Relieve Stress and Anxiety with This Combination of Hypnosis and Mindfulness


You have your asana practice, meditation, and pranayama to help you handle stress and feel grounded, and now you have hypnosis, too. While your ideas of hypnosis may consist of dramatic stage hypnotists and CDs that enable you to quit smoking, new innovative hypnosis treatments look very different: imagine instead being on your living room floor with an app, a meditation pillow, and a soothing aromatherapeutic candle. Hypnosis has gone DIY.

A new study conducted by researchers at Baylor University found that this combination of mindfulness and hypnotherapy may successfully reduce stress and anxiety. The treatment, known as “mindful hypnotherapy,” integrates hypnosis with mindful therapy practices, such as repeating mantras, acknowledging personal values, and tracking your senses.

See also Try This Mindfulness Practice When You Feel Stuck

According to Gary Elkins, PhD, director of the Mind-Body Medicine Research Laboratory at Baylor University, participants were introduced to the concept of hypnosis and received suggestions for deepening relaxation, focusing attention and imagining nature-based imagery throughout the session. Elkins said practitioners of hypnosis begin by focusing their attention outward on an external source (such as an object) and then shifting that attention inward. By shifting this attention inwards, practitioners have a greater capacity to experience different feelings, images of sensations, he said.

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