I’m writing this post because I got an email tonight from a woman inquiring about the use of hypnosis for anxiety. Her son suffers from anxiety and she loves him enough to look for a solution, which i really admire. I know I’d go to the end of the world to help my two kids.
The question basically asked, “Can hypnosis help with anxiety”.
My answer is as follows: Hypnosis CAN help enormously, and often even eliminate anxiety. Hypnosis itself is simply a trance state. But what really matters is what the hypnotist does to help guide the patient WITHIN that trance state to solve his or her problem unconsciously. If you use self-hypnosis, then your own unconscious mind can actually play the role of hypnotist to help you solve your own problems. This is the ultimate accomplishment for a lot of people because they realize they can trust their unconscious to do the right thing.
Imagine that you suffer from anxiety and somebody tells you, “that’s silly, just ignore it … you are stronger than that” … will that help? Of course not. It will frustrate you like crazy perhaps even causing more anxiety. That is because you cannot usually solve an UNCONSCIOUS problem with a CONSCIOUS solution.
Anxiety, like many other problems, is an unconscious process. Something happens (a trigger) and you unconsciously respond by feeling anxious. The trigger was probably created by a specific event in your past that caused some sort of emotional trauma. Any time that trigger is re-played, the trauma and anxiety returns.
The solution also has to be unconscious. Hypnosis accomplishes unconscious change! That is why it works so well for so may people. One solution that a hypnotist might use is to put you into a deep trance and make you aware of resources that you have from your past, which would be useful to you in whatever situation you face that currently causes you anxiety. The hypnotist could then have you “install” this resource as an automatic response anytime you face this situation in the future. Then, before bringing you out of trance, the hypnotist might have you imagine the situation happening sometime in the future, and imagining how effectively you can now be with these resources fully available to you.
As a point of clarification, dealing with anxiety is different from dealing with phobia. A phobia is a “digital” response. Sort of black or white. Either you have the phobia or you do not. Anxiety has various levels of severity, and is not “cured” using simple techniques such as the NLP fast phobia cure. Hypnosis is very effective for anxiety or phobias, but the treatment would vary.
If you suffer from anxiety or know someone who does, then I think it makes a lot of sense to check out NLP and hypnosis tools. Mike’s CDs do teach NLP (the Peak Performance CD) and I would also say that the Stress Relief CD also has benefits to offer (particularly the lesson in self hypnosis, that can be applied to the anxiety).
If you are dead-set against the CDs for some reason, check out the sidebar for information on learning hypnosis. There are great book recommendations there.
Whatever you do, keep working on a solution. In my view, it’s better than what the medical industry will do to you with various prescriptions.