Use Hypnosis to Help Yourself
Part 4 in our mini series on hypnosis
Yesterday you learnt that
• we navigate our world through our senses and the emotions evoked by these senses are the glue that fixes our instincts in place – the greater the emotion the stronger the instinct
• your imagination acts like a reality simulator so when you think about something great or sad, your body then creates responds as if the event that you are thinking about is really happening
• in REM your mind and body do not know the difference between what is real and what isn’t. So a hypnotherapist can guide you to a new experience that changes unhelpful instincts
Today discover how you unconsciously train your mind to evolve negative instincts, how to stop this and make sure you help yourself instead
In the clinic’s that have worked in I have seen thousands of people who have sought help because they feel anxious, angry, jealous or depressed. Often we can do little about the situation that caused the problems but these people get better. So how does that happen? Well the change comes when they see the problem in a new light. So if you felt you were not good enough for a new job, you are likely feel anxious during the interview and preoccupied with feeling pretty rotten inside. However if you were able to access a relaxed state and felt determined to give that interview your best shot – you would get into flow with the questions and have a good chance of doing well.
How you feel in any situation can depend on how you used your imagination to build your emotions about a future event. Your imagination is a powerful tool and the more that you imagine the deeper you are in REM or hypnosis. The emotions generated during this time are believed to be so real that the body responds by memorizing then laying down instinctive behaviour and corresponding thoughts.
In one of the hypnosis workshops that I teach I did a demo with a man who loved to be in the sunshine. During the hypnotic session I guided his imagination to a time when he last enjoyed being in the sun. Beads of sweat started to appear on his forehead and within minutes his white linen shirt was wet with perspiration. When he came around from the hypnosis he said he had been transported back a few months previously when he was on a beach in India and the sun was beating down.
Remember that our imagination draws us in to hypnosis and so whilst this man developed an inner picture of being on that beach his body really thought it was there. And produced sweat to help him cool down – a natural response to the body feeling over heated.
Now whilst perspiring when hot is a natural in-built response you can also create instinctive behavior too. When you focus you can create a hypnotic response and create a future expectation. This can work for you or against depending on the content of what you put your attention on.
Hypnosis is all about creating a set of expectations and instincts. These expectations are nothing to do with thinking positively as that is something you would constantly have to work at. By creating positive expectation you will find that feeling good just happens, it becomes instinct and something that you don’t have to think about.
Hypnotic conditioning can happen in just a few seconds, remember the REM state is ever present and we don’t have to have our eyes closed or be dreaming. Anything that brings up high emotion has the capacity to take us into trance and programme new instincts. So a key point here is to make sure you are not preparing your instincts to wheel out uncomfortable reactions.
Any time that you spend thinking about how awful this or that will be, you will be programming your instincts to have a pessimistic outlook and limit helpful responses. You can even program yourself to believe things that simply are not true. However the reverse is also true, so the more times that you go into positive trance – the more likely you are to feel and be happier and more successful.
Watching what we think and taking the wheel of our emotions is the first step to making sure that you use your imagination as a powerful friend in life. The next step is to actively think about what instincts you would like to develop and take time out to build a picture of yourself with those instincts. Before you drift of to sleep or when you have a moment out for a cuppa, imagine yourself running faster, feeling relaxed or confident in any given situation. Build a picture and guess what that would feel like? What you would look like? What would you notice that is different? What might other notice about you? Bring in as much detail as you can because this sensory detail is what helps to raise the emotional content and create instinctive expectation.
These hypnotic moments can bring great rewards and make the difference to facing challenging situations with confidence and helpful expectation or feeling low and resigned to fail.
This short story demonstrates this beautifully –
Whilst sat around the evening fire, a young man approached his Grandfather. He was angry with a friend who had done him an injustice. The Grandfather told him this story
“I too, at times, have felt great hate for those who have taken so much, with no sorrow for what they do. But hate wears you down, and does not hurt your enemy. It’s like taking poison and wishing your enemy would die. I have struggled with these feelings many times.”
“It is as if there are two wolves inside me; one is good and does no harm. He lives in harmony with all around him and does not take offense when no offense was intended. He will only fight when it is right to do so, and in the right way.”
“But … the other wolf … ah! The littlest thing will send him into a fit of temper. He fights everyone, all of the time, for no reason. He cannot think because his anger and hate are so great. It is helpless anger, for his anger will change nothing.”
“Sometimes it is hard to live with these two wolves inside me, for both of them try to dominate my spirit.”
The boy looked intently into his Grandfather’s eyes and asked, “Which one wins, Grandfather?”
The Grandfather smiled and quietly said, “The one I feed.”
Today you learnt that you can use your imagination to programme both unhelpful and beneficial instincts. Whatever we focus on is very important as a strong focus is hypnotic and the instinctive expectations that result can determine your outlook in life. Spending time creating a sense of how you would like to be can pay huge dividends.
If you are interested in learning more about hypnosis, take a look at our hypnosis training weekend in July
Is this the first post you’ve read in the series. Start at the beginning here and learn what Hypnosis is.