Fear No More: Hypnosis as a Powerful Tool for Overcoming Phobias
Symptoms of phobias can range from highly unpleasant to debilitating. The intense fear that makes your heart race, hands sweat, and head spin can decrease your quality of life significantly. The majority of people understand that this fear is completely irrational but can’t do anything about it.
More than 19 million Americans live with a specific phobia. The most common treatments for this condition are cognitive-behavioral therapy and medication. However, they don’t always yield the desired results. That’s where hypnosis comes in.
Hypnosis is a powerful, evidence-backed solution that has helped millions of people get their lives back on track. Let’s take a closer look at the way it can help you deal with irrational fear and anxiety.
What Are Phobias?
A phobia is an overwhelming and persistent fear of a place, living being, object, or situation. The three main types of phobias include:
- Specific (simple) phobia – an intense and irrational fear of an object or a situation (spiders, heights, flying)l. If you suffer from this type of phobia, you probably know that the fear is irrational. However, it might feel as thought there is nothing you can do to prevent severe anxiety associated with facing the trigger.
- Social phobia – fear of situations where you may be evaluated or judged by other people. Examples are speaking in public, going to a job interview, or answering a question in class. This phobia often stems from low self-esteem and keeps people from socializing, getting a job, or going to school.
- Agoraphobia – fear of finding yourself in a place or a situation that may be hard or embarrassing to escape from. You could fear open spaces, being in a crowd, or riding an elevator. People with agoraphobia often have a safe place, which they are reluctant to leave.
Phobias can cause a variety of unpleasant symptoms that interfere with a person’s everyday life, including:
- Overwhelming fear
- Feeling the need to escape quickly
- Panic attack
- Feeling of disconnection from the body
- Increased heart rate
- Intense sweating or chills
- Tightness in the chest
- Difficulty breathing
- Tunnel vision
Some phobia symptoms go away on their own. However, without treatment, the majority of them can last for several years or even decades.
How Hypnosis Helps Treat Phobias
Hypnosis leverages the power of the subconscious mind, using tools such as visualization and suggestion, to help you overcome phobias and regain control of your life. Studies demonstrate that just two sessions of professional hypnotherapy can reduce the symptoms of a phobia.
The main benefit of hypnosis over other phobia treatments is its ability to get to the root from which a phobia originates from. Often, the source of a phobia can be uncovered with the use of hypnosis or self-hypnosis. From there, hypnosis can help you build a sense of safety and acceptance around phobia triggers.
Accessing the Subconscious
During traditional hypnosis, a hypnotist guides you into a suggestible state using clear, intentional direction. Hypnosis is an incredibly flexible tool that can be used during deep relaxation or waking conversation. The client remains in control of their body and mind throughout the entirety of the session.
Identifying the Cause
The next step toward managing your phobia through hypnosis is working towards identifying the root. As you delve deeper and deeper into the subconscious, unexpected images and sensations might arise. With the help of a hypnotist, you’ll work towards getting a more complete picture of the origins of your phobia.
For example, the roots of a deep phobia around spiders could go back to your childhood when you found a spider in your shoe at school. Oftentimes, this is the case for simple phobias. When it comes to social phobia and agoraphobia, roots are sometimes unknown.
If you and your therapist can’t uncover phobia roots, don’t worry. It is not necessary to know the roots of your phobia in order to effectively use hypnosis. You’ll simply move to the next step of using hypnosis for anxiety and phobias.
Changing the Reaction
Your hypnotist will use a variety of techniques to help you manage reactions to your fears. Using hypnosis, you’ll learn how to reframe your thoughts and beliefs surrounding the phobia. You might be provided with exercises and techniques to use outside of the session when confronted with your fear. The ultimate goal is to reshape the subconscious thought pattern to establish a more rational, balanced perspective.
Another technique that helps fight phobias in a hypnotic state is confrontation. Confrontation involves gradually and gently exposing you to the object of your phobia.This gentle exposure helps you build resilience and reduce sensitivity to phobia triggers. Through repeated exposure and positive suggestions, you’ll retrain your mind to associate the phobic trigger with feelings of calmness and control.
Hypnosis can also help you manage the physical and emotional symptoms associated with phobias. Phobias often trigger intense anxiety and panic responses that are downright debilitating. Using hypnosis, you’ll learn personalized techniques and coping strategies to manage these symptoms. Self-regulation becomes easier and easier as you work through your phobias with hypnotic techniques.
Hypnosis vs Traditional Phobia Treatment Options
Traditional phobia treatments include exposure therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and medication. In general, medication is used as a short-term treatment for phobias. On the other hand, exposure therapy can be effective, but can also lead to further unnecessary stress. CBT involves the un-pairing of the anxiety response from the feared situation. Although this sounds similar to hypnosis, CBT fails to leverage communication with the subconscious.
As flexible as it is effective, hypnosis can be used in combination with other treatment methods. In fact, applying hypnosis in combination with other methods is encouraged in order to support a holistic approach to treatment.
Leveraging the Power of Hypnosis
Consider using hypnosis as a powerful tool for eliminating your phobias and regaining control over your own happiness. You’ll learn intuitive, effective ways to address obstacles and get what you desire. Whether you choose to work with a hypnotist or guide yourself in self-hypnosis, visit our website and start your journey towards a phobia-free life.
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