Do you sometimes feel anxious when you’re trying to relax?

When learning to use self-hypnosis it is very common to become aware of physical sensations and be distracted by things that happen around you. This is especially true if you are using hypnosis or a meditative exercise to help curb anxiety symptoms.

Distractions can range from sounds around you, or aches and pains you were not previously aware of, to the pounding of your heartbeat and the sound of your own breath. Every person reacts differently.

If you harbour frustration in your life and you may tend to react toward the distraction with irritation. If you feel hopeless you may react toward the distraction with self-pity. So experiencing anxiety in relation to the distraction suggests a predisposition toward anxiety.

You may feel anxious as to how effectively the hypnosis or meditation will work. As a result, the body begins to experience sensations related to anxiety, such as an increased sensitivity and faster heartbeat. Your mind then recognizes the sensations or distractions as something to worry about and increases the anxiety – creating a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Here’s what to do if distraction happens.

The next time you’re distracted by a sensation, a sound an ache or other thought, rather than trying to calm it down or get away from it, and rather than trying to focus on the breath, simply become fully aware of it.

Begin to ask questions of the distraction, such as ‘what exactly is the distraction?’ Is it a sensation, a noise or a thought? If it’s a sensation, describe it to yourself and notice exactly where you feel it and to what intensity?

If it’s a sound, describe the sound. Is it low and rumbling or shrill and high pitched; close by or in the distance, faint and sporadic or rhythmic and loud? Become fully aware of the sound, notice all details and perhaps remind yourself that you have the gift of hearing and are not alone in this world.

Allow yourself to become curious. By becoming curious, you are releasing the grip of the anxiety itself and changing the way you experience the symptom or distraction. The experience becomes a positive one because you are learning from it.

There are many myths and mistakes that are made when trying to alleviate anxiety, you can read about some in this FREE eGuide. You may try my FREE #mentalfloss 7-day guided meditation process, which among many other things has been scientifically proven to reduce symptoms of anxiety.

If you find this helpful, or would like to share your own techniques to overcome distractions, I’d love to hear your comments. Also feel free to share with others who may benefit from these ideas.