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  • Mark Brafield

Don't panic !

One reason that I was attracted to hypnotherapy was because of the remarkably wide range of conditions it can cure or help with. As I say elsewhere on my website, hypnotherapy can help any condition which derives from stress, or in which stress plays a part.

And most of the conditions that I see in my consulting room boil down, sooner or later, to stress.

The equation is simple. Your amygdala - that primitive part of your brain that acts as your 'watchman' or 'security guard' - is constantly on the lookout for danger. Because it is programmed to protect you, it sees danger round every corner, where it may not, in fact, exist. But because your amygdala does not have access to the rational part of your brain, it often mistakes an innocent trigger for a serious danger, and it engages the 'fight or flight' response in the body, which you may experience as a panic attack, low-grade but constant anxiety, or just waking up in the middle of the night with your mind going round in a whirl.

Any stressful situation will engage this response unless it is recognised for what it is and, quietly but firmly, brought to heel.

Many of my clients talk about experiencing these feelings, but they also talk about 'feeling stuck' or 'feeling powerless to change things' when confronting difficult situations in life.

It does not take a great deal of thought to realise that part of these feelings of powerlessness may actually be an expression of what is going on in your body. If your body is taken over by an autonomous response, it may be literally true to say that 'do not feel yourself' or that you feel 'powerless', for the simple reason that you are no longer in control of your body. And from there, it is just a short step to projecting that feeling of no longer being in control of your body onto the outside world, and feeling that you are no longer in control of your life.

When I work with my clients, I often use the mantra that 'your mind is in control of your body, and you are in control of your mind', and through hypnotic work, you can learn to see that mantra in action and then engage it yourself.

You may genuinely be stuck in a difficult situation - a bereavement, dispute or divorce - that cannot be changed. But what we can change is your relationship with yourself, getting the security guard to stand down so that you can get back in touch with yourself, feeling centred and grounded in your body as it relaxes. And if we cannot change the circumstances, at least we can get you in a position where you are best able to face and cope with them.

Your mind is in control of your body, and you are in control of your mind.

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