One of the first things I say to my clients who seek help to overcome anxiety is, "You are not an anxious or nervous person, it is just a program that your brain and body learned, and it makes you feel that way."
There is a reason that I'm always booked for weeks in advance, and why for decades now, people visit hypnotherapists for challenges like anxiety, depression, PTSD, confidence issues, and phobias… because it works! Hypnotherapy is a shortcut to change.
According to Our World In Data, an estimated 284 million people experience an anxiety disorder. Everyone experiences various levels of anxiety from time to time; however, the issue is when anxiety negatively impacts a person's wellbeing and ability to function on a day to day basis. Many people experience mild anxiety levels that they predetermine as 'stress.' However, for some people, they experience a mild, constant underlying 'hum of anxiety.' For others, it becomes frequent and extreme panic attacks.
You shouldn't have to 'learn to live with anxiety.'
People usually learn to manage their anxiety levels with a variety of helpful and unhelpful coping skills. They often resign themselves to learning to live with "their anxiety," to handle it with different tools they have been taught and perhaps with other habits, defence mechanisms, and even medication that masks the symptoms.
With hypnosis, there is no need to manage or mask anxiety symptoms any longer because you can release anxiety. And to understand how, you need to understand the power of working directly with the unconscious mind.
How Working Directly with the Unconscious Mind Helps to Overcome Anxiety.
The conscious mind is approximately 5% to 10% of your mind's capacity – what you are consciously aware of is what is happening in the here and now.
The greater resource.
The unconscious mind is 90% to 95% of the mind and millions of times more powerful – it is the powerhouse and storehouse of everything else.
The unconscious is where we store everything we have ever learned, every memory we have ever made, every feeling we have ever felt, every habit we have ever formed – all our morals and values are programmed here. We program things into our unconscious mind in a variety of ways. Through repetition, experiences are recorded during heightened emotional and sensory states and a host of other ways the unconscious processes record experience and patterns. Once an experience and reaction are programmed in, the response then occurs on instinct, on auto-pilot.
We can learn things consciously, but the conscious part of the mind can become overloaded quickly (it has limited capacity.) So, this part of the mind's processing system can only take in small chunks of information at a time, i.e., learning to drive, learning to read, learning to ride a bike.
Once we practice enough times, we no longer have to think consciously about the action or response anymore, we now have an unconscious process, and we now respond automatically.
We are programming things into the unconscious mind from the day we are born. What's good, bad, happy, sad, right, wrong, safe dangerous, etc. is recorded as either a 'safe or unsafe, good or bad' experience.
Once an experience or reaction is programmed into the unconscious mind, it's very difficult (not impossible) to shift because the unconscious mind is rigid. Therefore, it is challenging to change that program consciously. (You might consciously want to change a habit, for example, but you fight the unconscious triggers and reactions. The internal battle rages on until you learn how the brain learns new patterns and puts that into practice.
Sometimes we program things into the unconscious mind that we don't consciously choose or want. (For example, a memory of an experience or reaction that was unpleasant,) causing a pattern to be recorded that can eventuate in a phobia or negative belief being held firm. Often, we don't remember why we think, feel, or react with anxiety.
For example, you can try to overcome a phobia by consciously telling yourself, 'it's OK, you're safe.
- If the unconscious mind runs a program that's screaming "terror," it doesn't matter what you tell yourself consciously; the unconscious mind will go into action.
- Your stress hormones pump, your heart pounds, your breathing changes, legs wobble, you may even break out in a sweat, get dizzy, even pass out.
- Anything you tell yourself will bounce off that conscious control barrier because it is your unconscious mind that is in control of the emotional, mental, and physical reaction.
Meaning that once anxiety is programmed into the unconscious mind, it becomes a challenge to shift.
No matter how consciously you may want change, the more stressed you are in response to the programmed pattern, the stress of 'wanting something to change,' strengthens the anxiety program. A person may become 'very skilled' at being anxious.
And they might wonder where the anxiety originated. Often intensifying the anxious pattern due to the stress of 'not knowing why.'
The key to remember is the 'why' is not needed to overcome anxiety, the 'how' is all you need. And the 'how' is hypnotherapy. Hypnotherapy is the solution to overcoming anxiety because of its power to reprogram the mind's unconscious processes.
As hypnosis is the 'learning state' of the brain, the new story and genuine healthy coping skills are reprogrammed into the mind's unconscious processes by bypassing the critical conscious mind.
It's like going straight to the computer programmer to install new software instead of trying to over-ride the existing software or pretend it's not there.
Through hypnotherapy, anxiety is released (software removed), and you can let go of the core issue and heal it regardless of whether you consciously remember it or not. In the future, when dealing with the same situations that used to trigger anxiety, you find that instead of reacting anxiously, you have a new calm response.
For more information or help to overcome anxiety challenges, contact me.
Clinical Hypnotherapist and Author of 'Is it a Habit or An Addiction?'