How does Hypnotherapy Help With Anxiety?

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Abstract picture of a woman to represent hypnotherapy

Hypnotherapy is one of several therapies that can help if you suffer from anxiety. I see clients with anxiety, and it usually takes only a few weeks for them to regain control of their lives. So how does hypnotherapy actually work?

First, you need to put aside any notion of stage hypnosis. Hypnotherapy does not work by me snapping my fingers and suddenly everything has changed. As a hypnotherapist, I cannot make you do things that you don’t want to do. All I can do is lead you down a path – and you can follow if you want to.

Anxiety and the Brain

Anxiety comes from a primitive part of your brain – the fight-flight-freeze centre – that you are not consciously aware of until the anxiety hits you. Somehow it has programmed itself incorrectly so that it produces anxiety when there is no need to be anxious. Hypnotherapy is all about encouraging that part of the brain to rewire itself.

That primitive part of the brain is more active the more stress you carry. When you have big stresses in your life, it takes a while for the brain to deal with it. It’s like you are carrying round a big bucket of stress. Hypnotherapy is also all about emptying that stress bucket.

We say that the brain is plastic. That is, it constantly reshapes itself and readjusts as we give it new information and new experiences. Some changes happen when the new experience is happening, but a lot of those changes happen afterwards when the brain consolidates its memories. And this consolidation happens when the brain is not busy with doing other things – when we are asleep for example.

So how does Hypnotherapy Help?

So … back to the original question … how does hypnotherapy help with anxiety? When you are in a trance, the brain finds itself in a quiet relaxed state and uses the time to sort out some of your memories and experiences. In particular, it will start to rewire itself towards a position that is uppermost in your mind. So if the hypnotherapist has discussed an anxiety-free future, full of hope, then the brain will start to rewire itself towards that goal.

Hypnotherapy helps people with anxiety in a variety of ways. Some of my clients notice that things have started to change after a couple of sessions. Others are with me for five or ten sessions, and then one day they turn up and they are suddenly a different person. Everyone is different, and I am always interested in how my clients experience the change in their anxiety levels.

If you need help getting your anxiety under control, then you might like to experience the benefits of hypnotherapy. I operate my hypnotherapy clinic here in Fleet, Hampshire.

Photo by Oscar Keys on Unsplash

Tim Maude

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