Overcoming Chronic Worrying – Learning To Use Your Imagination With Envision Hypnotherapy
The Cause of The Problem is Also The Solution
Imagination is essential to human growth – it helps us to solve problems, write books, create new inventions, learn and develop and dream the ‘impossible’ dream. It is also what helps us to access the state of hypnosis and develop new motivations and influence the workings of the body. Imagination is perhaps our finest psychological tool. But, like any tool, it can be misused, and it’s misuse of the imagination that causes worry.
..Worrying Has Its Place
Now let’s first be clear that worrying has its place. If someone you’ve never met before suggests you invest all your life savings in their fail-safe scheme, then you really should worry if this is the right move for you. If a friend downs a bottle of wine and then insists they are sober enough to drive, then worrying about their and others’ safety would be a perfectly correct response.
In both these instances your imagination may kick in full blast and create mental scenarios of what could go wrong. You might picture yourself losing your savings, or your friend crashing in a drunken stupor. And, hopefully, you will then take appropriate evasive action. To this extent, worrying is useful, and even essential.
But some people so overuse this element of imagination that they drain themselves, and often those close to them, of energy, enjoyment and positive focus.
Interestingly the word ‘worry’ comes from an old English word meaning ‘to strangle’ and so it was said that hunting dogs would ‘worry’ their prey, such as sheep, to death. Anyone who has ever suffered from chronic worry will relate to that. It can feel just like being suffocated when the anxiety induces shallow breathing and the body and mind are starved of oxygen and energy as a result.
The problem with chronic worrying is that, instead of being a useful aid to avoiding what’s worth avoiding – like rash investments, harmful relationships, or drunk driving – it becomes a barrier, preventing us from doing things that really are worth doing. For example, worriers might not go to a party because they worry how they come across; not go for a job promotion because worry prevents them even trying; spoil close relationships by over analysing and worrying that things are all going to go horribly wrong; they may even worry when they don’t worry enough! Like any potentially useful tool, worry needs to be used sometimes but not as if it’s the only tool in the toolbox!
The Impact Of Worrying On Body And Mind
Worrying has other worrying consequences! Your imagination directly affects not only your psychology – how you think and feel – but also your physiology. Imagine eating your favourite food for a while and your mouth will water. That’s an example of how your imagination can immediately affect your salivary glands. You can imagine being in a beautiful place and your breathing may slow down, blood pressure decrease and muscles relax the more you picture it fully. Your imagination has hypnotic effects on your mind and body.
Where else do we find the imagination affecting psychology, motivation and physiology? I just answered my own question – by worrying, of course! Worrying has consequences not just in lost opportunities and wasted time but on a physical level.
The Worry Trap
Now worrying wouldn’t be so bad if it always led to positive solutions. In fact, that in a way is what problem solving is: we examine the problem; we imagine consequences of different actions; we devise a plan; and we carry out the plan. Result! But people who chronically worry….. will they like me? will I make a fool of myself? will I end up sad and lonely? will people think I’m stupid at the interview?… and so on… are caught in a two-pronged trap.
Firstly, they are worrying about the kind of things that cannot be ‘solved’ in the immediate sense. For example, we can influence, but not completely control, whether people like us or not. Ultimately, what someone thinks about you may have more to do with them than you. What worriers need to learn to do is relax with uncertainty. If I’m going to give a speech to a hundred people, I can’t be certain they will all like me, but I can be comfortable with not knowing and, as long as I do a reasonable job, not care too much. if they like me or not.
Secondly, people who worry too much experience a kind of mental paralysis. Instead of worries leading to solutions, they just worry. They don’t actually plan and act to solve the worry… Worriers effectively hypnotize themselves into feeling that what they imagine could happen definitely will happen. This then has a powerful but negative effect on what they experience and how they act in the gloomy future they’ve imagined.
Options For Change
To stop misusing imagination to drown ourselves with worry, there are three main options we can use do to overcome this:
- Examine the worries and see if you can actually solve them. For example, if you worry about becoming obese – you can either just fret about it or you can try to use that worrying to generate motivation to get you eating and exercising better – so you are now actively problem solving the worry.
- Challenge the worry. For example, if you are worried that no one will like you at a party, you can challenge that idea. How realistic is that fear? By the law of averages some people will like you, a few may not, some will be indifferent or the party spirit may make everyone well disposed toward everyone! Thinking this way at least presents a few alternative possibilities that are not negative. However, challenging their thinking is something worriers often fail to do.
- Change how you feel about the worry. For example, if you are worried that your house is a bit scruffy, you can solve that worry, and switch it off, by decorating or just making it spick and span! But if your worries are more vague and not something that can be tackled directly in the here and now, then you can try to change how you feel about the situation.
- Have hypnotherapy, to stop the worrying mind!
Overcoming Worrying With Hypnosis – The Envision Hypnotherapy Approach
Hypnotherapy is a powerful, rapid way to enable someone to stop worrying and to use all that freed up mental energy to much better effect.