Anxiety can affect anybody.
It produces feelings of distress and worry, and these can be difficult to control. This means that anxiety can impact on your everyday life, and make it difficult to cope with the variety of challenges that we all face every day.
Anxiety can also manifest itself in a variety of ways, and the signs or symptoms you can experience may include feeling afraid or worried for much of the time, panic, becoming irritable or easily agitated, or having concerns for your overall mental health.
If you are suffering from anxiety, you may also be having trouble sleeping, find it difficult to concentrate, have a pounding heart, or suffer from pins and needles.
However, there are ways in which you can manage the levels of anxiety in your life. This is important because when you get anxious, your body goes into stress mode and your nervous system releases hormones like cortisol. Over a long period of time, this can begin to have an effect on your health.
Managing your anxiety can help to reduce the associated risks. Hypnosis has been shown to be an effective way of managing your anxiety levels and improving your overall mental wellbeing.
What is hypnosis?
The opposite of anxiety is calmness and relaxation, and in hypnosis you are able to achieve this state.
Being in a trance is a natural state. Consider how you think and feel when you are engrossed in a movie. You block out everything else and you believe what is being presented to you. Under hypnosis, and when you are in a trance, the critical faculty is bypassed so that the unconscious is able to accept more readily what is being suggested.
Myths about hypnosis
There are various myths around hypnosis; however, despite the many misconceptions, you do not lose control under hypnosis. You cannot be made to do something that is against your values and code of behaviour. You are always in control.
Hypnotherapy is for your benefit and the hypnotist is helping you to achieve your goals. A professional – whether they be a psychologist, a doctor or a counsellor who belongs to a reputable body or association — will always be focussed on your care and wellbeing.
What you experience in hypnosis
In order to get the most from a programme of hypnosis, it is advisable to have an introductory meeting with your hypnotherapist before you begin. This will allow you to build up trust in them, and enable the professional to find out more about you in order to write a hypnosis script that is tailored to your unique situation (or, depending on your issues, a more generic script may be used).
Whichever type of script is chosen, the suggestions within it will be borne out of your situation and so you should be able to relate to them. The script will be based on your likes and dislikes, your interests, attitudes and feelings in order to address the issue you are presenting with.
Hypnosis works on the principle that these suggestions will affect how you think unconsciously about your experience and behaviour, so that in future situations it will be easier for you to experience them in a new way and behave differently.
Particularly when anxiety is the focus, the hypnosis script is likely to include suggestions around relaxing, and will focus on positive emotions and thoughts, enabling you in the moment to forget past experiences. In turn, this allows more positive experiences to rise into your consciousness where they can be observed.
Undertaking hypnosis means that in the future when you are confronted with feelings of anxiety, you will be more able to recall these relaxing and positive thoughts and emotions, and utilise the suggestions offered during your hypnosis sessions.
How quickly will I feel the benefits of hypnosis?
It may take a few sessions of hypnosis before you notice any effect, although it can be the case that some positive benefits will be felt more quickly. This will likely depend on your unique set of circumstances.
However, the most important point is that the experience of a hypnotherapy session — and the state of relaxation it induces — means that you will already be on the path to managing and ultimately reducing your anxiety and stress levels.