This article is a contribution from guest contributor Ryan Rivera
Anxiety is a manageable, and in many cases curable condition. But it’s not something that can disappear on its own. Traditional therapeutic approaches to anxiety have their place, but many are finding that hypnosis actually may have a surprisingly beneficial effect on your ability to reduce the effects of mental health issues, like anxiety.
Technically, hypnosis can have a beneficial effect on nearly any type of anxiety. Hypnosis affects mind connections and responses, and since anxiety is the result of poor responses, it makes sense that hypnosis can benefit any type of anxiety. But hypnosis is especially beneficial for specific types of anxiety – more so than other types.
Which Types of Anxiety is Hypnosis Best For?
- Panic Disorder
Hypnosis should be especially effective for panic disorder and those that deal with panic attacks. Panic attacks are generally an error of faulty thinking – but one that is extremely hard for a person to control. They occur when you become hypersensitive to sensations in your body that ultimately cause you to experience severe distress whenever you feel a slight pain, a mild increase in heart rate, etc.
Hypnosis breaks this connection. It cancels out the relationship between a physical sensation and fear, in order to prevent experiencing a sensation and immediately interpreting it as something being wrong. Once this connection is broken and this negative thought pattern shattered, panic attacks become far less frequent.
- Health Anxiety
Similarly, health anxiety – which isn’t technically an anxiety disorder, but can have a profound effect on quality of life – should benefit from hypnosis extremely well. That’s because health anxiety deals very similarly with negative thought processes. It’s the idea that if you feel something, something must be wrong with your health. Such as “my leg aches, does that mean I have multiple sclerosis?” This type of dangerous thinking style has a profound effect on people’s ability to be happy, and hypnosis can break these patterns.
- Social Anxiety
Social anxiety can also benefit greatly from hypnosis. Social anxiety occurs when a person has a considerable amount of disaster thoughts related to social situations. They may be unable to venture out and talk to others because they have a severe fear of embarrassment or judging. These are thoughts that hold people back, so hypnosis would try to break these thoughts and teach better strategies for becoming outgoing.
- PTSD – Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Hypnosis may also be valuable for post-traumatic stress disorder. PTSD can actually be very hard to treat, so some people may need additional interventions. But PTSD also appears to increase people’s stress baseline, so that it takes less to create a startle reflex or intense fear.
Thus hypnosis would seek to essentially create a lower baseline again. Once that baseline is lower, the person will react less strongly to their triggers, and the triggers would start to lose their power. In time, the idea would be that these triggers extinguish themselves, because they will no longer have the strength to continue creating that feeling of high anxiety.
Hypnosis as a Treatment Option for Anxiety
Hypnosis should, in theory, be beneficial for treating every type of anxiety. Hypnosis can get into your mind, and prevent you from experiencing nervousness or distress at times when no anxiety should be present. It can also deal with some of the issues that have caused anxiety, as well as teach your mind better coping strategies to deal with anxiety symptoms.
But for those four anxiety disorders, hypnosis should be extra beneficial, providing people with a tool that addresses the primary issues – thought patterns – that lead to an increase in anxiety symptoms.
About the Author: Ryan Rivera is an anxiety specialist, and promotes the idea that thought patterns affect the anxiety experience. He writes about treating anxiety and other issues at www.calmclinic.com.