07535 794515 [email protected]

How hypnotherapy can help stress and anxiety

Stress and anxiety are normal parts of life, they differ but one can feed the other. Effectively managing stress and anxiety is important to maintain our health and wellbeing. 

We all have different capacities for stress in our lives based on our genetic, social backgrounds, the personal ideals we place upon ourselves, our values, internal belief systems and the imprints left by past experiences. 

Where does stress come from?

Stress results from positive experiences as well as negative, school, work, relationships, finances, moving home…and so much more, nobody’s life is stress-free.   

Am I stressed or anxious, what’s the difference? 

Stress is our reaction and response to a situation, which may lead to feelings of anxiety, frustration, helplessness, anger. There are differing levels of stress, those commonly experienced are positive and useful levels ‘Eustress’  e.g.,  nervousness to take a driving test, getting married, attending an interview for a new job.  ‘Hypo stress’ is where no stress is present, this can lead to feelings of demotivation, lethargy, lack of desire. Intense and repeated feelings of stress is referred to as ‘Acute stress’, with resulting physical symptoms such as poor sleep, IBS, tearfulness, irrational thoughts and emotions, panic attacks.   Stress levels beyond this may require intervention from the medical profession as if left unmanaged, can lead to mental health issues. 

So, how is stress different from anxiety?

Anxiety can originate from an event, that trigger event can then feed itself, an example could be ‘I’ve been made redundant’ (trigger event), ‘I’m not good enough anyway’ (negative internal dialogue and self-belief feeds into further anxiety, feelings of helplessness and resultant continued negative dialogue ‘what if I get another job and this happens again’ (complex anxiety leading to further stress);  the trigger event evokes a memory of a similar experience (root cause) of ‘not being good enough’ root cause of limited self-belief, potentially leads to self-fulfilling prophecy – failing to achieve desired outcomes.   

Adapted behaviour = feelings of low self-esteem; second guessing; people pleasing; high anxiety and stress levels, fear of speaking up in meetings, doing or saying the wrong thing ‘imposter syndrome’ thrives in the subconscious mind. Ultimately, anxiety and stress prevent her from progressing in her career long term. As the example demonstrates, stress and anxiety overload can have a detrimental effect and if not managed can potentially lead to , in this example not reaching full career path and could lead to longer term mental health problems.

How can hypnotherapy help stress and anxiety?

If you find yourself stuck, feeling stressed or anxious, suffer with panic attacks or mood swings, perhaps mild depression, or negative obsessive thinking. It’s very likely your brain activity is stuck in the beta state. This is the normal waking consciousness and reasoning wave. It is associated with a heightened state of alertness, logic, and critical reasoning, survival-based reactivating to the outside world  but can also translate into stress, anxiety, fear, and restlessness. “The voice of that “nagging inner critic” can get louder the higher you go into the Beta range. Today most adults operate at a Beta frequency, so it is no wonder stress is such a common health problem.”

An article written on “ How to elevate mood and normalise dysfunctional mental states with brain wave guidance therapy refers to Stanford University’s Dr. Leanne Williams who has said, “In depression, you will see some people get stuck in one of those circuits for negative emotion. They’ll say they feel bad, that everything feels bad. Trying to concentrate and switch to a different mode — a different circuit — can be really hard, almost impossible.”

They, go on to say that “too much of a good thing is bad. You need to periodically shift from beta into alpha (characterised by greater feelings of calm, relaxed focus, a disengagement from the inner critic, and a positive outlook). Countless studies have shown that increasing alpha activity offers relief from dysfunctional mental states and experiences of greater wellbeing.“  

How Hypnotherapy helps anxiety and stress  

Hypnosis works to change your brain wave state … hypnotherapy works as it moves a person from Beta through to Alpha and Delta. The optimal brain wave states for hypnotherapy are Alpha which is achieved in a medium level of trance at this level you will be more suggestible to change. Delta brain waves are where the “very best hypno-therapeutic work can be done”.

The benefits of hypnotherapy are two-fold it not only shifts the brain wave state but facilitates an optimal brain wave state for accepting the most complex suggestions for change, helping to break the self-defeating cycle of anxiety; empowering clients to take control; enabling them to recognise they can choose how they respond or react to situations. 

Anxious thoughts are stored in the subconscious, the home of fight or flight, hypnotherapy bypasses the analytical nature of our thinking – the critical faculty and communicates directly with the subconscious, addressing negative self-limiting beliefs and internal dialogue.

Hypnotherapy can tackle those negative beliefs that our subconscious holds on to. It can get to the root of a problem and help break self-defeating cycles, aligning the conscious and subconscious brain.  So often we are in conflict at a conscious level we want to break an unhealthy habit or cycle, however the subconscious in its way is protecting us and defaults to its belief system, if we have a negative belief system then all the conscious thoughts in the world will not change the outcome. The subconscious is your powerhouse, the driver of all your behaviours, communicate with the subconscious and transformative change manifests. 

Just imagine after a few sessions of hypnotherapy, you begin to feel a greater sense of optimism, calm, relaxation, safety, and security (one of my most beloved mantras I use is calm, relaxed, safe and secure) you become more consciously aware of those thoughts that no longer serve you, freeing yourself from historical chains that have bound you in self-defeating dialogue and self-sabotage. Freedom from limiting beliefs, the negative inner critic, insecurities, now safe and secure in the hold of a newfound sense of freedom, freedom to live your life how you choose, knowing that your always’ have a choice, you choose how you respond to life’s stresses and anxieties, which brings you an inner sense of peace and serenity. Living your best life. That’s hypnotherapy 

If any of the above resonates with you or if you know of anyone that may benefit from hypnotherapy do share!

Brainwave Research UK – Posts | Facebook

Brainwave Levels – Beta, Alpha, Theta & Delta States | Dr Marco Paret

There are five brain wave frequencies (Beta, Alpha, Theta, Delta, and Gamma) and each frequency is measured in cycles per second (Hz) and has its own set of characteristics