Anxiety – What Causes It and How Hypnotherapy Can Help

Anxiety – What Causes It and How Hypnotherapy Can Help

Hypnotherapy is very effective in helping people overcome both the symptoms and causes of anxiety. In this blog we will look at what causes anxiety and how hypnotherapy can help.

What Causes Anxiety?

We live in changing and uncertain times and this appears to be negatively impacting on people’s mental health. 

It seems that every few days there is a story in the press about the negative impact anxiety is having on different groups within society. 

Anxiety can wreck lives. Anxious people become so worried about potential future threats (which may not even happen), that they become paralysed with fear and withdraw from everyday life. In effect, they are ‘trapped’ in a negative future, and struggle to make decisions or appreciate the good things around them. 

So what is happening? 

Change means uncertainty and this can seem threatening to many people. As human beings, we are hard-wired to be wary of change. In our past, change often meant danger. We therefore crave certainty and we want to know what the future holds. 

Yet, if you think about it, the world has always changed and always will. Part of the problem now is that the rate of change in our world is speeding up. 

It’s natural to be concerned about potential threats that the future may (or may not) hold for us. However, how we respond to potential threats determines whether we keep that concern manageable and under control (and make the most of our lives), or let it ‘mushroom’ into anxiety. 

How we perceive and respond to potential difficult situations determines how we let them affect us. 

The table below shows how the same ‘threat’ can have 2 very different effects. 

                               POTENTIAL THREAT IMPLIED BY CHANGE/UNCERTAINTY 
  Response option (a): Concern   Response option (b): Anxiety
  Make a realistic assessment of the threat   Overestimate the scale of the problem
  Make a realistic assessment of one’s own ability to deal with it   Underestimate one’s own ability to deal with it
  Mentally, the problem seems challenging but ultimately manageable (help may be needed)   Mentally, the problem seems impossible
  Face up to the problem and take action   Ignore the problem and hope it goes away
  Make the most of life knowing that the problem won’t last  for ever   Withdraw from life and see no hope for the future

How Hypnotherapy Can Help Overcome Anxiety

Hypnotherapy utilises 3 main approaches, all of which are highly effective in helping people deal with anxiety. 

Relaxation

Even something as simple as hypno-relaxation can make a major positive difference. When we’re relaxed, we’re calmer and because we’re calmer we think more clearly. When we think clearly and rationally, situations seem less hopeless and solutions seem more possible.

Mindfulness-Based Hypnotherapy 

Mindfulness is about experiencing and appreciating the present moment (also known as ‘the now’). When we keep our focus on what is happening now, we make decisions and take action. We don’t unduly worry about the future because it’s out of our control and there’s no point wasting precious time and energy on something that may not even happen. 

Cognitive Hypnotherapy

Like mindfulness, cognitive hypnotherapy is about being aware of our thoughts and how they affect us. It teaches us to challenge and dismiss unhelpful thoughts and stay grounded in the present. Cognitive hypnotherapy also allows us to ‘visualise’ experiencing and overcoming challenging situations. It allows us to prove to ourselves that while a problem may be difficult it’s not impossible