Hypnosis is described as a special psychological state that leaves one open to suggestions.
Although hypnotists have been hypnotizing people since at least the 1850’s, it is only until recently that hypnotherapists have begun applying hypnosis for anxiety.
Whether or not hypnosis is real is still up for debate. The truth probably lies somewhere in the middle, some people are more open to hypnosis and suggestion, while others are not.
So, while it may not be real for you, for others it does in fact work.
Hypnosis is not a form of unconsciousness.
People that are hypnotized are awake, they just have a very focused attention with a decreased peripheral awareness. They become more open to suggestions.
Most people will agree that while under hypnosis, you will not do anything that you would not normally do while awake. Many people consider hypnosis a form a meditation.
Hypnotherapy is simply the use of hypnosis as a therapeutic tool.
When meeting with a hypnotherapist, they will ask you several medical and mental health questions in order to determine your mental health issues.
This will give them direction and help them develop a plan once you are hypnotized. Once in a hypnotic state the hypnotherapist can give subtle and direct suggestions to the unconscious mind.
This method tends to work well for people that actually believe in hypnotherapy.
If you think this is just one big magic show, then you will be more resistant to accept suggestions and this may not be the treatment for you.
Hypnotherapy can help someone that is experiencing anxiety or panic attacks, but unless you are able to get to the root of your anxiety, it is likely the anxiety will continue to return.
A good hypnotherapist understands this and can work towards that goal while making you feel better in the short term.
Some people are able to name their source of anxiety and in this case a therapist can quickly begin working towards resolving that issue.
For many of us, we have no clue what the root cause of our distress is and so it may take longer to experience complete relief.
Self hypnosis is a form of meditation. There is great value to be able to calm yourself and make positive suggestions to your subconscious mind.
Self hypnosis is a heightened state of focused concentration.
There are several steps involved in self hypnosis and just like most things, it takes practice to become proficient in it. If you ever want to give it a try, follow these steps.
1.Find a quiet room in your house with a comfortable chair. It is important, especially when you first start, that you always use the same room and chair.
Sit comfortably because you are going to be in this position for awhile. Make sure you have at least 30 minutes of undistracted time before you begin.
2. Close your eyes and begin to relax. Try and clear your mind, don’t worry if intrusive thoughts invade your mind. This is bound to happen, especially when you first start.
Do not get upset, just let the pervasive thoughts slip away. This may take some practice before you become proficient at it, but stick with it, you will be able to do it.
3. Begin relaxing each body part, starting with your toes and working your way up. Feel the stress and tension as it leaves each body part.
As it leaves, your body is becoming lighter and lighter. Your body is becoming so light, that it almost feels as if you can float away.
Remember, this is not a scary sensation, it is a cleansing sensation, your body is more relaxed than it has ever been.
4. Begin breathing deeply. Each intake of breath is bringing fresh healing air into your lungs and body.
As you exhale, feel the tension and bad air leaving your body. You are cleansing your body with each breath.
Take nice even deep breaths, if you feel a yawn coming on, do not stop it, it is okay to yawn.
5. At this point, realize how relaxed you are. Now it is time to start using imagery.
Imagine yourself a few feet away from a beautiful oasis. The water at its deepest level will not go over your head.
You begin walking towards the water and with each step you feel yourself falling deeper and deeper into relaxation.
As you reach the water, you continue to walk forward, feeling the water as it slowly rises up your legs. The water is healing you and causing you to become even more relaxed.
Feel the water on your body as you begin to float, any anxiety or nervousness you feel, will drift away in the water, you are floating and completely relaxed.
6. By this point, you should feel a floating sensation. If you do not, do not worry, keep practicing, you will eventually be able to reach this state within minutes.
Once you have reached this state, you should begin to address your problems.
As you float in the water, a box appears above you, reach out and open that box, as you do, you feel a calming light fall over you from the box. It is a healing light.
Use positive statements as the light washes over you, say, “I want to be calm and relaxed, I want to be happy and successful.” Stay away from negativity. Feel those attributes as the light washes over you.
7. Repeat the thoughts to yourself three or four times. Believe them, because they are true.
8. Once you are satisfied and have embraced your new healing powers, begin floating back towards the shore of the water.
Feel your feet as they touch the bottom of the oasis. Slowly begin walking out of the water.
You may begin to feel weight returning to your body at this point. That is okay, continue walking until you are completely out of the water.
9. Once you are completely out of the water, wait a few moments before opening your eyes.
Slowly open your eyes and say out loud, “I am awake, I am awake.” This should bring you back to a full conscious state of mind.
10. Before leaving your chair, take a few moments to reflect on your healing journey.
If you are just starting out, perhaps you experienced some difficulty in reaching total relaxation. That is okay, do not be hard on yourself.
Understand where you had the most trouble and then resolve to work on that area the next time.
Anyone that practices this will be able to do it in time. For some people, using hypnosis for anxiety will immediately work, for others it may take some time. Just keep practicing.
Image: Clinical Hypnosis