Anxiety and Stress Relief
Get fast relief from symptoms of stress and anxiety with hypnotherapy.
Do you dread the thought of having an anxiety attack? Do you avoid situations where you’ll get worked up – because that’s when anxiety kicks in?
Those awful feelings of panic overwhelm you. Your heart is racing, muscles are tense and tight, you feel anxious panic arising.
Some people experience anxiety way too frequently
Stress, anxiety and panic attacks are a symptom of underlying emotional turmoil. Feelings of fear and panic, cause fuzzy thinking and lack of focus. You dread those unexpected bouts of anxiety.
Read on… find out why the 15 most common symptoms of anxiety are so unpleasant and unsettling.
Stress and anxiety are described as being overwhelmed, worried, wound up and panicky. We all experience stress at times. It can motivate us to get things done, but it can also be harmful if we experience it too frequently.
Next time you are feeling stressed and anxious, notice what is going on in your mind and body. It is helpful to recognise your internal and external stressors and coping strategies to deal with them.
Unhealthy coping strategies
External Cause of Stress
Our environment and relationships can be the cause of external stress. Including home life and family. Work pressure and deadlines; noise, pollution; injuries and trauma – all contribute to stress and anxiety.
“Anxiety made me catastrophise and assume the worst possible outcome, leaving me terrified to socialise in public.” ~
Internal Cause of Stress
Our emotional thoughts and expectations and worries contribute to the internal stress and pressure. For example, many of our past beliefs and memories influence the way we feel, behave and react in stressful situations.
Stress and anxiety are symptoms of underlying emotional turmoil. Anxiousness leads to feeling out of control physically and emotionally. As a result, anxiety perpetuates fears of failure, internal conflict and self-criticism.
The symptoms of anxiety are unpleasant and unsettling. Some people experience them frequently.
Stress is Mind Pollution ~
You get used to a steady stream of mind chatter blowing things out of proportion. Never-ending thoughts, emotions, stories and dramas running thorough your mind.
During anxiety episodes you feel an overwhelming sense of fear and dread. Your heart is racing, your muscles are tense and tight, you feel anxious panic arising.
Anxiety doesn’t speak to logic, it whispers through your ears directly to your fears ~
Frequently though, you don’t fully recognise the impact anxiety is having on you, until you step out of it.
With hypnotherapy you can learn to reduce the frequency and intensity of anxiety. Gain relief from anxiousness brought on by unrelenting mind chatter, stress and worry.
Common 15 signs of an anxiety attack
- Feelings of fear and dread
- Fuzzy thinking and panic
- Lack of focus
- Muscle Tension
- Tightness in the chest
- Shallow breathing
- Shakiness and trembling
- Heart racing
- Knots in the stomach
- Stomach aches
- IBS symptoms get worse
- Insomnia and restlessness
- Jaw clicking, teeth grinding
Intensity and frequency of anxiety can increase due to work and financial pressure. For example, worrying over real of imagined scenarios, jumping from problem to disaster; from being in debt to losing a job. It can be brought on by relationship issues. Anxious feelings arise due to negative self-talk; being not-good-enough or being your own worst critic.
Anxiousness is caused by negative expectations and imaginary scenarios
Anxiousness is brought on by catastrophising and agonising over future or past events. Negative thoughts going round and round in your head convince you that something is far worse than it really is. Worries continue bouncing around in your head as you play out worst-case scenarios in your mind.
“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. As a result you feel as though you are not good enough, you feel helpless. Subsequently, you begin to worry about what other people think of you.
Similarly, 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. If not dealt with it can develop into a full blown social phobia.
Inner critic and relentless negative self-talk makes work-stress 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 trained hypnotherapist I know that sometimes we need some 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 creates worry, turmoil and conflict, it can also change it.
Common types of anxiety disorders
- Panic attacks
- Phobias and irrational fears
- PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)
- OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)
- GAD (Generalised Anxiety Disorder)
- Social Anxiety
Managing anxiety – self-help tips for quick stress relief
Worrying seldom leads to a solution. Regardless of how much you dwell on worst case scenarios, you will rarely be any more prepared to deal with them if they actually happen.
On the other hand – learning to calmly evaluate the situation and identify steps to deal with it – will lead to problem solving and managing your anxiety.
- Reduce work pressure – too many responsibilities and deadlines cause stress. Wherever possible delegate tasks to work mates and colleagues
- Relationship issues – set aside time to discuss issues and find a compromise. Reduce arguments by clearly expressing your needs and finding ways to get them met.
- Home responsibilities – ask for help with cleaning, meal preparation and washing dishes. Get family members to pitch in with household chores.
- Sleep is important – you need to get enough sleep each night. Try to get at least eight hours to reduce fatigue and stress and awaken feeling rested and calm.
- Talk to a friend – get support to clarify a worry or an issue. A friends perspective can offer a point of view you may have overlooked.
- Reduce stimulants – check your medication for any side effects that cause anxiety. Similarly, reduce your coffee and alcohol consumption because they can cause mood fluctuations and anxiety.
- Stay active – regular walks and outdoor activities in fresh air are known to reduce stress and anxiety.
- Exercise regularly – yoga, deep breathing and stretching are highly recommended for release of tension and tightness. Gym workouts are great for stress relief.
- Stress reduction techniques – explore proven methods of stress relief such as; self-hypnosis, mindfulness and meditation.
Anytime you get worked up and anxiety kicks in, remember to breathe deeply and practice mindfulness, meditation and self-hypnosis.
Here is a practical 7 step guide to stop anxiety attacks (with easy self-hypnosis instructions)
To help you deal with stress and anxiety in you life, you can learn to manage it by practicing these self hypnosis instructions.
Step 1 ~ Breathe calmly to reduce Anxiety…
Easily guide yourself into a state of deep relaxation and self-hypnosis ~ by 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.
- In breath count to 3
- Out breath 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 method automatically.
Soon it will become very natural for you to breathe this way (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. Raise your gaze 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
Then close them and allow yourself to completely relax. Continue to relax… from the top of your head, right down to your toes.
Take you time in doing this… release all tension from every cell, every muscle, every nerve. Start with your head, neck and shoulders, then your chest and arms. Relax you back and spine, your upper body, then your hips and legs all the way to your toes.
Mentally repeat to yourself:
“relax and let go”
“deeper and deeper relaxed”.
Step 3 ~ Deepening Self-Hypnosis for Stress relief…
Third step is to deepen your self-hypnosis by using imagery and visualisation. Continue breathing in the way described above (shorter breath in and, a longer breath out).
Next imagine yourself in a comfortable place. There is a TV screen with a remote control in front of you. Pick up the remote control.
See yourself switch on the TV.
Select a channel. Black and white, fuzzy, distorted images appear on the screen.
Now breathe out as you switch off the TV with those fuzzy images. 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 the third time, you find yourself more absorbed in the experience of calmness.
Self-hypnosis is helping you to switch off your fuzzy, distorted anxieties and worries.
Each time you practice and repeat these steps, the easier it gets to find relief from symptoms of stress and anxiety.
Step 4 ~ Self-Hypnosis to find your calm place…
Imagine now a peaceful, calm place. A place where you feel safe, comfortable and relaxed.
It can be walking on the beach with sand beneath you feet. Sitting under a big shady tree, near a pond or a lake. Or relaxing in your favourite room.
Let yourself smell the fresh air, breathe it in deeply. Notice the texture of the surface beneath your feet. Feel the sun on your skin, the breeze blowing through your hair.
Enjoy the calm surroundings which 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. You 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 it’s weight in your hand.
Once again 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 those fuzzy, black and white images. You hear familiar distorted sounds; of stress, anxiety, sadness, grief and, a sense of dread, worries and turmoil.
Watch now as those images get blurrier and fuzzier and smaller. Hear those distressing sounds become more hazy, faint and distant.
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 to imagining yourself sitting comfortably, relaxed and breathing calmly.
Find the remote control and feel how light it is in your hand. Look at the TV as you switch it back on. Select a new channel.
This time see images of yourself in full colour…
Hear your own laughter, you feel at ease and carefree. See your desired goals coming true. Hear the calm and happy sounds of conversations, fun and laughter.
Watch pleasant scenes of yourself being calm and confident and enjoying all kinds of positive achievements in your daily life.
Try repeating thoughts like: “I am calm, I am safe.” or “I value and appreciate myself” or “whatever happens I deal with it, I am calm and in control.”
Let these thoughts and images reveal to you the resources, strengths and solutions 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, to be flexible and strong.
Focus on how good you feel while you visualise these positive images, thoughts and feelings.
Play and replay them in your mind.
Take time in enjoying this part of the pleasant self-hypnosis experience.
See your life unfolding exactly how you want it to be, rather than as 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 as much time as you like 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
You will be feeling calm, re-energised and alert, looking forward to the remainder of your day.
Even your nervous system calms down during the experience of self-hypnosis. This not only helps calm your thoughts, but to also relax your body in a way that goes beyond your thoughts.
Hypnosis and visualisation to gain relief from stress and anxiety…
You can find these guided self-hypnosis instructions on a below video, which I have prepared especially for you.
Hope you enjoy every moment of your self-hypnosis experience.
Anxiety is trying to protect you
Stress and anxiety are a common part of your everyday life. Some level of stress and worry is unavoidable.
Your brain is hard wired to keep you safe. A part of your brain, the amygdala, is given the job 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 automatically 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 emotion when you are nervous about going for a job interview, giving a public speech or going for a sky dive.
When you experience anxiety in these situations, it’s your brain trying to help you survive emotionally.
“People aren’t attacked by their bodies during panic; any more than a car is attacked by its alarm system when the alarm sounds.” ~ Mark Tyrrell
Research study of effectiveness of hypnosis treatment for anxiety…
Hypnotherapy is used effectively to reduce stress and anxiety.
But, is there sufficient enough research evidence to back that up?
Yes, according to Eileen Davis, a Senior Lecturer at the School of Counselling. There are quite a number of research studies in existence. As a result, she carried out a review on ten of them – for two most common conditions: chronic pain and anxiety.
This review revealed strong evidence of positive effectiveness of hypnotherapy as treatment to assist in the reduction of pain and anxiety. (Davis, E., 2015, Literature review of the evidence-base for the effectiveness of hypnotherapy. Melbourne: PACFA)
Anxiety relief and self-confidence develop with self-hypnosis…
Anxiety sucks! Hypnosis can help you gain relief from stress and anxiety. Restore your self-confidence and act in your own best interests.
Subsequently, your inner strength and self assurance will develop. This in turn helps you value yourself more and to acknowledge your own needs.
Affirmations for reducing Anxiety
- It is OK to not worry about what others think
- To express my needs is important for me
- My needs are as valid as theirs
- Now I treat myself with kindness and respect
- Its OK to have my personal needs met
- I can work out my differences with people I care about
- Discussing and resolving issues can improve my 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’m asked
- Saying no doesn’t make me selfish or inconsiderate
- Whatever happens I can cope with it better than before
- Thinking calmly allows me to become my own best friend
- I feel good about myself, regardless of what others think
When you notice that you’re worried or feeling stressed, practice the above self-hypnosis affirmations. Notice how much better you feel afterwards.
“learn to move beyond charged emotions, limiting beliefs and insecurities, to not only dramatically improve your own life, but also your relationships with family, friends, workmates and strangers” ~ Ben Fizell, Peacekeeper Project
In conclusion, give yourself a break, stop worrying and stop criticising yourself. Stop stressing, catastrophising and caring so much about what other people think.
Say to yourself “don’t worry so much” or “you did your best”. 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 an experienced hypnotherapist.
When you get worked up and when anxiety kicks in, breathe deeply and practice your self-hypnosis.
Should you have any further questions about hypnosis feel free to give me a call on 02 9568 6801. I’m Katherine Ferris and I am more than happy to be of help.
Abundant tips for beating stress
Katherine Ferris, from Sydney Wellbeing Centre teaches you how to get into a self-hypnosis meditation:
Sit quietly for five minutes: eyes closed, breathing deeply and slowly.
- Count to four as you breathe in. Pause.
- Count to eight as you breathe out.
- Focus on your forehead: let it relax.
- Relax your jaw and your face.
- Let tension fade from the back of your neck, shoulders and spine.
- Continue the breathing rhythm as you relax your body.
With self-hypnosis your body releases stress and tension
- Each time you meditate, it becomes easier.
- Normal everyday sounds around you can help you relax even more.
- Breathe in: feel centred and calm – an inner strength develops.
- Breathe out: disperse obstacles standing in the way of the enjoyment of your life.
Now send loving thoughts to your family, friends and yourself
- Thank the universe for providing you with health and wellbeing.
- Feel a deep gratitude for all the good things in your life.
- You can now remain centred and refreshed, long after you open your eyes, no matter where you are.