According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), approximately 10 million adults in the United States have some phobia. Although fears are entirely natural and can protect you from harm, phobias can make it difficult to live a healthy, well-rounded life.
A fear of heights may protect you from being careless while standing near a ledge but an irrational fear of heights may prevent you from enjoying the view from your high rise apartment. Another common concern is public speaking. It is normal to stress out about a sales presentation at work, but if the thought of standing in front of a room of colleagues breaks you out into a cold sweat, there may be some underlying causes to examine.
Rooted in Trauma
A traumatic event early in childhood is often the cause of irrational fear. It doesn't even have to be traumatic by adult standards. Young children form beliefs in a variety of ways. Beliefs form as a result of repeated suggestion, high emotional states, and a person of authority expressing their views. If you combine a high emotional state (fear when a dog barks at you) with a person of authority making a statement (all dogs are dangerous, stay away from them) and repeat those beliefs whenever a dog is nearby (repeated suggestions), you may eventually fear ALL dogs.
Children experience these occurrences differently than adults because they don't yet have a reference point to judge those fearful statements made by the person of authority. They accept whatever the adult said as a fact. By reframing the initial event and dealing with the emotions behind this initial sensitizing event using hypnosis, the subconscious mind no longer associates the situation or object as life-threatening, and it allows rational thought to differentiate between actual danger and irrational fear.
Using hypnosis as a tool to help with your fears will not make you careless. A top priority of your subconscious mind is survival. It doesn’t mean brainwashing you into handling poisonous snakes, and you won't jump out of a plane without a parachute. The difference you'll feel after the sessions will be a sense of safety and control in those situations. You'll have the resources and confidence to do the things you love without fear getting in the way.
A Case Study:
Using Hypnosis to Overcome My Fear of Heights
I want to briefly describe my experience with hypnosis and my fear of heights. During my hypnotherapy training, I experienced every single technique that I use in my practice first hand. Some days we worked on confidence issues, and others targeted fears. Keep in mind that I didn't do multiple sessions on my specific fear of heights and the original cause of my anxiety. In other words, with my clients, I would be much more thorough than what I experienced for myself. I only did a single session on my overall fears that included heights. I say this because I noticed positive changes even after just one session.
As a teenager, I was scared to climb onto the roof of my parents’ one-story ranch house to clean out the gutters. Climbing a ladder any higher than 10 feet would cause my heart rate to skyrocket and my hands to grip onto that ladder for dear life. Fast forward to after my hypnotherapy training. I was in Las Vegas with some friends, and I noticed a poster that advertised a "sky jump" at the Stratosphere hotel. I never was a thrill seeker, so I was surprised at my reaction to that poster.
My initial reaction wasn't, "oh that looks scary." My first thought was, "that looks like fun; I'd love to give it a try." Looking back, this should have been the first clue that hypnosis did something to me on a deep level. Later that same day I paid 150 dollars to jump off a ledge that's 829 feet off the ground. I mention the price because I had every excuse NOT to jump but instead I was excited to do it. Below is the video of the very moment where I experienced the power of hypnosis first hand.
The only way I could describe that experience is euphoric -- not only because of the adrenaline rush but because in that moment I found my true calling. I conquered fear and experienced success. At that very moment, I knew that I wanted to share the gift of hypnosis with as many people as possible, and that desire grew into my practice, Focal Point Hypnosis. If you desire to conquer your fears using hypnosis and you live in the Chicagoland area, make an appointment today.