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  • Writer's pictureElizabeth Ellis

Are you a control freak?

I actually think the word freak is cruel, but it is a term a lot of people use to describe themselves. I've been debating this week whether having a sense of control is a good or bad thing.

Control is something I discuss with nearly every one of my hypnotherapy clients. I will often remind people that when their in hypnosis they are in control. But I will also have people tell me they can't be hypnotized because they are too in control.

I don't think being too in control is a good thing. And in this particular instance I would say that if that sense of control is real and tangible (dare I say it controllable) the best and only way to demonstrate that control is to relinquish it?

I actually think that trying to control things may be a sign that someone is experiencing anxiety. Its certainly seen when people are experiencing OCD, and eating disorders. People who experience panic attacks will describe it as feeling like their going to lose control. And as a specialist in fears and phobias I often see people using control as a coping mechanism to combat their fear. So for example people with vomit phobias will control what they eat (or not eat at all) before going out to avoid vomiting in public, when I had a phobia of birds I would shut all the windows to eliminate any risk of a bird getting in the house.

These actions are not necessarily healthy or indeed the most effective coping mechanisms as in fact the need for control often feeds the anxiety even more. But giving up control can feel like an incredibly challenging thing to do. Putting the obvious Frozen references aside the words "Let it go" are very wise but simultaneously very hard to action.

So how do know if you have a control issue? There are some things are clear examples of this. Take for example alcohol. Can you drink moderately - just have a couple of drinks and done? Or perhaps you can drink all night but don't get drunk (lose control) regardless of how much alcohol you consume. Maybe when it comes to booze you have no control - you can never only have just one or two drinks you always get drunk, but not just drunk out of control you maybe experience black outs, and do things you regret.

The sense of being out of control can be a sign of emotional distress. Anything at the end of a spectrum either extreme control or extreme lack of control is always worth investigating. Sometimes if we can't manage or handle our emotions we will turn to control one way or another to give ourselves comfort, but ask yourself if its really working.

If you are concerned about your control mechanisms and would like to explore how hypnotherapy can help please do get in touch using the contact form below.


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