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Hypnotherapy for Anxiety

Imagine a future free from anxiety. What would change?
What do you see yourself doing differently?

Hypnotherapy can help you visualise a positive future where you feel more confident and in control, supporting you to identify the resources you have to move easily towards your goals.

How many sessions of hypnotherapy do I need to treat anxiety?

Every client is different, but for clients seeing me primarily to help with anxiety and stress relief, I usually expect to see positive change within 6-12 sessions.

How much does hypnotherapy for anxiety cost?

I offer a free, no obligation initial consultation and individual hypnotherapy sessions for anxiety and stress cost £80 each.

Many of my clients choose to book a pre-paid package of 6 hypnotherapy sessions at the discounted price of £400.

Where do I find a hypnotherapist in my area?

I offer hypnotherapy in person to clients suffering from anxiety and stress in Maidstone, Kent and the surrounding areas (Allington, Aylesford, Barming, Bearsted, Kings Hill, Rochester, Tonbridge, West Malling etc.) at the Cosmopolitan Medical Clinic in Maidstone.

I also offer convenient online sessions with clients across the UK, including Northern Ireland.

To find solution focused hypnotherapists near you to work in person, please check the AfSFH Directory.

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What is anxiety?

Anxiety is a feeling of apprehension. We all feel anxious some of the time, often before big events or trying something new, and this temporary unease or concern is perfectly natural. Unfortunately, sometimes these worries can spiral into a more generalised anxiety which can affect our ability to cope with our everyday lives.

What does anxiety feel like?

Anxiety feels different to everyone. Common physical symptoms of anxiety include:

  • Increased heart rate (a racing heart or palpitations)
  • Churning stomach or “butterflies”
  • Nausea, sickness or diarrhea
  • Tightness in your chest
  • Sleep issues and insomnia
  • Fast breathing or hyperventilation
  • Tiredness
  • Tense muscles
  • Shaking or trembling
  • Sweating
  • Blushing
  • Stuttering
  • Struggling to focus and loss of concentration
  • Feeling frozen to the spot
  • Panic
  • Restlessness or feeling on edge

What does anxiety look like?

Because everyone experiences anxiety differently, it can be hard to spot from the outside but affects a huge spectrum of people. Some of the less obvious signs that someone you know may be feeling anxious are:

  • Pessimism - negative thinking & talk
  • Stomach aches
  • Migraines
  • Nail biting
  • Poor sleep
  • Unhealthy coping mechanisms – poor self care, comfort eating, drinking, smoking
  • Rechecking things – the oven, the doors, social media feeds…
  • Irrational fears or phobias
  • Perfectionism & overthinking
  • Irritability
  • Anger
  • Yawning when not tired
  • Controlling behaviour
  • Forgetfulness

Why do I feel anxious?

A question I am often asked in therapy is “What is wrong with me?”. Often we know that our anxiety is irrational or out of proportion but, despite this, we feel unable to control it. We feel silly and, as a result, might avoid seeking help.

The reality is that there is nothing wrong with you. Your brain is doing exactly what it is supposed to do. Before you tell me how ridiculous this is, let me explain.

The human brain has two parts – the rational, clever intellectual mind, which allows us to build and invent and analyse. This bit of the brain is generally pretty positive and tends to get things right. This is the bit that knows your anxious feelings and behaviours are disproportionate and unhelpful.

But there is another part of the brain, the primitive part. This acts like a health and safety officer, helping us to spot dangers and react quickly and decisively to keep us safe.

Polar bear - illustration of human behaviour when anxious

So, imagine you walk out of your home and you bump into a polar bear.

What would happen?

You would probably feel a bit anxious!

You would lose intellectual control and move from the intellectual brain to the primitive, emotional part of your brain.

Your heart would race, your muscles would tense up or shake, ready to run as fast as you can, you would get butterflies in your stomach, feel sweaty or sick… you may suddenly need the toilet… getting rid of everything unnecessary in your body, and you would be off like a shot.

Perfect! Thank you primitive brain! That’s exactly what you would want to happen. You reacted fast and stayed safe.

Unfortunately, this part of our brain hasn’t evolved as quickly as the world we live in, so whenever we feel anxious, the primitive mind believes we are in physical danger and takes over to help.

So when we go for an interview and start to feel a bit anxious, the primitive brain rushes to our aid, encouraging us to fight, freeze or run away, its tried and tested solutions to keep us safe in every crisis.

How do we create the anxiety which sends us from the sensible, positive part of the brain into the angry, anxious and depressed part?

Anxiety is caused by negative thinking. Every negative thought we have is converted into anxiety.

We can create anxiety by worrying about the future, by overthinking or by reliving negative past events.

Thinking negatively leads to anxiety

Here we should remember that our minds cannot tell the difference between imagination and reality.

Intellectually, we know that most of the things we get anxious about won’t happen. Interviews generally go ok, but of course you worry about them and start thinking about things going wrong. You probably think about each interview 50 times?

Even after the actual interview goes well, as far as your brain is concerned, you have had 51 interviews and 50 have been absolute disasters. And of course afterwards, we dissect our performance, rerunning every shaky moment and imperfectly answered question.

We store every one of those negative thoughts in what we call a “stress bucket”. Sometimes it will overflow, and when it does, we experience all the physical symptoms we recognise as anxiety.

How do I stop feeling anxious?

Person sleeping - REM sleep reduces anxiety

Thankfully, we have a natural method for emptying our “stress bucket” - REM sleep (rapid eye movement).

Each night we re-run events of the day in our dreams and move them from our emotional primitive brain to our intellectual brain, where we have control over the memories.

Sleep is incredibly important in processing our day to day stresses, and allowing us to start each day fresh. Obviously the less you put into your stress bucket to start with, the less you have to process, so learning to focus on the positives in your life can help put a lid on your bucket and prevent it overflowing so often.

Try self-hypnosis with my free relaxation mp3, and kickstart a good night's sleep tonight

What is the difference between anxiety and an anxiety disorder?

Normal anxiety is uncomfortable, but manageable – usually, it is:

  • Related to a specific problem or situation
  • Short term – the anxiety doesn’t continue after the problem is gone
  • Proportionate to the situation

Anxiety disorders are characterised by anxiety which:

  • May not be realistic or seems to appear for no specific reason
  • Is disproportionate to the situation which triggered it
  • May last for a long time, even when the problem is resolved
  • Feels overwhelming
  • Affects your day to day life, your ability to cope or function

When is anxiety a problem?

Whether you suffer from a long term, debilitating anxiety disorder, or more normal everyday worries, anxiety is a problem when it feels like one to you. You don’t have to live with these feelings of anxiety, and it is never too early or too late to seek help.

Can hypnotherapy help anxiety?

Yes. Research shows that hypnotherapy is effective in helping people manage anxiety and helpful for people with a wide range of stress related conditions. It can also help you to cope with the symptoms, overcome learned or unhealthy behaviours.

"I have suffered on and off with anxiety for a long time. I have tried various therapies over the years to help, including counselling, all of which improved things but didn’t solve the problem. Through a series of Zoom hypnotherapy sessions, I have gradually reduced my level of anxiety and begun to see things more clearly and more importantly been able to make changes in my life without being held back by my anxiety."
Maidstone, Kent
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How does hypnotherapy help anxiety?

Solution Focused Hypnotherapy uses a combination of solution-focused talking therapy, focusing on the present and the future, and a knowledge of neuroscience, supported by hypnosis. This helps clients to visualise a positive future in a calm and non-judgemental environment, allows them to reflect on this preferred future in a relaxed and positive state, and helps them to identify the resources they already have, clarifying the solutions that will help them and encouraging a shift in perspective, moving them towards their goals.

Relaxation and visualisation can be used to rehearse and reinforce positive outcomes, where anxiety is related to specific situations, or to reduce more generalised anxieties and day to day stress.

In trance, the brain is able to start working through some of the anxieties sitting in the stress bucket, and this helps get you back on track with healthier sleep patterns, making the most of your powerful REM sleep to accelerate the bucket emptying process.

Learning how the brain works allows you to recognise your anxiety symptoms early to regain control of what goes into your stress bucket and find your own personal recipe to a calmer, more joyful life without anxiety.

What types of anxiety can hypnotherapy help?

Hypnotherapy can help with social anxiety, panic attacks, exam nerves, interview preparation, OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder), trauma and PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder), fears and phobias, agaraphobia, health anxiety and more.

Medical issues linked to anxiety:

Anxiety and stress can exacerbate other medical conditions such as migraine, asthma, heart disease and gastrointestinal problems, such as IBS. Many clients find that hypnotherapy for anxiety can help them cope with physical symptoms too.

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