This is the second part in the mini-series ‘Help with Anxiety’ you will learn how you are better at hypnotising yourself than you know and how this impacts negatively on the anxiety trap.
This mini-series aims to help you to understand more about the dynamic therapies which are most effective in helping you to break free from anxiety.
What is Hypnosis?
Whilst hypnosis has over time been associated with the strange and mysterious, the simple truth is, it isn’t the least bit mysterious or supernatural – that’s just entertainment! When you don’t understand something, from the outside it can appear almost magical and it is natural to feel daunted to try it. For this reason, clients often shy away from hypnosis due to a lack of real understanding. For those who find hypnotherapy as their last resort, once they experience its simplicity and the benefits, many would argue that it should have been their first.
In reality, hypnosis is a natural process of deep relaxation in mind and body using focussed attention. In this relaxed state the mind is more open to positive auto-suggestion. When hypnosis is used as a vehicle for therapeutic change, you are guided to direct your thoughts to work for you more effectively by accessing the deeper subconscious workings of your mind; the storehouse of your emotion, memory and imagination and automatic functioning. Essentially, the moment you begin to use your imagination, to recall events or feelings, you are tapping into your subconscious mind. The more engaged you become within these thoughts and feelings, the more you shift brainwaves from conscious to subconscious functioning and the more you are able to influence your mind and body functioning.
Hypnotising yourself… naturally
Whilst you may not have experienced any kind of formal hypnosis, it is a fact that you will have been in hypnosis many times already! You may not have known it because it happens naturally for all human beings and many animals also. Whenever you have been daydreaming, or found yourself deeply engrossed in a book, playing an instrument, listening to music or noticed your thoughts elsewhere driving a car, or just being unaware of time passing so quickly, let me enlighten you – you have been in a state of self-hypnosis!
You are better at hypnotising yourself than you know!
So now you do know that you take yourself many times into a state of hypnosis and that this can be pleasurable and indeed relaxing.
However, you may not have realised that if you tend towards thinking negatively or you struggle with anxiety, it is likely that you are negatively hypnotising yourself and exacerbating anxiety symptoms. Let me explain…
When you think negatively about any situation and when you begin to imagine those endless worrying ‘What If’ scenarios which feed anxiety, have you noticed that your mind constructs negative pictures in line with those negative thoughts?
To the subconscious mind, imagination is reality.
This makes what you fear will happen actually appear real. The subconscious mind works effectively with images. It has poor logical and rational capabilities (that’s a job for the conscious mind!) and so it does not know the difference between imagined and real.
You might like to try this now whilst you’re reading – Imagine you are sucking on a lemon or an onion – it doesn’t give a great taste, does it?!
If you close your eyes for a second and imagine standing on the edge of a very high building with your toes off the edge and with the slightest shift in balance, you will easily fall, do you feel yourself pull back?! Your mind is tricking your body into believing something is happening and your body responds sharply, yet the conscious mind knows it is not really happening at all. Nightmares and indeed anxiety work in the same way.
By mesmerising (as it was once known) or hypnotising yourself with those uncomfortable pictures, it creates a belief that your fears are actually already happening. Your body responds by flooding with stress hormones of adrenalin and cortisol to combat a perceived threat, albeit imagined. If the subconscious perceives this as real, by your negative thoughts and imaginings, you are hypnotising yourself into creating programmes of negative expectation.
“I have had a great many troubles in my life, most of which never actually happened!” Mark Twain
Why traumatise yourself by playing out your worst fears?
When you find yourself in similar situations to those you fear and have already experienced dramatic consequences in your imagination, the anxiety response is more intense because the subconscious is believing you are facing that imagined traumatic and disastrous situation once more – and it knows the negative extent of what happened last time because it was your worst fear played out!
Your subconscious drives your innate survival and is always working benevolently for you. As with an iceberg, the majority of the mind’s force is concealed below the surface of your conscious daily awareness and this deeper subconscious functioning controls your urges, reflexes, gut reactions, irrational fears and habitual behaviour. It wants you to avoid repeating that dreadful scenario at all costs. This heightens anxiety and spirals you deeper into the anxiety trap.
I wonder ‘What if…?’
So if the mind is so skilled at combining thought and image to create an intense feeling and a perceived outcome that appears real, are you perhaps wondering ‘wouldn’t it be great to learn how to harness that skill in a positive way?’
Just imagine how you might befriend your mind and begin to unlock your own power within. If you hold the power to hypnotise yourself negatively into a frenzy, might you not use that same power in a different and better way and set yourself free?!
What if you could set yourself free from anxiety and achieve whatever you want to achieve? If I can, you can.
The third part in this mini series ‘Help With Anxiety’ explains how Hypnotherapy can help you to overcome anxiety and why Advanced Hypnotherapy is different and better than the widely used scripted Suggestion Therapy, by which Hypnotherapy is commonly known.
Do you feel powerless, anxious and overwhelmed to make change happen in your life? I’d like to offer you an immediate opportunity to take a break from your stresses and anxieties. CLICK TO DOWNLOAD my FREE De-Stress Audio.
Lisa Skeffington, Anxiety Expert – Anxiety Help Bournemouth