Be positive – the benefits of solution focused hypnotherapy
15th May, 20160 Comments
If you’re experiencing anxiety, people telling you to “be positive” can feel as insensitive as being told to “cheer up”. But to be honest, replacing those anxious feelings with more positive thoughts sounds like the most wonderful outcome imaginable. And it’s achievable.
Solution focused hypnotherapy is a natural technique that reduces anxiety, allowing you to become open to the positive again. By focusing on the positive together, we can make some real and lasting changes.
So how can solution focused therapy help? Let’s have a look at the positives…
Start thinking positively
The key of this approach is to change your focus from anxieties to positives. A useful way to start is with a popular NLP technique. If I say to you, “Don’t think of a giraffe!” what do you immediately picture? Exactly. Your brain is like the Internet – type in “don’t think of a giraffe”, and what do you get? Giraffes, thousands of them. Basically, this illustrates that you can’t change through negativity. Saying “don’t worry” instantly causes you to think about worries, the same way as you’re still thinking about giraffes.
What solution focused hypnotherapy does is to focus on the positive. If you want to stop thinking about giraffes, instead of suggesting that you stop, a solution focused hypnotherapist will help guide you another way, and this is where we start to find real positive progress. We replace those anxious feelings with positive thoughts, resulting in you feeling calm, centred, and back in control again.
A major part of this approach is that we focus on what you want to change for now and the future. We acknowledge that of course, your anxiety has a history, however rather than dwelling on the past, we help you to find positive coping ways to move forward, because what we really want to do is to focus on a positive future.
Taking positive action through solution focused hypnotherapy
How do we make these changes? Well, we use a modern efficient mix of psychotherapy and hypnosis. Hypnosis can shift your perspective into a more positive focus. Hypnosis is simply a contrived trance state. It’s a natural state that we’re surprisingly accustomed to. We all go into trances many times during our normal day. It just lasts a few seconds, and it’s when we’re watching telly, or driving, or in the shower. A contrived trance lasts much longer, actually giving your brain time to do its stuff.
What does the brain need to do? In a nutshell, we have two minds, a conscious ‘intellectual’ part of our brain and a primitive ’emotional’ part of our brain. When the former is in control, so are we. It’s our solution-finding side, our rational and thinking aspect. However, evolution-wise we’re not that far from our cave-dwelling ancestors, and we still share their primitive brain. This controls our ‘fight-or-flight’ response – handy if you think you may suddenly have to fight a sabre-toothed tiger. Not so handy when we feel the same way if we’ve had an argument, or we are facing redundancy. This primitive emotional part of the brain is the source of anxiety, anger and depression.
In a trance state, both sides of the brain work together and focus on the same thing. In this state, we can move towards replacing the anxieties with positive plans for a happy future. Giraffes with something else. Sabre-toothed tigers with everyday work and play.
The benefits of positive interaction
If a person is anxious, it can be hard to communicate with others. To return to our ancestors in their caves, they learned pretty quickly that they did better as a tribe than as lone hunters. When they interacted with others, they got rewarded (more food, companionship, help with those pesky sabre-toothed tigers…). The tribespeople coped better with daily life.
And that’s what positive interaction still does for present-day humans. We all cope far better with the rewards gained through positive thoughts, actions, and interactions. When we do this our brains produce various neurotransmitters including serotonin and endorphins – these are our natural ‘feel-good’ chemicals. So, as we start to replace those anxieties, we start to feel better, and we feel ready to appreciate the benefits of positive interaction again; and a virtuous cycle of being positive to others, reaping the emotional rewards of this, getting our confidence and happiness back, and thus being positive to others, begins.
Find out more about solution focused therapy
Solution focused hypnotherapy is collaborative – you’re not fighting those tigers alone! We’ll work together to unlock those hopes for the future, and to take positive steps towards getting there.
About the author
Debbie Daltrey is a clinical hypnotherapist at Great Minds Clinic based in Manchester. Debbie specialises in solution focused therapies combining hypnotherapy, psychotherapy, NLP, EFT, and elements of CBT to help clients with a variety of anxiety and stress related issues, she aims to build confidence, positivity and emotional resilience.
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