I’ve worked for a local publishing company for going on 20 years now. It has been a fun and rewarding career and I’ve especially enjoyed the relationships that I’ve built.
However, at the end of 2006, circumstances beyond my control, mostly in my business life, pushed my stress level to full-tilt. I was having panic attacks and I even developed a dizzying vertigo-like condition. On the surface, I appeared to be holding it all together, but underneath was a caldron of turmoil.
I ended up making an appointment to see Susan Just of Dynamic Minds Hypnosis Center and Training, after I saw her ad in a local paper. The “eliminating stress” bullet point caught my eye. I had worked successfully with hypnotists before – for example, in 1998 I was highly motivated to quit smoking and hypnosis was a good tool for me then. I was comfortable and confident it could help me again.
However, Susan’s approach was very different from any other hypnosis experience that I had ever had. She uses a process called 5-PATHâ„¢ (created by Cal Banyan), which is based on identifying the feeling/emotion that was causing my stress – mainly fear, and drilling down into that emotion.
The idea was that the fear I was currently experiencing was resonating with past fears and events and amplifying it way out of proportion. Through hypnosis, Susan helped me recall experiences and misperceptions and then follow that emotion back in time. Bit by bit I revisited parts of my past and reframed each incident with what I know now. It was so enlightening to put my current situation into perspective that way.
Susan also taught me a unique system of self-hypnosis called 7th Pathâ„¢ (also created by Cal Banyan). It continues to be a powerful tool in helping me stay on track. I’ve become good at quickly figuring why a situation may be causing me undue stress. I’ve also learned not to “forward fret” with worry about things that haven’t happened. So often those things don’t happen anyway, instead I put my energy into doing what I can do to best shape my desired outcome.
While the economic world fell apart last year and impacted almost every business, including mine, I had stress and anxiety but nothing like that before. Not long ago, while we were making even more budget cuts, I said to my publisher: “You know, I’m so glad I had therapy in 2007 because I was stressed THEN and I had no idea what was ahead! I would have gone off the cliff before, but I’m really doing OK.” We both laughed.
Times have continued to be challenging, but I’m good – especially thanks to my new way of thinking and the techniques that have helped me to get there.
READ: Susan Just on “Hypnosis & The Fear of Fear”