If you are looking for help with anxiety, this article will explain more about how hypnosis can help you. There are many hypnotherapists, therapist and hypnosis experts in London. I will also explain more about anxiety and what it is. We will also look at how hypnosis will help you reduce anxiety. I will explain how I help people, just like you, using for hypnosis for anxiety in my central London clinic every day.
Are you looking for hypnosis for anxiety in London?
What can you expect from a session of hypnosis of anxiety? Hypnosis is really a method of therapy that has been in use for hundreds or maybe even thousands of years. We can see evidence that hypnosis was used by ancient cultures, especially in many religious rituals. These rituals, though not directly related to anxiety, are relevant. Ancient cultures would use hypnosis to bring calm for people or to bring them into a changed frame of mind. This ancient art of hypnosis is used today, for therapeutic purposes, to help people reduce phobias and anxieties. Its roots are indeed traceable to the acknowledged wise people who guided their villagers, who were suffering from emotional distress.
The two parts of the mind
However, today, as used in my clinic in London, hypnosis is used in a clinical setting to really facilitate deep healing of both your body and your mind. Hypnosis addresses one particular part of the mind. We can view the mind as made up of two distinct systems. There’s your rational cognitive mind. This is the part of your mind which makes decisions on a daily basis. Decisions based on information and evidence. It’s that intelligent and rational part of your mind that you use to decide what would be the best course of action in any situation, be that at work or at home. However, you also have another system in operation. This parallel system is your subconscious mind.
Hypnosis therapy, in particular for anxiety, as I use it here in London, addresses that second, subconscious, part of your mind. Your subconscious mind is often like an ‘autopilot’. The subconscious is busy running all those parts of you, which you don’t consciously think about. For example, your subconscious right now is deciding how many beats your heart should take per minute. It’s controlling your blood system, your lungs and other parts of your body. Doing that all automatically and making changes as it needs to.
Also found in our subconscious mind are all our memories and past feelings and experiences. The wonder of your subconscious mind is that you really don’t need to be constantly aware of your memories. They’re all there, safely filed away in your subconscious mind, ready should you ever need to pull one out of the archive to look at.
Hypnosis helps anxiety or a phobia
However, sometimes, and this is where anxiety can be treated through hypnosis, it can be true that our subconscious mind will put two and two together and make five! Let’s take, for example, a common anxiety challenge that clients come for help. By which I mean, a phobia. I will explain by referring to an actual phobia experience I have had and originated in my childhood. This event occurred when I was about seven or eight years of age. I was chased, in the park, by a dog. I was on my bike and really felt fear of this dog chasing after me. This fear experience then created a lot of anxiety for the younger me. Following this scary experience, the image of that dog and the feeling of fear, which accompanied it, were processed by my subconscious mind.
This meant that, many years later, when I was in a similar situation, I also felt the same fear as in that original situation. Whenever I saw another dog, my subconscious mind would put together that memory information, meaning the image and the feeling. When in a situation that appeared similar, it put those two together. In the new situation, if my subconscious decided that this new situation was similar to that original fearful event, it would encourage me to begin to feel some anxiety or concern for my safety, just as I did in that first experience with the dog in the park.
On one level, of course, this makes complete sense. However, sometimes the anxiety we feel simply does not match the situation now at hand. So for instance, now if I was to see a dog and felt high anxiety, that wouldn’t make much sense for me. I’m no longer eight years old. I’m bigger, older, and more equipped to cope with or fight off a dog. In other words, I have more resources than the younger me and I do not need to fear a dog as I did. However the subconscious works with the memories or processes it has available. If it’s still running its responses based on the eight year old me, its information is outdated! Since the eight year old me felt (understandable) fear around dogs, my subconscious is still running that programme. This is one way a phobia can be created. Since hypnosis looks at this subconscious processing, it is possible to use hypnosis and reduce that anxiety. Through some hypnosis visualisations, that association between the feeling of fear and the memory of the dog can be reduced. It is also possible to feel a greater sense of one’s inner resources that were not there as a child. Indeed I have helped many clients using hypnosis to reduce anxiety, here in London. It is wonderful to see big changes around fears and phobias in just a few sessions.
How does hypnosis for anxiety work?
Hypnosis is a powerful therapy for anxiety. I use it with many clients in London. Hypnosis uses guided visualisations and brings you into a feeling of focused and intense concentration. This experience, which actually creates a pleasant and enjoyable heightened state of awareness, is something we experience on a regular basis.
In other word, hypnosis is really nothing new or strange. In fact, every day you are, in a sense, hypnotizing yourself! This is really true! For example, just think about those times you are engrossed and reading or watch television or simply are sitting and daydreaming. In these examples, you are focusing in on something and excluding other information. This process is exactly what happens during your session of hypnosis for anxiety. The only difference is that in a London anxiety hypnosis session, the hypnotherapist will be the one guiding you into that relaxed state. At other times it was you doing that yourself. As such hypnosis is also perfectly safe. It’s a safe as reading or daydreaming, which are of course, also usually perfectly safe.
This means that when hypnotized during hypnosis, your focus can become selective and narrowed. You will move to focus on specific thoughts and tasks, as guided by your anxiety hypnosis therapist. Through addressing the subconscious, your hypnosis session will create positive changes by bring change at a subconscious level. This means that you can successfully reduce anxiety both in behaviours and in your feelings. This is precisely why hypnosis can be so effective. Hypnosis directly addresses the subconscious mind. It is the subconscious mind which is often much more powerful than we give it credit for.
Hypnosis for anxiety isn’t similar to television or stage hypnosis
Sometimes people associate hypnosis with stage shows or party or parlour tricks. However, a stage hypnotist or performer certainly wouldn’t normally use hypnosis to reduce phobias or anxiety during a performance. In other words stage hypnotism is about entertainment. However, when a therapist uses hypnosis for anxiety, for example as I do at my London clinic, the aim is purely therapeutic. Working as a therapist for anxiety, the hypnosis section of a client session is simply a very different context to stage hypnotism and not comparable in any real meaningful sense.
More on hypnosis for anxiety in London therapy
As mentioned above, hypnosis as a treatment for anxiety is a well established healing technique. Hypnosis can lower symptoms of various physical disorders which can also be anxiety related. For example, it is very common for people to see me who also suffer with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or other conditions such as daily stress, fibromyalgia, chronic pain, or pain from other disorders. It might be the stress exacerbates symptoms or contributes to the cause of these conditions. Each person will have a unique medical history.
I will use hypnosis as a therapist for many other challenges. These challenges can include improving sleep, improving feelings of anxiety and depression, working through grief, bereavement and loss and help people improve their overall emotional stability. Hypnosis can also be used, of course, to help people with phobias, lose weight or overcome addictions such as smoking, cocaine, alcohol or other drugs.
However, of course, in this article, we are really focusing on anxiety in particular. I really enjoy helping people who come to my London clinic, using hypnosis. This is also because hypnosis, especially for anxiety, can be a wonderful and highly beneficial way to really instil a sense of positive motivation, confidence, calm and a renewed sense of self too.
But, what actually is anxiety?
Anxiety is something natural to feel. Anxiety can simply be a feeling where you worry or experience fear or even panic about events, normally in the future. This anxiety experience can be feel just as something mild or can be something of greater severity. Anxiety is often experienced as physical sensations or noticeable symptoms. These may be in the tummy or chest, but also in the head and legs too. You may be very familiar with that common feeling of a racing heartbeat, sweaty palms or feeling hot. Occasionally anxiety symptoms can become so severe that a person may have an anxiety attack or panic attack. Some mistake this extreme feeling for a heart attack or stroke. However, though a panic may feel scary, in reality it is simply thoughts and feelings. As such a panic attack is in truth perfectly safe. As mentioned, that it feels scary, can lead a panic attack to be misinterpreted as a heart attack. However it is simply a strong physical feeling, and a panic attack or anxiety are both safe. In most cases you can ride it out safely. Nobody has ever died or suffered a physical damage from an anxiety attack.
It is completely normal that all people will feel anxiety at some point in their life. This anxiety can be simply worrying about daily things, or worrying about a medical test, a job interview, or sitting an exam. We all go through anxiety provoking life events. It’s therefore completely normal and understandable to have worries or concerns about those events. Who wouldn’t? However, if you feel that it’s difficult to control your anxiety thoughts or worries or that your anxiety is constant or is now affecting your daily life, then it may be time to do something about it.
Anxiety can sometimes be the symptom of an underlying concern. For example, a panic disorder, a phobia, post traumatic stress disorder or social anxiety disorder or a social phobia. In that case, hypnosis for anxiety could be one of the treatments that will help, however in the first instance, it is advisable to see your doctor or GP. They may give you a questionnaire or an assessment to identify whether you are indeed suffering, at present, from generalized anxiety disorder. Just ask yourself, if over the last few weeks, you have found it difficult to relax or you are troubled constantly by anxiety, anxious feelings, or you feel restless or worried or have a lot of trouble sleeping or you do feel physical symptoms such as dizziness or heart palpitations? These may point to an underlying anxiety disorder. This may be very easily treated, so seeing you doctor is always a good first step.
More on anxiety and how it forms
Anxiety is always a worry or a fear about something that is about to happen or will happen in the future. Anxiety is a completely natural response when we feel under threat. You may be familiar with that phrase, ‘fight or flight’. This ‘fight or flight’ response, we share with animals. Us humans have evolved in a way that we wish to protect ourselves from danger. This means that when we feel a threat, our bodies may react by releasing hormones such as adrenaline or cortisol. When these hormones are released, we feel automatically more alert, which means we can act faster. They also cause our hearts to beat faster, quickly sending blood to where it’s needed. Then, after the threat has passed, our bodies release other hormones, helping our muscles relax. This, in turn, can actually cause us to shake or feel cold.
Though often it’s called the ‘fight or flight’ response, many add in the word ‘freeze’. This is since, as you may have noticed, it is common to also freeze when faced with a danger or something that causes anxiety or fear. A phobia is also found on this anxiety spectrum. Since a phobia is a feeling of anxiety about a particular situation, place or event. With a phobia you may also experience similar physical symptoms and again, if they become very strong, a person may experience a panic attack.
What causes anxiety?
It’s not scientifically clear what exactly creates anxiety or why we have it or why anxiety can be stronger in some people than others. There might be some genetic factors or environmental factors or brain chemistry, which heighten anxiety in some people rather than in others. Either way, when you have anxiety, it can feel very real and very distressing, which is why it’s important to seek help to reduce it.
Besides hypnosis for anxiety, are there natural ways to reduce anxiety?
I have used, for almost a decade, here in London, hypnosis to help people reduce anxiety. Of course there are other treatments that you may find beneficial. Firstly, it’s important to remember that there are certain foods or even activities that will in fact increase anxiety. That’s why it is often advised to avoid caffeine or other stimulants that raise your blood pressure or may affect anxiety levels. Most importantly, as well, is to increase your general feelings of calm and relaxation, on a daily basis. You might wish to note if you’re getting enough sleep, are you getting regular exercise and this doesn’t have to be strong and difficult, hard exercise. Simply getting your body moving more, be that going for a walk and breathing in fresh air can make a real difference. Exercise can have a really good effect on health and relaxation.
Do you eat a healthy diet? Avoiding alcohol too is very important. It can be tempting, when feeling stressed or anxious, to reach for alcohol or other substances that you may feel will help reduce your anxiety in the moment. However, in the long-term, not only do these not address the causes of your anxiety, they can add to other health problems too. This is very true, of course, for smoking as well.
Anxiety and depression
If you have a high level of anxiety, you may also feel some low feelings or feel a little depressed. Depression and anxiety can come together or will be separate. If you’re unsure if you’re depressed, you may simply ask yourself the very simple question, ‘do I feel depressed’? Ask and give yourself a straightforward and honest answer. Depression can be managed in similar ways to anxiety. You may wish to visit your doctor, who can prescribe medication or just like with anxiety, you can use hypnosis or other talking therapies such as CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy). Again, you may wish to consider lifestyle changes such as exercise or improving diet and cutting out alcohol and caffeine too.
Anxiety and stress
Many people, who come for hypnosis for anxiety help in London, explain that their anxiety is related to high levels of stress. Stress and anxiety are really very similar. Stress is the immediate result of demands being made on you right now. It might be caused by an event or an activity that causes you some stress in the here and now. Anxiety, however, is really worry or fear about things that have not happened yet. Anxiety may be a strong reaction to the stress you’re currently feeling. Anxiety might be thoughts you have about whether your current stress will ever end or how you will cope in the future. However, anxiety and stress will have similar physical or emotional symptoms. Again, these might include sweating, a fast heartbeat, stomach-aches, panic, nervousness, difficulty concentrating, headache, restlessness, muscle tension, or sleeplessness.
Feeling anxiety or stress is of course completely normal. As many hypnosis clients tell me, a little stress can be helpful. It provides a positive boost to get through challenges and ensure tasks get done. However, when feelings of anxiety become persistent and interfere with your daily life, it’s time to seek help. This may involve seeing how you’re coping and doing with stress, because, of course, too much stress, over a prolonged period of time can result in other health concerns. Indeed, as I often see in my London clinic, too much stress may also lead to feelings of depression or some chronic health issues too.
How can my London hypnosis sessions reduce anxiety?
As we previously mentioned, anxiety is really about fears and thoughts about the future. Anxiety often operates on a subconscious level. Remember that it is our subconscious mind which has taken our previous memories and experiences and evaluated whether it feels you will cope in the future. If your subconscious decides on a negative evaluation, then that can lead to anxious thoughts and feelings.
However, often that evaluation is not accurate. For example, let’s revisit my example or being chased by a dog. I was only about eight years old at the time. So that means that my subconscious minds now, when I meet a dog, is using information based on the experience of my eight year old self. However, I am now three decades older. I am wiser, bigger, mature, and have more resources. However, my subconscious mind is using information and memories from when I was eight years old. This is not great information to use to make an appropriate evaluation of my ability to cope right now. Therefore, any anxiety that I feel is really my subconscious mind taking information that is no longer valid. That’s how hypnosis for anxiety can really help. Through hypnosis you will re-evaluate and reprogram how your mind evaluates and weighs up the information that it has.
Anxiety is always really a thought and a feeling. It starts off as a thought that leads to an emotion and then leads to a physical feeling. However often it is the physical feeling that we feel first, we first notice that racing heartbeat or that feeling that we can’t cope. It’s only later that we trace back the thoughts. During hypnosis, you will look at the thoughts that are troubling you directly, evaluate them, and see if you can change them in some way. Hypnosis for anxiety can be similar to CBT (Cognitive behavioural therapy). Both look at your subconscious thoughts and aim to change them for the better.
Anxiety can often be about a place or situation, for example, when you have a phobia. When people come to a hypnosis session for a phobia, we will look at what is driving the phobia on a deeper level and it may involve some ‘exposure’ therapy. Meaning that, not only will you talk about the phobia and carry out safe visualizations in the consulting room, part of your homework will be, in a gentle way, to face the phobia slowly in a manner that feels appropriate and safe for you. For example, if you had a fear of heights, you’ll discuss the underlying causes that are driving this fear, enjoy some visualizations that help you feel more comfortable about that fear and its underlying causes, but at a pace that’s slow and appropriate for you, you’ll slowly expose yourself to places that feel a little bit more and more fearful. That will demonstrate to you that, in fact, you are overcoming your phobia, fully supported by your hypnosis therapist.
Information about hypnosis for anxiety sessions in London
If you’d like to find out more about how hypnosis for anxiety sessions can help you, just get in touch today. I offer a free phone consultation. During your consultation, you will talk about what is going on for you now about how anxiety is affecting your life and we’ll discuss how my London hypnosis sessions can help you reduce anxious feelings and live life much more fully, with much more calm and confidence. I look forward to hearing from you soon.