Hypnosis can be a little scary at first and the misclassification by the media doesn’t help. Hypnosis can be a valuable tactic to remove unwanted habits and even to rewire your brain. In a sense, you are submitting your mind or to an external influence. The important thing here is to ensure that influence has your best interest at heart.
We’ve all heard the stories of people that are hypnotized in front of a live audience to cluck like a chicken or bark like a dog, you may have even seen it firsthand. Instead, I’ll focus on how hypnosis can reduce stress, anxiety, and build confidence.
Does Hypnosis for Anxiety Work?
Modern research with brain imaging shows different brain connections during a hypnotic state. In particular, the areas that monitor surrounding environment and decision making show stronger connections during hypnosis. The focused state opens the subconscious mind to suggestion allowing ideas to surpass the conscious mind. When you tell your conscious mind to stop having a panic attack, it goes through a series of logical explanations to rationalize the response, often without impacting the subconscious mind. Hypnosis opens a pathway to speak directly to the subconscious mind, which can lead to powerful results.
Hypnosis studies have shown significant improvements in people struggling with addiction, depression, anxiety, and weight-loss. One study measured the correlation of hypnotic paralysis, where the hypnosis caused 19 participants to become unable to move their left hand.
I became interested in hypnosis when a family member who smoked cigarettes for over 30 years, quit overnight using hypnosis. After many futile attempts to quit with the gum, patch, and self-desire, he decided to see a local hypnotist as a last resort. He was able to quit smoking after the first visit and hasn’t smoked since. When I saw this radial change first-hand, my interest in hypnosis peaked.
It goes without saying, this type of result won’t happen for everyone, but the potential of radial change is encouraging. When pointed at problems such as stress, anxiety, and self-confidence, this can be a useful tool in your arsenal. Support your new hypnosis practice with other natural ways to decrease stress and anxiety.
Getting Started With Hypnosis for Anxiety
A great place to start with hypnosis is by doing it in your own living room or place of comfort. Start in a peaceful environment where you are comfortable and won’t be disturbed. My favorite guided meditation app is “Anxiety Relief” by SurfCity. Start with the free version to see if it’s right for you. After a few test runs you can get the premium version for a couple bucks if it’s a good fit. If the SurfCity app is not a good fit for you, try some of the options on YouTube. Don’t get discouraged if the first attempt doesn’t go well. Find a style and voice that is soothing to you, with the focus on anxiety or the main problem you’re working on.
As you know, there isn’t a magical solution that instantly makes the anxiety go away. Although I have found is that consistently doing hypnosis sessions can have a positive impact on stress and anxiety levels. I was also surprised how much the Self-Confidence recording, also by SurfCity, helped me. My preferred practice is to wake up early and complete a hypnosis session in the morning. I have also tried going to bed with the sessions looping while I sleep, but I find myself waking up tangled in headphones without a positive impact.
If the assisted hypnosis sessions are going well, you may consider taking it to the next level by visiting a trained hypnotherapist. Now I’m not talking about your roommate’s friend that practices Reiki. I’m talking about someone that is a professional. Do a quick yelp search in nearby cities to find a top-rated hypnotist in your area.
Look for Hypnotherapists that are certified by the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis. This requires therapists to be licensed healthcare professionals in their state to provide medical, dental, or psychotherapeutic services, and to have completed at least 20 hours of hypnotherapy training, learning the process of hypnosis for various conditions.