How Hypnotherapy Helps With Stress And Anxiety

Posted Posted in Interesting

Stress can be defined as a state we experience when there is a mismatch between perceived demands and our perceived ability to cope. Stress can also be defined as an adaptive response by a body to change in the environment. Stress response evolved to enable humans to deal with life-threatening dangers or stressors such as being confronted with a wild animal or perhaps a hostile human. Situations like this required action – the activation of stress response to wither stay and fight or to run away.

Today we hopefully won’t have to face the same dangers as our ancestors but the stress response to demanding situations we face is still with us and our mind and body still prepare for fight or flight when confronted with this equivalent of the wild animal. This is where the problem may begin as activation of the fight or flight response with no physical outlet, such as if we are stuck in a traffic jam and can’t fight it or flee it, or maybe an unfair confrontation in the workplace where once again the response for action may be triggered but we can’t vent it by fighting or running away without consequences we would rather avoid. Perhaps both of these events and more are experienced on the same day, perhaps every day, and the stress builds within us until it can damage our health if a solution is not found

Stress isn’t always bad – the stress response was designed to help and protect us and some people even place themselves in stressful situations they know they can handle for excitement and ‘the rush’ as it is often called.

We all experience stress in different ways depending upon our personality type, conditioning and possible training also.

When we face a stressor but perceive we have the ability to deal with it successfully a feeling of success and achievement can be gained. Getting the balance right between good stress to motivate us and encourage us to grow, and our ability to cope with the stress is possibly the key to remaining healthy, positive and active in whatever arena of life we find ourselves.

Our ability to cope with stress can be affected by our diet and the intake of good substances that out body needs to remain strong and flexible and to repair itself when needed. Also we should avoid anything that could cause us to be more stressed or weaker such as drugs, alcohol, smoking etc.

Finally, stress can be external, some event or situation that is causing stress, or internal, attitudes or emotions that lead to stress (anxiety, guilt, low self-esteem, fear, etc.)

What is the Fight/Flight Response? Why do we still have it?

The ‘Fight or Flight Response’ is a physiological reaction and is the body’s response to a stressor.

Changes in hormones prepare a person to either stay and deal with a stressor or to take flight/run away. This immediate state of alarm is when the body prepares to take action, and in this state a person will be extremely alert to their surroundings but also very anxious and possibly unable to concentrate.

The body will slow down systems not vital in responding to the stressor, such as the digestive system, which is why a person in a fight or flight situation may have a dry mouth and a nervous/upset stomach. The body will make other preparations such as improved cooling for the body as more energy is used and this will result in perspiration.

The fight or flight response is a very old and very basic response and has been with us for a very long time. It was originally a response to danger that would prepare our ancestors to fight the wild beast or the enemy who might suddenly threaten or confront them, or to take flight and literally run away from the danger.

This response is triggered when we send a message of alarm to a part of the brain called the hypothalamus. This area of the brain will then send a signal to the glands to release adrenaline, cortisol and endorphin into the blood stream. Increased levels of adrenaline increase heart rate and blood flow which in turn brings extra oxygen and glucose to the muscles. Cortisol causes an increase in amino-acids and sugars in the blood. Amino-acids are crucial for the repair and recovery of damaged tissues which may occur under stress and the blood sugar adds to the availability of glucose (fuel) for the body.

The release of endorphin, which is a morphine like substance only more powerful, provides the body’s natural tranquilizing system. Pain is blocked and a feeling of euphoria may be experienced, both helping to get the body through the situation it may find itself in due to stress.

We still have this response, as it is still necessary to prepare and protect us in times of alarm, such as being involved in an emergency situation of any kind, or being confronted with any form of potentially life threatening danger.

Once the initial stages of this fight or flight response are over, a person will have a psychological reaction to the stressor which will be based upon many variables including, personality type, conditioning, age, physical and mental ability, and their knowledge relevant to the situation to be dealt with.

It is very often the resulting symptoms of this fight or flight response kicking in that we tend to call a panic attack. what actually happens is that we may be in a situation where we can’t fight or flight, such as a meeting or on a train, and so we become more and more anxious and may feel as though we will pass out, or be sick, or any one of a number of responses. What often happens then,is we find we have a desperate need to urinate, and that is another way the subconscious mind will sometimes attempt to gain our attention and force us to leave the arena in which we find ourselves at the time. It is normally the feeling of not being able to escape, and knowing that we might have this strong feeling to fight or flight that causes much of the anxiety and expectation of problems for most people who find they need help to overcome their problem.

Also, many people….no…that should be most people who suffer from panic attacks and anxiety will normally have the need for some obsessive-compulsive actions in their life…it can often be a type of coping, or controlling strategy.

Why hypnotherapy is totally different from any other form of therapy?

Hypnotherapy is different from any other form of therapy because of the way in which the therapy part happens while one is in hypnosis. Put another way, hypnotherapy is a very effective combination of hypnosis, a trance or altered state of mind and deep relaxation, and the chosen therapy, which might be for example; suggestion therapy, regression, ego states therapy, or neuro-linguistic-programming.

Hypnosis allows an individual to enter a state of deep relaxation which in itself is a very useful therapy for combating stress. It also allows one to become calm and focused, as all parts of the mind work together and concentrate on solving the problem at hand, and therefore making the very best use of the chosen therapy as it is applied.

Why hypnotherapy is so helpful in cases of stress, anxiety and panic attacks?

Hypnosis is a state in which the conscious critical faculty is temporarily suspended or distracted and in which all parts of the mind work in harmony for the good of the whole being.

When in hypnosis an individual can become very relaxed and at the same time very aware and ‘sharp’, mentally focused.

For the computer literate, I would liken hypnosis to the ‘safe mode’ on a computer, where if a part of the system is acting up or malfunctioning, placing the system in safe mode allows for investigation and repair to be carried out safely while minimizing the risk to the normal operating systems. In some sports it would be like a ‘time-out’, where all parts of the team come together briefly to review the current state of play, to identify where poor choices may have affected the outcomes and to choose a new strategy to move forward with.

In the normal whirl of life we seldom take a time out, or to go into safe mode to pull together our resources and to calmly take stock and plan our best way forward. Hypnosis then, is a safe, relaxing state in which we can let go the tensions in and around us for a short period, and in which, if we desire it, a skilled therapist can guide us through the stages of investigation, discovery, planning and repair we may need.

Hypnotherapy therefore provides relaxation (and clients of good therapists learn self-hypnosis so they can find this deep relaxation for themselves) and is therefore useful at even this basic level, as a kind of first aid. The good therapist will help the client to find any repressed emotions, triggers and false instincts from the past that are a kind of out-of-date, erroneous, or maybe just no longer wanted or needed programming, that loops around once triggered to cause us much anxiety and feelings of panic, but we often don’t know why. Following this, the wonderful power of hypnotic suggestion, and Neuro-Linguistic programming techniques will be used to provide new and efficient programming to support moves forward into a much more positive life with a better outlook on everything.

About the Author:

Marc is an award winning, certified stage and clinical hypnotist, author and motivational speaker with experience entertaining both large and small gatherings.

Marc uses his skills and talents in a variety of areas that include self-improvement or clinical hypnosis, motivational speaking, and comedy stage hypnosis.  He has worked with individuals and corporations throughout the United States to improve outcomes in personal lives and organizations.

As a clinical hypnotist, he has helped people resolve sleep issues, lose weight, stop smoking, deal with long held fears, deal with stress and anxiety, manage pain, improve sports performance, eliminate addictions, and improve sexual function.

His performance resume includes appearances on live shows for Refinery29 Live and Elite Daily’s TrashED.  He has performed internationally for major corporations, at comedy clubs, fairs and , and for schools, proms, graduations, conferences, conventions and corporations.  He was a featured performer for New Jersey’s premier First Night Celebration – First Night Morris for New Year’s Eve 2018.

Marc’s book, “Staying in the Moment – Helping Students Achieve More Through Mindfulness Meditation” helps educators, parents and students get better results in the classroom through the adoption of mindfulness exercises as part of the curriculum.

For more information about, or to book an appointment with Marc visit his website: www.hypnomarc.com or email info@hypnomarc.com.

What’s holding you back?

Posted Posted in Interesting, You Can Fix That

Imagine, create a picture in your mind’s eye of, how much better your life would be if you weren’t focused on things that were out of your control.  Now, I probably am shooting myself in the foot by sharing this, but the majority of people who seek my services to improve their lives are either focused on the past or the future.

Too often, we tend to trap ourselves with our own, self-destructive behaviors.  These are behaviors that in some way, our subconscious minds have associated with a reward of some type, but which create challenges for us.  The simple thinking here is that change does not occur until the pain of staying the same is more than the pain of changing.   In large part this is true.  It is the pain of behaviors, fears that paralyze, overeating, smoking, fear of future events, or repetitive / obsessive behaviors that stop us from reaching our potential.

There are two powerful tools that I share – mindfulness meditation and hypnosis.  The mindfulness trains us to focus on the moment.  When this becomes an integral part of our thinking and life, we no longer obsess about the past or worry about the future.  We learn that it is in this moment that we have the ability to make dramatic and lasting changes in our lives.  Changes that propel us into enjoying life, perhaps for the first time.

When mindfulness is combined with the power of hypnosis, the power of subconscious suggestion, we open the path way to change.  Here, I work with you to replace the negative associations that have developed and result in destructive behaviors, with positive and rational understanding.  An example of this retraining and new understanding came about from some work I did with a client who had a fear of spiders.  Through our journey together, the client revealed an experience that they had as a young child.  The child had been forced to touch a large spider during a demonstration at a pre-school.  The “young” client didn’t have the tools to express their discomfort and instead internalized and focused on the experience for more than 30 years.  During our session’s work, the client was able to revisit the initial traumatizing event and using their adult skills, able to address it and become more comfortable.  Further desensitization visualization and ultimately physical exercises allowed the client to move on past and no longer fear spiders.

So, I repeat the question – What’s holding you back?  Is it self-doubt, fear of failure, fear of losing face, the paralysis that comes with needing to be perfect?  Let’s work together and allow me to teach you the tools to improve all aspects of your life through hypnosis and mindfulness mediation.

Setting Goals / Meeting Challenges

Posted Posted in Interesting, Proms & Graduations, You Can Fix That

This has been a busy, but highly rewarding week.  This week, I have met two very significant challenges presented to me by my mentor and made possible through my practice of motivational hypnosis.  I don’t share this to brag or blow my own horn, but rather I share it with the belief that someone else will find a spark within themselves to accomplish something different in their lives.

Many of those who come to me for personal improvement work through hypnosis find themselves stuck.  They have a closed mindset that keeps them mired in the past or paralyzed for fear of the future.  They lack confidence and a vision.  Regardless of whatever a client comes to me for assistance with, the first thing that I teach them is a simple mindfulness meditation exercise, which I ask them to commit to for a short period every day for a month.  It is not like I am asking them to devote hours each day.  Rather, the entire process is less than 15 minutes daily and the benefits lifelong.

Through the mindfulness practice, my clients gain important health benefits of stress reduction, lowered blood pressure, and relaxation.  Equally beneficial, is the results they obtain in making significant and positive changes in their lives.  It is in those few minutes every day, that those clients who adopt the practice are able to step back from the insanity of daily living and gain the clarity necessary to focus on goal setting and attainment.  The fact is, those clients who take up mindfulness meditation are the ones who develop the habits that result in rapid and lasting changes for the things they were looking to change through our hypnosis sessions.  When clients are mindful about their food, they eat better and meet weight loss goals.  When clients are mindful of being non-smokers, they achieve those lifelong benefits.  And, the list goes on.

As we approach the weekend, it is a good time to reflect on the week.  Did you have any goals for the best week that you were working towards?  Did you make progress on those goals?  Can you visualize and imagine how good you will feel as you accomplish those goals?  If, the answer to these three questions is not YES, then I challenge you to set a simple goal that you can accomplish in the next week or so.  Then I challenge you to focus on a longer term goal.  And if this is something that you struggle with, I invite you to text me by sending the word MOTIVATE TO 44222 and let me help you begin the process of motivating yourself and becoming the person you know you can be.  It is really a simple process, if you want to see real results and positive change.

Does Practice Make Perfect?

Posted Posted in Interesting, Proms & Graduations, You Can Fix That

From the time I was much younger, I recalled coaches and teachers repeatedly telling me that “Practice Makes Perfect!”  Guess what, they were WRONG!  In a moment, I will tell you where the fault in their thinking and belief was.

I first became aware of the wonders of hypnosis when I was 10 or 11 years old.  I saw my first stage hypnosis show and became amazed at the antics performed by many people that I knew.  Now many of the skits that were performed at the time are not used today, but nonetheless, it demonstrated the power of the subconscious mind to control our beliefs, perceptions and yes, our behaviors.  Allow me to demonstrate what I mean.  I want you to picture me standing there in front of you.  For those who don’t know me, you can imagine that I look something like Josh Duhamel.  I just a bit shorter, a bit heavier, and a little bit older.  But for purposes of this exercise, imaging I look like him will work just fine.    So, I am standing in front of you holding this wonderful, juicy yellow lemon.  I take a silver knife from the wooden table and cut a wedge from the lemon.  The juice is running down my arm as I do this.  Very slowly, I bring this fragrant, lemon wedge that is dripping with juice and bring it to my lips.  I take a long savory bite from the lemon and feel the pucker as the juice enters my mouth.

I am sure that many of you experienced the salivation and pucker that is typical of having physically experienced that action.  Yet, I was nowhere near you.  The point being, that your powerful subconscious mind took you through that experience just as though you had actually bitten into that lemon.

Let me return back to my first experience with hypnosis.  I watched in amazement as people I knew, some really good friends, bit into a really large onion.  I remember the smell of those onions permeating the entire room, yet, every one of those people on that stage, believed that had just bitten into the sweetest, most flavorful apple they had ever eaten.  In fact, many of those same people were very disappointed when the hypnotist would not give them more to eat.

What does any of that have to do with the idea that “practice makes perfect”?  In 2005, a Doctoral student (B. Vasquez) at Washington State University conducted a research project involving the basketball team and free throws.  He divided the team into three groups.  One group practiced foul shooting as is the common practice among basketball players.  The second group, practiced free throws and also received hypnosis for sports improvement (free throw shooting).  The third group only received hypnosis for their free throws.  Now if practice does indeed make perfect, one might reasonably conclude that either group one or group two would have the best outcomes.  The results, which have since been replicated in other and similar studies, showed that in fact, group three, the group that never practiced free throws, but only received hypnosis, had the best results.  The conclusion is that our minds cannot differentiate between the hypnotic and actual physical experience.

Regardless of what we are doing in our lives, we learn at the subconscious level.  And, it is at the subconscious level that we must make changes.  This is why hypnosis is such a powerful tool in bringing about rapid and lasting change.  Our powerful subconscious minds attach emotion to behaviors.  The mind comes to establish pathways to accomplish tasks either through actual physical actions or in hypnosis.  And just like the volunteer on stage who is sweating profusely because they believe the suggestion that it is 120 degrees on stage, or is laughing hysterically at a movie that is playing only in their mind, those who are hypnotized as an aid to performance in sports or life, are training their subconscious minds to respond.  The difference, however between hypnosis and physical practice is immense.    The reason for that is that while in hypnosis, the person who is seeking to improve their skills is only visualizing and practicing the “perfect” technique.  There is no muscle memory formed from making errant shots.  The new pathways through the brain only know the “right” way.

So, my coaches and teachers were indeed wrong.  Practice does not make perfect.  Only PERFECT practice makes perfect.  And perfect practice, be it in stress management, sports improvement, mindfulness meditation, or weight management, can best be attained through hypnosis.

 

Change Your Thoughts

Posted Posted in Interesting, Proms & Graduations, You Can Fix That

I’m sure that most of us have heard this quote from Mahatma Gandhi

“Your beliefs become your thoughts, Your thoughts become your words, Your words become your actions, Your actions become your habits, Your habits become your values, Your values become your destiny.”

During my time as a high school teacher in an alternative high school environment,  I had the challenge of changing the way my students viewed themselves, their abilities to achieve their goals, and move their lives from that of chaos and confusion to a more orderly and sane life.  As part of the work that I did with them, I developed some exercises and lessons based on Sean Covey’s book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens.  Those habits – “1) Be Proactive, 2) Begin with the End in Mind, 3) Put First Things First, 4) Think Win-Win, 5) Seek First to Understand Then to Be Understood, 6) Synergize, and 7) Sharpen the Saw” – were completely foreign concepts to them, as to many adults I encounter. 

You are probably asking yourself what any of this has to do with hypnosis?   I promise that I will tell you in a moment.  Along my journey to perfect my skills as a hypnotist, I came to fully understand the power of language in shaping our thoughts, emotions and behaviors.  In simple terms, picture your mind as an iceberg.  The part that you see above the water, about 10% is our conscious mind.  The conscious mind is the rational mind that judges the information we are receiving and deciding whether it is true or false, whether we should believe it or not. This is where our short-term memory resides.   The other 90% of our mind, the subconscious mind, is like a hard-drive that is switched on at (or before birth) and records everything that goes on around us.  It notes every experience and feeling.  It regulates our body functions, and does not require us to be aware of its functioning.  This is the emotional mind.  Our behaviors are controlled by our subconscious mind.  This is important since our subconscious mind, that part of our mind that makes up 90%, relates all behaviors to emotions.  As a hypnotist, I work with language to help my clients reach their maximum potential by replacing negative emotions and behaviors with positive habits.   These changes bring about dramatic impacts in the lives my clients who are dealing with things such as anxiety, stress, pain, fear, inability to stop smoking, or lose weight, or want to perform better in work or sports.

It is our focus that becomes our reality.  If we are focused on negative outcomes, we surely will miss the positive opportunities.   I had a sign in my classroom that read: “THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS FAILURE – THERE IS ONLY FEEDBACK!”  That does not mean that students did not earn D’s or F’s, but rather the grades they earned gave them feedback about what they needed to do to improve their performance.  Did they need to study?  Did they need to come to class?  Did they need to spend time with me asking questions on things they did not understand?  That was their job and my expectation.

A friend of mine, Colin T. Fisher, who is also a Master Hypnotist and Law of Attraction Coach from the UK (www.TheRealLawOfAttraction.com), shared with me his book – Dreams into Reality.  The book consists of a series of 12 poems that take you on a journey of self-discovery and reinforces what I have demonstrated to clients, the incredible power of their minds to achieve anything they focus on.  As a hypnotist, I work with you to create positive feelings that replace the negative ones that hold you back. 

Begin focusing on the positive, today.  Do what I teach all my clients to do, begin with a simple practice of mindfulness meditation and see how your life will improve.  Here’s a link to my simple guided mindfulness meditation recording that has helped my students, my friends and my clients.  

Mindfulness Meditation Practice - Week 1