Hypnotherapy meets mindfulness: Managing difficult emotions

How much of your day do you spend being on 'auto pilot'? Reacting to others in the same old way, talking harshly to ourselves, and relying on the same unhealthy habits to make you feel better?


We all do this sometimes. Even though it doesn’t make us happier, more confident, or more resilient. That’s simply because we are 'habit beings' and we are often motivated by fear and survival, which engages that part of our brain that is the most habit driven and most reactive. 

The mindful approach: Self-acceptance through the pause

We spend a huge amount of life in a trance of 'not good enough', living according to the expectations of others, often laid down in childhood, or the “shoulds” that we hear in our heads. But these lead to actions that are not aligned with who we really are, with our own hearts, our lives.

It is natural to want to fit in and to fear what might go wrong; that is part of our survival instinct and the job of a primitive mind. But when we turn it against ourselves, "Something is wrong" becomes "I am wrong." We suffer because we are at war with ourselves.

The good news is that evolution has provided us with a more evolved part of our brain; the one that has the capacity for compassion, relating, and befriending. All we need to do is pause and take a moment to reconnect with ourselves. This is especially useful when we are caught in difficult emotions such as blaming or shame, striving, or unhelpful automatic habits and ways of thinking.

To pause helps us to reconnect with a part of our brain (and soul) that has the ability to have a different perspective.

It brings us back to the present moment and allows us to enter our bodies.

The parts of us that know how to be here and now, the parts that know how to respond appropriately to life, and the parts that know what to do next.

This is so simple and so radical at the same time! We pause, we stop for a couple of minutes or more so we can get to know who we are more deeply and befriend ourselves. It allows us to respond to our emotions, and our current experience, with a fresh perspective. Even with an attitude of friendliness. Just being present in our experience in a real way is an act of generosity or kindness - just as you would be with a friend or dear one who is suffering.

How can pausing help?

Pausing allows us to get back to what is real. What is actually there? The thoughts in our heads are seen for what they are: just thoughts!

Practising the pause regularly builds our confidence or self-trust that comes from contacting the deeper parts of our being that are free - that instinctively know how to respond to life rather than react. We allow time for the creative, compassionate and intuitive mind to emerge and inform us, before moving forward anew with a light in the heart, for the good of the world.

This method is not suitable for panic attacks and flashbacks. In those cases, you need to ground back in your body and distract yourself from the emotions.

The pause is one of the tools that I teach my clients who suffer from stress and low self-esteem. It is then practised within the context of a growth mindset and self-compassion and can become a very positively charged tool.

If you suffer regularly from anxiety, I would recommend starting a course of hypnotherapy to get to the root of the anxiety and build your capacity to deal with it. Embodied solution-focused hypnotherapy will help rebalance your nervous system and help you gain the understanding of your anxiety that you need in order to take control of it.

If you would like to know more about the pause, I can lead you through three minutes of simply being present in body, heart and mind.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Hypnotherapy Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Monmouth NP25 & Bristol BS6
Written by Stephanie Betschart, Hypnotherapy for Anxiety & Depression Chepstow, Bri Monmouth
Monmouth NP25 & Bristol BS6

My name is Stephanie Betschart and I can work in partnership with you to facilitate the changes that you need to be yourself in an embodied way.
I have been working as a hypnotherapist since 2008 (15 years) and am still amazed at how effective hypnotherapy is at using the mind-body connection to facilitate healing, positive change and wellbeing .

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