Take some time out for your brain
We all take some time out to sort, sift, organise, and declutter our environments. But what about an environment that lives inside of us, that we sometimes don’t even realise needs a good clear out from time to time? our brains!
“Did you know that the average human brain thinks around 70,000 thoughts a day? That is a lot of thinking! Those thoughts can be neutral, optimistic or pessimistic.”
“It’s interesting to notice the default patterns of how we think.”
You know the old classic, whether the glass is half empty, or half full? Which way does YOUR thought pattern lean? If you lean towards the more pessimistic side, then it is likely that your brain could do with some serious decluttering.
Negative thoughts that hang around in our system can, like weeds, grow and begin to take over our world, and, if we are not careful, we could end up with the weeds overtaking the garden of our mind. This can result in a vicious cycle of negative thinking, promoting negative behaviour, which attracts negative experiences, then reinforcing the negative aspects of life, and so on and so forth.
The brain is divided essentially into two parts, an emotionally primitive part and a logical intellectual part. The primitive part, which is the original part of the brain from primitive times, is responsible for keeping us safe, protected, and alive.
It wants to check things out for safety and security. It is the mid-brain that our primitive ancestors used mostly to survive in the threatening conditions that they lived. However, although we don’t live in caves any more with sabre-tooth predators at our door, we still have this part of our brain to protect us from modern-day threats.
This part of our brain is always negative, and it has to be this way to ensure our safety, so you can now see if our thoughts hang around in this part longer than necessary, this can cloud our optimism and better judgment.
“We need to learn to live our lives and manage our thoughts from the intellectual part of our brain. When we master this skill, we can see the positive aspects of ourselves and our environment. We have balance, feelings of clarity and calm, and know and understand our personal strengths and internal resources that help us navigate our way through life with a solution-focused and relaxed approach”.
So, how do we control how we think and make the switch-over from worst-case scenario pessimism into the positive side of optimism and solution-focused thinking?
“Well, it’s simple!”
“It’s just a recognition about which part of the brain your thoughts are being filtered through. For example, if you experience a problem, and you immediately come up with the worst-case scenario, or have a doom-and-gloom approach to it, then you are surely in the grips of the emotionally primitive mind, and you will struggle to find a resolution.
However, if the same problem occurs, but you are thinking with your intellectual mind, you will have a much better perspective, gain facts, find solutions or resources and get the problem sorted out in a calm and relaxed way.”
Knowing how to identify which way your thought process leans is something that Solution Focused Hypnotherapy teaches you. We, as humans need to find our own way into our intellectual minds, and we simply do this by learning how to declutter those thoughts and relax.
Positive thinking isn’t just a soft and fluffy feel-good term. Yes, it’s great to simply “be happy”, but those moments of happiness are also crucial for decluttering your mind to be able to explore and build the positive skills that are valuable in all areas of your life.
‘I was so addicted to Facebook I saw a hypnotherapist’
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As the winter holiday season approaches, a local hypnotherapist is highlighting how hypnotherapy can help clients who might be anticipating a less than happy Christmas or holiday season.
Depression and anxiety are on the increase in the UK, with more than 12 million people going to see their GP with some form of mental health issue each year- and many more struggling on without any form of help. For some people, the festive season exacerbates their existing symptoms, and for others, depression and anxiety are quite specific to this time of year, approaching it with dread rather than excitement. When everyone else seems to be getting ready for a merry time with their loved ones, for some people this time of year only worsens their feelings of isolation, depression and loneliness, and for others, the struggle to cope with the pressures associated with having a great time, managing finances, family and all of the associated stressors creates a tremendous feeling of anxiety.
What sorts of things cause this “Holiday Stress/ Anxiety/ Depression”? Well, it depends – these feelings are all individual, and of course what makes one person sad, anxious or depressed may not affect another person at all.
Typical sources of holiday stress can include trying to balance all the demands of family with shopping and the social engagements, unrealistic expectations, financial worries and sometimes bereavement – this can be a very difficult time of year. Sometimes the pressure of being with people (often family) that you would not choose to be with can lead to relationship tension.
There’s been a lot of talk in recent times of environmental factors too, and Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is now well recognised with a variety of light aids to assist this condition, such as light boxes which recreate natural daylight.
So it’s not a great time for those who feel depressed or anxious. Symptoms can range from increased headaches, excessive drinking, comfort eating, insomnia, trouble concentrating, to mood swings, fatigue, tearfulness – while everyone around seems so happy. So what can be done to help?
Hypnotherapy can help by assisting people to overcome negative thinking styles while in a safe, supportive environment. Solution Focused Hypnotherapy (SFH) uses practical, modern and well-researched strategies to help people make significant, positive changes in their lives in a relatively short period of time.
SFH therapists look at what the client wants to achieve rather than on the problem(s) that prompted them to seek change. The approach focuses on the present and future and not on the past. This enables the client to identify possible solutions themselves and work towards them. Hypnosis itself reduces anxiety and this is done very simply through relaxation and visualisation, allowing the client to focus on the positive aspects of their lives that encourages a shift in perspective.
The Association for Solution Focused Hypnotherapy (AfSFH) has been established to promote the benefits of the Solution Focused approach to improving mental well-being so that the public are more aware of this valuable resource.