it must be a disorder. However, I am going to say it anyway - anxiety is not a disease or a disorder: it is a natural response to danger. Anxiety is the mind's way of keeping you safe.
The symptoms of anxiety; increased heart rate, sweaty palms etc. would be useful if you were in a real-life or death situation. The increased heart rate would be pumping blood to your muscles getting them ready for explosive movement so you could run and you would be hyper-alert, looking for danger. When I suffered from anxiety I would get a lot of colds and other illnesses. Because anxiety is part of the fight or flight response, the immune system is weakened. If you were in immediate danger your body would not need to worry about viruses or other illness, instead, it would be concerned with making its escape and getting away from the immediate threat.
A little anxiety at an appropriate time is healthy and needed to keep you safe, excessive and inappropriate anxiety is the issue that many suffer with. Anxiety is a learned response and as such, it can often be unlearned with the use of hypnotherapy. Hypnotherapy is a great way to overwrite behaviour learned in childhood because it has been scientifically proven that until the age of seven, a child’s brain is mostly in a theta brainwave state. Theta is the brainwave state we are looking to access with hypnotherapy. We enter this brainwave state every night; hypnosis is not sleep, but it is part of the REM sleep cycle - a hyper learning state where we can visualise more vividly and are open to suggestion. It is in this imprint period, until the age of seven, that we learn the most. We learn to walk and talk and it is this learning that creates our reaction to situations and how we react to them when we grow up.
Hypnotherapy is a very effective way to relax and the more a person experiences hypnotherapy the deeper they are able to go into hypnosis. This is called 'fractionation' and can help clients reach new levels of relaxation - which may reduce underlying anxiety on its own. We can use hypnosis to remove trauma, change the story a client is telling themselves, desensitise clients to anxiety-inducing events, rehearse a situation that may be causing the client to suffer anxiety and much more.
Inner child healing for trauma
Most parents are very loving and caring, they appreciate their kids and raise them in loving, stable environments but some parents see their children as more of a hindrance than a gift, they treat their children with contempt and see them as dumping grounds for their own toxic shame.
Children who grow up in such environments often develop a negative self-image and they find emotions are triggered easily and can experience emotional flashbacks. Emotional flashbacks can manifest in many ways; they can take the form of anxiety or panic attacks, uncomfortable feelings or violent outbursts.
If someone has a particularly difficult childhood they can develop complex post-traumatic stress disorder (CPTSD) and in severe cases personality disorders such as narcissism. Survivors of childhood abuse often project their own insecurity and hurt onto others. Inner child healing can help adults who grew up in such environments to quieten their inner critic, reduce their anxiety and feel more secure in the world. Most importantly it can help them recognise these patterns and understand them so they don’t hurt others or pass the same issues onto their own children.
To find a qualified hypnotherapist search the Hypnotherapy Directory. Many hypnotherapists also work online or over the telephone.
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