According to the WHO, over 300 million people globally have an anxiety disorder. There are conventional treatments available to help this population cope, including therapy and medication.
Some people, however, opt of alternative treatments, one of those being hypnosis. Hypnotherapy places a person in a relaxed state, and they can focus their mind.
It also can leave someone open to suggestions. In this context, the proposal could be related to discovering the cause and managing your anxiety.
How would a session look like?
During hypnotherapy, what the focus on is the subconscious mind.
The conscious mind is alert and focused. Thought the power of persuasion and suggestion, a hypnotherapist can tap into a person’s inner consciousness.
There are various reasons why a hypnotherapist would want to do that. As mentioned, one of the things would be to find out what the cause of the anxiety is in the first place.
When someone is hypnotized, it is the opportune time to explore memories.
There, both subject and professionals can find out what could have brought about the current manifestation of anxiety. After the exploration, the next step would be suggesting healthy habits of dealing with one’s anxiety.
In essence, hypnotherapy is used to reset the mind of an anxious person.
Something to note is that this is not a mind-control exercise where the hypnotherapist reprograms someone’s brain. The suggestions given are typically in line with someone’s belief.
Something hypnosis cannot do is reprogramming someone’s mind to do something they would not do in their conscious state. Therefore the suggestion is something the person can do when they are in their conscious state, and it does not violate their personal beliefs.
The Benefits of Hypnotherapy for the Anxious Mind
Studies are underway for the past years to see the effects of hypnotherapy on people dealing with various mental health issues, including depression, PTSD, and anxiety.
Results show that during and after a session, there are changes in the brain of the subject.
What they noted is that the person was more alert, had more control over their physical and emotions state, and we less self-conscious.
In the case of anxiety, when the person is under hypnosis, their subconscious mind is more open to suggestion.
The suggestion would be how to cope better when you’re put in a situation that brings about anxiety. An example is being out in public.
During the session, the hypnotherapist can suggest that next time you’re in public, you’ll be more confident and people will not overwhelm you.
They can also use a technique called hypnoprojectives, where they have you remember your earliest moment of being in public and having a panic attack. You’re then asked to redo the event in your mind as you would have liked it to happen.
After, you’re asked to picture yourself calm the next time you’re out and about. Hypnoprojectives is, therefore, the use of imagery in psychotherapy. It is important to note that hypnotherapy doesn’t work alone.
A person suffering from anxiety should also undergo cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT is a psycho-social treatment that is used to challenge and change unhelpful thoughts and behaviors.
The outcome is that a person is in a better emotional state and is equipped with coping mechanisms and problem-solving skills. Together, hypnotherapy has more profound effects on an individual than if done alone.
Things to keep in mind
If you’re considering hypnotherapy, ensure you see a licensed professional with extensive training in hypnotherapy.
When does with such professionals, it is safe.
However, you don’t want to deal with quacks as they could implant suggestions in your mind that are counterproductive.
That said, people can also use hypnotherapy for personal gains, such as asking for a large tip when you’re under hypnosis.
Do extensive digging into a professional’s background to ensure that you’re working with someone legit. You don’t want to add an added layer of anxiety toward hypnotherapists.
Additionally, you want to work with someone more than just a hypnotherapist. We have mentioned the use of CBT; you need a professional well versed in these and other psychotherapy techniques.
That means ensuring that they are also a counselor, psychologist, psychiatrist, or any other medical practitioner with such qualifications.
Does hypnosis help with anxiety? The answer here is yes.
You only have to ensure that you do it with a licensed medical practitioner. The results are that your anxiety will be lessened and gradually disappear as you learn how to cope with it.