Anxiety stems from a conflict of interests in the psyche. So, it makes absolutely perfect sense to work on the subconscious part of the mind, where the uncomfortable feelings of anxiety are created and maintained. Using this direct approach is why self-hypnosis and hypnotherapy can be so effective. Hypnosis is a natural, relaxed state of mind and hypnotherapy can help to bring about permanent, lasting change.
Hypnosis is used for many purposes in the modern day and age. Everything from cigarette addiction to skin diseases, as well as soothing patients in preparation for painful medical procedures (including dental work, surgery and chemotherapy injections) can be treated with hypnosis. It has actually grown more in favour in recent years as a treatment for mental health issues, and hypnosis/hypnotherapy has become one of the more mainstream alternative treatments.
The hypnotic state of “trance,” how hypnosis can affect the symptoms of anxiety, and the possible benefits of hypnosis for people with anxiety disorders is discussed below.
Hypnosis and Relaxation: The “Trance” State
Hypnosis is one of many types of treatments that are considered “alternative medicine.” One of the reasons it has this label is because there are very few studies that examine whether or not hypnosis actually works.
The “trance state” is achieved when the hypnotist puts his or her client into a state of mental and physical relaxation in which the conscious mind is encouraged to rest, while the subconscious mind is kept alert.
The part of your mind that thinks about what to say or do next is the “conscious mind.” The part of your mind that is in charge of the beliefs and emotions connected to what you say and do is the “subconscious mind.” The hypnotist does not address the conscious mind, but instead the subconscious mind to change your beliefs and feelings about what you do so that you feel better about doing whatever it is you want to do.
“Trance is a Natural Everyday Experience”
An initial state of hypnotic relaxation or an effective trance state has several notable physical results:
- Breathing slows down;
- Lowering of heart rate;
- Relaxed muscles;
- Calm, relaxed speaking voice; and
- Rapid eye movement (REM).
Hypnosis is a safe treatment for anxiety due to the relaxed atmosphere and state in which it is performed (as long as it is being performed by a certified professional). Being mentally guided through physical and mental relaxation can be a valuable experience for a person with anxiety, as it may help them to understand what they need to do in order to relax. Hypnosis is also designed to avoid elevating any symptoms of anxiety you may feel (rapid heart rate, rapid breathing, muscle tension). It also has no unexpected side effects as opposed to many medications.
Problems Hypnosis Can Address
There are several anxiety-related problems that hypnotism is commonly used to address.
- Physical Tension/Strain often has its roots in emotional tension and can be addressed by hypnotism. Changing your beliefs about the triggers for your anxiety can help reduce the frequency and intensity of the physically draining symptoms of anxiety such as a rapid heart rate, rapid breathing and shaking.
- Emotional Strain/Moodiness The energy required by the physical symptoms of anxiety, in combination with the persistent feelings of unhappiness and worry, can leave you feeling drained and on edge. The general purpose of hypnotism is to put people in a more positive frame of mind by altering unnecessary negative beliefs and implanting more helpful ones. A hypnotist may focus on implanting the belief that you feel happy, content, and confident in your ability to address and resolve the causes of your anxiety.
- Sleeping Problems Difficulty sleeping well is a problem encountered by many people with anxiety. By implanting the suggestion that you have gotten plenty of restful sleep recently, a hypnotist can assist with sleep deprivation. Alternatively, they can help you to alter your anxious thought patterns so that they do not spiral out of control and keep you awake.
- Phobic Reactions A hypnotist can help in conquering a phobia (a fear of social situations or crowded rooms) by attempting to replace your unhealthy or illogical beliefs about the object of your phobia with more logically sound and useful beliefs.
Clinically diagnosed disorders and mild cases of anxiety can result in the above side effects. If you have experienced any of them, hypnotism may help you to conquer these difficulties and eliminate them altogether.