Hypnotherapy Techniques for Stress and Anxiety

15 November 2021

Hypnotherapy Techniques for Stress and Anxiety

Anxiety and stress are on the increase in the UK. Their cloying tendrils can creep into even the most hardened mind, causing sometimes drastic behavioural changes and greatly affecting quality of life. No-one is immune.

Society places enormous demands on us. These are exacerbated by the prevalence of social media and the pressure we are under to meet certain expectations and conform to what the Twitterers and the ‘grammers dictate as acceptable. The daily pressure of meeting these sometimes unrealistic standards compounds other stressful feelings caused by work, finances, relationships and family life.

Everyone experiences stress from time to time. It’s normal and we learn, over time, to manage these feelings without becoming bogged down. However, chronic stress can severely hinder your day to day functioning and badly affect your quality of life. For chronic sufferers, managing stress isn’t easy.

What are the Signs of Stress and Anxiety?

Stress and anxiety manifest themselves differently in different people. The symptoms you experience can vary greatly from people you know who also suffer with anxiety. You may experience any number of the following common signs:

  • Dry mouth
  • Tight chest
  • Sweating
  • Nausea
  • Tremors
  • An urge to use the toilet
  • Insomnia
  • Forgetfulness
  • Agitation
  • Tension
  • Increased heart rate
  • Irritability
  • Irrational thoughts
  • Negative thoughts
  • Muscle tension
  • Fear of losing control

There are several effective methods that you can use to manage your stress and anxiety levels without turning to pharmaceutical intervention. These methods provide you with more balanced ways to respond to stressful situations and ultimately alleviate or lessen the resulting anxiety.

Hypnotherapy is one such method that has seen an uptick in popularity as a way of treating anxiety and stress. This non-invasive treatment uses hypnosis to subconsciously reprogram how you view and react to stressors.

How Does Hypnotherapy Help to Reduce Stress and Anxiety?

During hypnotherapy, your therapist will use hypnosis to guide you into a state of deep relaxation. In this state, your subconscious becomes more accessible. As a result, you’re more open to accepting and implementing suggestions, and addressing or acknowledging the source of your stress and anxieties.

Before consulting your hypnotherapist, give some thought to situations that you know cause you stress or lead to anxiety. Make a note of these so that you can discuss them in your first consultation. This way, your therapist has a starting point for your hypnotherapy.

What is the Process of Hypnotherapy for Stress and Anxiety?

Before you embark on your hypnotherapy journey, your therapist will discuss the process with you, outlining how it works and what you hope to achieve. This initial consultation may be a session on its own, particularly if you have deeper concerns that the therapist needs to address. It’s essential that you’re comfortable with hypnosis, as if you aren’t, you may not be able to reach the level of relaxation that it needs to work.

During hypnosis, you aren’t asleep, nor are you under anyone else’s control. You’ll be very relaxed but you’ll remain aware of what is happening and able to communicate with the therapist when necessary. You become infinitely more focused, which is necessary for the hypnotherapy to be successful.

Your therapist uses a soothing tone of voice, and one of several common relaxation methods to achieve the state required. The focus is on relaxing your body first and then your mind. Once your mind is relaxed, the therapy can begin.

Techniques for Reducing Stress and Anxiety during Hypnotherapy


Relaxation is integral to hypnotherapy. Therapists use it to achieve the trance-like state needed to access those locked areas of your subconscious so that the healing can start. Through mental relaxation, the amount of stress you feel reduces substantially and you are more open to accepting suggestions of ways to manage your stress and anxiety.

Managing Perspective

Stress is made worse by obsessive and fearful thoughts, and sometimes we magnify events that we know to be stressful, building them up into even bigger issues that seem totally insurmountable. This is known as catastrophising and is relatively common in people who suffer with high levels of stress and anxiety.

During hypnotherapy, your therapist will assist you to put these events, situations and thoughts in perspective. Reducing them to a more realistic level lessens the anxiety that you experience and you are notably less stressed when these situation arise again.


This technique uses imagination and visualisation. Your therapist will guide you through something that you find stressful, asking you to visualise the situation and access your feelings. They will suggest better responses to the triggers, help you to adjust your attitude, or frame the situation in a manner that is less stressful to you. Through reframing you learn to react to stressful events in a healthier way, or to say goodbye to those harmful triggers altogether.


While under hypnosis, your therapist will direct you to a state where you feel peaceful and at ease. They will assist you to create an anchor to these positive feelings, be it a physical action, a phrase or anything that is easily accessible. When you encounter a negative trigger that usually evokes stress, you can call up those positive feelings and enter a happy place by using the learned anchor.

How Many Sessions Will You Need?

Hypnotherapy isn’t a quick fix and can take time to have the desired effect. For some people the source of anxiety is obvious: perhaps you fear speaking in public or maybe travelling in an aeroplane makes you anxious. However, for others, anxiety stems from a more complex issue such as a traumatic event in your younger days that you’ve never fully dealt with.

The more complex the source of anxiety, the longer it may take to equip you with the tools to manage your feelings. There is no predetermined number of sessions to assist you in managing your stress and anxiety. It varies person to person.

Complementary Therapies

As effective as hypnotherapy can be, you must remember that it’s a complementary therapy and to be wholly effective should be used in conjunction with another psychological treatment like cognitive behavioural therapy. There are still benefits if used as a standalone treatment, but better results, use it hand-in-hand with another mental health therapy.


Hypnotherapy is a proven tool for learning to manage anxiety and handle stressful situations. It uses hypnosis as the core of the treatment and provided you are open to being relaxed into a trance-like state, you can learn to adjust your perspective and change your mind set in stressful situations.


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