Did you know that we all have everything we need within us to be successful in life? Stop for a moment and think about that, and if you have any doubts in your mind, think about this: when you came into this world, you were a clean slate; you couldn’t walk, you couldn’t talk, you couldn’t even feed yourself…you were completely reliant on another human being to take care of your every need. As you grew and developed the ability to explore your world; to walk, to talk…did you ever sit there in fear, doubting your ability to accomplish these things? Of course not! So why do we do it to ourselves now?
Let me explain: before the age of 9 or 10, the critical, judgmental part of our brain hasn’t kicked in yet, which means, we haven’t learned to fear and doubt our own abilities; anything and everything is possible because for the most part, we live in our subconscious mind, where imagination rules the day.
What exactly is hypnosis, and what does it have to do with anything I’ve just said? Well, the textbook definition of hypnosis is this: “Hypnosis is an altered state of mind, whereby the critical, judgmental part of the mind (i.e. the conscious mind), is temporarily suspended so that positive suggestions for beneficial change, can be offered and accepted without logical or critical interference”. Hypnosis is a natural, normal state that we enter into many times a day; it is relaxing and safe; it is an interactive process between a facilitator and subject; it is a voluntary state - a person cannot be forced into hypnosis, nor can they be forced to do something against their will.
OK, so what does all this really mean and how can hypnosis help you? Hypnosis works because it deals directly with the subconscious mind. You all know what an iceberg looks like…only the tip is visible above the surface of the water. The tip of the iceberg is like the conscious part of our minds (the critical, judgmental part), its only 5% to 10%, but the unconscious mind, the part of the iceberg that is under the water… that is where magic happens! The awesome thing about the subconscious mind is that it doesn’t know the difference between what’s real and what’s imagined (think back to your childhood and how powerful your imagination was), you tell your subconscious something often enough, it WILL make it happen. This can be good news and bad news… we all say things to ourselves that we would never dream of saying to another human being… berating and belittling ourselves…filling our heads with negativity about ourselves. As Henry Ford said, “whether you think you can, or you can’t, you’re right” …just think about that for a second…
So how can hypnosis help, either in your personal life, or your business? Hypnosis can help in any area of life in which we find ourselves struggling, whether it is eliminating fears and phobias, increasing self-esteem or releasing unwanted weight or quitting smoking. Any self-limiting thought or behaviour can be replaced…provided the desire is there to make the changes in your life…it is the subconscious mind that is making the changes, the hypnotist is plain and simple, the facilitator…
When looking for a hypnotist, you want to check around to find a well-trained, highly qualified hypnotist. It is important to understand that not all hypnotists are created equal, so when looking for one, you want to ensure that they have completed the required training, and are certified through one or more of the recognized associations. In North American, look for a professional who has completed their training, and is a member of either ARCH (Association of Registered Clinical Hypnotherapist) or NGH (National Guild of Hypnotists), or better yet, both.
You also want a hypnotist who treats each individual client as just that, an individual. Look for a hypnotist who will take the time to get to know a bit about you; someone who will meet with you for an initial consultation, as this helps both the client and the hypnotist determine whether or not hypnosis is the right modality. You should be completing a comprehensive intake form and the hypnotist should customize each session to the individual. When I see clients, I may have 2 clients coming to me for the same issue, but the root cause of the issue and what is going to motivate one to change the behaviour is rarely the same for the second client. It’s not unusual for a client to come to see me for one thing, but it turns out, during the consultation, that there is a completely different underlying issue that needs to be addressed. Sometimes, taking care of that underlying issue, is the “fix” for so many other issues in the client’s life. Nothing brings me greater joy than watching my clients accomplish their goals, and make real changes in their lives through the power of taping into their subconscious mind.
sleep, Elusive sleep!
Do you find yourself crawling into bed at night, exhausted from your hectic day, only to find yourself lying awake for what feels like hours, running over the day’s events in your mind? Do you lie in bed thinking about all the things that were on your to-do-list that you didn’t get to? Or perhaps you lie in bed worrying about finances, or job security. There are so many things to keep your exhausted mind ticking over, eluding much needed sleep!
What if I told you, that by making a few small changes to your bedtime routine, you could easily fall asleep, drifting into beautiful, restorative dream filled sleep? Read on; that’s exactly what I’m going to teach you to do!
Firstly, turn off the TV! You heard me. And while you’re at it, turn your computer off too. It’s a scientific fact that these things stimulate the brain, something that isn’t really conducive with sleep. At least an hour before bedtime, give your brain a break, and a chance to slow down and prepare for sleep. This is a great opportunity to spend time on something you find relaxing, whether that means picking up a good book, building a model airplane; anything you find enjoyable and relaxing.
Now comes what some people find a little difficult in the beginning (trust me, it gets easier; I promise). If you’ve spent years using bedtime as an opportunity to beat yourself up about all the little things you didn’t manage to squeeze into your busy day, this can be a little bit of a challenge: patting yourself on the back for everything you did accomplish! Sounds easy right? It is. Simply change your mindset from one of focusing on the negative, to focusing on the positives from your day. Take this time to be kind to yourself (you deserve it you know), and to congratulate yourself for what you did get done instead of what you didn't. If you find this infinitely difficult to do at first, make it something as simple as, “I got out of bed this morning”. Think of at least 3 things that you accomplished that day. If your mind starts to wander to where it used to go, recognize what is happening and simply refocus your attention back to what you accomplished that day. The key here is to keep your thoughts positive as you drift off to sleep.
Not only will positive thoughts help you fall asleep quicker, they also give your subconscious mind positive things to focus on while you sleep and dream. When we fill our minds full of negativity as we drift off to sleep, guess what our subconscious mind focuses on? Guess what negative thoughts bring to your life? More negativity. Our subconscious mind doesn’t know the difference between what is real and what is imagined, so it believes whatever you tell it. You keep telling yourself that you are a failure because you didn’t complete your to-do-list that day and guess what? You become what you think / believe you are!
So, you’ve ended your day on a positive note by focusing on what you accomplished; how do you carry that into your morning routine? Well, I highly recommend starting a gratitude journal. What is a gratitude journal you ask? Well, it is quite simply a journal that you write in each morning, listing at least 3 things you are grateful for. Want to add to that? Try adding something about the significant people in your life; spouse, kids, parents…I add one thing I am grateful for about my husband and daughters. Why do I do this? Well, have you ever been ticked off at your spouse, or one of your kids? By finding something about that person that you are grateful for, is a great way of taking the focus off what they did to annoy you and firmly places the focus on one of the many, many things you love about them.
It takes 21 days to form a habit...try this out for the next 21 days and it will naturally become a part of your daily routine. In addition to forming a positive new habit, you will be amazed at how your outlook on life will change for the better, making you happier, healthier and more well rested! What do you have to lose by trying?