If you want to skip down to the self hypnosis for anxiety techniques, these are towards the end of the article. However, I highly recommend that you read all of this article as I am sure that it will help you with your anxiety and assist you in overcoming your anxiety. It will also give you some valuable information about self hypnosis and hypnotherapy.
Also, click the following link if you would like to check out my guided self hypnosis.
Why you should listen to Mark Bowden when it comes to self hypnosis and anxiety.
Before I get into all the information you need to know about self hypnosis for anxiety, I want to tell you why you should listen to me. Not to boast, but because with all of the information on the internet it is hard to know who is credible, who isn’t and who is – quite frankly – making things up!
I’m a qualified and experienced clinical hypnotherapist who practices in Plymouth, Uk and I will soon be taking my place at a new practice in Harley Street, London. I’m the producer of the first inflight hypnotherapy channel, which I produced in partnership with British Airways and I am soon to be a published author when my book hits the shelves next month. The book is around sporting performance and the brain. A lot of the book is around the anxiety response in athletes
that causes their performances to dip and includes a lot of hypnosis techniques to reduce anxiety and improve performance.
One of my main areas of expertise is hypnotherapy for anxiety and, thanks to the power of the internet, I see clients from all over the world, from celebrities and professional athletes to housewives and househusbands.
Now we’ve got past the formalities, I hope you will see that I know what I’m talking about. So let’s look at self hypnosis for anxiety and can hypnosis really cure anxiety?
Can hypnotherapy cure anxiety?
This is a question that I am often asked. Whilst anxiety and depression are often talked about as a mental illness, they aren’t the same as a conventional illness. If you had the flu or a disease you would want a cure. If you were bitten by a poisonous snake, you would want a cure (anti venom most likely!)
The difference between the flu, poison and anxiety is that the first two are not needed by us to survive. In fact they cause issues in our survival process. Anxiety, on the other hand is not just required for our survival, it is the exact function that anxiety is there for… to help you survive.
It might not seem like it’s helping you but the one reason for the anxiety response is to keep you alive. The responses is getting you ready to fight or run away from danger. Elevated heart rate, tense muscles, faster breathing. Even if these feelings are intensely uncomfortable, they are there to help you. To assist in your survival.
So can hypnotherapy cure anxiety? No. Does hypnotherapy and any other form of therapy want to cure anxiety. I hope not and it could not even if it wanted to. The human drive and necessity for survival is only rivaled by the need to continue the species.
However. Let’s ask a different question. Can hypnosis help anxiety? Absolutely! Now let’s talk!
How effective is hypnotherapy for anxiety?
There are a number of reasons why I specialise my hypnotherapy practice around anxiety and related issues. Firstly, I know from personal experience just how debilitating anxiety can be on our lives. It’s uncomfortable, sometimes excruciating uncomfortable! It can literally ruin lives and stop people from getting any enjoyment out of life. Even on a minor scale anxiety will stop people from living the fulfilling and enjoyable lives that they should be living.
But just because anxiety is a big problem, that alone has not been the deciding reason for my focus upon helping people to overcome anxiety. The single biggest reason is that I have found that hypnotherapy is the very best tool that I have ever come across to helping people overcome problematic anxiety.
You can see that hypnosis is becoming even more accepted as a form of helping deal with anxiety. Here is a link to the NHS page where they talk about it’s benefits.
Why hypnosis for anxiety is so effective
What causes the anxiety response?
When it comes to why hypnosis for anxiety is so effective we first need to look at what anxiety is and what causes anxiety.
Anxiety is a psychological in it’s origin but manifests itself physically. What I mean by this is that anxiety begins in your head but soon after you’ll start feeling the physical effects of it.
What many people do not realise about the cause of anxiety is that it’s quite simple. Anxiety is caused by negative thinking. In general, people think anxiety is caused by certain situations. Whilst it might be true that you experience anxiety in certain situations it is not the event itself that causes anxiety.
If it was the event itself, then everyone who went to a meeting would have an anxiety attack. Everyone who drove a car would have an anxiety attack. Everyone who had to introduce themselves in a crowded room would have an anxiety attack. Whilst we know that these events can cause anxiety in some people, we also know that there are also people who do not experience anxiety in these situations. Therefore we know that it is our thinking around the event that causes the anxiety.
It is our own perception of the situation that causes this anxiety to take hold.
How we can start to overcome anxiety
The obvious solution to this is to think the opposite of negative thinking and to always think positively to overcome anxiety. However, prefer the term, solution focused thinking. Postice thinking is too hopeful. It enables wishful thinking that takes the onus off of the person suffering with anxiety.
We need to start looking at EVERYTHING that we do from a solution focused point of view. How can I improve? How do I best deal with this situation? By thinking in this way we start to reduce the impact of anxiety.
It is very simple.
However, do not mistake ‘very simple’, with ‘very easy’. Because it isn’t.
If you’re suffering from anxiety, you are most likely an over thinker. You’re likely see the worst case scenario in many things that you do. I don’t want you beating yourself up over this, but this is making your anxiety worse and worse.
How self hypnosis helps with anxiety
So we need to change our thinking. The problem is that this negative way of seeing everything is engrained. It is a habit, and as a habit you do it effortlessly and without even thinking about it.
What we need to do is condition your automatic thinking to be ones of solution focused thoughts, rather than negative thoughts.
This is where self hypnosis for anxiety and hypnotherapy for anxiety in general come into their own.
Forget what you’ve seen in stage hypnosis or hypnosis for entertainment purposes. Nothing could be further from mind control and being like a zombie. The best way I can describe hypnotherapy and self hypnosis is focused and relaxed thinking.
Although this does not sound particularly powerful, thinking is what has enabled humankind to be the most dominant species on the planet. To produce the most powerful computers, the size of your palm and to put a person in outer space. This is when thinking is excelling. It is also the reason why people suffer from panic attacks and acute anxiety. The two ends of the spectrum of the most powerful ability that we have.
The way that self hypnosis and hypnotherapy work is by helping to condition you to thinking better. To think more effectively. It is like driving a car. To begin with, as this is a new way of thinking, it is hard to do. However, the hardest part is always the beginning and it gets easier and easier as you acquire this new and helpful way of thinking. As you acquire it as a habit.
Self hypnosis brings the power of habit to overcome anxiety
As Aristotle once said. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.
As you repeatedly use self hypnosis you repeatedly think in this solution focused way. Soon it comes naturally, it becomes a natural part of who you are. As you become conditioned to thinking in this way you become better and better at dealing with issues that once would cause you anxiety.
The other benefit with self hypnosis and hypnotherapy is that regularly being in this deeply relaxed state desensitises the part of your brain called the amygdala.
You can think of the amygdala as being the alarm system in your brain. If the alarm system (amygdala) is triggered, we enter into the fight or flight mode (the anxiety response). As this happens more and more often, the amygdala becomes more and more sensitive. As it becomes more sensitive the triggers that cause you to feel more anxiety and think more negatively increase. So relaxation and subsequently desensitising your amygdala will have a very positive influence on reducing your anxiety. Another great reason to use self hypnosis and hypnotherapy!
When it comes to self hypnosis for anxiety you have two options. Firstly you can do the purist method. This takes a lot of practice and I have outlined the technique below to get you started. The other technique that I highly recommend is to use a guided self hypnosis for anxiety. That is when you listen to an audio in the comfort of your own home. You then allow the guiding voice to help you focus on what you need to focus on tho help with the anxiety.
My self hypnosis download for overcoming anxiety and panic attacks will help to guide you to overcoming anxiety. You can click this link to see my self hypnosis download for anxiety.
Self hypnosis techniques
So now you know about the benefits of self hypnosis for anxiety. What if you want to perform self hypnosis yourself? How do you do it? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered and here is a simple and effective way of performing self hypnosis on your own.
Ensure that you are wearing comfortable clothing and you aren’t too hot or too cold. You need to be able to relax!
Sit or lie down on a bed ore couch and make yourself comfortable. I prefer to sit as it’s very easy to fall asleep when you are hypnotising yourself. This isn’t such a problem when you listen to guided self hypnosis as the voice will still be playing. However in this situation, sleep means you aren’t going to be concentrating on overcoming the anxiety.
Try to ensure you aren’t going to be disturbed for the next twenty or thirty minutes. So, turn off your phone and let people know you aren’t to be disturbed!
Decide what you are going to focus upon. For the purposes of overcoming anxiety you may wish to focus on what is going well in your life. Maybe focusing on what you are grateful for. You may even wish to focus on some of the things that cause you to experience anxiety and imagine yourself dealing brilliantly with the situation.
Remember, we want all of the experience to be positive. Always focusing on good things and solutions.
Close your eyes and focus on thoughts of wellbeing. Maybe even focus on the feeling right now of a certain body part. This is a technique used in mindfulness and helps to reduce stress and anxiety, so that you can instantly start the process of relaxation.
You may also wish to count backwards in your mind. Focusing all of your attention on the numbers as you count slowly and rhythmically.
Concentrate your attention on your breathing:. Slow, controlled and deep. As you inhale, imagine breathing in relaxation for your whole body, as you breathe out, imagine you are breathing out any tension or anxiety.
Spend some time doing these techniques to deeply relax you. When you are feeling nicely relaxed, I want you to concentrate on what you decided upon in Step Four. Spend as much time as you can in this state of mind.
Focusing on the positives. Remember, just because your eyes are closed and you are sitting or lying down, it doesn’t mean that this process isn’t taxing. It’s a wonderful state to be in and great for making positive changes, but it can be mentally challenging.
When you are ready, you can come out of this focused, and relaxed, state of light hypnosis, and open your eyes. Slowly gather your thoughts of your surroundings and when you feel ready you can carry on with your day.
The process might seem simple, and in many respects, it is. However, as I explained above, simple does not mean easy. Practice this and incorporate it regularly in your life as you get good at self hypnosis you’l find that you are able to start reducing your anxiety more and more.
Self Hypnosis for anxiety – Youtube
Make sure that you check out my channel on Youtube (Mark Bowden Hypnotherapy) and subscribe as I post regular videos on all kinds of self help topics as well as hypnosis and hypnotherapy.
Below are just a couple of short videos that I’ve uploaded around anxiety.
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