An irrational fear or phobia can be problematic, lead to disease and hinder the normal functioning of an individual. Scientific research shows that hypnotherapy helps.
In fact fear is a motivator. Wikipedia says: “Fear is an emotion induced by a threat perceived by living entities, which causes a change in brain and organ function and ultimately a change in behavior, such as running away, hiding or freezing from traumatic events. Fear may occur in response to a specific stimulus happening in the present, or to a future situation, which is perceived as risk to health or life, status, power, security, or, in the case of humans, wealth or anything held valuable. The fear response arises from the perception of danger leading to confrontation with or escape from/avoiding the threat (also known as the fight-or-flight response), which in extreme cases of fear (horror and terror) can be a freeze response or paralysis.”
Fear is in fact an important mechanism to help that you are not harmed. The emotion fear can be evoked by real threatening situations, however, it can also be triggered through imagination. The emotion fear comes from the subconscious mind and for the subconscious mind there is no difference between a real or imagined situation. The emotion that is produced makes that the fear is perceived as real. The fight and fight response of an imagined fear can cause an excessive amount of stress hormones that ultimately can damage the body.
Fear or phobia in many forms
Fear is present in many forms and has many names such as phobia, panic, nervousness, anxiety, fright etc. Next to that fear lies under many problems and does not always relate to a real situation. Even in a real situation fear can be so excessive that the amount of fear is not proportional to the real situation such as might be the case with fear of flying where the person is no longer able to fly due to the fear. On the Internet you can find many lists with fears and phobias. There are lists with more than 500 recognized phobias such as fear of spiders, fear of hight, fear of open or closed spaces. There are also some bizarre fears such as fear for the number 8, fear for the moon, fear of time and many more. These fears might cause you to smile, however for the person concerned this fear is no joke at all and can be very severe. Thinking logical and analytical this fear can be declared nonsense, however the subconscious mind does not mind this reasoning and can evoke the fear anyhow. In extreme cases an irrational fear can be so great that normal functioning is hard or impossible and the person might become socially isolated.
Do we have to fear fear?
Franklin Roosevelt de 32nd president of the United States from 1933 – 1945 made a famous quote on fear: “ So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is… fear itself – nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance”.
Indeed we must fear fear itself if this fear is evoked through imagination and irrational situations. Fear is a motivator and our subconscious mind that wants to protect us, will evoke this motivator irrespective of the fact that the situation is real or imagined. This will cause actions or non-actions in real life. Some people are so afraid that they do no fly even though statistically flying is one of the safest ways of transport. Some people prefer to stay at home in order to feel safe, although statistics show that many accidents happen in and around the house.
What we need to be most aware of is the use of imagination with fear to motivate people and groups of people. Unfortunately fear is used by people furthering their own agenda. You can think about political leaders who use images of fear to motivate people to vote or religions who use fear to motivate into certain actions or entrepreneurs who use fear to motivate people to buy their products or services by using the ‘fear’ idea that the the price will go up or that the article will be available for only a short time. These strategies using fear work and that is why they are used all the time. Fear mobilises and fear that is evoked through imagination can be a very bad advisor!
Getting rid of fear
A special thing about fear is that usually during the cause of time the fear grows. This is caused by the neuroplasticity of the brains. That means that brain cells can adjust constantly because of thoughts, learning and experiences. When the fear is evoked often enough, either through thoughts or real events more brain connections are made between neurons and the fear becomes stronger and is more easily triggered. Fortunately because of this neuroplasticity brain connections can also be broken down. One of the most powerful and fastest methods to get rid of a fear or phobia is by using hypnotherapie. In practice we see that people usually get rid of the fear or phobia in one sessions using direct hypnotherapy.
Fear of hypnosis
Fear can come in many forms. Next to fear for the doctor, fear for the dentist there is a fear of hypnosis. This fear is partly caused by hypnosis shows or films in which hypnosis is portrayed as if the person is under the control of the hypnotist, which in fact is not true.
The irony of this is that in fact all hypnosis is self hypnosis and by using hypnosis you can get more control over your own mind and body. Hypnosis is a very natural state and every day we experience hypnosis such as during day dreaming, listening to music, watching a movie or almost forgetting to take the right turn while driving a car (high way hypnosis).
How does hypnosis feel?
One of the big misconceptions is that being in hypnosis feels exotic or that you are no longer aware of what is happening . The opposite is true. During hypnosis a person is very focused and aware. A person concentrates mainly on one thing and during this concentration the logical, analytical thinking is not so much active. When you are engaged in a beautiful movie then in fact you are in hypnosis.
Imagine that you heard about a very good movie that plays in the cinema. You decide to go there, buy a ticket and walk into the hall in order to view the movie. At this time your analytical mind is very active and you may think: “Do I have a good seat? Is the movie really that good? I do not hope that a long person is sitting in front of me blocking my view.” You are not lucky and in fact a long person is sitting right in front of you, so you have to bend slightly to watch the movie. Than the movie starts and it turns out to be a very beautiful, emotional movie. You laugh, you cry, you enjoy and you have forgotten that you are in the cinema and that a long person is right in front of you. You are no longer thinking strongly analytical or logical, you are in the movie. You are in the hypnosis of the movie. However…. You can talk, you can think, you can hear, you can see, you can stand up and walk away. This is exactly how hypnosis feels. In hypnosis you can think, talk, see, hear, stand up and walk away and even … lie! We cannot make hypnosis exotically exciting, however, do not be mistaken by how hypnosis feels, because when your logical, analytical mind is no longer very active you have a very good access to the deeper databanks of your mind so that you can find the cause of a problem and deal with it effectively.
Why is it so important to eliminate fear
Fear that is caused by imagination without an acute real dangerous situation needs to be eliminated. Fear causes stress and stress can hinder the normal functioning. It is estimated that 80% of illness is caused by stress. For instance fear and depression are unhealthy for heart and vessels. Fear is always involved in one way or the other with stress. You can reason that negative emotions have a component of fear. Jealousy is the fear of not being loved, anger is the fear of not being seen, respected or being wronged. These emotions and fears that lies under the emotions can have a big impact on the people who feel them and ultimately these emotions can be a factor leading to illness.
Fear or phobia: a great problem
When we look at statistics fears and phobias are a great problem in our society. The website www.statisticbrain.com states that in the United States 60% of the population has fear of things that will never take place, 30% has a fear of things that happened in the past and can’t be changed. The number of people diagnosed with a phobia is 6,3 million. According to the Central Bureau voor de Statistiek (The Netherlands) in 2001 almost two out of five persons of twelve years and older said that they experienced a period of at least two weeks with feelings of fear, depression or both.
How can hypnosis help with fear
Departing from hypnotherapy we only know one fear. That makes our work uncomplicated and simple. In fact we fear only one feeling and that is the feeling that the fear evokes inside of us. That is the fear of fear.
Hypnotherapy can be used to find the cause of the fear, in fact we mean the first moment that the person is confronted with the negative emotion that causes the fear and by using several techniques this negative feeling can be eliminated. When people could solve a feeling with using their normal thoughts they would already have solved it. The problem is that the normal thinking mind does not always know the cause and is not able to eliminate the feeling as easily as we can do using hypnotherapy. In our experience using hypnotherapy most people in fact do no know the real cause of the problem. In many cases we find another cause for the fear than what the person initially thinks. Even when a person is confronted with a major trauma it may be that there is an event prior to that, a problem that hinders the solving of the trauma. The key is within the subconsciousness of the person. The subconscious of the person knows what caused the problem. The hypnotherapist is only the guide and mentor to help find the cause and to help solve it.