Anxiety & Panic
These days, many people visit a hypnotherapist seeking hypnosis for anxiety. Almost everyone experiences anxiousness at some time or other. It is an entirely normal physical and emotional phenomenon that our mind creates in response to some worry or perceived threat. Usually when the worry or threat is resolved, the anxiety dissipates.
Sometimes however, the anxiety can become exaggerated, out of proportion, or it can continue even when it is no longer appropriate to the situation. It can be that a pattern of responding to certain events is created, and the anxiety may become generalised and habitual.
People differ in the way stress affects them – their response may be made up of the memory of past experiences, beliefs and attitudes about situations, and other aspects of their current situation. As well as the psychological aspects of anxiety, it can also result in a range of physical symptoms, which may sometimes seem to manifest ‘out of thin air’ – shaking or trembling, tightness in the chest or a sense of breathing restriction, elevated heart rate, skin complaints, IBS and digestive problems, to name a few.
When anxiety has become a problem in this way, it can seem difficult to become free of it. Using logic to try to defeat it is usually of little help. You may not even remember when you began to feel anxious, or what the original trigger was.
A panic attack is a severe and overwhelming experience of anxiety that can come upon someone quite suddenly, with or without a specific trigger. In severe cases, a person having a panic attack may feel that they are going to die, or suffer a sense of terror or impending doom.
It can seem like there is no way to control these feelings. Sometimes simply the thought of having a panic attack can bring on an attack. The attempt to control anxiety can itself lead to more anxiety.
Most people who have this experience will assume something is going horribly wrong within them, and will assume that they alone are suffering this type of experience.
In fact this type of experience is more common than you might imagine. When someone suffers this kind of difficulty it is not because they are being ‘dramatic’ or are ‘highly-strung’, but because the mind has created a link between a normal occurrence (stress) and a way of responding to that stress (anxiety and panic).
Using hypnosis for anxiety, panic attacks & anxious behaviour – How hypnotherapy can help
A common experience is a feeling of being “stuck” in this problem. A person naturally tries to escape their anxious feelings by thinking in a certain way – trying to think rationally, or to tell themselves certain things, in the hope of making the anxiety go away. Often it can seem like there is no way to control these feelings. This is simply because the part of the mind trying to get control of the anxiety is not the part of the mind that is manifesting it. Often there is an attempt to find or understand the logical trigger for the anxiousness, but a panic attack does not need a logical trigger to occur. The problem is not originating in the conscious mind, and therefore the conscious mind is limited in its capacity to change the anxiousness.
Often in the attempt to make the anxiety go away, more anxiety is created, and it becomes a self-sustaining loop.
Many people will be prescribed anti-depressant medication as a response to the problem. Sometimes this may be helpful, but often it is not. Certainly, experiencing anxiousness over an extended period of time can become depressing, but anxiety and depression are not the same thing, and should not be treated as such.
The most important understanding is that these anxious responses can be changed. Freedom from these difficult experiences comes from using the part of the mind that does have the capacity to change the way we feel, and the capacity to influence the way our nervous system is working. Hypnosis is a tool that enables us to directly access this part of our mind. Of course, we cannot take away the stresses in your life, but we can help you to create an easier and more appropriate response to stress.
Where appropriate when you are using hypnosis for anxiety, we can teach you techniques which you can use if or when you have a panic attack or anxious feelings, so that you can ‘short-circuit’ this response yourself. We will also look at ways where your conscious, rational processes can be utilised more effectively and helpfully. Primarily though, we are seeking not just management of the problem, but a resolution of it.