The Hypnotic Mindset and Hypnosis

The other day, during a hypnotherapy consultation at my office here in Ely, a client asked about hypnosis and mentioned how they had read online about the subconscious mind and so on. Sadly, the way that hypnosis is talked about and portrayed in many quarters (including by some hypnotherapists) with a sense of mind control, mysticism, magic and mystery, means that it is no wonder that people are uncertain about what hypnosis is and what it entails.

Whilst we often joke about it, many people do expect me to pull out a swinging watch or to zap them somehow, in a way that leads to magical improvement (and where they will have no idea how it happened). There are many hypnotherapists and others who continue to advocate that hypnosis is a passive process for a client and that some form of unseen, unknown change occurs at the unconscious level. Even more sadly, these myths and misconceptions (and downright inaccuracies) put many people off seeking a form of therapy that could really help them (and that has scientific research and evidence to support its application).

Far from being a therapy where you are controlled by a hypnotist and unaware of what is going on, hypnosis allows you to take control over the kind of things going on inside your mind. Rather than being passive, you get to be active and engaged in your own progress and improvement, which stands you in good stead for the future because you know how to orchestrate your thoughts, feelings, actions and reactions. Hypnosis is a process that you actively participate in rather than being a passive that you respond mechanically to resulting in hypnosis.

Whilst we do things non-conconsciously and sometimes habitually and seemingly automatically, our minds work on pattern and repetition. In most cases, you will find yourselves thinking, feeling and doing things in a way that you did in a previous, similar situation or experience. By working out how your mind is doing this pattern, and how it continues to do it, you can interrupt that pattern and create a new way of thinking, feeling and doing things that serves you better in that situation. You get to take control and choose what goes on inside your own mind (how awesome is that!). 

Successful hypnosis involves you participating in the process of your own improvement. You adopt a positive mindset, build upon your motivation to change, grow your confidence in their ability to make changes, and create optimistic about the process, expecting to experience the things you are seeking from the hypnotherapy. Whatever your issue or starting point, you become better and better at orchestrating your mindset, beliefs, thoughts, feelings, actions and reactions.  

Hypnotic Mindset Hypnosis Ely 

What is Hypnosis?

Rather than being something shrouded in mystery and magic, we can think of hypnosis as a therapeutic tool that is based upon ordinary psychological processes. 

Hypnosis and hypnotherapy, therefore, are about using your imagination, motivation, thoughts, ideas and cognitions to achieve goals such as overcoming anxiety. In essence, hypnosis is about adopting a positive hypnotic “mind set” in which you purposefully utilise your imagination, beliefs, expectations, motivation, mental engagement and thoughts.

To my mind this is what makes hypnosis so successful. You are calling upon the same psychological processes that you use in each and every part of your life and we work together to help you to change unwanted patterns and habits into something more helpful, empowering and beneficial. There is no need for some magic ingredient to benefit from hypnosis, and it means that everyone is capable of benefiting from hypnotherapy. 

Someone who has anxiety and imagines vivid future worst-case scenarios, can learn to employ that imagination in more helpful ways. A person with low confidence and self-esteem can be helped to stop the negative self-talk and self-criticism. A weight loss client can develop the motivation and control over eating habits that enables them to lose weight and feel healthier and happier. Whatever the problem, you will be using aspects of thoughts, feeling and behaviour in certain ways that repeat and become seemingly automatic through that repetition. The same psychological processes can be used to interrupt those habits of thought and behaviour, and to establish more beneficial ways of doing things.

To make effective changes using hypnosis and hypnotherapy, you don't need any additional psychological ability or skills, you don't need to passively trust that changes are being made by a mythical unconscious mind, and you can take back control over what you do and how you do it.

If you want to read more about this then you may find these articles helpful:

Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy - what it is and how it can help you combat anxiety

Misconceptions About Hypnosis

The Hypnotic Mindset - Are You Really in Control?


Inducing Hypnosis For Positive Change

The hypnosis induction is the way that you enter hypnosis, although it could be argued that by adopting a positive hypnotic mindset, you enter hypnosis as a just as the induction begins.  The induction allows you to deepen your experience of hypnosis, that is, to actively engage your mind into the process with a view towards making the beneficial changes you are seeking.

I've covered a couple of inductions in previous articles, such as the eye fixation hypnosis induction and mindfulness approaches. Here, I'm going to briefly cover the kind of hypnosis induction I tend to favour with cleints in my office, and it is similar to the approach I use in many of my hypnosis downloads. It contains elements of relaxation, clearing the mind, engaging your imagination and thinking, your focus and motivation and a host of other psychological processes. The more that you mentally engage in the steps and employ your imagination, self-talk and mindset, the deeper and richer your experience of hypnosis. After the induction, further processes, techniques, strategies and steps would be used to help you to achieve your goals, such as overcoming anxiety and increasing your confidence (in many recent articles I've covered processes for helping with many aspects of life).

Here are the steps I use with clients and which form part of the overall approach and strategy of hypnotherapy that helps them to achieve such remarkable, positive results:

1. Take a couple of nice deep breaths and allow yourself to get settled, adjust yourself so that you are comfortable and ensure that you are in a good place to enter hypnosis now. The people who benefit the most from hypnosis are those who really engage their imagination, focus deeply and absorb themselves in the process. So do actively engage your imagination and focus and adopt a positive mindset to fully benefit from this hypnotic experience.

2. Allow yourself to relax now. You could spend a few moments remembering times, places and moments where you’ve found yourself feeling and being calm, relaxed and comfortable and then remember that feeling and replicate it. Or engage your imagination and imagine going into that place in your mind where you would feel calm and relaxed. Or you could simply adopt the role and mindset here of someone who finds themselves feeling and being more and more mentally calm and physically relaxed.

Then deepen your experience of relaxing by just wondering what would it be like to find yourself ten times more relaxed now, and how you’d know that you’d gone to that deeper level. Make sure you deepen your level of calmness and relaxation during this step.

3. Now, begin to focus your mind on your desired results from the hypnosis and focus your mind on what it would be like to find yourself thinking the kind of thoughts, feeling the feelings and taking the actions that would please you in your life. Really begin to imagine how it will be to find everything being how you want it to be, in what you do and how you do it, in your mindset and decisions, and in your thoughts, your feelings, your actions and reactions. Direct your focus, imagination and belief towards these things, and adopt a positive expectation that means you expect it to happen as a result of the hypnosis.

And continually deepen your level of relaxation and calmness through the muscles from the top of your head all the way down to the tips of your toes, and then deeper into your very core and centre relaxing. If calmness has a colour, you could fill your mind with that colour; if calmness has a sound, hear that sound and let it resonate throughout you, and develop and grow those feelings of calmness, ease and comfort.

All the while, keep your focus on things being exactly how you want them to be in your thoughts, feelings, actions, in what you’ll be seeing, hearing, feeling and doing.

4. Now, inside your mind imagine a screen, like a movie screen, and on that screen have the word 'relax'. Make it big, bright, bold and colourful, so that it fills your mind and imagine it  soaking into every thought and every part of every thought, filled with that word relax in your mind. As you focus on that word 'relax', slowly repeat that word 'relax' to yourself, and with every repetition let every muscle relax, every thought slowing down, and go deeper and deeper into that feeling.

5. Then, count down from five down to zero and with every number imagine going ten times deeper. So that at five, imagine any stresses, strains, worries or issues drift out of your mind, out of your body and way over into the distance. As those things drift away, let your mind become more free and more clear. 

At four, be in a place in your mind where you feel calm, relaxed, comfortable and at ease. Then imagine how good it would feel if you had all the ease, all the comfort, all the calmness you could ever need or want using colours, sounds, thoughts and sensations. And deepen your relaxation down to three, so that every muscle is softening, soothing, relaxing, and every part of you feels centred, balanced, comfortable and at ease. Have a sense of clarity and clearness that means you know that, regardless of what goes on around you, as a result of the hypnosis you'll find yourself thinking the thoughts, feeling the feelings and taking the actions that bring you these positive results.

At number two, start to adopt the mindset, the attitude and the perspective that will mean things being how you want them to be. Start to think about and imagine it in your posture, in the look behind your eyes, in the way you move and breathe, in the way you talk to others and the positive, encouraging things you think to yourself, taking positive action on your goals and handling, dealing and coping with any challenges that come your way confidently and capably.

And deeper at number one, be in this place in your mind where you draw upon all of your knowledge, wisdom, experience and capability, where you reason well, think clearly and make good decisions. Feeling calm, relaxed and in control as you then go in and through zero, feeling and being calm, relaxed, comfortable and at ease.

You then move on to the specific processes, strategies and change work that are directed towards changing things in positive, beneficial ways, such as anxiety relief and increasing confidence and self-esteem. Naturally, the above process is expanded and directed towards the particular problems and goals of my client, yet as a framework, it allows you to adopt a positive mindset, feel calm and focused, and begin to draw upon your psychological processes towards the results you are after.

To your health and happiness,

Dan Regan

Online Skype and Zoom Hypnotherapy  

Face-to-face hypnotherapy in Ely & Newmarket

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