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Transforming Negative Feelings

Most people associate hypnotherapy with weight loss and stopping smoking, but the majority of clients I see come to me for emotional problems, such as anxiety, panic attacks, stress, low confidence and self-esteem.

I’d like to share with you a simplified version of a technique for transforming any uncomfortable feeling, such as anxiety, stress, grief, anger, unhappiness, and so on:


Take a few moments to really focus on your breath

…without trying to change it or stopping it from changing; just notice and being aware of your breath. You might want to focus on the movement of your rib-cage, your belly, or perhaps the sensation of air on your nostrils as you breathe in and out – choose whichever works best for you.


Then bring your awareness to that unwanted feeling

Notice where in the body you feel it most intensely – perhaps the chest or tummy area – and take your attention right into that feeling. What is that feeling like? Do you get an image, or symbol of that feeling, or is there an object that represents it? What is its size, shape, colour, texture, density, its weight? Does it have a temperature? Does it have a sound? What happens to that image/shape/sound etc. when you’re feeling that emotion more strongly? How does it change? There’s no right or wrong way of doing this – just go with what comes to mind first and trust you’re doing this right for you.

You may get a symbolic image, for example a recent client described her sense of grief as being like a cold, damp, empty church. Others get a shape; another client described her anger as a red, tangled, throbbing mess – like an angry version of Mr Messy. The more strange, bizarre and unexpected the better!


When you have a clear representation of that feeling

…ask yourself what you’d find more helpful to have in your chest/stomach, or wherever. Then start to change your image. The lady who described the damp church, changed it to a sunny beach. The red tangled mess was transformed into a soft, golden light.

Transform every aspect of your shape/symbol – so for example, if it’s hot make it cool, if it’s rough, make it smooth, if it’s heavy make it light, if it has an unpleasant sound, transform it to an enjoyable sound and so on. Then notice the difference in how this makes you feel and spend some time enjoying those new feelings, expanding them and spreading those good feelings throughout your body.

Have some fun with this technique and enjoy using it 🙂

I’m a hypnotherapist providing a friendly, professional service in Devon, working from Buckfastleigh. I offer a free initial consultation, so please feel free to contact me

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