Hypnotherapy and the pursuit of happiness
What is happiness?
What does it mean to be happy?
Happiness is the driver for the human race. Sometimes in our pursuit for happiness, we don't stop to find out if we have arrived. Happiness is a simple word, easy to say, to describe the complexity under the surface. It is a nominal concept and we are all different in our pursuit of pleasure, the meaning of life and having that sense of purpose.
To some people, happiness is jumping out of an aircraft and to others, it's a gentle saunter along a lakeside.
So what is stopping us? Do we deserve to be happy? Waiting for happiness is a common thought. Everybody can change their lives, we do it all the time. We get through difficulties, change our opinions and alter behaviour. But what is important is we do it our way.
Stuff happens to us all the time, we lose someone close to us, we make mistakes at work, we cheat on our diet.
What determines or happiness?
Research by Sonia Lyubomirsky in her book 'The How of Happiness' says that happiness is made up of three factors.
- 50% fixed Factors - genes/age/sex/ethnicity.
- 10% circumstantial - friends, status, career, physical appearance and partner.
- 40% changeable - what you do with your time and skills you develop.
This is interesting because most people tend to base their happiness on circumstantial factors. If I get a better job, I'll be happier, or when I get a boyfriend I will be happy.
Hypnotherapy and happiness
If we are unhappy, then we may suffer from aspects of anxiety and depression or anger. One thing we can miss along the way is our understanding about our brain and its role in creating happiness. We all know we have one brain but do we appreciate that within that one brain there are two minds operating?
The primitive mind/limbic system - this part developed a couple of million years ago and still operates as it did then, it's never had an update. It is responsible for our inappropriate learnt behavioural patterns.
The intellectual mind - the part that gets stuff done and is generally positive.
Having the ability to recognise the connection between the primitive brain and stress/anxiety helps us regulate it. We know that our primitive brain can take front stage if our anxiety levels are high. When this occurs we don't have access to the intellectual brain that can direct us to our future happiness.
Hypnosis helps to reduce stress levels and returns the intellectual mind to the driving seat. In the pursuit of happiness, we intuitively know what we should be doing differently. It may be seeing our friends more, learning something new or giving our time to help others.
The process of becoming happy is within our control and if this means some relaxing hypnotherapy sessions, then it's an easy price to pay.