Ghost Writer Series: E5: Self-hypnosis- A Path to Stress Reduction

Written by Cait Wilker

I’ve dealt with anxiety for as long as I can remember.

It started when I was younger and I remember becoming so nervous to take tests in school. I would study for hours on end and then when it came time to actually taking my test, I would forget everything. It was embarrassing. Later on in college, a friend of mine shared her ways to helping her get through the same anxiety I was experiencing. She tried hypnotism to help her stress; learning how to use self-hypnosis for anxiety, is a great way to manage anxiety, and it’s easier than you might think.

Self-hypnosis can help those who suffer from anxiety by helping them rethink and reframe problems. Psychology Today says that “When you think of positive suggestions, they can help you to focus on things in your life that are going well, things that are making you happy and putting you in a positive mood, which in turn, helps you refocus your energy and shift from your negative point of view to a positive one.”

The first thing you need to know about hypnosis is that ALL hypnosis is essentially self-hypnosis, because no one can be forced to go into trance against his or her will. The North Carolina Society of Clinical Hypnosis states that “Hypnosis can help you train your mind so that stress and anxiety do not bother you as much, and anyone can be taught how to relax with self-hypnosis.” In many ways, happiness may just be a state of mind, because someone who is anxious tends to focus on the negative and hypnosis can help them focus on the positive.

In many ways, happiness may just be a state of mind

Using a tool like self-hypnosis for anxiety works on subtle levels of the mind, helping you reset the negative self-limiting thoughts to positive, uplifting ones. Anyone can relax using these methods, and using a simple induction technique like a progressive relaxation induction allows you to be gently lulled into a beautiful state of relaxation and peace. According to there are several ways self-hypnosis can help your anxiety. Here are 5 steps into self-hypnosis that can reduce your stress.

  1. Get into a comfortable position and take three long, deep breaths to center and focus your energy.
  2. Focus your eyes on a spot on the wall until your eyes become strained and you cannot hold them open any longer.
  3. Try counting back from 50 to 1, or as long as you have a desire to count. Your eyes may water and want to close. Hold them open as long as you can. If you lose the desire to stop counting, you can then close them and relax. You will already be in a light state of hypnosis the moment you close your eyes.
  4. Try and imagine yourself in some kind of soothing environment. You can imagine yourself on a beautiful beach, sitting on a mountain cliff or even walking in the woods, whatever works for you.
  5. Once you feel that you are relaxed and calm, you can then give yourself some positive suggestions such as:
    I am calm and relaxed.
    My thoughts create my life.
    I peaceful and balanced.

Though self-hypnosis is only one coping mechanism out of many for coping with anxiety, it certainly is one worth trying if you are willing and ready to help change your state of mind.


For those that may be interested in learning more about hypnosis, and you live in the greater Atlanta area, you should check out Sean Wheeler! He is Atlanta’s most well-known hypnotherapist. Sean believes that people have the ability to make changes on their own. Because he “believes that you know yourself better than he will ever know you, his role is to serve as a guide, opening new doors and introducing you to new possibilities and perspectives. Your responsibility is to take those opportunities, make choices for yourself and take action.” ( . His sessions can range from stopping smoking, relationships, weight loss, fears and more. Whatever your anxiety may be causing, Sean is the one to help ease your worries and start living the life you deserve again. Although hypnosis may not be for everyone, I would suggestion making an appointment with Sean Wheeler to talk about your concerns. He’s reasonably priced and makes you feel comfortable with your questions and comments. Sean has performed about 10,000 sessions since becoming a hypnotherapist and that real world experience allows him to assist his clients quickly and easily.




Be anxious for nothing

I haven’t washed with the community since college.  By wash, I mean a laundromat of sorts; heck, I’ve never been to a laundromat until yesterday.  When life backs you up into the wall, and you’re left with only one semi-clean pair of jeans and a whole lot of dirty clothes bags, with no washer machine or dryer (thanks to the moving gods-I don’t believe in gods, it just sounds good), you are forced to think about going to a laundromat.

Anxiety has always been my arch nemesis, even if there wasn’t a spot of dirt visible in a public area, my heart would race a mile a minute, breaths would grow faster, and my mind would start screaming with the idea that there was nothing short of SARS or HIV lingering on that bench, or lunchroom; I know, sad.  But, this was my reality before I got depressed after having my first kid, then subsequently stumbled into taking medications which have eased the blow of anxiety, just enough to where I can shower, go outside for 30 minutes, then come back inside and go to sleep soundly without my mind screaming that I should shower again.

Well, the screaming happened yesterday.

As I drove to the first laundromat, I had to give myself a pep talk, “Dominique, it’s ok and you have to do this for your kids and your husband.  They have little to no clean clothes!”

The establishment gave off an old and dirty vibe before I even step foot in it.

“I can’t do it.”

I even drove around the front of the laundromat two times, before I asked siri where the nicest laundromat was located; she replied with a plethora of ideas, but the only five star choice was 22 minutes away.  Perfect.

The screaming calmed down just enough for me to get up the courage to drive to another laundromat, with both kids in the back seat oblivious to what was going on within me, thank God.

22 minutes later, my mind starts to scream again.  “Where are you going to park? How are you going to do this with two toddlers? Is this going to take to long?  How dirty is this place? Do you know who uses this place? etc.”


I had to do it for my family though.

So, I parked, and we went inside as the girls walked slower than a snail across the parking lot;  I nearly dropped the two loads of laundry in the parking lot-that would have been a disaster.

…It wasn’t so bad.

The blue floors were clear of debris, the shinny stainless steel appliances were credit/debit card equipped and there was a large flat screen TV in sight, with the nicest attendant on hand to help entertain my kids.

And just like that, I didn’t have an experience of old, an experience of sheer anxiousness that would have lasted the whole hourish we were there.

The kids were entertained by the sounds of the large machines, and I was satisfied that I had done my civic duty for my family-success.

Every garment got cleaned, every towel got dried, the bank didn’t go broke because of it, and my mind and body remained in sync; neutral.

Though it is hard to simply adhere to the saying “be anxious for nothing”, there is some truth and lessons in that phrase; what is the point of getting worked up, when things are beyond your control-what can you control? What are the facts that will lend you to steer away from anxiety? That was what I learned yesterday, that, and as my dear uncle told me hours prior to that, “when you’re feeling down, just laugh, because it feels good to laugh!”

So, I let my guard down yesterday with my girls, and we laughed.


Out of the mouths of babes…

There’s a scripture that I love to read from the Bible.  It says,

From the lips of babes and infants you have established strength, because of your adversaries, that you might silence the enemy and the avenger – Psalm 8:2

I have always assumed that God, the almighty one, could use anybody for his glory, but never have I had personal experience with such an experience as this scripture talks of.

Valentine’s day is now my first born’s day, Sydney.

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Born at 9 at night and three weeks early, she is literally the little angel I’ve always hoped for.

Having her is the best thing besides Jesus, and my husband, that has ever happened to me.

I’m always talking or speaking of God and Jesus around my girls, because he’s all I’ve ever known and encountered in my lifetime, thanks to my parents upbringing.

We were in the car the other day, and of course my depression was running rampant, making me think thoughts so dark and causing me great internal distress.  I always strive to hide this anguish from my kids.  It was great that this was occurring while I was driving, because I had extra security of knowing that my kids could not feel or see the panic that was taking place in front of them, while they were in the back of the car; or at least I thought.

Sydney likes to listen to contemporary Christian music.  Anytime I try to listen to something else, she says “no mommy, what happened to Jesus music”, so I always turn it back to the station.

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While I was yet suffering from the symptoms of depression that ironically came shortly after giving birth to Sydney three years ago, all of I sudden I hear my child say “sing the song mommy, sing the song!”

On the verge of crying, due to feeling overwhelmed with sadness, one of my favorite songs started to play “I will praise you in this storm”; this was the song she made sure that I would sing, never before asking me to sing a song, so I sung to please her, but God knew I needed to remind myself of the words to that song to praise him in my despair.  So, he used her in that moment to get me back on track, to help pull me out of drowning, and he used her to help save me from spiraling out of control and losing focus.

Out of the mouths of babes indeed.

My angel, my first born, my Sydney, Happy Birthday.

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Do you ever get annoyed with life?

I’m currently feeling all of the synonyms of the word.  Irritation, exasperation, vexation, indignation…I could go on for hours.

the feeling or state of being annoyed; irritation.
“a look of annoyance on his face”
Thank you Google for your immediate search feedback.
I am definitely in a state of being annoyed; irritation to the max.
Today hasn’t been the best mood day.  In fact, it’s been quite filled up with excessive tiredness and irritability; annoyance.  That’s just the unknown of the chemical imbalance of the brain.  Some days it wants to put out enough serotonin, and some days, namely today, it doesn’t.  So, I’m annoyed.
I’m often asked what my triggers are; what makes me spiral down hill?  Well, unfortunately, my triggers are the good ol’ responsibilities of life; can’t part with those too easily.  I’ve had to be hospitalized when I’ve gotten to the unbearable point of severe anaphylactic shock from responsibilities of life.  No, I’m not there today, thank God, but responsibilities, motherhood, wifehood, heck personhood, are not compatible with this mood that I’m in.
The safe bet, when you are in this state of severe chemical imbalance, is to grab a life line.  Have someone take care of the kids, stop doing the laundry, get some alone time, draw, write, or do something that has nothing to do with the responsibilities of life.
No lifeline today for me.
Derrick is sick with God knows what, and I’m just the same ol sick in the head, with severe trigger issues with responsibilities (that was a little harsh on myself).
So, I’m waiting patiently, inwardly crying as I endure the screams of my 18 month old after her older sister decided to turn rogue on her and push her, among so many other noises and things to do that are so overwhelming.
Then, just as I am writing this, as I was silently praying for a lifeline, here comes my sick husband to the rescue.  The crying has stopped, I am writing in my own space, and the responsibilities have dwindled for the time being.  Relief…

The Tale of the Many Faced Girl

“I want to live on to fail again”

a mental life

I don’t want to write.

I feel angry, sad, less hopeful, terrified, and many more emotions that probably do not exist, nor have a name on this planet; basically I feel like I am backed into a corner.  The need to apologize to you, the reader, keeps resonating within me.  I’m sorry for what seems like a very “downing” introduction to this entry and I’m sorry I am not at the point in this journey to where I can excitedly describe to you about all the fuzzy warm feelings I’ve had hugging me all day like a snuggie; I’m not a fan of those things unfortunately for those who may be, and I doubt that they’re warmth makes you want to jump off a couch, declaring to the world how happy you are.  If the latter is true, I’ll take one in every color.  Surprisingly, as I continue to write…

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Community Mindset

I am so grateful for the national and local Tennessee mental health support services, offering an abundance of resources to help you decide if you need help and where to receive help. One in five A…

Source: Community Mindset

Mindfulness: Germantown Series

I love art.

Any kind of art will do, but photography and writing have always been at the top of my list.

I’m no photographer or best selling author, but in the words of John Steinbeck,

The writer must believe that what he is doing is the most important thing in the world. And he must hold to this illusion even when he knows it is not true.

So, I write and believe, write more, then believe again, just as he suggests, and the same can be said for my photography.

Nashville, at its city center, is evolving into something new, with some retained and restored, beautiful history.  Germantown, North Nashville, less then 10 minutes from my current home, is gorgeous.  There is so much character that is being preserved on each historic street, and I sought out to capture some of its history.

When I’m taking pictures and editing them, I truly feel like I am doing the most important thing in the world; mindfulness is right in front of me daily, right here in my own city.

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