Can Mindfulness and Hypnotherapy Really Help You Overcome Anxiety?
Updated: Oct 30
Whether you or someone you love is suffering from anxiety, there is no denying it is one of the most debilitating mental health conditions out there. It can affect your day to day life, making it difficult for you to enjoy things you used to take pleasure in like social situations, going to the gym, or even stepping outside your front door!
The good news is that Mindfulness-Based Therapy and Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy really can help you overcome anxiety... plus they are evidence-based, medication free, and work effectively – so there’s really no reason not to give them a try! Here’s how they work…
Why Do We Get Anxious?
Anxiety is our body's natural reaction to a perceived danger, triggering our flight or flight response. This might make us feel like we are in danger, but most of the time it's a false alarm. This 'fear response' is an evolutionary mechanism to protect us from predators.
Sometimes anxiety can be triggered by something as simple as being late for work or feeling embarrassed. In these cases, your brain perceives that there’s some sort of threat—even if there isn't one—and triggers your fight-or-flight response. When you start to panic your breathing becomes shallow and rapid. You may start to sweat, your heart races and you begin thinking about everything that could go wrong. These are all signs that your body is preparing for battle (or flight).
Anxiety disorders are triggered when someone has learned to associate certain situations with danger.
What is Mindfulness and How Does it Relate to Anxiety
Mindfulness is the process of focusing on the here and now. It is about trying not to get caught up in a future that hasn’t happened yet, or ruminating on a past that has disappeared, but finding peace, happiness and acceptance in one’s present moment experience. This offers an alternative to cluttering the mind with thoughts about everything that happened yesterday or are happening tomorrow, thoughts which all too often cause us stress and contribute to anxiety.
The ancient practice of mindfulness has been applied clinically for many years and has been proven as an effective treatment for anxiety disorders like panic attacks, social anxiety, habits, recurrent depression and phobias. In essence, mindfulness brings you into the present moment where you can observe your thoughts without reacting negatively to them or judging yourself.
The Benefits of Mindfulness
Mindfulness can help us form a better relationship with our thoughts, it is also clinically proven to helps reduce stress. Mindfulness has been shown to improve people’s general mental health and well-being, which makes it a powerful way to manage anxiety.
Studies have shown that practicing mindfulness helps improve memory, social awareness, empathy, emotional intelligence and decision making ability. In addition, it can help with decision making in stressful situations as you’re able to be more rational about your
actions. This is helpful for those who suffer from panic attacks or other anxiety disorders.
The Mindful Therapist, Harley Street London, helps clients overcome anxiety disorders, depression, stress, habits and addictions.
How To Practice Mindfulness Exercises
Regular meditation is a great way to get into the habit of being mindful. Guided meditations, for example a Short Meditation On The Breath, is a simple way to begin bringing yourself into the present moment and learning how to focus your attention on one thing in particular, in this meditation your breathing.
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If you find that your mind wanders during this meditation, try not to get frustrated with yourself. Minds wander, its just what they do and as soon as you realise your attention has wandered, simply acknowledge where your mind has gone and return to focusing on your breathing.
The goal here isn’t perfection; it’s awareness!
How To Use Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy for Anxiety Relief
Hypnotherapy is a straightforward, ‘down to earth’ psychotherapy in which hypnosis is used to produce a very deep state of relaxation. This dramatically reduces levels of stress and anxiety and increases an individual's ability to respond to positive suggestions.
Studies have shown that certain techniques used in hypnotherapy can relieve specific aspects of anxiety disorders. For example, post-hypnotic suggestions given during treatment for social anxiety may help prevent performance anxieties for up to one year after initial sessions are completed.
In addition, research indicates that hypnosis is an effective method for treating panic attacks and panic disorder. A study published in 2005 found that patients who underwent a single session of hypnosis experienced a reduction in panic symptoms similar to those who received cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).
My training is in Hypno-CBT, an advanced branch of hypnotherapy that integrates concepts and techniques from CBT and Hypnotherapy to create highly structured and goal orientated treatment plans and for this reason is probably one of the shortest forms of psychological therapies with the average number of sessions being between 4-6.
What Are Simple Quick Ways To Reduce Anxiety Right Now?
Meditation and hypnotic relaxation exercises are great ways to reduce anxiety.
Other evidence-based breathing exercises include 3-4-5 Breathing and Box Breathing also harness breath control as a way to reduce anxiety and stress. To perform 3-4-5 Breathing, you breathe in for three seconds through your nose, hold for four seconds, then exhale slowly for five seconds through pursed lips.
If you would like some information about Harley Street hypnotherapy, please get in touch today.