What comes to mind when you hear the word, hypnosis?
Many think that hypnosis is a dark and mysterious state of consciousness controlled by the hypnotist, but this is a myth. All hypnosis is actually self-hypnosis. In counselling and medical practice, the clinical hypnotist serves as a guide to help individuals achieve their goals.
It is one way by which we can connect with the subconscious self.
Have you ever wondered why you repeat the same mistakes, get into the same arguments with family or friends, or encounter the same issues in serial relationships? Why can’t you break out of these patterns?
Have you been haunted by anxiety, panic attacks, anger or sadness? Why can’t you shake that feeling? Where does it come from?
What keeps you from achieving your goals? What holds you back from finding lasting happiness?
The answers often lie within the subconscious. In hypnosis, we can render more conscious the self-limiting and self-defeating thoughts, beliefs and assumptions that shape our thoughts, feelings and actions.
We are already in a trance. It is as if we are programmed to respond to the world at an early age but fail to get updates to our programming. Though our circumstances are different, our relationships have changed and we ourselves have grown, we can continue to operate under the same maladaptive programming.
That programming can include hurtful words from the past, how we were treated as children, the effect of trauma and abuse on our sense of self-worth, and the ongoing effects of verbal abuse.
We can also walk through the day as if in a trance. We perform many actions without being fully conscious. How often do you forget where you put your keys or whether you locked the door? How often do we say, “Hi. How are you?” in passing without really listening to the answer.
Sometimes we can do the wrong thing and say hurtful words. Our behaviour makes us feel bad. We can persist in harmful habits, such as smoking, using street drugs and abusing alcohol. We can fall back to our addictions though we recognize their harm.
Hypnosis is one way we can access the unconscious and uncover the roots of our problems. To find qualified practitioners, contact the Canadian Society of Clinical Hypnosis (B.C. Division). Unfortunately, counselling with private psychologists is not a benefit of the provincial Medical Services Plan.
Meditation is another way to awaken from the trance of everyday life. By increasing awareness of our feelings and reflecting on our underlying thoughts and beliefs, we may begin to question and change maladaptive patterns that have held us back from achieving our potential for happiness.
Coming up: 7 Mantras, 7 Questions – What Am I Thinking?