Fear of Eating In Public
Over the years I have seen many people with a fear of eating in public at my Leeds and Manchester Hypnotherapy practices. In many instances the person eating begins to feel anxious as they imagine what other people are thinking about them. These internal suggestions or “self-talk” become an automatic behaviour to the extent that even thinking about eating situations creates the anxious feelings. My approach is to change this thinking process so each client can feel less self-conscious and instead feel totally at ease in such situations.
Prior to organising any appointment I always ask clients to complete a full set of notes so I have a clear idea of how they are experiencing the problem. I am especially interested in what they mean by “fear of eating in public” as this can vary massively from one person to another. Many clients think nothing of eating in front of friends and family, but have a very different experience when doing so in other social situations. In these situations there is a feeling of anxiety that occurs which in many instances spirals out of control.
I have found the best way to address the fear of eating in public is not to analyse past events and speculate as to why this may be happening, but rather to explore how a person is thinking. The way of thinking creates the feeling response. All feelings of being self-conscious in such situations are where a person is feeling too self-conscious to be able to eat as they would normally do among friends and family. Sometimes they can feel that they are being judged by others which creates this particular fear. Often they will be thinking to themselves in an unhelpful manner and this internal dialogue produces this feeling of being anxious. Most clients experience benefits after a really short period of time and by practicing the exercises we cover during the therapy sessions. All sessions are recorded on CD so every client can listen back to what happened during the appointment and really develop a new feeling of greater self confidence