Anxiety, Panic & Phobias
Many people suffer from anxiety or panic at some point in their lives; it can range from a mild feeling of unease to a debilitating and frightening condition. It is perfectly normal to experience anxiety when faced with difficult or worrying situations and in its mild form it can be useful and helpful in driving you to make changes or cope in stressful situations.
However, some sources cite that up to 1 in 10 people in the UK experience anxiety, panic or phobia to the extent that it interferes with their daily life. Severe anxiety can lead you to feel overwhelmed, trapped and unable to cope. It can be associated with other problems such as depression; and is often also associated with stress.
Hypnotherapy is widely used in the treatment of phobias, which are irrational but powerful fears of a particular situation, object or thing. It isn’t always necessary to find out where the fear came from, as the techniques work regardless of how the fear was caused. By using relaxation techniques to attain the deeply relaxed state of hypnosis, you can begin to build a greater sense of control through calm self-confidence. It is then possible to reprogramme the subconscious mind so that it no longer triggers the fear reaction. Although there can be many types of phobias, common ones include:
- fear of spiders
- fear of flying
- fear of public speaking
- fear of dogs
- fear of surgery or dentists
- fear of heights
- fear of exams/ driving test
- fear of injections
- fear of the dark
- fear of social situations
EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing) is a rapid and effective way to overcome phobias and the panicky feelings often associated with them. Using your eye movements helps you to reprocess the old, troublesome memories, and allows you to move on from the deep and distressing emotions that may be associated with those memories. In this way you are free to leave behind those old feelings and patterns of behaviour. People often report feeling surprised that they can no longer access those old unwanted feelings.
Dealing with Anxiety & Panic, and their underlying issues
Typically, anyone experiencing anxiety and panic will first need to learn to deal with stress. Anxiety and panic are caused by the stress response in the body; when you are under too much stress, or have not learnt to deal effectively with the stresses of daily life, your body becomes aroused and remains poised in ‘fight or flight’ mode. This can lead to frightening thoughts and unpleasant physical sensations.
You will learn simple but effective relaxation techniques, which can be replicated whenever you need them. By guiding you through hypnosis, you will be able to deepen those feelings of relaxation and increase your feelings of confidence. In this way, you can re-train your mind and body to respond to challenging, stressful situations more calmly and positively.
While in this deeply relaxed state, you can rehearse improvements in behaviour and thinking while staying calm and relaxed, so that these new ways of behaving become automatic responses. Unhelpful behaviour patterns and responses have often been learned as a result of negative and distorted thoughts; these generally operate automatically in the background and through discussion and hypnosis we can correct these and make them more helpful and positive.