How solution focused hypnotherapy helps to manage anxiety
We all feel anxious at times, and we’d be pretty unusual (or frankly, in denial) if we didn’t. However, there’s a world of difference between feeling anxious and having anxiety.
Anxiety is when our worries and fears tip over into a more permanent feeling. We start to overthink and panic, and feel constantly under some sort of (often unspecific) threat. Everyday life becomes harder to manage.
But that very forward-looking, negative forecasting element of anxiety can actually make it easier to overcome. You can – and this is based on many years of experience in working with anxiety – learn to replace these negative emotions with positive thought processes. Solution focused hypnotherapy, with its emphasis on future goals, is the ideal method to manage anxiety.
We’ll take a closer look at anxiety, and how a solution focused approach can help.
Anxiety and negative forecasting
If I’m asked to explain the difference between depression and anxiety in just one sentence, it’s that a main symptom of depression is to dwell on previous experience, while anxiety is to excessively worry about what is to come (although, obviously, it’s a bit more nuanced than that).
For the non-anxious person, those feelings of anxiety over stressful situations, like a job interview, come and go. However, a person with anxiety is permanently at the pre-interview level. Even when the interview is over, the sense of panic or doom remains.
Because the anxious brain remains in a state of high alert, it’s looking out for the next thing to worry about, leading to overthinking and negative forecasting. This constant cycle becomes exhausting, and individuals may even develop physical symptoms (such as insomnia, increased heart rate and rapid breathing).
So, how can we break this cycle of negative thoughts?
Replace negative thoughts with positive goals
We can replace negative forecasting with a new, positive outlook. This sounds easy on paper, but it does require effort to reprogramme an anxious brain. Nonetheless, it can be done, and here’s how.
Unlike some classic therapy techniques, solution focused therapies are forward-looking. We acknowledge how past experiences have shaped our current behaviours, but then we focus on how to move forwards towards a new mindset.
Solution focused hypnotherapy combines talking therapy with hypnosis techniques. We discuss how you want the future to look, then create realistic and measurable steps to get there. This could be “feel less anxious in public” or “sleep better”. We look at times when you feel you’ve coped well and build upon these as strengths.
Start changing your perspective
In some sessions, we create a contrived trance state, where both sides of the brain, intellectual and emotional/primitive come together. In this state, we can start to replace negative thoughts with positive thoughts for the future. Hypnosis also helps to reduce anxiety through relaxation and visualisation techniques.
Because anxiety comes from a forward-looking place, this can actually be built on with a change of mindset from negative forecasting to positive goal setting. There is a bright future, and you can achieve it.
If you're struggling with anxiety, please remember that we can overcome it.
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