Out with the old negative and in with the new positive
Words can be a powerful tool.
Words have a big impact on our lives; summed up perfectly by Betty Eadie:
"If we understood the power of our thoughts, we would guard them more closely… In our thoughts and words, we create our own weaknesses and strengths. Our limitations and joys begin in our hearts. We can always replace negative with positive."
How you think influences the way you feel and behave. Checking in with your thoughts and taking time to listen to how you talk can make the difference between a good day and a bad day. Are you using positive and inspiring language?
Positive thinking can turn negative thoughts around. “I dread public speaking. I’m so bad at it,” could become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Actively choosing positive language can flip the script. The thought: “I am a confident public speaker” can plant the seeds of new possibilities, which, when nurtured, can grow spectacularly so that you really do become that self-assured person.
The brain can’t tell the difference between imagination and reality. If we believe something is dangerous, our bodies will react accordingly; we will go into fight/flight mode ready to respond in a way that will ensure our survival. This is not a relaxed state of being for our bodies or minds. If we are on ‘red alert’ for long periods of time, increased levels of adrenaline and especially cortisol can compromise our immune system, digestion and even fertility. Our brains will also form a strong emotional connection to the perceived threat.
Modern life can create anxiety and it can also manifest through traumatic events that can create phobias (fear of spiders, heights or enclosed spaces, etc). Even if, realistically, we know that a spider in the corner of the room is not life-threatening, our minds can delve into a myriad of memories and match the experience of seeing the spider with a heightened stress response based on irrational fear.
Hypnotherapy techniques for overcoming fears and phobias include reframing the experience. This involves replacing negative words with positive ones. In a fearful state, we are likely to see the spider as threatening. In a calmer frame of mind, we can step back and take a different perspective. We might instead observe the interesting markings of that same spider and consider its amazing ability to weave webs.
It’s interesting to observe here that the positive use of language is based more on facts and not fearful imaginings. In the treatment of phobias, this helps to decrease any uncomfortable emotional attachment to the trigger and is based on a proper assessment of the situation.
Our brains can process events so that they become a narrative memory, instead of an emotional memory, one that we can have control over. Each time we respond differently, and more appropriately to a stimulus, the memory of this new response becomes more deeply ingrained.
Many of us are experiencing 'pandemic fatigue'. This is defined by the World Health Organisation as a feeling of exhaustion and lack of motivation, following many months of uncertainty and restrictions. So, what if we feel generally stressed, anxious or just flat and unmotivated? Avoiding too much negative news is a positive step to take. It’s also comforting to know we can use the power of words to begin to shift our focus, shift our perception of things and shift the way we feel. This is like giving ourselves a gentle nudge in the right direction and it’s empowering to think we can do this ourselves.
We can channel our imagination in useful ways that benefit us. When I am feeling uninspired or dejected, one of my favourite go-to techniques is to visualise myself somewhere relaxing. For me, this tends to be on a beach, sitting in my favourite chair, nicely shaded with a drink in hand. I can taste the refreshingly cool drink, hear the gentle surge of the waves, smell the salt sea air and see the sunlight reflected on the sea. All my senses are involved and it is as if I am really there. My body and mind respond to this and I feel calmer and happier.
“Your words have power. Speak words that are kind, loving, positive, uplifting, encouraging, and life-giving.”
As a parent, I am mindful of the words I use with my daughter. Negative words or statements can be especially unhelpful to a child. Instead, I encourage her to seek out the positives and find solutions. It is useful, as adults, to check in with our self-talk. Are you just as encouraging towards yourself or do you slip into self-critical mode and bombard yourself with negative, unhelpful words?
If you are finding it difficult to think positively and move on from negative experiences and negative ways of thinking, hypnotherapy can help. Entering into a state of hypnosis or trance is safe and effective. Whilst in this very relaxed state, your subconscious mind is more open and receptive to the positive suggestions contained in the language patterns I use. This can really help us to get on and achieve our goals on a conscious level.
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