Monthly Archives: March 2014

Holding on or on hold?

How many times have you been told to ‘Hold on’?

How many times have people said to you that they are ‘Hanging on in there’

We have a preference as humans to keep things the same. We don’t like change. The idea of a new chapter, a new job, a new direction, a new way of thinking is somehow saying that what we were doing was wrong, a failure, not quite good enough.

As a Hypnotherapist a lot of the clients I see are suffering from stress and anxiety. It can be anything from a general sense of upset, to full blown breakdowns. The thing that nearly all of these clients have in common is that they are holding on. They are holding on to some negative thought or emotion from something that has happened to them in the past. This thing can be small – a comment from a friend or relative (often a parent) or huge – the loss of a loved one or a terrible accident. The thing is it doesn’t seem to matter how big or small something is, if you can’t let go of it, it can become unbearable.

Imagine for a second that someone hands you a jar – just a normal sized jar that you might keep jam in. They ask you to hold it out at arms length – no problem you say. But they ask you to keep holding it. How long until your arm becomes heavy? How long before it becomes impossible? Often it’s not the size or weight of the issue, it’s how long you hold onto it for.

Psychologists use a list of things that cause stress called the Holmes and Rahe social readjustment scale. It starts at 11 with a minor violation of the law (e.g. a speeding ticket) and goes up to 100 with the death of a spouse. Contrary to popular belief, moving house isn’t very high on the scale (20) and Christmas only rates 12. The scale is used to give a score by adding up all the things that have happened in the last 12 months. A score of between 150 and 199 gives you a 33% chance of subsequent deterioration in health. A score of between 200 and 299 gives you a 50% chance. If you score above 300 there is a 79% chance that will be psychological and possible physical consequences.

So what does this mean for you if you’re the sort of person who holds on to things. The person that still remembers the bad things as if they happened only yesterday. Well, unfortunately your brain isn’t very good at deciding when the stress event happened, so if you are still thinking about it today, it may as well have happened today. That means that all those minor and major things that have happened to you are accumulating until you learn to let them go.

I really do mean let them go, not learn to accept them, not adjust to them, but LET THEM GO. Find the positive things that have come from them (if you struggle with this then at the very least they were a lesson that you can now take forward in life and be more understanding to those who may be in a similar position) see them for what they were, something that happened that you can no longer change. It’s time to leave them where they belong and LET THEM GO.

By doing this you can clean the slate. You can start fresh each day. You can live in the moment, not the past. You can be more free, more healthy and more happy.

I know that sometimes it seems impossible to let things go, but keep trying. There are certain tricks that can help you communicate with your subconscious mind to let it know that you don’t want to hang onto something any more. A simple one you can try at home is to visualize something that represents the issue you are having trouble letting go of. Then imagine putting it into a bubble that you hold out in front of you. When you can see it safely wrapped in the bubble give it a gentle shove, blow it away and watch it drift off into the distance in your minds eye. You may have to repeat this process several times, but stick with it, your subconscious will take the hint eventually.

For more direct action to help with this, see a professional. Counsellors, Therapists and my personal favourite, Hypnotists can all help you. Take responsibility for your mental and physical well-being and be healthy and happy x

oh and one last thing


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Filed under Happy, Health, Peace, Stress, Worrying