Teaching yourself to be kind with hypnosis

Understanding that we aren’t our thoughts but the being that thinks them, is a step towards positive change. It’s hard to change our core identity but much easier to change our beliefs and behaviours. It may take study, professional support and hard work but soon you'll be able to choose your thoughts.

We all talk to ourselves, even if we aren't aware of it. Often, that self-talk is unkind. With guidance you can start to talk to yourself with kindness instead. Encouraging and praising yourself can loosen old negative beliefs you hold about yourself and lift encoded patterns of low confidence. My work doesn't end there. After we have tackled how we talk to ourselves, we re-train our brain to say positive things, creating new, positive beliefs.

Hypnotherapy does just this; it pulls up the weeds and puts in a rose bed. It teaches you to use your imagination for your own good.

I like to think that I am a positive person but now and then I notice a behaviour that I don't like. I have two teenage children and they are excellent in letting me know when I have been unreasonable or intolerant. It's only in these moments when I am a little disappointed in myself that I can take a few moments to examine what was going on inside my brain. It is nearly always an old pattern, an unconscious, automatic reaction.

On reflection, these triggers to defend myself or to attack are imprints from my childhood. I had a happy upbringing and lots of love from my family, it's not that I am tortured by bad memories or suffering from PTSD. My neighbourhood was tough and there was an atmosphere of judgement and bullying that I normalised for most of my adult life. It was only when I started training as a therapist that I became aware of the connections to my current behaviours and the survival techniques I had learnt in the playground.

Being bullied can turn us into a bully ourselves and I think that I have been guilty of that myself. I am ashamed of myself when I reflect on things I have said or done. I didn't go around flushing people's heads down toilets or using violence to make me feel good but I could be cutting and sometimes mean.

Awareness and acceptance is the beginning of change. I had always thought that any faults I had had been hard wired into my DNA, that being born with those faults meant that they were impossible to change. Since treating clients I have learned just how common this is. I am not just a slave to my genetic programming, I am also a product of learnt behaviours, mechanisms I designed to help me to cope with the world.

It is very liberating to realise that the baggage we carry about can be discarded, it's just very difficult to do it on your own. The hypnotherapy that I received changed my view of myself forever. It didn't cure me, but it started a process that I am still working my way through.

I speak to myself in a kinder voice. Now it's time I do the same the next time my kids can't be bothered to do their homework.

Hypnotherapy Directory is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.

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Stamford, Lincolnshire, PE9 2SU

Written by John Cooper

Stamford, Lincolnshire, PE9 2SU

John Cooper is a clinical hypnotist, lecturer and writer.

From his practice in Stamford, Lincolnshire, John specialises in helping people with emotional problems. He writes a regular newspaper column in Peterborough Telegraph about culture, memories and positive change. He is very good at hypnotherapy but very bad at assembling furniture.

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