Hypnosis for Anxiety and Stress Relief
Do you suffer from frequent bouts of stress, anxiety or panic attacks?
Next time you are feeling stressed and anxious, notice what is going on in your mind and body. Stress and anxiety are often symptoms of underlying fear, emotional turmoil, conflict and self-criticism.
Common signs of an anxiety attack
- Feelings of fear and dread
- Tightness in the chest
- Shortness of breath
- Heart racing
- Knots in the stomach
- Shakiness or trembling
The symptoms of anxiety are unpleasant and can be unsettling and some people experience them frequently. The mind is in turmoil with an overwhelming sense of fear, the heart is racing, the muscles are tense and tight.
Stress is often brought on by the uncomfortable worries that surface as you play out worst-case scenarios in your mind.
Stress and anxiety can increase in frequency due to financial pressure, being in debt, or work pressure, the fear of loosing a job. It can be brought on by relationship issues or the fear of not being good enough or being your own worst critic.
“I’ve been through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened.” ~Mark Twain
When you worry and criticise yourself you become anxious and insecure. You feel as though you are not good enough. You worry too much about what other people think.
People often criticise themselves for not being more confident, prettier, funnier, smarter and so on. This leaves them feeling inadequate at work or inferior in social situations, which can develop into a full blown social phobia.
The inner critic and relentless negative self talk can make your work and social anxiety much worse. The more you criticise yourself the more powerful the inner critic gets. The more you compare yourself to others, the less you seem to measure up.
“You have been criticising yourself for years, and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself instead and see what happens” ~ Louise L Hay
Instead of self-criticism and thoughts that are in turmoil, wouldn’t it be nice to think of yourself kindly, in a calm and supportive way?
But, on second thought, this is easier said than done…
And as a hypnotherapist I know that sometimes we need help.
“When you doubt your power, you give power to your doubt” ~ Honore de Balzac
Hypnosis for anxiety and stress relief is achievable because, just as your inner-mind can create worry, turmoil and conflict, it can also change it.
Below is a list of 7 easy self-hypnosis steps, to help you get a grip on stress and anxiety.
Here is a 7 step guide to stop anxiety attacks (with easy self-hypnosis instructions)
To help you deal with the minor stress in you life you can learn to manage it with the help of these self hypnosis instructions.
Step 1 ~ Breathe calmly to reduce Anxiety…
You can easily guide yourself into a state of deep relaxation and self-hypnosis ~ starting with your breathing.
Breathe in and out through the nose.
On the in breath count to three, on the out breath count to six.
- Breathe-in count to 3
- Breathe-out count to 6
- Repeat this breathing rhythm 6 times
After a little while you can stop counting. Let a part of you assume this breathing rhythm automatically.
Soon it will become very natural for you to breathe this way (a shorter breath in and, a longer breath out).
Step 2 ~ Instructions for Self Hypnosis…
Second step is to steadily gaze at a spot in front of you. Now raise your eyes upwards, without moving your head. Keep your eyes fixed on the ceiling.
While gazing at this spot, mentally say to yourself:
“as I count from three (3) down to one (1) my eyelids will feel heavier and heavier, when I get to one (1) my eyes will close and I will completely relax”.
- Count down from 3 to 1
- Let eyelids get heavier
- When you get to 1 close your eyes
When your eyes are closed allow yourself to completely relax. Continue now to relax… from the top of your head and all the way down to your toes.
Take you time in doing this… release all tension from every cell, every muscle, every nerve. Starting with your head, neck and shoulders, then your chest and arms. Relax you back and spine, your body, your arms and your legs all the way to your toes.
Mentally repeat to yourself:
“relax”, “let go”, “deeper and deeper relaxed”.
Step 3 ~ Deepening Self-Hypnosis for Anxiety relief
The third step is to deepen your self-hypnosis experience using imagery and visualisation. Continue breathing in the way described above (a shorter breath in and, a longer breath out).
Now imagine yourself in a comfortable place, a TV screen is in front of you, pick up the remote control.
Breathe in deeply and see yourself switch on the TV, then breathe out.
Breathe in, select a channel, black and white, fuzzy, distorted images appear on the screen.
Now breathe out as you switch off those fuzzy images and relax even more than before.
Repeat switching the TV on and off three (3) times and relax more every time you switch it off.
By the time you switch it off third time, you can find yourself more absorbed in the experience of entering into calmness and self-hypnosis and switching off your fuzzy, distorted anxieties and worries.
Each time you practice and repeat these steps, the easier it becomes to find relief from bouts of anxiety.
Step 4 ~ Self-Hypnosis to find your calm place…
Imagine now a calm place, a place where you feel safe, comfortable and relaxed (walking on the beach, sitting under a shady tree or in your favourite room, etc).
Now imagine that you notice the surface beneath your feet, smell the fresh air, feel the sun on your skin or the breeze blowing through your hair.
Relax and enjoy the surroundings that help you to let go of your cares and concerns. Whenever you drift off to this special, private, safe place you will become even more relaxed and will re-experience being anxiety free, calm and quietly in control.
Step 5 ~ Visualisation for controlling anxiety…
Next, take a moment to imagine sitting back in front of the TV screen once more. Notice the remote control, pick it up, feel how light it is in your hand.
Now switch the TV on and select a channel with an old black and white movie on the screen.
As you watch the old movie you notice again fuzzy, black and white images and you hear distorted sounds; of stress, anxiety, sadness, grief; as well as fears, worries and concerns.
Watch now as those images get blurrier and fuzzier and you hear those sounds become more faint and distant.
Now again switch off the TV…
Let the negative images and sounds fade from your awareness. Switch off those anxious thoughts, worries and concerns.
Step 6 ~ Self-Hypnosis imagery to be anxiety-free…
Return now to imagining yourself sitting comfortably, breathing calmly.
Look at the TV again as you switch it back on. Select a new channel.
This time see images of yourself in full colour…
Hear your own laughter and see yourself being at ease and carefree, see your future goals coming true. Hear calm and happy sounds of conversations and laughter.
Watch the images of yourself being calm and confident and enjoying all kinds of positive achievements in your daily life.
Let these images reveal to you the resources, strengths and solutions that you can now use to live a full, happy and stress-free life.
See yourself radiant and healthy, with a healthy shape and size. Enjoy the motivation to exercise, be flexible and strong. Focus on how good you feel while you spend time watching these positive images, thoughts and achievements.
Play and replay them in your mind.
Take time in enjoying this part of the pleasant self-hypnosis experience.
And begin to imagine your life exactly how you want it to be now, rather than how it was before. Feel that you now have the calm confidence to achieve your goals.
Each day of your life see yourself feeling happy, content, confident and carefree.
Continue to spend a few more minutes enjoying this experience. You can now look forward to what each new day brings.
Step 7 ~ Re-alert from self-hypnosis
Suggest to yourself that you have enjoyed a wonderful relaxing experience.
At the count of three you will return to a natural level of calm awareness.
Breathe in deeply… then very slowly count yourself up from one to three.
- Count up from 1 to 3
- Let eyelids get lighter
- When you get to 3 open your eyes, re-alert
Even your autonomic nervous system will gradually calm down during the experience of self hypnosis, helping you to gain relief from stress and anxiety.
You will be feeling calm, re-energised and alert, looking forward to the remainder of your day.
You can also find these guided self-hypnosis 7 step instructions on a video I have prepared especially for you. Hope you enjoy every moment of your hypnosis experience.
Anxiety is trying to protect you
Stress is a natural and very common part of everyday life, some level of stress and worry is unavoidable. Your brain is hard wired to keep you safe. An important part of your brain known as the amygdale is assigned the duty of protecting you and watching out for your survival.
For example, if a ferocious animal is chasing you, the heightened emotion of fear instantly triggers a “fight-flight” response; you react by either running for your life or grabbing a weapon to fight.
This protective part of your brain doesn’t only watch out for your physical survival. You feel a similar kind of fearful emotion when you are nervous about going for a job interview, giving a public speech or going for a first sky dive.
When you experience anxiety in these situations, it’s your brain trying to protect you to help you survive emotionally.
“People aren’t attacked by their own bodies during panic; any more than a car or house is attacked by its own alarm system when the alarm sounds.” ~ Mark Tyrrell
Anxiety relief and self-confidence develop with self-hypnosis
Hypnosis can help you gain relief from stress and anxiety and to restore your self-confidence and to act in your own best interests. Subsequently, your inner strength and self assurance will develop. This in turn can help you value yourself and to acknowledge your own needs, such as:
- It is OK to be myself and not worry what others think
- It is OK to express my needs
- My needs are as important as others
- It is OK to have my personal needs met
- I can work out my differences with people I care about
- Discussing, resolving differences can improve relationships
- I have a right to assert myself, even if it doesn’t suit others
- I am not under pressure to say yes, simply because I am asked
- Saying no does not make me selfish or inconsiderate
- I can feel good about myself, no matter what others think
When you notice that you’re worried or feeling guilty, practice repeating some of the above self-hypnosis and affirmations and notice how much better you feel afterwards
- (However, severe and persistent emotional conflict, stress and anxiety are better dealt with in hypnotherapy sessions with an experienced hypnotherapist)
In conclusion, give yourself a break, stop worrying and stop criticising yourself. Stop stressing and caring so much about what other people think.
You could say to yourself “don’t worry so much” or “you did your best” and if you need further help, feel free to contact me. I am here to help.
Anxiety and emotional turmoil can be released with the help of hypnotherapy sessions with an experienced hypnotherapist, or with ongoing practice of self-hypnosis.
My name is Katherine Ferris, I am a Clinical Hypnotherapist located in the heart of Sydney CBD and at Annandale, Inner West of Sydney. You can also book an appointment online for a more individually designed hypnotherapy session for anxiety relief.
Should you have any further questions about hypnosis feel free to give me a call on 02 9568 6801, I am more than happy to be of help.