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5 Science-Backed Ways Hypnotherapy Helps Entrepreneurs Succeed Copious research supports hypnosis as a valid method for treating insomnia, stress and other mental health problems.

By Erika Ashley

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Francesco Carta fotografo | Getty Images

"You are getting sleepy, very sleepy."

The hallmark of hypnotherapy representation in every film or TV show -- like almost everything in scripted entertainment -- is grossly misleading. Sorry to disappoint but there are no swinging watches or mentions of getting sleepy in a clinical hypnotherapy session.

Hypnotherapy gets a bad rap as a cheap stage trick or capricious mind control when, in reality, it's a powerful tool for reprogramming the subconscious mind. Entrepreneurs are always looking for ways to improve their performance, work more efficiently and eliminate barriers to success. Here are five science-backed ways that hypnotherapy can help you do just that:

1. It relaxes you enough to pause on obsessing about your problems.

When you run into snafus in your business, it triggers your body's stress response, which can lead to elevated cortisol levels and other unfavorable hormones that keep you in full-on freak out mode. This stress response keeps your mind in a problem-focused state as opposed to a solution-focused state.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, hypnotherapy uses "guided relaxation, intense concentration, and focused attention" to achieve a heightened trance-like state. This heightened state is so intense that it can bypass the stress you're feeling, which means that the stress hormones that would have been building can take a hike.

When you come out of hypnotherapy -- even after a quick 10-minute recording -- your previous stress is significantly reduced or eliminated, allowing you to approach the problem from a different mindset.

2. You can finally sleep like you've been dreaming about.

As entrepreneurs, sleep can be a precious -- and sparse -- luxury. The long hours, the lack of a boss and a keen awareness that your success or failure is in your hands can mean several long days.

According to a Swiss research team, short hypnotherapy audios can help you spend two-thirds less time awake as your mind is grinding away. The study also found that the participants who use the hypnosis audio spent 80 percent more time in deep sleep. Deep sleep is critical, as it strengthens memory, fortifies your immune system, and restores your energy. Those are all vital components to helping entrepreneurs perform at their best.

Related: What You Need to Do to Get the Best Sleep, According to Fitbit

3. Hypnotherapy eliminates pesky negative thoughts that keep you stuck.

You have about 50,000 thoughts a day, and it's easy for the majority of them to be negative, especially if you grew up with harmful and destructive patterning around you. Hypnotherapy has been used by leading athletes, including Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods and Olympic gold medalist Mary Lou Retton to help them dominate by eliminating negative thoughts.

Hypnotherapy can help you to have a similar competitive advantage in your niche. Hypnotherapists focus on guided imagery and future pacing to help their clients see themselves as having already achieved their outcome, and ease the subconscious into the idea that it's already happened.

Related: How to Know When Your Negative Thinking Is Hurting You

4. It can improve your mental health.

Entrepreneurs have significantly higher rates of mental illness than the general population. A recent study found that 49 percent of entrepreneurs surveyed were dealing with some form of mental illness, such as depression or ADHD.

Hypnotherapy can be a useful part of a treatment plan for mental health issues. As hypnotherapy helps rewire neural pathways, it can shift your attention away from unfocused, depressive, or anxiety-ridden thoughts towards happier, more positive outcomes.

For example, hypnotherapist and psychotherapist Fayina Cohen says that anxiety is a negative form of self-hypnosis, so combatting it with hypnotherapy helps the brain to rewire itself towards positive self-hypnosis instead.

Related: Mental Illness May Plague Entrepreneurs More Than Other People

5. Hypnotherapy helps you confront fear.

As an entrepreneur, you're continually tackling new things, and many of them require confronting your fears.

Take public speaking, for example. Almost everyone has a negative public speaking memory from childhood that leads to a life-long fear of public speaking. Hypnotherapy can help you deal with that fear through positive suggestion and visualization.

Hypnosis can inhibit fear pathways in the brain, and reduce the need for medication in everything from dental procedures to flying.

One of the hallmarks of entrepreneurs is that you're willing to try things that others won't so you can get results that others can't achieve. Incorporating regular hypnotherapy into your routine can help accelerate your progress in your business by keeping your immune system strong, reducing your stress level and helping you conquer your fears.

Erika Ashley

Mindset Strategist + Numerologist for Millennial Women

Erika Ashley is a TEDx speaker, writer, numerologist, and certified life coach. She's helped thousands of women around the world to crack their abundance code and retrain their brains for prosperity in every area of life. Connect with her here.

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