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What is Hypnosis?

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I have been a practising hypnotist for over 5 years now, and I really struggle to answer this very basic question.

What is Hypnosis? 

It’s difficult to answer because there are so many answers and so many different experiences of hypnosis. As far as I can tell, everyone seems to experience it in different ways. For some (around about 1-2%) it feels really uncomfortable and they struggle to find a way in. For others (10-20%) it’s a magical experience that alters their reality in easily accessible ways – these are the people who are chosen for stage hypnotist shows where they make things invisible etc. For the vast majority of people it is neither of those things. Instead they will tell me “It was like I was listening to you speak, and I heard what you were saying, but it felt like my mind drifted and it was like I was fading in and out.”

If you ask ‘experts’ on hypnosis you will get lots of different opinions and views too. Some believe it is a state of mind that we drift into and out of all the time. Some believe that it is a way of accessing your true self. Some believe it allows you to reach back into past lives. You will hear words like conscious and subconscious as though they are areas of the brain that can be poked and prodded. People talk of somnambulist (or sleep walkers) and ‘depths’ of hypnosis as though you can be a bit hypnotised or really hypnotised.

At one time I described it as a directed placebo effect as I believed that you had to ‘buy into’ the process for it to work, but over the years I have learned that this isn’t true either.

Let me tell you my truth about hypnosis – it’s just your imagination.

Now, please don’t read the word ‘just’ and think I am not giving your imagination the credit it deserves. Your imagination is probably the most amazing thing about you. It allows you to formulate plans, predict the future, extrapolate ideas, and create stories. It allows you to interpret sound, sight, smell and touch – to understand and empathise. It is essentially you.

The skill of the hypnotist comes into play to allow you to use your imagination in a useful, productive and often amazing way.

Take a look at most Hypnotherapist’s websites and you will find a list of the most common things they deal with..

Addiction (including smoking)

Weight Loss

Phobias

Anxiety and stress management.

What do all of these things have in common? They are created from belief patterns.

I can’t live without…. or I can’t stop thinking about….or I can’t be around…..or I can’t cope with….

Actually none of those statements are true.

You absolutely can live without whatever it is you are hooked on (as long as it’s not food, water, air etc) by changing how you think about it.

You can totally stop thinking of anything.

You can be around something you have a phobia of, as long as you change your fear response (which was created by your imagination in the first place).

You can cope – you just need to learn how.

A skilled hypnotist can provide you with enough input to help you to make a change, but it is a collaborative process. It happens because you want it to. In fact, if you have the skills and knowledge you don’t need another person to be involved at all. Many, many people around the world employ self hypnosis techniques like the Betty Erickson technique, the eye fixation technique or the switch technique – so it’s not something that has to be done to you. You can hypnotise yourself.

So, what is hypnosis? I’m still not entirely sure, but for me it is focused, beneficial use of your imagination to achieve a desired outcome.

Why don’t you have a try for yourself and see what happens? Maybe you’ll get the results you’re looking for. Maybe you won’t. If you do – Fantastic! I’m thrilled you’ve found this potential within yourself. If you don’t – why not give your friendly, local hypnotherapist a call and see if they can nudge you in the right direction.

 

 

 

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Love is not enough

How many times have you heard ‘all you need is love’? or ‘Love conquers everything’?

It’s a cute idea, but unfortunately it’s nonsense.

In certain cultures people can get married without even having spent time together before the wedding day, yet they still go on to have beautiful, strong and often loving relationships. Others fall deeply in love with an abuser who destroys them.

Love is easy – you fall into it, you fall out of it, it just happens. A good relationship needs you to put in some effort.

In the example I gave above – falling in love with an abuser – there are some really important things missing.

Respect

A good relationship requires respect – from both parties. It doesn’t mean that you always have to agree, but you must respect each others feelings. If you dismiss how someone feels, or tell them they shouldn’t feel that way, it’s not respecting them. If you accept this behaviour from someone else – you’re not respecting yourself.

Trust

Trust can take time to build, especially if you’ve been hurt in the past. It can be destroyed in seconds. It’s one of the most fragile things in any relationship and must be handled with care. Whilst it’s obviously important to honour the trust someone gives you, it’s equally important to give that trust in the first place. Yes, you may have been hurt before, but if the hurt was caused by someone else, it’s deeply unfair to punish your partner for the behaviour of someone else.

Courtesy

Courtesy is the little things – the ‘pleases’ and ‘thankyous’. The ‘bless you’ when you sneeze, the ‘pardon me’ when you burp. It’s the small polite things that demonstrate that you are thinking about the other person all the time.

Caring and Kindness

Caring is kind of like Love light, but it’s just as important. Showing that you care about what sort of day they had. Caring about their sore foot. Caring if they are tired or want to talk. I’m not saying their feelings should always come first, but show them that you care about it. Be kind. It’s simple but if we all treated our partners with kindness we would end abuse immediately.

Reliable

To me one of the biggest things about any relationship I have is reliability. Doing what I said I would, when I said I’d do it. Showing up, every time. I can rely on my partner and they can rely on me.

Responsibility

Responsibility is about owning the obligations in the relationship and not giving excuses. I am responsible for my behaviour – no-one else. If I put myself in situations where I get drunk, take drugs, have other people influence me, that’s still my responsibility.

Honesty

I need to be honest with myself and my partner – all the time. I also expect that from them. This links back to the trust. If I want them to trust me, and I want to be happy trusting them, we need to be honest – even when it’s hard or it hurts.

Communication

Honesty is worthless if there is no communication. If someone doesn’t tell you something that’s bothering them, that’s a form of dishonesty. If you don’t tell me, how can I possibly do something about it. People seem to think that their partner should be able to read their mind. Unless you’re dating Derren Brown, that could be a little unfair.

Commitment

An here’s the big one. If I’m in a relationship with you, I’m committing to it. 100% There are no days off, there are no exceptions. All of the above, all of the time. As  I said at the beginning the love part is easy – it just happens. Maybe I’ll fall in love with someone else – I’m not in control of that. But what I am in control of is my thoughts and behaviours, and if I’m committed to the relationship, I will shut down any of the other stuff before it’s a problem.

Love just happens – a good relationship is much more beautiful than that.


Jealousy is a horrible destructive emotion. If you need help getting over negative emotions, you should consider a therapy like hypnotherapy or BWRT.

 

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What’s your superpower?

What’s your Superpower?

A study that Albert Mehrabian undertook in 1971, suggested that the way we communicate face to face is made up from three components – what we say, the tone of our voice and the body language we use. Surprisingly, the words we use only make up a tiny part of the way we communicate with the bulk of it being taken up by our body language, or non-verbal communication.

  • Words (the literal meaning) account for 7% of the overall message
  • Tone of voice accounts for 38% of the overall message
  • Body Language accounts for 55% of the overall message

There are certain non-verbal communication (body language) skills that each of us possesses in lesser or greater amounts.

There are six main skills within the way we use our body language and there are strengths and drawbacks associated with each:

Emotional Expressiveness.

Some people are naturally emotionally effusive. They easily convey their felt emotions through facial expressions, tone of voice, gestures, and body movement. The upside is that emotionally expressive people tend to be more popular, and can be the life of the party. The downside is that everyone knows what you are feeling. Importantly, emotional expressiveness is a key component of charisma and is related to what is called “dynamic attractiveness.”

You know this is your Body Language Superpower if people can always tell what you think about things or people, even though you think you are being diplomatic!

Emotional Control.

This is skill in monitoring and controlling the nonverbal expression of emotions and feelings, and being able to cover felt emotional states with a different, emotional “mask.” People high in emotional control are skilled emotional actors, but they may appear distant and “hard to read.” People with high levels of emotional control are like poker players—you never know what they are really feeling or thinking inside.

You know this is your Body Language Superpower if people often think you are difficult to read or if you are good at faking how you feel.

Emotional Sensitivity.

People skilled in emotional sensitivity are good at “reading” others’ non-verbal cues, and are able to easily detect others’ emotional states. As a result, those who possess a great deal of emotional sensitivity are seen as empathic; these are the persons whom others seek out when they are troubled or in pain. On the downside, possessing too much emotional sensitivity can make you prone to “emotional contagion”—feeling other people’s pain and emotional states to the extent that you become “infected” by their emotions.

You know this is your Body Language Superpower if you can always tell how other people are feeling and know if there is something that is upsetting them, even when they are trying to be normal.

Social Sensitivity.

This is a non-verbal skill with some elements of verbal and social competence. Social sensitivity it is the ability to “read” social situations, and to know how to behave appropriately in a wide range of social settings. It helps the skilled individual to understand the complexities of social interaction, and to anticipate others’ actions and behaviours.

You know this is your Body Language Superpower if people can read a room and can fit in in any kind of situation.

Skill in Deception.

The ability to lie successfully partly involves being able to tell a plausible verbal lie, but also requires the ability to portray oneself as honest. Research has determined that some people are successful liars simply because they look more honest overall, regardless of whether they are lying or telling the truth. Their non-verbal behaviour, which includes rapid speech, an expressive face, and fluid body movements makes certain skilled individuals better liars.

You know this is your Body Language Superpower if people can rarely if ever tell when you are lying!

Skill in Detecting Deception.

A very rare non-verbal skill is the ability to detect deception. Most people cannot detect deception at better than chance levels, but a very few individuals—what Paul Ekman and his colleagues call “wizards”—are able to detect deception through careful analyses of both verbal and non-verbal cues. This skill was portrayed in the TV seriesLie to Me.

You know this is your Body Language Superpower if you can always spot a liar – and not just because you have evidence to prove it!

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