We’ve all been to county fairs where a decked-out magician calls enthusiastic audience members up to the stage for a miraculous feat of hypnosis, somehow engaging those playful participants in goofy dance moves and silly confessions. Hypnosis can be a fun performance tool, but it can also work to address significant subconscious fears. Called hypnotherapy in psychological terms, this mental tool can be used to help people change behavior that is rooted in deep inner states of being.
Though hypnosis may not work for everybody, it is a powerful method of focusing attention inward to bring hard-to-reach states of consciousness into the forefront. With licensed professionals, hypnosis isolates the source of the problem in a focused state, allowing a clear picture of the problem – and solution – to emerge.
The below list is not exhaustive, but here are 5 common conditions where hypnosis may be a catalyst in changing thought patterns, and consequently, behavior.
As we all know, smoking cigarettes is one of the worst things you can do to your body. However, even with this knowledge, it can be extremely difficult to quit. The endorphins released from the inhalation of tobacco create a pleasant feeling in the brain and a feedback loop that creates a craving for more nicotine. Hypnotherapy has the potential to help reprogram the brain to view the body as a fully healthy and functioning unit without cigarettes, and this is the first step to breaking the hold of the addiction. Physical measures to ease the body away from the drug are usually also included in a smoking cessation session of hypnotherapy.
Clinical depression affects nearly a third of the population, and anyone living in the dark fog of depression should know there are ways out. Being depressed is a state of mind caused by any number of factors, including genetics, situations, or learned patterns. Hypnosis is not an instant cure, but a way of tunneling into the emotional inner world to replace old mindsets with new ones over time for long-lasting results.
Stress is a regular part of life, but beyond situational stress caused by life events, self-talk is a form of stress that can be debilitating to the health of the body and mind. Automatic negative thoughts are those that bubble up inside the brain despite external circumstances and cause anxiety and panic attacks. Hypnotherapy helps the patient delve into the subconscious roots of these automatic thoughts with the intention of understanding and then replacing them with more positive perceptions of reality.
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4. Anger Management
Uncontrolled, repressed, or violent outbreaks of anger are not healthy ways of expressing emotion, and anger management seek to help the patient deal with intense anger in healthy ways. Hypnotherapy can help alleviate the stress and violent rages that accompany uncontrolled anger to encourage a more balanced and happy life.
Intense and deeply rooted fears of a specific object, animal, or situation come in many different varieties and affect a significant portion of the population. From the fear of spiders (arachnophobia) to the fear of paper (papyrophobia), phobias can be a debilitating burden that causes avoidance and stress. If you have a dental phobia, for example, you may not even be able to come across a student from one of the best dental assisting schools in Arizona without panicking. Luckily, hypnosis is one of the most effective ways to help people overcome even lifelong phobias.
If you suffer from any of these fairly typical conditions and have already attempted relief with little progress, you may want to consider investigating the benefits of professional hypnotherapy.
Nancy Woo is a freelance writer with a degree in Sociology from Her local college in CA.