Weight loss and willpower? That's so last season!
With all the will in the world you won’t beat your imagination – so stop trying!
Sound a bit powerless? Not at all, you have to get clever and get your imagination working for you, rather than against you!
How do I do that?
First of all, it’s understanding how your mind works. Let’s say there are two main parts to your mind, your conscious will and your imagination. You conscious will is the one that decides what you want to do, i.e. eat healthily, lose weight, etc. Your imagination is the part that (if it’s not working with you) puts fear and doubt into your mind, as well as increasing pressure to do the opposite of what you have decided to do.
Example - Crisps (or insert favourite junk food).
Conscious Will: I’m going to start my diet today and not eat crisps or biscuits.
Imagination: Yeah right! You tried that yesterday and look what happened! And what about that last packet of crisps in the cupboard? You might as well finish that one off first…
Conscious Will: I won’t eat any crisps.
Imagination: Mmm crisps… (goes on to visualise what the packet of crisps looks like, how they taste, how you’ll feel when you’ve eaten them).
Feel like crisps now? No wonder, you’ve just programmed your brain and body to ‘crave’ them. Even though you’ve told yourself not to have any, your imagination doesn’t process the words can’t, don’t, mustn’t, shouldn’t, won't, etc. It’s happily gone off visualising that food and how good it’s going to taste, thus creating a ‘craving’ for that food. If you keep on thinking about crisps now, the likelihood is you will go and eat some. If that thought is interrupted and you distract yourself, the ‘craving’ will go away.
The thing is, the imagination is so powerful and strong there’s no point wasting energy arguing with it because it’s highly likely to win.
Tip - the imagination doesn’t like being told what to do and will argue and rebel pretty much every time you try and tell it to do something or not to do something.
Just by knowing that, we can then go about it in a very different way and start making it work for us. So instead of telling it what to do, we can ask it; what would it like to do? This immediately gives a choice, the imagination is in control of the answer and so you’re avoiding a fight. You’re giving the imagination something to focus on, rather than digging in its heels and sabotaging your attempts at healthy eating.
Hypnosis can aid you to get into this mindset, by utilising the power of the subconscious and allowing positive suggestions to be planted that makes it easier for your imagination to work with you, rather than against you.
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Elaine Marsh C DIP,EH, CP,NLP,ABH, CHYP, MPMH CPDFebruary 1st, 2017