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guy with a suitcase on the highway

Travel Anxiety Tips: Managing OCD & Anxiety While Traveling

Traveling is tough enough for those without anxiety, but for those who have an especially hard time with the extra stress, travel can be a nightmare. Whether you’re traveling alone or you’re responsible for a crying baby or rambunctious toddlers, Miami Hypnosis & Therapy can help you with a few simple steps to take. Read our top six tips to keep anxiety and OCD at bay on your journey.

1.  Give Yourself Extra Time

clock

One of the easiest ways to waylay your stress is by giving yourself a lot of extra time before departure. Security lines, checking in bags, and unexpected delays will all add to the stress of those traveling with OCD and anxiety. Instead of just one or two hours extra, tack on a third and enjoy a tea once you arrive at your airline gate or train terminal. This is one of the most important travel anxiety tips, as it provides you enough time to panic a little if something happens, and then get yourself back on track.

2.  Expectations and Acceptance

meditation and acceptance

Before you even leave your house, you need to set your expectations and accept that things may not go exactly to plan. Long lines and traffic can be incredibly frustrating, but if you did travel anxiety tip number one, then you have enough time to spare. Do your best to stay positive or at the very least neutral. You have enough time, and you can tolerate the extra wait until you get to your gate.

3.  Practice Breathing Exercises

girl holding her breath

A good flight anxiety treatment, and essential travel anxiety tip, is to practice breathing exercises. Not only will they distract you from a potentially panic attack inducing situation, they make the time pass more quickly, and keep you calmer.

Slow, controlled breaths through the diaphragm are essential. Breathe in through your nose while counting to 10 and then exhale through your mouth for another count of 10. Forcing yourself to control your breathing can keep your OCD, anxiety, and anger in check.

4.  Fact-Checking Anxiety

girl thinking through problems

One of the reasons people get so anxious is because they’re so concerned with everything that could go wrong that they get overwhelmed. See if you can interrupt this snowball of imagined scenarios by interrupting yourself mid-thought. Whether you’re concerned you’re going to miss your flight or you’re worried they won’t have the right food for your needs, examine each worry to make sure it’s legitimate.

This travel anxiety tip works in two ways. It distracts you from whatever is making you worry in the first place and helps you dismiss or validate your fears. Once you’ve decided which concerns are legitimate, you can start putting together a plan of action if the problems actually become a reality. Now you’re prepared for any eventuality!

5.  Act Like Everything is Fine

smiling girl

Even if you are the exact opposite of calm, acting like everything is OK can help you feel better. You’re literally tricking your body into maintaining an even heart rate and breathing pattern. Check and adjust your body language to convince yourself that everything is fine. Are you clenching your jaw? Release it. Have your shoulders slowly been creeping up to your ears? Roll them out a few times to make sure your muscles are relaxed. If anyone is stressing you out, pause before reacting, and then respond in a calm manner so you don’t pass on your frustration. Your stress can affect others and create an endless feedback loop, so this travel anxiety tip helps more than just you.

6. Prep Distractions

playing distracting phone games

If you’re a nervous flyer, an ideal flight anxiety treatment is distractions. Prepare possible distractions in advance to ensure you’re ready the moment panic hits. Bring a book, download games on your phone, or bring a DVD to play on your laptop. Even singing along to music can help! The distraction travel anxiety tip forces your brain out of that emotional fear state and into using higher brain functions.

Miami Hypnosis & Therapy to the Rescue

Whether you’re traveling with OCD or you’re a nervous flyer, Miami Hypnosis & Therapy can help you overcome whatever fears you’re facing. Reach out to us today to schedule a consultation or explore our blog for more tips.

christmas tree ornament

Guide for Self Care During the Holidays

Anxiety and the Holidays

For many, the holidays are a never-ending source of anxiety, frustration, and tension. From sitting through family dinners to the endless amount of shopping that needs to be done, there’s always something on your mind. At Miami Hypnosis & Therapy, we want you to put yourself first this holiday season. If you’re trying to find balance between being festive and taking care of your own needs, read our guide for self care during the holidays now.

Stick to Your Routine

It’s easy to tell yourself that you’ll be skipping breakfast or dodging a workout just this once, but soon you’ll notice a spiral that ends with you missing all the important elements of your daily routine. It’s good to make compromises when things need to get done — just make sure you’re prioritizing things correctly and pushing off things that can be done later. Self care during the holidays is critical or you’ll end up drained and exhausted before the New Year.

Get Gift Buying Done Early

wrapped gifts

One of the ways that you can make sure not to get overwhelmed is to start the gift buying early. Make your list at the beginning of November, or even October, so you have it all organized. Then shop online or pick up a gift or two each time you run weekend errands. Avoid making gift buying the center of your life by adding self care to your to-do list during the holiday season.

Learn to Say No

An important tip for self care during the holidays is saying “no.” You’ll probably get a few invitations to events in addition to your responsibilities to your family. Don’t say yes to every little event! You’ll get worn out very quickly. No matter who is pressuring you to attend their festivities, tell them you need to think about it and choose just a few parties that you want to attend. Letting social pressures force you into things you don’t want to do can compound existing anxiety issues.

Add an Extra Meditation Session

woman meditating on the water

If you’re really struggling with anxiety and the holidays, it’s time to step up your self care practices. You may already have daily or weekly meditation in your routine. Whether you do a full meditation session or just a couple of quick breathing exercises, it’s critical that you take the time to calm yourself every day. At Miami Hypnosis & Therapy, we recommend adding these sessions right before bed so you can get better sleep and avoid exhaustion.

Do Something for Yourself Every Day

As the holiday season gets closer, many people find themselves focusing on helping others. It’s time to shift that focus to yourself and make sure you’re getting the self care you need during the holidays. There are many ways you can treat yourself, but here are a few of our favorites:

  • Do an at-home facial
  • Buy a fancy coffee
  • Light a scented candle
  • Make yourself hot chocolate
  • Go for a walk with a friend
  • Buy a new festive outfit
  • Write in a gratitude journal
  • Volunteer to take pups for a walk at your local shelter

You can do these daily or weekly, but keep these moments small, so you’re not spending too much time, energy, or money. Treating yourself too often may end up making you feel guilty or stress you out even more.

Self Care with Miami Hypnosis & Therapy

From managing OCD and anxiety to depression and PTSD, we can help anyone overcome stress during the season of giving. If these self care tips during the holidays aren’t enough to keep you from feeling overwhelmed, reach out to our experienced team to schedule a consultation or book an appointment now.

swinging pocket watch for hypnosis

Movies About Therapy: Hypnosis Myths & Therapy Misconceptions

Movies and pop culture have done a lot of damage to therapy through hypnosis. From making fun of hypnosis to engendering myths and lies, Miami Hypnosis & Therapy is here to bust some of the most common misconceptions. If you’re wondering if what you’ve seen in movies and on television is true or false, read on here for our breakdown of some of the most popular movies about hypnosis.

1.  The Manchurian Candidate

manchurian candidate movie poster

Whether you watch the 1962 original or the 2004 remake, The Manchurian Candidate revolves around hypnosis and mind control. Supposedly the main character is hypnotized by communists during the Korean War. Once returned home, he becomes a US Congressman but is starting to experience PTSD, nightmares, and confusing memories. He eventually uncovers a sinister plot.

The main issue with this movie about therapy is that they treat brainwashing and conditioning the same as hypnosis. These are very different things. Conditioning and brainwashing are usually done through extensive training with the aid of drugs, but hypnosis works due to the power of suggestion. While much of the “hypnosis” in the film is fantastical, there are hypnosis-like elements in the film. Posthypnotic suggestions and triggers are both real. These are words and phrases that can be used to create a predetermined response in a person who was previously hypnotized.

2.  Good Will Hunting

office space movie poster

Good Will Hunting is not really a movie about therapy, but it is a film that makes fun of hypnosis and therapy. He goads and teases his therapist throughout the scenes to make him think that he’s opening up, but in reality, he’s just making fun of the fact that therapy isn’t working on him. The hypnosis scene is another opportunity for Will to dodge questions, as he fakes his reaction to hypnotic suggestion.

While many people tell their therapist what they think they want to hear, most therapists will weather the jokes and faking until they find something real. At Miami Hypnosis & Therapy, we want to help every person who comes to us — whether they believe in therapy or not. There are a lot of techniques we can use to draw out someone who is resistant, but at the end of the day, you have to decide for yourself if you’re willing to let a therapist help you.

3.  Office Space

good will hunting movie poster

A movie about a man who is depressed and hates his life, Office Space is another film that isn’t a movie about therapy but targets an aspect of therapy as a critical plot point. Peter Gibbons is an office drone forced to go to therapy by his girlfriend, but when the hypnotist has a heart attack in the middle of the session, Peter becomes stuck in a hypnotic state.

Now, this is definitely a hypnosis myth, as getting stuck in hypnosis is impossible. A hypnotist or hypnotherapist is never really in control of your mental state. They are simply there as your aid in achieving a different state of mind to help navigate your deeper issues. If you were in the middle of a hypnosis session and something happened to your therapist, you would eventually just wake yourself up in a relatively short amount of time. A hypnotic state would almost never last days upon days as it does in the session.

4.  Get Out

get out movie poster

Chris and his girlfriend, Rose, have reached the point in their relationship where it’s time to meet the parents. As they spend time at her parents’ estate, strange things begin to happen that end up with Chris hypnotized and his conscious mind taken over by another person’s. The hypnotic trance is created by a spoon stirring a cup of tea, while a camera flash is one example where a hypnotized person was able to snap out of a hypnotic state.

One thing that is true in this scenario is the fixation device. In a movie about therapy, this is often the cliché of a swinging watch. Fixating on a hypnotic rhythm or movement helps your mind disassociate and prepares it for entering a hypnotic state. One thing that is definitely not true about this film is being able to hypnotize someone who actively resists you.

Miami Hypnosis & Therapy

Hopefully, debunking these hypnosis myths helps you feel a little more comfortable about speaking to our experts about getting help for your issues through hypnotherapy. It is not a movie therapy myth that you can work on addiction issues, pain management, anxiety, and more with the help of integrative hypnotherapy and counseling. If you have any questions about how hypnosis works, reach out to our experienced team here!

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