Fears & Phobias
Experiencing the sensation of fear is normal. It is part of our automatic survival response which is helpful in situations where we are potentially in danger. By automatically triggering our ‘fight, flight or freeze’ response our bodies are quickly made ready for action to defend ourselves, run away or if appropriate remain motionless.
When fears become intense, uncontrolled and persistent they are called phobias.
Extreme fears and phobias can be very limiting. The distress they cause can affect the decisions we make about what we feel we can and can’t do, where we can and can’t go and how to organise our day.
How do phobias develop?
Memories from most of our bad or scary experiences will fade over time; eventually they become just another ‘story’ of something we experienced once.
However, sometimes serious or life-threatening traumatic events become more deeply embedded in our minds and may continue to cause strong emotional reactions at inappropriate times, affecting our daily life.
Irrational fears or phobias can also develop over time, perhaps as a learned response early in life from a parent or relative, that gets reinforced every time you are exposed to that thing, experience or similar situation.
Complex non-specific phobias include claustrophobia, agoraphobia, emetophobia etc. and the effect on daily life can feel ever present.
Common specific phobias include spiders, snakes, heights, flying, the dark, needles, medical tests or procedures, dentist, enclosed spaces… but fears and phobias can be connected to many other objects, animals or situations.
Symptoms of a phobia may include:
· Overwhelming anxiety or panic
· Difficulty breathing
· Heart palpitations
· Feeling sick
· Intense need to run away or escape
· Feeling faint or dizzy
· Chest pains
· Feeling hot & sweaty
· Aware you are overreacting, but can’t stop
· Body tingling or feeling prickly
· Sense of losing control
How hypnotherapy can help
Our brains do a fantastic job of protecting us from dangers, but how our minds perceive a threat determines how we respond and behave. With irrational fears and phobias our minds are alerting us to a threat which is unfounded.
Hypnotherapy can help change the way our mind perceives a situation so that it no longer feels threatening and the fear can diminish.
During our sessions together, we can reduce the general anxiety and stress levels, and increase self-confidence in being able to remain in control and stay calm in the given situation.
In the case of specific phobias, whilst in a safe and relaxed state of mind, we will work to replace the fear with a new, more positive way to respond.
Our brains are truly amazing in their capacity to change the way we think about and react to any given situation – and hypnotherapy is an amazing tool we can use to help us unlock this power.
If you would like to find out more, please book your FREE initial consultation