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How to Use Self Hypnosis to Stop Anxiety Attacks
Everyone has anxiety from time to time, which is normal and very common. However, it’s not normal when anxiety escalates to anxiety attacks or panic attacks. During a panic attack, your rational mind is under siege and difficult to access. If you find yourself suffering from panic attacks, you can try to hypnotize yourself. But because hypnotherapy works on your subconscious mind, you can use it to calm yourself with a simple physical trigger. You can learn how to hypnotize yourself to help stop them, by starting below in this article.
Stopping Anxiety Attacks with Self-hypnosis
Understand self-hypnosis.Self-hypnosis is when you put yourself into a trance like state by concentrating on a single thought or object. You can use these techniques to calm yourself, relax, and begin to control the anxiety attack.
- Tell your therapist before starting self-hypnosis. Have your therapist check to make sure you are performing it as efficiently and effectively as possible. Make sure to work with a professional since self-hypnosis works on the subconscious mind, which can be extremely complex.
- While there are no well-described side effects of self-hypnosis, you still should work with a professional. This helps you ensure greater chances of success.
Form "I" statements.If you accept the idea of self-hypnosis, you have a greater chance of it working. Work with your therapist to create some self-affirmation statements. They should be genuine, honest, positive, and simple. Keep them in present tense and use I. Examples include:
- I am a brave person.
- I can control this or I am in control.
- I am confident in myself.
Get comfortable and relax.Start by using progressive relaxation. During progressive relaxation, tighten your muscles and hold them tight for five seconds. Then relax the muscles and move on to the next group of muscles. Make certain you won’t get interrupted. Wear loose clothing and make sure you are warm enough. You can also play soothing music.
- Sit down in a comfortable chair. Begin by relaxing all your muscles, starting at your toes. Consciously relax your toes, then move on to your feet, ankles, calves, thighs, buttocks, and abdomen. Next, move to your fingers, hands, wrists, elbows, and shoulders. Finally, relax your neck, your face, and your head.
- Use pillows if you need to make sure you can relax all your muscles.
- Try to let your mind think only about the muscles you are relaxing.
- Go through this step a second time, starting from the opposite end. If you started with your feet, start with your head this time. You should go through the progressive relaxation process twice.
Find an object to focus on.The object you choose can be anything. When choosing an object, find something that will allow you to comfortably look upwards slightly. Focus on the object as much as you can. Don’t force your focus. If you have random thoughts, allow them to pass and then refocus on the object.
- Become aware of your eyes and your eyelids. Slowly close your eyes.
- Breathe deeply and slowly. Relax with each breath. If you are breathing too fast, you can count your breaths or time the space between your breaths to slow it down.
- Image a clock pendulum in your mind. You can also imagine an object that slowly sways back and forth.
Repeat your positive statements.Count back from 10, telling yourself that when you reach one, you will have reached your subconscious state and that you are hypnotized. The start repeating your positive “I” statements. Repeat the “I” statements 10 times.
- Picture yourself as you would look making those statements to someone else. You might imagine repeating these statements to a person who most means the most to you. You may choose to make these statements to someone who frightens you the most. Talk to your therapist to decide the statements you should use and the person to you should imagine when making these statements.
Pinch the back of your hand.Once you have made your statement, pinch yourself on the back of your hand. Eventually, you will be able to train yourself to get back to the place of strength in your subconscious simply by pinching the back of your hand. Your subconscious will have created that pinch as the trigger that reminds your subconscious of your “I” statement.
Reverse the process.Begin to come out of your self-hypnosis by reversing the process. Start at one and count up to 10. In between each number, repeat your “I” statements
- When you reach 10, open your eyes, and take a deep breath. Remain where you are for a few minutes and then get up slowly.
Practice as often as you can.You can practice this every day, or as often as you want. This will help you get better at it and make it most effective for your situation. Just remember to work with your therapist.
Understanding Anxiety or Panic Attacks
Know the symptoms.Anxiety or panic attacks are characterized by an abrupt, rapid, and intense fear or discomfort. This intense fear or discomfort reaches a peak within minutes. An anxiety or panic attack includes at least four of the following symptoms:
- Heart palpitations, a pounding heart, or an accelerated heart rate
- Trembling or shaking, especially in the extremities
- Shortness of breath, feeling of smothering, or difficulty getting a breath
- Feelings of choking
- Chest pain or discomfort
- Nausea or abdominal distress
- Feeling dizzy, unsteady, light-headed, or faint
- Chills or sensations of heat
- Numbness or tingling sensations
- Feelings of unreality or feeling detached from oneself
- Fear of losing control or “going crazy”
- Fear of dying
Know when it’s an anxiety attack instead of a life-threatening emergency.Many of anxiety attack symptoms make people feel like they are having a heart attack or some other serious medical disorder. Because of this, they go to the emergency room or their doctor’s office. Don’t confuse the symptoms of an anxiety attack with a life-threatening emergency.
- Try to calm yourself down if you think you have a panic attack. If you can't modify your anxiety, it may be an underlying emergency. If you can't calm down within a few minutes, seek help. You'd rather be safe than sorry if you aren't sure.
Get a referral to a therapist.If you have suffered anxiety or panic attacks, contact your physician and get a referral to a therapist, if you don't already have one. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) has a Find a Therapist site which can help.You can also take the ADAA’s panic disorder screening test to see if you might have anxiety/panic disorder.
- Therapists can help you work through your triggers for your anxiety and get you to a place where you can prevent them before they happen.
QuestionHow do I stop anxiety attacks when drugs don't work?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou should go to counseling with a psychologist to find the root cause of your anxiety attacks so you can address this cause directly. A professional will be able to help you with this.Thanks!
QuestionI've been told I have Costochondritis, but it feels like heat/burning and is a panic attack - even small triggers could set me off if the stress piles up! What can I do?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIf you are starting to feel this just go into another room or somewhere quiet and think about things that make you happy. Then when you feel better go back. This usually helps me.Thanks!
QuestionWhat do I do if I can't come out of self hypnosis?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerSelf-hypnosis (and all hypnosis, in fact) puts you into a calm and suggestible state of mind. It's not like the mind control you see in pop culture. It's basically impossible to get stuck in a hypnotic state if you don't want to.Thanks!
How often can I have hypnosis ?
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