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Stress, anxiety, phobias, panic

    If you are looking for a faster way to winnow away your piled-up stres s, anxiety and other unpleasant feelings, you've come to the right place!

There is nothing wrong with experiencing strong emotions, as long as your emotions are well anchored in reality. The fearful reaction you experience when you face real danger, which occurs in real time, and as long as your reaction is proportional to the danger, is a legitimate reaction called fear.

When your fearful reactions are unfounded, time-shifted or disproportionate, they are called stress, anxiety, trauma and many any other name describing various negative feelings. Social anxiety, phobias and panic attacks are particular types of anxiety. However, occasional stress or anxiety are not disorders in themselves, nor are they normative concepts.

There is no clear barrier or objective measurement system in terms of the persistence or intensity of stress that can be used to clearly distinguish between so-called “normal” stress and harmful stress. Stress and anxiety are very personal experiences and you are the best positioned to set the limits of what is or not suitable, acceptable or tolerable as stress. Whatever is the nature of the stress you experience, as soon as you perceive it as an unpleasant experience, it is a clue that you are experiencing bad stress with a real potential to harm your quality of life and your health.

The common perception is that stress and anxiety are part of daily life, and are caused by external factors, processes and events, such as: health issues, aging, family, career, financial issues, social ties, loneliness, life’s purpose, self-esteem, etc. Yet, you are not passively undergoing any of these. You are the one who makes sense of these everyday life facts and perceive them as stressful, emotionally neutral, or joyful events. Thus, stress is not necessarily a direct reaction to what happens to you. Stress is about how you react to what you perceive in your environment.

Although in everyday conversations the words “fear”, “stress” and “anxiety” seem to be interchangeable, for the sake of clarity, academic rigor and linguistic hygiene, I must say that these words describe different feelings with a different neurobiology - therefore these words do not have the same semantic or academic value. A fearful reaction to a real danger that happens in real time and for as long as the reaction is proportional to the danger is called "fear". Fear is an inborn reaction mechanism that always gives a boost of energy and triggers the well-known "fight or flight" response.

When the fearful reaction is unfounded, disproportionate or related to a past event, the reaction is called "stress". When stressful experiences of the past are projected into the future, the fearful reaction induced by the anticipated fear of a future negative outcome is called "anxiety". Anxiety is an anticipated fear of future negative outcomes. Anxiety is the perception of a future potential or imaginary threat to well-being or survival. Stress and anxiety are learned patterns of poor emotional response that, most often, drain your energy by triggering a paralyzing reaction of "freeze in place". When there is an obvious discrepancy between your emotional responses and the objective reality, your feelings will have a powerful grip on you, and, most likely, they will end up controlling your thoughts and your behaviour.

As soon as you perceive a danger, be it real, imagined or recalled from a past experience, the two branches of the autonomic nervous system are activated simultaneously, you are ready to experience a reaction of fear, stress or anxiety and your body is ready to fight, flee or to freeze in place. Disproportionate or time-shifted emotional responses are very difficult to control by the rational mind alone because they arise from patterns stored in your subconscious mind and not from your intentional thoughts. When you feel in danger, all your senses are exacerbated, time collapses, your energy soars and in the blink of an eye, your subconscious will make the decision that gives you the best chance of survival. Although the decision to fight or flee seems to be favored, whenever fight or flight is not an option, your body will most likely adopt the freeze in place reaction.

Legitimate fear which is well grounded in objective reality - sometimes inappropriately called "positive stress" -, is an innate emotional response which, through its ability to boost energy is not only useful but essential for survival, while persistent or very intense stress and anxiety are negative, toxic and energy-consuming feelings. Whether you call your disproportionate or time-shifted emotional reaction stress, trauma, anxiety or any other name describing negative feelings, as long as they are lasting, unpleasant and overwhelming, they are toxic. Since toxic emotions drain your vitality, the fatigue, insomnia and pain are often their early outcomes.

Even if the experience of your fearful feelings happens in present time, stress always relates to past events and anxiety always relates to future negative outcomes. Because stress and anxiety are always time-shifted, the vast majority of stress and anxiety coping strategies revolve around the concept of anchoring in the present. This is why, all these "anchoring" strategies aim to divert and focus your attention in order to keep it as long as possible in a present time - intentionally created and nourished.

Unfortunately, as soon as you are done with your trick to cope with stress and anxiety - whether it be the practice of yoga, mindfulness, art-therapy, pet therapy, physical training, jogging, fishing, hunting or any other relaxing activity, you will start again your descent into your initial stressful and anxious state of mind. I hope you have better things to do in life than looking for a temporary refuge from your stressful or anxious thoughts.

Stress and anxiety always have a cumulative effect and if you can't find an effective way to relieve them, your stress and anxiety will start to build up. Thus, the stress that accumulates during the day and that does not disappear overnight becomes your stress of the next morning, on which you will continue to accumulate new stress, and so on. Since your ability to cope with stress and anxiety is limited, unless you find an effective way to avoid or relieve them effectively, the accumulated stress and anxiety will eventually affect your well-being and health. In the long run, the cumulative effect of stress and anxiety can wreak havoc on your mind and body.

My approach is based on the contemporary physiological and neurological behavioral response models. From this updated perspective, when they occur, emotions cause a coordonated change in the state of your mind, your body and your physiology. Since these changes are always coherent, you can regulate an unpleasant emotion by regulating any of its manifestations. This explains how, despite the complex nature of emotions, psychiatric treatments can control unwanted emotions by controlling the physiology of the brain -by using psychoactive drugs, psychological treatments by focusing on mental and thoughts, while hypnotherapy controls undesirable emotions by controlling their perception.

What really has the potential to accomplish or haunt your life is the perception of events, not the events themselves. Perception occurs in sensory systems that convert physical manifestations into mental representations. When they manifest, you feel as if your emotions were a kind of a physical sensations in your body. You fell them as heart palpitations, sweating, dizziness, shortness of breath, knots in your stomach, chest pressure, body tightness, body pains, smothering sensations, restlessness or a sense of impending doom. You might feel flushed or chilled, you may feel weak, faint, or dizzy, you might feel a sense of unreality or loss of control. If the causes of these feelings are not addressed in a timely manner, your feelings will gradually detach from the initial causal root and will become persistent and part of your daily life. You will work, sleep and live with these feelings on a daily basis. 

Once there, if you want to regain control over your life, you have the option of investing in the long process of educating your rational brain on how to better negotiate your decisions with your emotional brain, or to take the Somatic Hypnotherapy shortcut, with instantaneous good results. Unlike conventional hypnotherapy approaches that focus on adding a fresh layer of positive emotions on top of your lasting fears and traumas, the somatic hypnotherapy is all about releasing the past by rearranging the emotional reading of the past stressful or traumatic experiences. This therapy works with your world model and actively involves you in your change process so that changes are more easily accepted and sustainable.

With my approach, you won't undergo a passive script therapy; instead you’ll be in charge and in control of your therapy. You’ll be the one who will identify and clear out your negative feelings. Your overwhelming negative or painful emotions that you identify, quantify and body-map at the beginning of your therapy session, will gradually cease following my therapy. Once you release the negative emotional feelings you piled up during your past experiences, you can change your perception of those experiences, which in turn will re-adjust your behaviour.*

Right after your session you will feel that your heart has significantly decreased if not completely forgotten the stressful, anxious, traumatic or painful component of the unpleasant events we have worked in somatic hypnosis, while your cognitive memory keeps intact the factual details. At the end of your therapy you will be able to review images and thoughts associated with your former unpleasant feelings, and, you will be pleasantly surprised to find that neither the images nor the thoughts can no longer awaken your once unpleasant feelings that we have worked in somatic hypnosis. As if by magic, your once intrusive thoughts have become thoughts that you can control as you wish.*

You can forget about the lump in your throat, your stomach knots, muscular tension, hesitant voice and confused ideas when you speak in public, and many other things. As soon as the unpleasant body feelings associated with your negative emotions have been eliminated through therapy, your anxiety, grief, stress, sorrow, jealousy, pity, guilt, rage or other negative emotions will be eased or cleared, as if by magic! You'll feel that inside of you something has already changed, or is about to change the way you asked for. You will feel that the stress, anxiety, trauma and all the other unpleasant feelings that you came to relieve in therapy are gone!*

Right after your therapy session you'll feel different. Yet Somatic Hypnotherapy won’t overwrite or change your thoughts or your pattern of thinking. This approach can help you to think, feel and live the way you want, by helping you to ease or get rid of whatever negative emotions that keeps you from not thinking, feeling or living the way you want. Following your therapy in somatic hypnosis, you could think of everything you want, your thoughts will no longer have the power to awaken your formerly painful or unpleasant feelings.*

However, even if at the end of your session you will feel free from your once unpleasant feelings, you will not start to act awkward and recklessly. Your personality won't change! You will keep intact your instinct and your cognitive abilities to objectively assess different life situations and react appropriately. From now on, you can focus all your energy on living your life! No need anymore to waste it on controlling your past unpleasant feelings.

Free yourself from the burden that prevents you from revealing your talents, and allow yourself to be more charismatic and confident. Whatever your stress, anxiety, phobia, or other issue may be, don't allow it to cripple your life.

The "No Results - No Pay" principle applies to all my therapies.

Contact me and book your appointment today! Let this be the most exciting experience of your life, and I will be happy to help you on your journey.

You can reach me by filling out the contact form below.

Disclaimer: The above content is intended for general informational purposes and does not constitute any psychological or other medical professional advice. I don't diagnose medical conditions, nor do I interfere with any treatments given by your medical professional.

If you are already under the care of a doctor or under medical treatment, follow the advice and treatment recommended by your doctor. For any medical emergency, call the Info-Santé service by dialing 8-1-1

*The results may vary from person to person.

Somatic Hypnotherapy - 186 Sutton Pl, suite 104, Beaconsfield, Montréal, Qc, H9W5S3