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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!

In real life, people tend to think rationally and behave thoughtfully, as long as their cognitive functions are not impaired or strong feelings don't get involved. Of course, your wandering thoughts, the recall of past events, or your future projections have the power to trigger the associated lingering emotional feelings.

When triggerred, intense feelings tend to alter your state of mind, which can disrupt or even take control of your thoughts. This is how you may find yourself ruminating on negative or absurd thoughts and often end up overwhelmed by your intrusive thoughts. You can easily slip into a vicious cycle where your wandering negative thoughts will trigger even more unpleasant feelings which, if neglected, can alter your decisions, control your life, poison your existence, and drive you to despair.

However, there is nothing wrong with experiencing strong emotions - as long as your emotions are positive or at least well-anchored in reality! The fearful feeling you experience when facing a real danger that occurs in real-time, and as long as the induced reaction is proportional to the danger, is a legitimate feeling called "fear". When your fears are unreasonable, time-shifted (triggered by past events or future projections), or disproportionate, they are called stress, anxiety, trauma, and many other names describing various negative feelings. Social anxiety, phobias, and panic attacks are particular types of anxiety. However, when they do occur occasionally, stress, anxiety, or other negative emotions are not disorders in themselves, nor are they normative concepts.

Although academic definitions of stress, anxiety, trauma, and other emotional disorders vary widely from a psychiatric, psychological, neurological, and biological perspective, the common perception is that the above conditions are states of mind due to unpleasant emotional feelings reflected by the cognitive functions of the brain. Stress, anxiety, and emotional trauma don't reside in your brain! When you are emotionally traumatized, what is hurt are those non-cognitive aspects of your mind, not your brain! Your brain's cognitive function reads the traumas that are embedded in your subconscious mind as feelings, gives them meaning, and reflects them as cognitive perceptions of your emotional feelings - commonly called emotions.

This is why there is no clear barrier nor an objective measurement system in terms of nature, intensity, or persistence of stress to clearly distinguish so-called “normal” stress from harmful stress. Stress and anxiety are personal experiences, and you are in the best position to define the boundaries of what is and what is not appropriate, acceptable, or tolerable in terms of stress or anxiety. Whatever the nature of your stress, as soon as you perceive it as an unpleasant experience, it is a strong indication that you are experiencing bad stress with real potential to compromise your quality of life and your health.

The common perception is that stress and anxiety are inevitable parts of everyday life, being caused by external factors and by events that happen to you, such as health issues, aging, family, career, financial issues, social ties, loneliness, life’s purpose, self-esteem, etc. However, you do not passively experience any of these events. You are the one who makes sense of these everyday life facts and perceives them as stressful, emotionally neutral, or joyful events. Thus, stress and anxiety are not necessarily direct and unavoidable outcomes of what happens to you. Stress and anxiety are your reactions to what you perceive in your environment!

Although in everyday conversations the words “fear”, “stress” and “anxiety” seem to be interchangeable, these words do not have the same semantic or academic value. For the sake of clarity, academic rigor, and linguistic hygiene, I must say that these words describe different emotions with significantly different neurobiologies. Your brain is never confused as to whether you are facing a real danger, a bad memory, or an imaginary threat. You will feel terrified when you remember a traumatic event, not because a sudden mental confusion will make you mistakenly assume that those past events are in fact happening in the present, but because your memories of a past traumatic event will trigger terrifying emotional feelings that you experience in the present.

Fear is an inborn emotional response 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 drain your energy and trigger a paralyzing reaction of "freeze in place".

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. 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, and your body is ready to fight, flee or freeze in place. When the danger seems real, your subconscious will favor the decision to fight or flee. When your fearful feelings are disproportionate or time-shifted - and therefore the fight or flight response is not an option, your body will most likely react instinctively by freezing in place. Unhealthy 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.

Legitimate fear induced by real threats, as well as excitement or enthusiasm - known as "positive stress" - are innate emotional responses that, through their ability to boost energy, are not only useful but essential to survival and life fulfillment. However, persistent or intense stress and anxiety are always negative, toxic, and energy-consuming feelings. Whether you call a disproportionate or time-shifted emotional reaction stress, anxiety, trauma, anger, shame, grief, painful sadness, or any other name describing negative feelings, as long as they are very intense, lasting, or overwhelming, they are toxic! As toxic emotions drain energy and vitality - fatigue, sleeplessness, and pain are often some of their first fallouts. In the long run, the cumulative effect of stress and anxiety can wreak havoc on your mind and body.

Even though the experience of your fearful emotional feelings is occurring in the present, stress is always related to past events and anxiety relates to anticipating negative future 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 of these “anchoring” strategies aim to divert your attention in order to keep it as long as possible focused on an intentionally created joyful present tense. 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.

Hope you have better things to do in life than seek temporary refuge from your toxic feelings as they always have a cumulative effect and if you cannot find an effective way to relieve your stress, anxiety, and other negative feelings, they will start to pile 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 affect - see ruin - your well-being and health.

Central to the philosophy of this approach is the understanding that what really has the power to fulfill or jeopardize your life is not the cognitive memory of past events but the perception of those past events, perception that has the power to arouse the associated emotional feelings. Perception occurs in sensory systems as physical manifestations that your brain converts into mental representations. It's like when you'd accidentally hurt yourself; what really bothers you is not the memory of the accident, but the pain you feel. And it will only bother you to the extent that, and only for as long as you'll feel the pain!

When they manifest, you feel as if your emotions were a kind of physical sensation in your body. You feel 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, and 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 taking 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, 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.

My approach is based on the contemporary physiological and neurological behavioral response models. From this updated perspective, when they occur, emotions cause a coordinated 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 very complex nature of emotions - psychiatric treatments can control unwanted emotions by controlling the physiology of the brain (through psychoactive drugs), psychological treatments by controlling just the mental manifestations of emotions (thoughts), while hypnotherapy controls unwanted emotions by controlling their somatic manifestations (emotional feelings).

With my approach, you won't undergo passive script therapy; instead, you’ll be in charge 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 behavior. Because, as soon as you no longer feel fearful, your once fearful thoughts and behavior will instantly change and follow your new emotional reality.

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 on 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, your hesitant voice, 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 keep you from not thinking, feeling, or living the way you want. Following your therapy in somatic hypnosis, you could think of everything you want, and 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 fighting to control 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 the nature of your stress, anxiety, or any other emotional issue may be, don't allow it to cripple your life.

The principles of the "No result - no pay" guarantee apply 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 article may contain statements that reflect the opinion of the author. It is intended for general informational purposes and does not constitute psychological or medical professional advice. I don't diagnose medical conditions, nor do I interfere with any treatments given by your medical professional.

If you already are 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