If you’re a person who is anxious, it can be uncomfortable to do everyday things. Going to the store, talking to a new client, or attending a school or church function can be exhausting. Seemingly ‘normal’ events can result in rapid heartbeat, increased sweating, and enough adrenaline to make a person want to run away from the perceived danger.
If you have anxiety, you may find yourself wishing other people understood what was going on inside of you during these kinds of events. Over time you may have grown to dislike phrases such as “calm down,” “relax,” or “there’s nothing to worry about,” because they have been thrown at you endlessly by well-meaning friends or family members. Rationally and consciously, you recognize that it should be that simple - but it isn’t. The person who is dealing with the anxiety is doing battle with an internal subconscious system that is out of the reach of most people’s soothing admonitions.
Because the trained and experienced Master Hypnotists at Hawaii Hypnosis Center work within the subconscious, they help clients achieve better results than anything else the anxious person has tried over the years. Utilizing a skilled hypnotist can allow an anxious person to discover the root of the anxious feelings - where they originate - and help reassess those origins. In addition, hypnosis provides powerful calming tools and techniques that can make sure anyone stays calm in virtually any situation.
Hypnotists are not physicians - though some physicians are studying the techniques - and they are not psychiatrists - though some psychiatrists do hypnosis. A good hypnotist shouldn’t be seen as a replacement for anything a person is doing that is working, instead a hypnotist can be a catalyst and booster for things that are working and a replacement for things that are not working. A hypnotist can jump start the good stuff and help weed out the bad stuff. A hypnotist can also help find ways that a person can work with their prescribing physician to reduce drugs that often leave people feeling “squishy,” “tired,” or “dull.”
Anxiety is a feeling - and you weren’t born with it. Somewhere along the way, your mind learned to become anxious. Just like your mind learned the behavior, it can learn new behaviors to become something other than anxious. If you live or travel in the Honolulu area, give us a call at Hawaii Hypnosis Center at 808-221-7353.
Fear Can Stop Good Things From Happening
Read the article in Natural Awakenings Magazine
Everybody is afraid of something. Fear is a natural human emotion that is designed to protect us. Most people have useful low-level fears that make them more alert when crossing a busy street or avoiding a dark alley in a bad neighborhood, but when fear affects our daily lives or is a fear of something necessary—like dentists, elevators, public speaking or flying—then it’s important to find help to address it.“Fears and phobias are typically based on our past experiences,” explains Beverly Craddock, master hypnotist at Hawaii Hypnosis Center, in Honolulu. “We may have had a bad experience years ago, or a fear could come from a scary movie we saw as a child.”
Fears of the dentist can cause not just mouth problems but health problems if a person isn’t able to get proper dental care. A fear of flying can lead to social isolation from distant friends and family members, especially for people that live on an isolated island chain where air travel is the only method available. Even the fear of elevators or other enclosed spaces can be limiting in an urban high-rise and densely populated city like Honolulu.
Once a fear is established, it can be reinforced by the mind. One may be drawn to Internet stories of people’s negative experiences at the dentist or on flights. One may talk about the fear of spiders with friends that then share their own scary spider stories. “When our subconscious mind is fearful, it will constantly be on the lookout for information that it believes will keep us safe,” Beverly says. “Aside from the constant reinforcement of a phobia, the initial fear is often planted by incomplete or incorrect information.”
Dental phobias are often based on people’s experiences decades ago when dental methods were far more basic. Modern dentistry is generally more attune to patient comfort and gentle techniques. A fear of flying is commonly based on a bumpy flight or even a bad personal event before the flight. Sufferers of many of these fears and phobias often experience additional anxiety and even persistent sadness because they’re unable to overcome or defeat the fear. Even well-meaning friends or family members can perpetuate the problem by encouraging the person to “just get over it.” “Fears are held within the subconscious mind,” Beverly adds. “So the fearful person is often unable to consciously overcome the fear any more than they could consciously overcome something like blinking or breathing.”
Hypnosis research, including a 1993 study by the American Psychological Association, has found that hypnosis can be effective in reducing or eliminating fear responses. “It’s important to work with experienced hypnotists who have broad experience with more than just direct suggestion,” Beverly concludes. “Finding and resolving the source of the fear or using techniques to dampen the fear in the subconscious is critical to success. It doesn't matter if it is a fear of flying, fear of driving, fear of sharks, fear of the dark, fear of ghosts, fear of lizards, fear of death, etc. All fears work in the same way.”
Don't Let Stress Spoil Your Holiday
Read Article in Natural Awakenings
We’ve all seen news stories about holiday sadness, but don’t believe everything you see or read. The facts about sadness around the holidays tell a different story.
An interesting study conducted by the Annenberg Public Policy Center found that more than half of media articles written about suicide in December state that suicides peak around the holidays. However, this is merely a long-standing myth. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), suicide rates are actually lowest in the month of December. Statistics from the CDC show that suicide rates peak during the spring and fall and have for many years. So, why does the media believe that the holidays are such a depressing time of year?
There are several reasons that holiday sadness is such a compelling story for the media. First, people are more likely to be focused on others during the holidays. Culturally, we’re wired to be more compassionate this time of year—hence all those iconic red kettles and bell-ringers. Even our tax code creates an end-of-year rush of charitable donations. This time of year, we think of other people. It’s only natural that reporters and bloggers think of those that might not be as happy as they are around the holidays. In addition, there are those that feel guilty for feeling great. As a longtime journalist, I can tell you that reporters are trained to look for the story outside of themselves. When they look around a festive newsroom, the good reporters wonder about who isn’t quite so festive. They might think, “What about people that don’t have friends and family? That would be sad.” Typically, the news tends to focus on the other people. When reporters start to ask around, they’ll definitely find sadness to report on—even during the holidays.
So the myth of a peak in suicides around the holidays continues to get passed along. Now that you’ve stretched your mind a bit about how the coverage of suicide during the holidays gets continued, let’s consider another perspective. What if depression does actually peak during the holidays? Wait. Didn’t we just dispel that rumor? Not necessarily.
“It is possible that people who experience hopelessness are just better at handling it during the holiday season,” explains Master Hypnotist Beverly Craddock, of Hawaii Hypnosis Center, in Honolulu. “If we know that the holidays will trigger feelings of frustration, loneliness and loss because of people who have died during the year or because of family stress, then we’re more likely to reach deep inside and use our best coping strategies during the holidays.”
People may also be more likely to avoid expressing sadness around the holidays because they don’t want to negatively impact other people’s experience.
If this is the case, then the long-held myth of depression peaking around the holidays may actually be true, regardless of what suicide statistics show.
“Statistics don’t always give a full picture,” Beverly says. “What we know based on the calls we receive in December is that people are struggling during the holidays, just like they’re struggling at other times of year. Let’s face it, the holidays present some unique situational stressors.” Beverly suggests that people manage holiday stress through mindfulness and by using situational awareness.
“Mindfulness reminds us to focus on the present,” she explains. “By being in the moment, we can better slow down ruminating thoughts about the past and the future. Hypnosis helps to keep the present… present.” Situational awareness is merely knowing what’s happening around you. This means knowing what things are likely to trigger sadness, anger or frustration and then avoiding those things. If past holiday celebrations were difficult, then it may be best to avoid those people or environments.
“If your sister-in-law makes you feel bad, there’s nothing wrong with minimizing your time with her,” Beverly explains. “Don’t let the obligation of the holidays outweigh the responsibility you have to take care of yourself.” The holidays can be stressful and can be depressing for some people. Beverly urges everyone to be responsible for self-care, especially around this time of year.
“If you’re hurting, reach out for help,” she says. “Psychologists can provide help for breakdowns. Hypnosis can provide help in reframing past stressors and with managing anxiousness, stress and self-esteem issues. Massage and yoga can help with relaxation. Even getting a manicure or a spa day can provide short-term self-care that makes the holidays more manageable.”
Finding Stress Relief
Read the article in Natural Awakenings Magazine
Understanding stress involves a bit of understanding human history. In the early times of human existence, the world was pretty stressful. Survival was a big deal. Stress was a response of the mind to the constant threats from wild animals, disease, severe weather, and other tribes of humans. Stress was a state of heightened alert to the dangerous world. Over time, life became safer and humans developed natural methods of stress reduction—from the development of massage techniques to the use of natural hot springs. As we built sturdy buildings against weather and learned to predict it, our lives became less stressful. Developments in medicine and hygiene created a safer world, and, for the most part, peace was more common than war. Stress remained, but it was changing and becoming more understood and managed.\
Then we arrived in the digital age and everything changed. The human brain became overwhelmed with inputs and information. Electronic devices from televisions to computer screens cause the brain to build images out of thousands of tiny electronic dots. The human brain in the digital age is, unfortunately, in a constant state of stress.
A recent study out of the University of Texas found that even a turned off smartphone in the same room can increase subconscious brain activity. Researchers theorize that the human brain becomes so accustomed to constant information that the potential of unknown data available on a smartphone is enticing enough to activate brain processes. If the study is correct, then the constant stream of information people receive on a daily basis isn’t the only source of stress for the brain—the potential streams even cause the brain to work harder than it is designed to work.
Master Hypnotist Beverly Craddock, of Hawaii Hypnosis Center, in Honolulu, says most people aren’t aware of just how much stress they experience daily. “When a significant life stressor occurs—divorce, a death, a job change, birth of a child—suddenly these other stressors become significant hurdles on top of the major problem,” she explains. “For many people, it becomes overwhelming and potentially chronic. Even when the major challenge is no longer present, the small and constant stressors wreak havoc on the nervous system.”
The solution, according to Beverly, is to find a meaningful way to relax and unplug and to find stress relief. “Some people are able to handle daily stress with exercise, like yoga, or by having a daily meditation habit,” Beverly adds. “If the stress is deeply layered or has become chronic, it’s probably best to look for a professional to help resolve the roots of the tension.”
Because the subconscious mind has the primary purpose of protection, Beverly says it can be both a friend and a foe. “The protective nature of the mind is absolutely necessary for our survival,” she says. “But when it hits overdrive to protect us, it can be a burden to get the mind to slow down. The drive of the mind to protect us can become more significant stress without a way to resolve things.”
Hypnotists use subconscious processes to help clients find and resolve the origins of fears, anxiousness and stress. “Once you resolve the underlying stressors of the subconscious, you should turn off the smartphone, TV and computer and spend a little time each day doing something that lets your mind unwind,” Beverly concludes. “Whether you’re surfing, gardening or reading a book, you’ll give your mind the benefit of quieting down its environment and letting it go more slowly through an activity. This natural stress relief is something that a good hypnotist can help you achieve.”