If you have a specific fear or phobia, you’re not alone. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, phobias are extremely common in the United States. Phobias can be mild, moderate, or severe. Debilitating fears and phobias can stop you from performing at your best and living a life you enjoy. But you don’t have to live that way. Thankfully, hypnosis can be an effective tool for addressing deeply-rooted fears. Hypnotherapy makes an excellent adjunct to other psychotherapy methods, like cognitive behavioral therapy (also known as CBT). Plus, hypnotherapy sessions can be extremely effective when used on their own. Let’s learn how hypnosis for fear works.
Does Hypnosis Work To Get Rid of Phobias and Anxiety?
The short answer is yes! Hypnosis works to get rid of phobias and anxiety. In fact, one study suggests that combining hypnosis with other behavioral therapy methods, like CBT for phobias, increases its efficacy. (A second study confirmed these findings.)
Plus, another study indicates that people with phobias tend to be even more hypnotizable than the “average” person. In other words, they’re more likely to enter into a hypnotic trance and to benefit from hypnosis. Hypnosis is also effective in addressing both anxiety- and stress-related disorders that often accompany a specific phobia or fear.
A Guided Self-Hypnosis to Eliminate Fears
If you’re ready to try a hypnosis for fear session right now, try our primer on Achieving A State of Calm.
How Hypnotherapy Can Help with Phobias
In order to understand how hypnotherapy can help with your phobias, let’s start by exploring what a phobia is.
A phobia is an intense fear and/or irrational fear of something. Some common fears include arachnophobia (fear of spiders), ophidiophobia (fear of snakes), acrophobia (fear of heights), aerophobia (fear of flying), trypanophobia (fear of needles), cynophobia (fear of dogs), social anxiety disorder (social phobia), and agoraphobia (the fear of situations where escape is difficult).
While some phobias may only become troublesome in certain situations, other phobias can be a problem every day. If a phobia is severe enough, it can lead you to avoid certain people, places, or activities. A debilitating fear or phobia can negatively influence how you live your life.
Exposure to your phobia (whether it’s physical exposure or even just thinking about it) can lead to anxiety symptoms. Some of those symptoms include feelings of panic (or a panic attack), dizziness, heart palpitations, chest pains, sweating, difficulty breathing, and nausea. Clearly then, it’s important to get your phobias under control, and hypnosis can help.
Most often, phobias are rooted in your subconscious mind (sometimes referred to as the unconscious mind), which is the part of your mind that controls your everyday thoughts and behaviors. Because hypnosis can help you access the subconscious part of your mind, it’s an excellent way to address your phobia.
Phobias create a fear response to a certain stimulus, like being in a crowded restaurant. Hypnotherapy works by helping you identify and then unlearn that fear response, so you no longer attach fear to the stimulus.
There are a few different ways that hypnosis can help you overcome your fears. For example, hypnosis can help you identify your current unhealthy coping mechanisms and replace them with healthier ones. It can also help you develop the confidence you need to face your fears. It does this by identifying and eradicating any current subconscious beliefs that are limiting your self-confidence and self-esteem.
Hypnotherapy can also help you identify the underlying cause of your specific phobia. Whether it’s something that happened in your childhood or a belief you’ve internalized over the years, hypnosis can help root it out. And finally, hypnosis can help you reframe how you experience your fears. This enables you to see yourself as empowered rather than as a victim of your phobia.
When you work with a hypnotherapist, hypnotist, or hypnosis app to address your phobias, you may encounter a few different hypnosis techniques. These may include:
During this type of hypnosis, your hypnotist guides you to mentally review the moment that triggered your phobia. Once you’ve determined the event that caused your fear, your hypnotist will guide you through a “re-experiencing” of this event. This allows you to interact with your phobia in a way that makes you feel safe and helps to eradicate the phobia.
If a certain event triggered your phobia (for example, getting in a car crash), hypnotism can help you envision an alternate outcome. Believe it or not, your imagination, especially in the hypnotic state, has the power to re-shape your mind’s reactions to the phobia.
Perhaps surprisingly, low self-esteem can also be a contributing factor in fears and phobias. Hypnosis can help here, too. Hypnosis can support ego-strengthening to improve self-esteem. This may be done by identifying and addressing the limiting, self-critical beliefs you currently have stored in your subconscious (and may not even be aware of). Once you address them, you can work to replace them with uplifting, empowering beliefs.
You may also try age regression hypnosis to overcome your phobia. With this hypnosis technique, you mentally review a time in your life before you developed your phobia. This can help you pinpoint the source of your phobia. It can also help you embody the way you felt before you developed that phobia, allowing you to anchor yourself to that feeling.
Using Primed Mind to Overcome Fears, Phobias, and Anxiety
If you’ve developed a phobia, try not to be hard on yourself. Remember that your phobia is not your fault. Your conscious mind didn’t decide to harbor a fear that makes your life more difficult. Instead, your phobias likely developed in a way that was out of your control—for example, as a result of the way you were raised, or in response to a traumatic event. The good news is that even though you’re not to blame for having a phobia, you have the power to work with mental healthcare and hypnosis professionals to fix it.
Hypnosis is an excellent tool for addressing phobias, and with a hypnosis app like Primed Mind, you’re empowered to do hypnosis from the comfort of your own home. Created by one of the world’s leading mindset coaches, Primed Mind is free to download and features 5-20 minute hypnosis audio recordings that help you reach your goals. Just like an in-person hypnosis session, our app uses the multiple phases of hypnosis, like induction, deepening, and suggestion, to access your subconscious and help you make the changes that lead to releasing your fears. We recommend starting with our “conquer anything” channel today to start tackling your fears and moving on with your life.