Hypnosis is used for many purposes in the modern day. Certified hypnotherapists today treat everything from cigarette addiction to skin diseases, as well as soothing patients in preparation for painful medical procedures (including dental work, surgery and chemotherapy injections). This article will discuss how hypnosis can affect the symptoms of anxiety, and the possible benefits of hypnosis for people with anxiety disorders.
Four Anxiety Problems Hypnotherapy Can Address
In terms of directly addressing your anxiety, there are 3 anxiety-related problems that hypnotism is commonly used to address.
Physical pain and tension (often having roots in emotional tension) can be addressed by hypnotism. Addressing and working to alter the beliefs that you have about the triggers for your anxiety can help reduce the frequency and/or intensity of the physically straining symptoms of anxiety such as a rapid heart rate, rapid breathing and shaking. In addition, it can ease feelings of discomfort and strain by implanting the suggestion that you feel more physically comfortable than you actually do.
Along with causing physical strain, constant or frequent anxiety can also put you in a strained emotional state. The bodily energy required by the physical symptoms of anxiety, in combination with the persistent feelings of discontentment and worry, can make you feel drained and/or on edge. Hypnotism’s general purpose is to put people in a more positive frame of mind, altering unnecessary negative beliefs and implanting more helpful ones. In addressing this symptom, a hypnotist may focus on implanting the belief that you feel happy, content, and confident in your ability to address and resolve the causes of your anxiety.
Many people with anxiety also have difficulty sleeping well. Getting to sleep in an anxious state and sleeping deeply when nightmares and muscle tension are keeping you awake can be nearly impossible. Hypnotists can assist with sleep deprivation by implanting the suggestion that you have gotten plenty of restful sleep recently. Alternatively, or in addition, they can help you to alter your anxious thought patterns so that they do not spiral out of control and keep you awake (as well as causing the panic attacks that can result in muscle tension).
Going to a hypnotist for help in conquering a phobia (for example, a fear of social situations or crowded rooms) can be far preferable to regularly taking medication in order to remain calm during everyday activities (if, of course, you find that hypnotism works for you). A hypnotist will attempt to replace your unhealthy or illogical beliefs about the object of your phobia with more logically sound and useful beliefs.Both mild cases of anxiety and clinically diagnosed disorders can result in these side effects. If you have experienced any of the above, finding out whether hypnotism works for you may help you to conquer these difficulties and hopefully eliminate them altogether.
Therapy vs. Hypnosis
Cognitive behavioral therapy (or CBT) is closely related to hypnosis in that it is based on the idea that some problems are not easily addressed through rational thought, and should instead be addressed through training the person to practice healthier thought patterns and to let go of harmful beliefs.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is used by most therapists who work with patients experiencing anxiety and depression. Unlike hypnosis, it does not require a trance state, but like hypnosis, it openly addresses your emotional and mental patterns and beliefs in order to influence your behavior.
If you have been diagnosed with anxiety and feel that therapy has improved you condition, hypnotism is more likely to work for you simply because it operates on similar (and therefore familiar) principles that your mind is already open to.
Hypnosis as Placebo
Your brain is the most powerful organ in your body. Placebo trials in which patients drastically improve without medication due to a belief that their bodies will heal is proof of this. Going to a hypnotist is an attempt to use the power of your beliefs to change your life for the better. In a way, hypnotism is about purposefully using the placebo effect to your advantage.
Unfortunately, according to most research, hypnosis does not really have any effect on long term mental health. There are very few studies that confirm hypnosis has any noticeable effect on the mind. However, there is some evidence that some people may be more easily influenced by hypnosis, so perhaps there are some people that are affected by hypnosis an some that are not.
Regardless, hypnosis is one of those gray areas where there may be something to it for some people, and it is completely safe to do. So if you're looking for some type of alternative treatment and you want to try anxiety hypnosis, it may be worth your time – as long as you know that if it doesn't work for you, you need to try something else.
On the other hand, if you want to try a different type of comprehensive anxiety treatment, make sure you take my anxiety test now. This test is an effective tool for learning more about your anxiety and how to treat it.