Orla Kirby shares how hypnotherapy can remove anxiety and help you better deal with the most stressful of situations
Think of the impact of stressful experiences and thoughts on your mind and body as being like different kinds of stress being poured in, every day and every hour, like liquid being poured into a bucket. For many people in the modern world, their ‘stress bucket’ is filled to an overly high level. Perhaps even overflowing! This is what puts us, to a greater or lesser extent, into a state of anxiety.
Emptying your stress bucket
Hypnotherapy helps to significantly lower anxiety levels by teaching people how to enter the calm state of hypnosis. This is achieved via certain breathing and visualisation techniques. Eventually, you become able to do this even in the middle of a busy day, or when something potentially stressful is happening or about to happen, such as a job interview, an exam, a speech or presentation in front of a large group of people. From a stress and anxiety point of view, this part of hypnotherapy work essentially ‘empties your bucket’.
Avoiding stress altogether
However, hypnotherapy goes further than this. It makes use of the lowered anxiety levels produced by hypnosis or the trance state as a way of creating the necessary mental space to work deeply on thought patterns, via a range of ‘talking techniques’.
This part of the work changes altogether what is going into your ‘bucket’ every day, every hour, every minute. In this way, it is possible to reach a stage where you never become so stressed or anxious in the first place.
To give an insight into how hypnotherapy can have great results for high-pressure, stressful situations, here are two examples of how it has helped one particular client in two separate situations:
“The first situation was just a regular trip to the dentist. For many years, I had been hugely fearful about going to the dentist, not visiting for 10 years in a row. Using the techniques learned in hypnotherapy, I not only actually managed to get myself to turn up for the appointment, but also to calm and reassure myself while I was in the waiting room. As a result, I felt much less stressed out than I would ordinarily have done, and much more in control.
The second situation was a more frightening one – I was told that I needed to be referred to the cancer team after an assessment of a mole on my neck. I then had to undergo quite invasive treatment, as the mole had to be surgically removed while I was still conscious. This was then followed by weeks of waiting to find out whether or not it was cancerous. Thankfully it wasn’t, which was a huge relief. The hypnotherapy techniques helped me to stay calm, and to not get too drawn into a spiral of negative thinking during that period of intense pressure and worry.
I found everything I had learned about the human brain and the ways in which it is possible to manage your own thought patterns extremely useful during this difficult time.
Having been through such a challenging situation and stayed relatively calm and positive throughout, I am certain that I can use the same techniques to great effect the next time I am preparing for a job interview, and also while I am actually in the room talking to the interviewers.”
(Stephen, 38, Higher Education Professional)