Hypnotherapy, Uncertainty and Anxiety
You may already know that hypnotherapy is effective for issues such as Smoking and Weight loss, but what about the more thorny issues of everyday living and existence? Can hypnotherapy help with issues such as finding meaning in life and living in an uncertain world? In the following article, the focus is on mental toughness and uncertainty. Even though we may crave predictability and security, we all have to live with doubt and the resulting anxiety. In life, anxiety is inevitable; it will either motivate us or overwhelm us. In order to live and succeed in an uncertain world we need what I call mental toughness.
Mental Toughness Versus Uncertainty
In order to retain our mental toughness and confidence, we need to be realistic and accept the contingencies of life and existence. This is not always easy as life is uncertain and the future unwritten. We are evolutionally hardwired to be anxious and to worry about the unknown. So it’s unsurprising that we have tried everything from interpreting dreams and reading the stars, to consulting clairvoyants, in order to assuage our anxiety about the future.
Certainty about the future (and the past) gives us a sense of meaning and purpose in the world and the universe – life makes sense. But what if there really is no certainty, no plan and no reward? What if life is just random, meaningless and groundless? What if the universe really doesn’t care? Then, perhaps we need existential mental toughness to get a grip and make the most of a random existence.
Thrown into the World
We do not choose to be born, nor do we choose when and where we are born. We are thrown into the world. At some stage in our development we realise that we exist as individuals and can distinguish ourselves from others. Who and what we become is our responsibility; it is based on the choices we make. Even if life’s conditions constrain us, we still have the freedom, choice and responsibility to decide what we will do and who we will become in each moment. We are our choices. We are our actions. No excuses.
Anxiety and Risk
Given the uncertainty and randomness of life, it is inevitable that we will suffer from some anxiety. In order to contain our anxiety and maintain our false sense of security, we may live restricted lives by limiting our choices and actions. Through risk avoidance and procrastination, our world becomes smaller. A safe life – can be a dangerous life.
The good news is that anxiety can be a catalyst for change and push us towards new experiences that enrich our lives with meaning. Using hypnotherapy we can explore what the anxiety is really telling us, what choices we have and what action we can confidently take. Change starts with anxiety.
So, how can we decide if we are living our lives to their fullest potential? Consider if you had to live your life exactly the same, over and over again for all eternity. As Nietzsche once asked, what if:
“This life as you now live it and have lived it, you will have to live once more and innumerable times more; and there will be nothing new in it, but every pain and every joy and every thought and sigh and everything unutterably small or great in your life will have to return to you, all in the same succession and sequence – even this spider and this moon-light between the trees, and even this moment and I myself. The eternal hourglass of existence is turned upside down again and again, and you with it, speck of dust!” (Nietzsche, 1882)
So, if you had to live your life the same over and over again, would you be happy with your choices and actions, would you change anything? To give meaning and purpose to our existence, each of us has to invent our own philosophy of life. We all need to find our own truth, however what is true for us today might not be appropriate tomorrow.
Ask yourself these two essential (and existential) questions each day.
- Who am I?
- What am I going to do?
For more information on Mental Toughness and Hypnotherapy in Harley Street please see my details below.
by Phil Pearl DCH DHP MCH GHR Reg
Clinical Hypnotherapist – Harley Street & Kensington, London
Nietzsche, F. (1882). Die fröhliche Wissenschaft. Translated Walter-Kaufmann UBNVAYFFQNC6