Hypnotherapy and the role of consciousness in the healing process
Raise your hand if you have ever experienced some form of trauma.
The sad truth is that most of us have experienced trauma at some point in our lives. The interesting thing about trauma is that it’s different for all of us. For some, it may be falling off your bike as a child; whereas, for others, it may be something more sinister. Either way, we are all affected by it. What we need to determine is how best to deal with it. We need to become aware of the ways in which we still need to process it and integrate it, so that we can be the best version of ourselves. What most people don’t realise is that the trauma they experienced might be holding them back as a result of unconscious blocks that are stored outside of their awareness. In order to find these blocks, we have to look closely at our behaviour patterns, our habits and our belief systems.
Have you ever wondered why you do the things you do? You might have noticed yourself responding to different situations in the same old way. No matter the event, you seem to have a habit of reacting in the moment with an overwhelming feeling of anger, irritation, or even with fear or chronic sadness. You may have reached the conclusion that your spontaneous reactions and behaviours are outside of your conscious control – And, in some ways, you would be right. This realisation, of course, does not give you a Get Out of Jail Free card when you react in a rude or disrespectful manner towards others. It might, however, allow you to cultivate a deeper understanding of the functioning of your mind and how you can work with it in order to grow.
As a child, your environment and experiences (everyday events and traumatic situations) would have formed and shaped your beliefs – some favourable, and some unfavourable. These beliefs embedded themselves so deeply in your subconscious mind that it became your reality, the way in which you experience the world around you. More than that, it would have developed the way in which you choose to express yourself and how you interact with your environment. What most people don’t realise is just how much these subconscious beliefs continue to impact their emotional responses and their experience of reality, leaving them in a perpetual state of unconscious reactiveness to the people and situations they encounter. Symptoms such as depression, anxiety and addiction are often expressions of something traumatic that happened years ago which is playing in the background of our minds daily and has not been integrated. Let’s take a look at how consciousness and Hypnotherapy go hand in hand to better understand these concepts and to help you overcome these challenges.
Neuroscientists have stated that the subconscious mind makes up approximately 95 % of our total mind power, while the conscious mind bears only 5 % of its capacity (van Rymenant, M. 2008. www.simplifyinginterfaces.com. Sourced on 13 February 2019). The conscious mind consists of everything you are aware of. It is where you do all your thinking, imagining and reasoning. The subconscious mind holds everything that is not in your awareness. This includes your beliefs, values, memories and attitudes, which play a role in forming your behaviours and habits. So, while, consciously, you may be able to rationalise and understand a situation until it seems crystal clear, you still find yourself responding and reacting to life’s situations with the same behaviour patterns you have carried for many years. You may have done everything you can think of to eradicate feelings of anxiety or constant worrying, yet you find yourself unable to shake those feelings and instead become fearful and resistant to your emotions. The subconscious mind typically communicates via emotions, feelings and sensations, as well as through dreams, images and reflexes. Something to bear in mind, then, is what those feelings and emotional reactions are trying to tell you about yourself and the way you are living your life. It is important to consider what those emotional responses are trying to teach you.
Now that we have a better understanding of how the mind works, we come back to the original questions of which limiting beliefs and unconscious blocks you have carried with you from childhood, and which of these deep-seated ideas are still having a limiting effect on your life today. How are you unconsciously being held back from living the life that you want to live?
With regard to consciousness, Hypnotherapy is a phenomenal tool that allows you to override the conscious mind, giving access to the subconscious mind which stores all the very important information about who you are. In the conscious mind, your challenges and struggles are made far more prominent, and scarier than they actually are, thanks to the tendency to get lost in the world of stories your conscious mind so easily and willingly creates around the core challenge. For example, when someone says something that upsets you, your conscious mind takes that one incident and drags your thoughts down the rabbit hole until you are remembering every moment (real or imagined) in which you have felt that way. You suddenly feel overwhelmed, and what was just a little upset to begin with has now become a full blown hurt, with all sorts of other emotions creeping in. By overruling the conscious mind with hypnosis, you are able to let go of those stories it so relentlessly wants you to buy into and to stop the snowball effect of making your problems bigger than they actually are.
More than this, as an effective alternative to conventional methods of talk therapy, Hypnotherapy offers a wonderful way in which to help you access and unearth those hidden beliefs and blocks that are keeping you ‘stuck’ in old ways and habits by using that pathway through the critical mind, or conscious mind, to the subconscious mind. In this way, we can directly target the unhealthy and unwanted associations, memories and beliefs that have created your fears and anxieties. As these archaic beliefs are brought to the forefront, they can easily be sculpted and transformed to help you align with who you want to be and to visualise creative ways in which to overcome your challenges. Through an altered state of consciousness, Hypnotherapy allows you to see different perspectives to your challenges that your conscious mind would never have thought up on its own.
“But,” I hear you say, “I’m scared of Hypnotherapy.”
This seems like a good time to address the misconceptions and misunderstandings around the therapeutic modality of Hypnotherapy.
There appears to be a common misconception about Hypnotherapy in that people often believe they will be out of control and unconscious, when in truth, hypnosis is actually a heightened state of consciousness and awareness. You will, therefore, be conscious during the entire process, allowing you to become more aware of what the underlying emotions are and where they come from. This process will allow you to operate from a place of personal power and growth. In this way, you are able to challenge and reframe those long-held beliefs that keep you trapped in old habits, patterns, behaviours and perspectives. Hypnosis creates a state in which you are able to release yourself from the behaviours and habits that you feel are having a negative effect on your life.
The purpose of hypnosis is to help you increase your awareness, rather than to dull your senses. This also speaks to the misunderstanding around the term ‘hypnotic sleep’. While an observer might say you look asleep, you are actually in a fully conscious and wide awake state, with a heightened awareness of your senses. During the sleep state, you are unconscious and, therefore, unaware of what is happening within and around you. Another important distinction to make is that we do not learn while in a sleep state. In Hypnotherapy sessions, however, amazing transformations and growth have been experienced and documented the world over due to the individual’s ability and capacity to learn and evolve while in the hypnotic state.
In the care of a Hypnotherapist, you will establish a trusting relationship in which you feel safe and in which you know that your therapist has the best of intentions. Through building a connection, you will see that they have your best interests at heart. With these structures in place the therapeutic process will be a success.
You might be wondering who Hypnotherapy is good for. Well, in truth, Hypnotherapy is good for anyone who has ever had a challenge in their life, or for anyone who is interested in personal growth and development. The increased and expanded awareness that comes with Hypnotherapy will help you to become the best version of you!
So if you want to move toward your best life, invest in yourself by booking your first session now.
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