Stress & Anxiety


Stress is something that affects us all from time to time, and sometimes stressful events of just the daily stressors in life can get on top of us causing us to feel the physical and sometimes mental symptoms of being under stress for a prolonged period of time, with no way of releasing it.


Stress is actually a totally natural response that our bodies developed in order to fight or flee from danger, our 'fight or flight' response. This primitive system releases cortisol into the body which causes our stress levels to rise, and to release this stress our body needs to take action - which is why exercise is so good for releasing that energy.


But often we go back to face the same problem and in our modern world, we mostly can't fight or flee from the stimuli, as it's most likely not a lion jumping out of the undergrowth. More likely it's a difficult email from your boss, money worries, or an unhelpful colleague. In these situations it would be detrimental to us to fight or flee the situation, so we stay put whilst our body is going, "no no no! we need to DO SOMETHING!"


For example, at work, we might well lose our job if we decided to run out of a stressful meeting or fight our boss when they are stressing us out. And this most certainly would not help things get any better. But we do need to do something to release this stress form our system as prolonged and sustained high levels of stress can have a damaging effect on our physical and mental health.


Anxiety can be related to something specific like a train journey or a social situation or it can occur as Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD). If you're anxious because of a specific phobia or because of panic disorder, you'll usually know what the cause of your anxiety is and so know how to avoid it. However avoiding the train or social situations can become quite debilitating, and finding ways to reduce the level of your anxiety so you are able to cope with these situations is something that Hypnotherapy could help with.


However, it may not always be clear what you're feeling anxious about. Not knowing what triggers your anxiety can intensify it and leave you feeling constantly in fear and like there is no way out.


This can affect you both physically and mentally. Symptoms vary from person to person, some people have only 1 or 2 symptoms, while others have many more.

You should see a GP if anxiety is affecting your daily life or is causing you distress. But if you are struggling with anxiety in your life hypnotherpay can be a great complementary therapy to help you cope. 

Here is a list of symptoms that can be caused by GAD.


Physiological symptoms:

  • restlessness

  • a sense of dread

  • feeling constantly "on edge"

  • difficulty concentrating

  • irritability

Physical symptoms:


How Can Hypnotherapy Help

Hypnotherapy could help you to cope better when something stimulates your anxiety by working with you to reprogramme your current built-in response, to a response that is more useful to you. Your subconscious mind has learnt a specific way to respond to certain situations and hypnotherapy can teach it new ways that will be more useful to you in your life now. Working with you to achieve your desired response. 

By firstly taking you into a deep state of relaxation and then, by using a method of guided focusing, visualisations and suggestion work your subconscious can learn to react to these previously stressful situations differently. This then gives your body a completely different set of cues that do not set off your nervous system in the same way. So hopefully relieving you of the anxiety and in the long run even the physical symptoms it can cause.

Weight Loss

Hypnotherapy for weight loss can be a really positive and sustaining way of changing your eating habits. Through repeated suggestion while in a state of deep relaxation your subconscious habits can be changed to the healthier more positive habits that you desire. Along with this Hypnotherapy can include suggestion work on positive self-image and motivation to exercise and just help you build a level of confidence in your self.


Often overeating can be linked to our emotions. Eating can become a way of dealing with difficult emotions.  Sugar in particular actually does give us a boost of happy hormones so when we're feeling down and we reach for a sugary snack we are actually trying to deal with this feeling and will get some momentary relief. But of course it's only momentary and we also get the negative side of that snack which is the damage to our health, that doing this to often can cause. Only adding to our problems in the long run. 

The reason so many diets fail is because they rely on will power, and with the best will in the world, if your subconscious habits are still there lurking in the background it only takes a little break in your will, a bad day, a difficult time emotionally, for all that good work to break down. Hypnotherapy can retrain our subconscious to react to these events differently. I'll work with you to figure out what your triggers are for overeating, what your specific habits are. I can then create a tailored course of hypnotherapy that can address all this, and leave you with a set of new healthy eating habits that you will hardly have to think about, as they will become like second nature to you.

There is no one ideal weight, as everyone is different. But if you are unhappy with your weight and feel you would like some help with unhealthy eating habits or motivation to exoersize then hypnotherapy could be the thing for you.

Fears and Phobias

There are many hypnotic techniques that can be used in the case of treating a phobia or fear, and it can be a very safe way for the sufferer to gain some control over the anxiety-producing trigger without the need to be experiencing it in the flesh until they feel ready.

Through the use of visualisations whilst being in a very relaxed state you can be guided through an experience that normally you may find stressful or very frightening. Using a method called systematic desensitization, we would start with a low-level stimulus and gradually work our way up at your pace. This can be a very effective way of helping you realise and practice a different outcome for that situation. By mentally rehearsing a positive outcome your subconscious mind can start to let go of the old fearful response as it learns that this new positive calm response is actually more useful to you. 

"Hypnosis has proven effective in the management of preoperative and postoperative anxiety, including situations in which the patient is in a crisis period. This can also apply to the treatment of dental phobia. One common example of how hypnosis or hypnotherapy can be used to treat anxiety is in work with medical conditions and treatments that characteristically evoke significant anxiety. These include dental procedures, surgical and postsurgical situations, lumbar punctures and bone marrow aspiration, chronic headaches, cancer, burn pain, gastrointestinal disorders, nausea, respiratory disorders, tinnitus, and obstetrics/gynaecology." 

Hypnosis in the Treatment of Anxieties, Fears and Phobias, by Diane Zimberoff  Nov 18, 2014 6:00:00 AM


Phobias come in all shapes and sizes and nothing is strange in the world of hypnotherapy. Sometimes people can remember exactly when and where their phobia started and others really have no idea.  Sometimes it is useful to recover the initial sensitising event and for others, it is not. Simply learning to react in a new way to the previously fear-inducing stimulus is enough, whether they remember how it came about or not isn't important.

Complete List

* If you have been diagnosed or suspect you may have one of the medical conditions starred in the adjacent list, you should consult your GP for advice, diagnosis and treatment and always inform your health professional before starting any alternative or additional therapies or treatments.

Get in touch with me at PSJM Hypnotherapy, Newbury, if you would like to discuss anything listed on this page. Or if you don't see your particular issue, please do feel free to contact me. I am always happy to hear from anyone looking for help with an issue, and I will do my best to help or point you in the right direction.