It was back in 1700s when the first research about hypnosis (originally termed as animal magnetism) was set in motion by Franz Anton Mesmer. However, it wasn’t until 1958 when the American Medical Association (or AMA) acknowledged hypnosis’s validity as a very useful medical procedure.
Fast forward today, hypnosis has been one of the tried and tested ‘tools’ for stopping smoking, alleviating pain and physical conditions like asthma and IBS, and those are just to name a few.
And just recently, another discovery has been made concerning new uses of hypnosis…that of relieving social anxiety and shyness. If you are someone who tends to cower for no apparent reason when talking to strangers or stutter a lot when speaking in public, this may be just the ‘pill’ you need.
Getting Rid Of Social Anxiety Through Hypnosis – How It Works
“The events and experiences we undergo are linked to physical and emotional reactions.”
This is the premise of hypnosis. When we experience the same events once again, the physical reactions and emotions we have subconsciously linked to it (regardless if it’s healthy or not) are brought back to the surface…reactivated.
Here’s a simple example: Let’s say someone just had a traumatic public speaking experience. Perhaps, in the middle of his speech, he forgot his piece. He felt lost…he panicked in front of hundreds or even thousands of people. Such a person is very likely to experience the negative/unhealthy emotions when speaking again in public or shaking hands with other people. His subconscious has linked public speaking to panic and confusion.
Using the simple example above, the goal of hypnosis is to break that link…to separate the traumatic public speaking experience from the negative emotions he came to associate with it. Furthermore, during these hypnosis sessions, the therapist might even give post hypnotic suggestions that will allow the subject to relax whenever he wants.
What Happens In A Hypnosis Session
Before a therapist starts a hypnosis session, he will first discuss your medical history – looking at and discussing the problems with you, while providing you with a simple overview of how the process works.
Just in case you are worried, no, the goal of hypnosis isn’t to make you run around the room like a chicken or do weird stuff. That’s stage hypnosis. What hypnosis tries to do is to have you enter an altered state of consciousness.
Known as trance or hypnotic state, people in this different level of consciousness experience extreme relaxation, lowered blood pressure and heart rate, as well as significant changes in brainwaves.
BUT more importantly, while in trance or hypnotic state, you will be highly responsive to suggestions. These suggestions can be direct or multi-layered. In most hypnosis sessions that deal with social anxiety, the latter has been found to work a lot better than the former.
These suggestions – its delivery and structure, will serve as the main tool of the hypnotist in breaking down the negative associations and anchors to social events and interactions you have unknowingly made.
At the end of every session, the hypnotist will bring you back to alertness and will discuss and reflect on the experience with you.
No pills, no pain – if that sounds like a great way to finally get rid of social anxiety, maybe it’s about time you give hypnosis the shot it deserves.