The mind is powerful. It can hurt you, or it can heal you.
For example, if you feel that the world is unsafe and you fear something bad is going to happen, you may never leave your house. As such, your belief has affected your real-world experience. Instead of living your life poised to succeed, you live in constant fear because of the “danger” that you’re imagining.
There have been many books written and lectures given on the importance of goal visualization and the law of attraction. William Walker Atkinson, who first officially coined the law of attraction, stated that your body moves toward whatever you hold in your mind. Almost everyone who has accomplished anything knows that being highly motivated about achieving your goal will generally lead you in that direction.
Our mind can run away with us, leading us to function from a place of suspicion or fear. Or, we can use our imagination as a tool to change our life.
Peter: Breaking the Cycle of Negative Thinking
Peter had lost all motivation. His sales were low, and he felt uncomfortable talking to his bosses. His general perception of the world was, “Life is Hard.” Thus, it became a self-fulfilling prophecy.
He felt like he was constantly putting out fires in his life, which made him feel like he was a victim of whatever came his way. It also made him a victim of his own negative thoughts – thoughts that unintentionally gave him more of what he didn’t want. It was like being caught in a hamster wheel.
For Peter, coming in for hypnotherapy was about believing in himself. While in hypnosis, we focused on retraining him to be confident, to see and feel himself as a leader, knowing that he could weather any storm, regardless of whatever came his way.
During the suggestible state of hypnosis, his mind was able to experience life on his terms, which allowed him to feel empowered. I had him practice the scenarios that he wanted to happen. In doing so, his mind was able to see opportunities, rather than challenges. He had a better idea of what success looked like to him.
He soon began to have a different perspective in life. Once he realized that some things were in his control and others weren’t, he no longer stressed about the latter. We trained his mind to be strong yet flexible, and to never personalize anything external that came his way. Our goal was to make him solid in who he was as a person, as a man.
After a few sessions, it was clear, even in the way he carried himself, that a shift had taken place.
He now carries himself with confidence. He looks wiser, much more centered — even the tone of his voice has deepened. He is coming into his own, and I know that this is just the beginning for him.
This strategy is essentially self-hypnosis. Similar methods can also be applied to help individuals with pain management, anxiety, depression, fears, sleep disorders, obesity, asthma, and even skin conditions (Papeles des Psicólogo, vol 30, p 98).
In a willing state of hypnosis, the mind is primed for suggestion, allowing strategies to be put in place to provide more effective responses to outside stimuli. By repeating and reinforcing these suggestions, the new ways of thinking and behaving become learned behavior.
What a person believes in is key to that person’s ability to heal. So for example, if you are struggling professionally, but deep down you have accepted that your lack of success is an unchangeable part of your make-up, then seeing a hypnotherapist is crucial. An experienced hypnotherapist can recognize emotional blocks and limiting beliefs, and help their clients work to overcome them, effectively clearing the road to success.
PHOTO: Tom Ellefsen