We all have our own fears and anxieties. Whether it’s a fear of flying, a fear of rejection, a fear of failure, or even a fear of success, everyone is bound to be afraid of something. But having a fear and living in constant fear and anxiety are two completely different things. The latter means that your fears are actually affecting your quality of life.
The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that around 8.7 million Americans have a real phobia. Of these cases, 21.9 percent (or 1.9 percent of the U.S. adult population) have a severe phobia, a fear that becomes so debilitating the person experiences panic attacks, shortness of breath, nausea, and even fever-like symptoms whenever they are exposed to the trigger.
When fears turn into phobias, the common course of action is antidepressant or anti-anxiety medication, as well as behavioral and exposure therapies. But a 2013 study on phobia interventions published in the Australian Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, shows that “hypnosis may be employed effectively in conjunction with behavioral approaches, including cognitive restructuring and systematic desensitization, psychodynamic psychotherapy, and dental treatment.”
But how exactly does hypnosis “fix” your phobia, and what benefits does it bring to the table?
1. Hypnotherapy Addresses Your Subconscious
In a hypnotherapy session, the hypnotherapist puts you in a state of relaxation, allowing you to access your subconscious, the part of your mind where irrational thoughts govern your fears. With consistent sessions, you and your therapist can tweak your subconscious, using the power of positive suggestion to change these thoughts, or even to eliminate them.
2. Hypnotherapy Teaches You to Relax
One of the first things your hypnotherapist will teach you is how to enter a state of complete calm and relaxation. If you practice long enough, you can reach this meditative state at will. This way, whenever you feel a panic attack coming on because of a fear, you can immediately tell your mind and body to relax, and know that your fear is just that—a fear, one that’s all in your mind.
3. Hypnosis Uses the Power of Suggestion
Contrary to how it is often portrayed on film and TV, hypnosis is not some kind of magic trick, neither is it mystical in nature. What it involves is using the power of positive suggestion, words with meaningful messages, to condition the mind into putting thoughts into action, and actions into habit. This strategy allows you to not only face your fears, it also teaches you that your fears are simply irrational thoughts in your mind.
Although hypnosis can have a profound impact in the way you handle your fears and anxieties, eventually allowing you to overcome them, it’s important to remember that hypnosis is not some magic pill that fixes things in a snap. It will take time, so be sure to have realistic expectations.
About the Author: Dr. Steve G. JONES, Ed.D. is one of Your Monthly Mentors, a board Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist who has been practicing hypnotherapy since the 1980’s. He is the author of 25 books on such topics as hypnosis, the law of attraction and weight loss. Dr. Steve has also created over 9,000 hypnosis audio recordings and 22 different online certification programs, which are sold in over 140 countries. Dr. Steve G. Jones works extensively with Hollywood actors, writers, directors, and producers, helping them achieve their very best. He has been featured on Bravo’s Millionaire Matchmaker as both a hypnotherapist and a millionaire and has been interviewed on CNN, ABC, NBC and CBS. Learn More…