Mindfulness and Self-Hypnosis
We experience the world as mental, physical and behavioral reactions to the things that happen to us. Often our thoughts, emotions and reactions seem to have a life of their own. People will say, “I can’t seem to stop obsessing about this thing that happened or was said. My mind is racing. I don’t like this feeling and wish it would go away. I can’t believe I reacted that way, said or did that thing that I now regret. What was I thinking? Or, rationally I know something but I still feel something else. These experiences can feel outside our control at times, almost like they are things that are happening to us versus experiences that where creating.
Meditative practices and hypnosis can help a person regain a sense of control over mind body reactions, choosing what to think or what feelings to generate vs. feeling immobilized by our reactions. In therapy, I can help a person learn self hypnosis and meditative techniques to metaphorically get out of the current of the river of thoughts and emotions and sit on the riverbank, observing there own experience. They can learn to choose what thoughts or images to magnify and attend to and to ignore or change those that aren’t helpful.
Often persons who suffer from anxiety have a seemingly hypersensitive connection from their imagination and thoughts to their nervous system. Usually there is some unknown about the future or a past social interaction, and a person will begin to create something in response to not knowing. Often what they create is a worse case scenario or fear, with imagery and thoughts and what if scenarios, and the body respond with anxiety and intense emotions as if what they are creating is true.
Meditative techniques, hypnosis and the use of imagery can help a person become more aware of the nature of their thoughts and imagination and to learn how to alter what the mind is focusing on to have a more desired effect. After all, if the mind can imagine things that cause an anxious or stressful response it can just as easily do the opposite, attending to images and thoughts that have an alternate effect.
Combined with Cognitive Behavioral therapy, meditative techniques and hypnosis can help the client become more aware of faulty thinking or core beliefs that may be in some way generating symptoms or behavior and help the person begin to adjust those perspectives in a way that brings about desirable change. When they learn to observe their mind in a nonreactive and non-judgmental way it can create a buffer, creating space and time to choose to respond rather then react to life’s challenges.