by Madison Brightwell
A lot of people like to use hypnotherapy to fix something specific they wish to change in their lives: to quit an addiction, lose weight, overcome chronic pain or anxiety etc.
But hypnotherapy can also be used in another way, in a more holistic and permanently life-changing way. In the same way as a personal trainer is helping you to make permanent changes to your entire body in small incremental steps using consistent actions towards your goals, hypnotherapy can be used to look at your entire life path and guide you to becoming the whole person you really are.
These days more and more people are choosing to live consciously, aware of the need to express their authentic self. Rather than just concentrating on working a job which merely pays the bills and keeps them on the edge of survival, people are choosing to explore an expanded way of being which encompasses their talents, gifts, true nature and the things they have to bring to the world in order to leave a positive legacy.
Hypnotherapy as a life process is very empowering. Aside from working on eradicating little habits like nail biting, or even larger problems such as eating disorders or addictions, hypnosis encourages us to look deep within our souls, by awakening the power of our subconscious mind.
The subconscious mind represents 88% of the total mind power – that’s over four fifths. Truly more powerful than the puny 12% we use everyday with our conscious mind! The proportions are similar to an iceberg, and indeed this visual analogy is very apt, because like an iceberg, most of the mind is kept hidden beneath the surface – unseen, untapped, and perhaps lurking to strike us one day when we are least aware.
So consider how useful it is to be able to tap into this power, harness it, so that it is now working for us instead of against us. For generations, human beings have concentrated on mere existence, surviving in a sort of haze of automatic actions, feeling out of control and trapped in their life circumstances, unable to break free of the patterns which dominated them since childhood.
But now we are waking up to the unlimited possibilities that surround us. We are realizing that we live in a sea of vibrating energy and we are part of this energy. By using 100% of our mind instead of just 12%, we are empowered to uncover and reverse negative life patterns.
For the first time, we can truly break free from the prison of our own minds. This is something that yogis and mystics have been practicing for centuries. But only in the last couple of hundred years have we in the Western world recognized that what we perceive through our limited five senses is only a very small part of the world around us.
So how does this relate to hypnotherapy as personal training for the mind? Well – after spending 20, 30, 40 years habitually reverting to one mode of thinking, which may be negative and certainly is less than completely effective – it takes regular practice to train ourselves to think in a different way. And this practice can only take place in the subconscious mind itself.
If you were trying to train yourself in karate, for example, you wouldn’t only work on one arm or leg, you would need to get the whole body involved in order to see results. Similarly, when you are training the mind, you need to train the subconscious and conscious mind together, in order to really see a change in habitual behaviors and repetitive modes of thinking.
Hypnosis is a state of trance in which the subconscious mind is more accessible to the suggestions being placed there. And during the hypnotherapy session – and to a lesser extent while listening to hypnosis CD’s, self-hypnosis or otherwise – a state of trance is consciously induced. The brain waves slow down, the critical area of mind softens, the physical body relaxes, visual and auditory stimuli are decreased – all of which allows the subconscious mind to feel safe enough to reveal its secrets and learn new information given to it.
The hypnotherapist has been trained to know and use the exact right positive suggestions for the specific client, taking into account their suggestibility, personality and life experiences. So during a hypnotherapy session, the client’s subconscious will be taking in information which can only have a beneficial effect.
Use of these suggestions on a regular basis will gradually train the subconscious mind into new behaviors, more congruent with the aims and desires of the client and their long-term health and happiness.
So hypnotherapy is not just a tool for “crazy people” or people who have a specific issue or problem. It’s actually a useful tool for just about everybody. Anybody who feels like their life is a continually evolving “work in progress” – and who doesn’t? – can find hypnotherapy useful at some stage in their lives. On a short-term basis it can help you overcome a crisis or other situation which is having a severely detrimental effect.
Or on a long-term basis it can help to mold and shape you into the person you really are and know yourself to be – boosting self-esteem and confidence, reducing stress and anxiety with attendant health issues, and taking back control of your life.
Hypnotherapy can thus be seen as preventative medicine. Because when self-esteem is high and stress is kept under control, we are better able to deal with the curve balls that life may throw at us, while striving to live to our fullest and greatest potential.
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