Stress, Anxiety & Panic Attacks
We all experience some degree of stress in our lives. Whether it's sitting in traffic, preparing for a test or moving house, we've all been there. In fact a low level of stress can sometimes be beneficial - it helps us focus and achieve to the best of our ability. The problem is when that stress starts to take over our lives. Unresolved stress is called anxiety and the difference between anxiety and stress is that the underlying emotion is fear; a fear of what might happen. Panic attacks take place when this anxiety gets out of control.
Many people turn to hypnotherapy as a last resort, having tried everything else. The irony is that when they have resolved the problem they wish that they had tried hypnotherapy first! It works by changing the old subconscious patterns that equate certain situations with stress and fear. Most people are familiar with the fight or flight response (racing heart, sweaty palms, shakes etc) but generally we experience it when stressed rather than when we are actually in danger. When confronted with a lion this response is life-saving (helping us run fast and get out of danger quickly) but in day to day life that huge surge of adrenalin is unhelpful at best! Under hypnosis our minds can be taught to switch off the "fight or flight" response when it is not needed and replace it with new strategies that help us perform to our best.
Hypnotherapy can be hugely beneficial for anxiety and panic attacks because it works with the root cause of the problem. Often many anxiety conditions can be traced back to a single event or series of events in our past that our mind has perceived as threatening (even if in reality they were not). Sometimes we will not be aware of the original causes, but under hypnosis these can be found and worked through so that the brain no longer equates certain situations with fear.
Depending on the level of stress or anxiety that you experience a course of hypnotherapy will vary from 1-10 sessions. Simple stresses like exam nerves can often be treated in 1 or 2 sessions whereas long term anxiety may take up to 10 sessions to resolve. When compared to other treatments hypnotherapy is fast and effective. It offers a drug-free way of resolving the problem for good. Most people find it a pleasant and relaxing experience and you are completely in control throughout. Why Hypnosis? explains how the process works in more detail.