One of the most common requests I receive from my hypnotherapy clients is help in dealing with anxiety, panic attacks, and other highly emotional states of being. While each person's experience of anxiety or panic attacks may be unique, a common theme is a feeling of being out of control. The experience of feeling out of control often brings on a panic attack, and when we’re in the throes of one, we fear we’ll never gain control, which only serves to add fuel to the anxiety flames.
What can we do - in the moment - to stop this endless spiral?
And that phrase - in the moment - is the key to the answer. When we’re experiencing anxiety, we are not living in the moment. We’re either mourning the past… we might be holding feelings of shame, regret, or remorse. Another possibility is that we might be fearing what will happen tomorrow, or next week, or next month, or next year. It could be a planned upcoming stressful event or the possibility of one… it doesn’t matter, the point is that when we’re anxious we are not living in the present.
Actually, we want to flee the present moment by any means necessary, because in the moment, we’re spiraling down a panic vortex.
Which reminds me of an analogy… imagine you’re swimming in the ocean and you’re caught in a riptide and being carried out to sea. Swimmers are taught to do the opposite of what feels instinctive - which is to swim directly towards the shore, and this might be - by the way - against the current. Instead, we all know to swim parallel to the shore and allow the current to gently push you back to the shore, while you also swim in a lateral direction. In this particular case, surrendering is both a courageous and a wise act because it is what saves you.
So does that mean I’m suggesting that you surrender to anxiety and panic?
No. Not at all. Because surrendering to anxiety and panic means to remain anxious, maintaining the status quo, and allowing it to rule your life. What I’m proposing instead... is to surrender to the fight against ‘that which is’. Explicitly, that which exists now. When we’re panicking, we are fighting against that which is. We are denying what is happening right now, we are trying to escape it by focusing on the past, or by worrying about the future. The panic is a primal instinct that is kicking in based on our ‘fight or flight’ / adrenal glands.
We can surrender the fight against what is by simply focusing on the present moment, and every characteristic that you’re aware of. You can do this in a variety of ways:
How do these tactics work? Aren’t they too simple? Actually, they work because your conscious mind needs a job to do.
Anxiety-inducing conditions can trigger your adrenal glands to make you feel as if your life is in danger, and these cues are coming from an overactive, conscious mind and they are false positives. In order to disarm these triggers, we distract the conscious mind by giving it a job to do. Focusing on your breath or counting objects around you gives your conscious mind something else to do rather than dream up scary past or future scenarios that are totally unnecessary and unhelpful.
Of course, these strategies can help us in the midst of an anxiety experience, but how do we stop anxious emotions from arising in the first place? That’s where hypnotherapy can help.
Remember that your conscious mind uses only 10% of your brain’s overall energy, and is responsible for short-term memory, planning, thinking, and analyzing. The subconscious mind uses 90% of the brain’s energy and controls much more of who we are: our emotions, our long-term memories, our creativity, our involuntary bodily responses, including our ‘fight or flight’ responses, among others.
Using only the conscious mind to try to heal a problem that began in our subconscious, resides there, and is experienced mostly through subconscious impulses is not a winning strategy.
Hypnotherapists help their clients get to the root cause of their anxiety, and heal it, by accessing their subconscious through trance, and other energy healing modalities (e.g. sandplay therapy, Reiki, EFT, and more).
Ready to experience it for yourself? Schedule an appointment with me today.
Have you ever made a drastic change in your life? What prompted it?
My guess is that you reached a point in your life - whether in work or in a relationship - where you were simply too uncomfortable to continue with the status quo.
Of course, everyone has a different threshold for “uncomfortable” as well as different triggers and coping mechanisms. For some folks they welcome change with open arms, and easily seek out greener pastures without hesitation. But for the majority of us, we have to spend a certain amount of time experiencing being uncomfortable before we can wake up to new possibilities. First, to the realization that we want something different, and second, to actually doing something about it.
The same thing happened to me several years ago. I discovered that I was spending way too much of my personal energy trying to bring collective harmony into a work setting. What I didn’t realize at the time is that I was trying to cultivate group healing and harmony so that I could feel inner peace. Not an easy task, and not one that I was asked to do.
This instinct to instill group harmony I now see as my gift, and unique purpose. Of course, I didn’t know this at the time. I just knew that my inner worlds and outer worlds were in conflict and out of alignment, leading to intense discomfort and unhappiness.
Discomfort is the fuel of transformation.
Once you realize you’re not where you want to be, what do you do next? Where do you start? How do you bring your inner and outer worlds into alignment?
I’m going to answer that with another question, but before I do, take a pause, and tune in to the inner most part of yourself. What brings YOU joy? If you could create it, what would bring your inner and outer worlds into alignment?
For most people, it’s about their relationships. Human connections fuel our sense of belonging, one of the most primal drivers of our emotional and spiritual health… whether we realize it or not. Unless you’re Matt Damon in The Martian, it’s likely that in your daily life, you’re actively managing dozens of relationships at work and at home. How do you feel in these relationships? How free do you feel to be completely yourself in them? Where do you feel most at home being yourself?
These questions can help you assess the gap between your inner and outer worlds and begin to bridge this gap, for greater balance and harmony. After all, the most important relationship is the one you have with yourself.
Inner Healing and Outer Harmony.
Energy Healing can cultivate these by tapping into your authentic self for profound transformation and healing.
Helping people transform their lives by connecting to their own inner wisdom has transformed my own life. As a certified clinical hypnotherapist and Reiki practitioner, I’ve seen how these energy healing therapies empower personal transformation and self-healing. Through deep and relaxed introspection, you discover how to achieve your goals and get closer to becoming your most authentic self.
If you're ready to get started, book an appointment today.
These blog articles offer pragmatic tips on how to tune into your own inner wisdom.