Anxiety is a condition made up of psychological, physiological and emotional elements that arise where a person believes that something harmful or bad may happen to them.
In itself anxiety is not harmful to a person; most people live with a certain amount of anxiety in their lives daily. However, the stress that it induces can be, and can have adverse long-term health effects – one statistic suggests that 94% of all illnesses are either directly caused, or aggravated, by stress. Therefore, if anxiety levels are too high, then they need to be addressed to head off future health consequences.
Therapy and counseling
One of the ways of dealing with extreme anxieties is to consult with a trained therapist or counselor who will work with the patient to identify the root causes of the anxiety and will identify ways of dealing with it. Such techniques may include mindfulness training – learning to live in the moment – behavior modifications, emotional therapy. Sometimes just chance to talk through their problems and fears with another person can be all that a patient needs to put everything into perspective, reducing anxiety and stress levels.
A common method that is used for dealing with anxiety is hypnosis, which is becoming increasingly mainstream. The British Psychological Society has now officially recognized hypnotherapy as an efficacious method of dealing with the condition.
The reason that it works is that anxiety is actually learned subconsciously in many cases. The body conditions itself to react in particular ways to stressful situations, such as racing thoughts, an increased heart rate, or breathing difficulties.
With hypnosis a person can reshape and release these automatic responses, and replace them with more positive thoughts and ways of thinking, reducing anxiety and stress levels. It enables a person to gain greater control over the triggers that cause anxiety and to induce coping mechanisms.
As the name suggests, self-hypnosis is the act of putting yourself into this state without the assistance of a trained therapist. To a certain extent, all hypnosis is self-induced because all the evidence suggests that nobody can be hypnotized if they are not willing to do so. The role of the hypnotherapist is just to act as a facilitator.
But does self-hypnosis work for anxiety? Whilst self-hypnosis is often compared to meditation in that both focused on the slowing of mental processes in favor of relaxation, hypnosis goes further by using techniques like NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) affirmations, and guided imagery.
There are a number of forms that self-hypnosis can take. For example, people can develop their own script or mantra that they follow, and either recite from memory or record and playback to themselves. Or there are a number of pre-recorded self-hypnosis audio programs or tutorials which are available either in the form of apps or MP3 files and which can be downloaded, either through an app store, or iTunes (or the equivalent).
There are a vast number of these from which to choose, but, in many cases, there is no evidence that they have been produced by anybody who is trained or accredited in hypnotherapy, or hypnosis. Therefore, if you do want to download one of these apps or audio files, make sure that the people behind it are qualified hypnosis professionals.
There are downsides associated with self-hypnosis. These can include getting into a hypnotic state by mistake, complications arising from a lack of expertise, feeling extremely tired after a session, and, in the most extreme cases, depression. It is recommended that, in all cases, before trying self-hypnosis, people should consult with their doctor to make sure that it is suitable for them. Any anybody with a serious underlying health condition should never try and hypnotize themselves – rather leave it to a trained professional.
However, notwithstanding these reservations, the answer to the question does self-hypnosis work for anxiety is yes. If the techniques are correctly followed it can be a highly enjoyable, deeply relaxing and pleasant experience that benefits both the mind and the body. It is a natural and safe tool that helps people identify the causes of stress, negative emotions and bad habits that may be inhibiting them and preventing them from living the sort of life that they want.
If you want to get over debilitating anxiety, then check out the Attention Shifting anxiety hypnosis app. It will change your life!