Changing on the inside to make the outside better

When we are fearful, it isn’t enough to tell us to be courageous. When we lack confidence, it isn’t enough to tell us that we should just relax, feel more confident, or just be ourselves. When we are sad, it isn’t enough to tell us that if we change our thinking we will feel happier. It isn’t enough because actually, deep down we know that already. The difficulty is that these adjustments don’t feel safe – we don’t feel safe to let go of these protective feelings, the current situation and these circumstances to allow us to feel better - courageous, happy, confident or optimistic.

All unwanted feelings, behaviours and habits, such as overeating, anger, impatience are developed because at a deeper level they might seem to help us achieve some positive result, usually to keep us safe and comfortable in some way. Once we are able to understand this we can begin to develop a new respect for why those unwanted feelings or behaviours are there.

The deeper subconscious mind, the part of our mind accessed during hypnosis, wants to protect us, to keep us safe, to shelter us from harm. If that deeper part of our mind has learned, through consistent experience that we may be in tangible and constant danger, such as from the abuse of another, ill health, financial hardship or deprivation, how can we just switch that protective response off? More importantly, why would we? Our subconscious mind will naturally resist changing any behaviour that is intended to keep us safe.

In order to feel courageous, happy, confident or optimistic, any changes we make in our thinking, emotions or behaviour must be safer than the old way we are using now. The changes we make must fulfil that purpose of keeping us safe. Feeling courageous in the face of danger has to be safer than feeling fearful, just like feeling happy has to be safer than feeling sad, otherwise we won’t make the change that would allow us to feel better. Only when we are able to show the deeper subconscious mind new more effective ways to keep us safe and secure by making the changes we desire on a conscious level, are we able to begin to easily create the empowering change we want. We need to clearly outline why feeling courageous, happy, confident and optimistic is safer. We need to clearly show that feeling fearful is undesirable because it is not keeping us safe, it is actually damaging to our health and well-being, draining our resources and restricting our opportunities for empowerment, change and choice.

Once we are able to see what needs to be done and why, then we can begin to open up to new ways of how to do this. We develop a vision of what the solution will look and feel like. Then instead of using that old way of focusing on what we don’t want, we can begin to focus our energies on what we do want. This natural process of positive goal setting is enhanced in the relaxed states of awareness utilised in hypnotherapy.

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Written by Vicky McLeod

Vicky McLeod is a hypnotherapist with her own practice based in Central Scotland. She provides a friendly and professional service, specialising in weight loss, stop smoking, stress & anxiety, and performance issues, incorp. Thought field therapy, EFT and EMDR and pulling on her experience as a workplace psychologist and personal development coach.… Read more

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