“Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgement that something is more important than fear; The brave may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all.” ― Meg Cabot, The Princess Diaries
Living with a fear or phobia can be extremely debilitating. Depending on the severity, a phobia can interfere with the day-to-day aspects of your life. Even something as simple as leaving your home might seem like an insurmountable task to someone who has a fear of crowds or the outdoors. For others, making friends or meeting new people may cause such extreme anxiety that they prefer to simply stay home.
Fear has a very good evolutionary purpose. If it wasn’t for fear, we wouldn’t have been able to survive for this long. People would be walking into oncoming traffic and jumping off of buildings. Thousands of years ago primates lived in small groups and were much more likely to come across dangerous predators and life threatening events. Fear prepares you ahead of time to avoid unfamiliar territory by physically altering your bodily chemicals. For instance, producing adrenaline and preparing your body to “flee away” from dangerous situations can be useful. Inherently, “fear” is trying to help you.
Although, fear has a positive intent, it becomes unhelpful when your mind begins to over-generalize the fear, or fail to realize that it is safe at an unconscious level. When a baby first falls of a couch, the baby tends to avoid the couch completely. The baby over-generalized by associating the whole couch to the immediate pain of falling off of the couch. However, gradually the baby begins to realize that it’s not the whole couch, it’s just the edge of the couch that’s dangerous. Whether it is fear of flying, heights and falling, driving, public speaking, approaching the opposite sex, etc in order for you to be able to function normally, your mind would have to “unconscious” or “subconsciously” begin to realize that “you are safe”. It might be irrational, but that’s how the mind works. Rationality is a tool, but fear is a primitive response that carries great survival value.
Fear and the automatic physiological responses such as sweating, heart beating faster, blushing, feeling extremely nervous or anxious,..etc stems from your unconscious mind. hypnotherapy for fear and anxiety is extremely effective because hypnosis deals directly with the “unconscious” or “subconscious” parts of you.
Lisa is a financial adviser and she’s recently been offered a promotion. She is afraid of standing up for herself and to express her concerns to her boss. She is also afraid of meeting new people and communicating effectively. Under hypnosis, Lisa learns how she thinks of her boss. She would always imagine herself weaker and less smarter than most people. Her upbringing caused her to look at authority figures with a sense of fear and inferiority. Over the years, her fear developed and she began to generalize that to people who she perceives to be smarter, and more attractive. When she met new individuals who are smarter and more attractive, she would instantly feel nervous and anxious. In hypnosis, Lisa learned to change her unconscious beliefs about people of authority, “smarter” and “more attractive” and how to manage her bodily responses such as blushing and nervous laughter. Over the sessions she began to notice improvements in her self-confidence as well.