How Can We Change Habits And Patterns
Will power alone may not be enough to accomplish goals. Any new habit pattern requires subconscious cooperation. A conscious decision to change may be undermined by a subconscious belief in failure. Often we make conscious decisions that do work in our lives. Unfortunately if there is conflict between the conscious and the subconscious mind, the subconscious will usually win.
Hypnosis or Self Hypnosis is an effective way to create change at the subconscious level. Hypnosis is no different than Guided Imagery or Visualization practices, except that the goal of hypnosis is to become more conscious of our conscious mind. All of our present habits are the results of past subconscious programming from parents, teacher’s peers, television, movies and so on. This type of programming can either pull us toward our goals and successes or push us further away from them. Of course this is all dependent on how these beliefs are presented to us in the first place. We can bypass all that and learn to take charge of our own subconscious programming through hypnosis.
The first step in success through hypnosis is to accept responsibility for where we are in our thoughts and actions. Uncovering belief systems within us are included in accepting responsibility for our life. Learning to take responsibility for our thoughts and understanding that we create our reality is a priority. Ultimately hypnosis will work if you are willing to work on yourself. By the use of hypnosis you can face old negative programs (ways of thinking) and replace them with new thinking. In that, this is also the development of a loving and respectful relationship with yourself.
Hypnosis is a relaxed state of mind we enter daily when our brain wave frequencies slow to the range called “alpha”. We pass through this state on our way to and from sleep everyday. The conscious mind is relaxed as well the physical body as in meditation. When the conscious mind is relaxed the subconscious mind is easily accessible. It could also be called “guided meditation”. The power is not with the person leading the hypnosis or guides imagery but rather with the minds of each student or client as they enter into hypnosis.
Each day we enter four different mental states. Through the use of an EEG (electroencephalograph), we can identify the brain wave patterns scientifically. One state, called Beta, is like high gear, and we spend most of our waking hours in this state. It is responsible for logic, reason, and decision-making. As our brain waves slow down we enter Alpha State. This is the state for both recall of memories and storage of new information. We are very relaxed and creative in this state. This is an excellent sate for accelerated learning. This state is similar to how you may be when totally engrossed in a movie or TV show. The states below are called Theta the Dream State, and Delta, deep sleep.
Very often people believe that hypnosis puts them under someone else’s control, as in a stage show of hypnosis. The truth is the power is not with the facilitator, but with the person who enters the hypnotic state. Actually, in stage hypnosis the hypnotist prefaces the show by stating that you cannot be made to do anything against your religious or moral beliefs. If you accept that at face value and enter hypnosis, then you do accept the unspoken suggestion that you will do any thing else. The main thing that makes stage hypnosis successful is the volunteers expect to have fun. Even the shyest person can carry out suggestions on stage, be a part of the show and pass the responsibility to the hypnotist. Also, the volunteers believe they are under the hypnotists control during the show…they get what they believe.
The Five Methods of Subconscious Programming
Repetition is simply to practice. Repetition works and it takes time. The amount of time varies from person to person based on other subconscious beliefs about the ability to acquire a new skill or habit.
Desire to Identify (Association) ~
Peer pressure, mentors, group identification represent the desire to identify. It is neither good nor bad. The important thing is to give attention so that you can be careful about monitoring the input when you choose to identify with others. This is a common method used along with repetition and emotion when advertisers are creating commercials.
Ideas presented by a person held in high esteem or of authority often go straight into the subconscious mind. When we give credibility to any outside authority, negative or positive programming is equally powerful. For example, if a teacher tells a third grader they will do well, they usually do. Conversely, if the teacher tells the student he will do poorly, he will. Authority is great subconscious motivator.
Emotion seems to be the most powerful of the methods. Emotion triggers brain responses immediately. We should be careful to give attention to our thoughts when we experience any kind of emotion. Avoid the use of negative emotion for motivation (such as fear or punishment, typical military style). It is easier to produce a positive result from positive emotion. Be conscious, feel your feelings and make a choice. They can run you or serve you.
Alpha State ~
Alpha state is a brain wave state that is open for new subconscious programming. Hypnosis takes you to directly the Alpha state and is the easiest of the five methods to use for attaining goals. Visualizing or creative daydreaming is one of the strategies used to map out a path toward achieving goals with hypnosis. Hypnosis is also beneficial for gaining control over emotions. Since mental practice and pictures are used with hypnosis, it becomes easier to be aware of our thoughts when emotional overload occurs. In hypnosis you can learn new productive ways of handling these emotions to stay physically and mentally healthy.
Key to Effective HypnoFit Suggestions
Speech is the direct root to the brain. Suggestion signifies the process of controlled alteration on one’s actions and reactions through thoughts or objects. Suggestion is a direct route for the conveyance of an idea. Suggestion is the vehicle, which all-hypnotic control travels. To a large degree we are being hypnotized constantly. Any time we are under emotional strain, surprised, shocked or fatigued we are in a highly suggestible state. Hypnosis dissolves barriers and creates new pathways for implementation of new ideas or habit patterns.
The most common methods of habit pattern change or learning anything for that matter is through repetition, association and emotion. Any time we repeat information over and over we eventually remember it, if not consciously then unconsciously. Every-time you remember a jingle from the radio or a song especially ones you don’t like, it is because of the three methods. For example, the song was played on the radio over and over again, repetition, you didn’t like it, emotion took over, and you associated it with other feelings that were unpleasant. The more you try to place it out of your mind the more it comes back. That is a very common way that the mind works.
It is more pleasant and enjoyable to change habits and learn when the suggestive state is positive. Always use positive words. The words we choose should conger up a mental image in the mind (association). Stay away from words that are negative. Give “do” messages instead of “don’t” messages. When we give “do” messages we reinforce the idea of the new behavior. When we give “don’t” messages we reinforce the idea of what we are trying to change, thus we keep recreating the pattern even when we are trying to change it.
When the mind has two conflicting ideas it will usually support the negative ideas. For example, when you say to yourself, “I won’t think of negative things today”, you will immediately think of those things. Or if you say to your clients, “don’t think about stress, or worries or anything that you left at the office”, the mind jumps quickly to those things and negate the original intention. It would be more effective to say, “Imagine all the things about this day that make you feel good”, then give examples, “for example, imagine how wonderful it feels to be working out your strong, healthy body today”.
Always use present tense. Avoid using future tense. The subconscious mind is concerned with the present and takes things literally. Even if the conscious mind knows you aren’t 20 pounds lighter, the subconscious mind does not know. For example, it is best stated like this, “Imagine how you now look 20 pounds lighter, feel how your clothes are loose around your body, notice how much more energy you have now”. Instead of “You are becoming 20 pounds lighter and soon your clothes will be loose around your body and you will have so much more energy”. It seems like a similar request, but the subconscious mind is what we are working on, it needs present tense and now is the time always.
Always use direct images. For example, as you are leading a push up in class, say, “Imagine your chest and arms are so strong that you are pushing the floor away from you. It is so easy because you are consistent in your training”.
Use metaphorical images (universal and personal). Universal metaphors are analogies that everyone can relate to, like the sun, trees, and butterflies. Personal metaphors are those that relate to the occupation and interests of the client. For example, auto repair for a mechanic.
Create a key work or phrase and repeat it frequently. This is called an anchor or trigger. Let yourself repeat it over and over again. The mind needs repetition. Avoid works like “try” or “should”, use, “effortless”, “easy”, “fun” instead. Deliver your suggestions in an exciting, animated, confident, and enjoyable tone of voice. Deliver suggestions as you were telling an exciting story.
Anchoring is an essential part of giving post workout suggestions. An anchor causes your client to remember every detail of the suggestion at exactly those times when they need help the most. Anchoring can be done with particular events, “every time the phone rings” or behaviors, “every time you get in your car” or feeling states, “every time you feel angry” or physical responses, “every time your hands become sweaty”. Use anchors all through your classes to remind students of how to apply the information you present in class into their life. Eventually the class becomes a part of your client’s lifestyle as well.
When doing relaxation, guided imagery or mediations, you are really doing hypnosis with your clients. When they are in an alpha brain wave state then they are most suggestible. It is essential to understand the part of the mind you are actually communicating with. Always observe your clients closely to determine the depth of the trance. If you notice emotional processing, begin to lighten up on the emotional content of the material. One person’s fears are another person’s pleasures. If an image of floating on a raft makes one person relax, you can be certain that another student will be paralyzed with water fears!
Always give options and rooms for change. Notice breathing, facial relaxation and expression as well as allover bodily relaxation responses. Be ready to change if what you are doing is not working. Deepening the relaxation can be done by combining a number of different methods or through the repetition of one method. As a general rule remember to maintain a relaxed confident tone of voice. Speak slowly and gradually decrease the tempo. Gradually decrease the tone, but make sure that the volume of your voice is heard by all.
Always make sure that clients are comfortable, warm and remove any pesky distractions or include them into the relaxation. For example, if you are in a space and a dog is barking in the background, begin the session by calling attention to the distraction as a part of “what is going on” and then move forward. Always stay in touch with what is going on in the environment you are working in.
When ending the session always remove all unwanted suggestions. For example, say, “take a moment to acknowledge how good you feel now, if there is any excess tensions or thoughts whirling around in the mind, imagine them now releasing from your body on the next exhalation, or imagine a giant magnet under the floor pulling from you what you wish to release”.
Count upward to bring them back, increase the cadence, tempo, and bring excitement back to your voice. Give suggestions for normal waking awareness. For example, say, “allow your body to move, wiggle your fingers and toes.” Have them become aware of the present time and location. Notice sensory detail in the room around you. The feeling of the body rested on the mat, the gentle breeze in the air, etc. Have them slowly open their eyes and gaze for a few moments on the ceiling or whatever is in front of their eyes.
Say things like, “you are able to return to this state easily, whenever it is appropriate.
You find it easy to remember everything you need to remember, and you awake feeling alert and refreshed”.
Waking Hypnosis and Waking Suggestion
Waking Hypnosis is when hypnotic effects are achieved without the trance or relaxation sate. In every case it involves a bypass of the critical faculty and the implanting of selective thinking. For example, in a room full of people, one person cracks a fresh egg open, and says “this smells rotten” and they make a funny face, and they convince all the other people in the room to smell the egg and by that simple suggestion made that the egg is rotten, soon all the people in the room believe that the egg is rotten.
If a person is in a position of authority, like leading an exercise class, and the instructor confidently states, “this exercise is working your abs”. Clearly it may be working something else but because the instructor states it, it is accepted as truth, bypassed the critical factor, thus it is a form of waking hypnosis. This happens every time an instructor leads a class or trains a client!
Waking suggestion is a suggestion given in the normal state of consciousness that does not precipitate a waking state of hypnosis. For example, when one person in a room yawns, then suddenly another and another until the whole room full of people are yawning. We have all seen this happen at least once in our lives. This seems to happen all the time in our daily life as we move in and out of the alpha brain wave state.
As a rule we are just more suggestible at certain times than others. Suggestibility increases during alpha state, but when an idea is firmly planted in the mind of another, with confidence, and the idea is what the person wants to believe, “this diet pill will work”, the person will believe it is true even if it is not. That is why what we say and how we say it is so important. We are using hypnosis in subtle and effective ways every time we are leading a class, or personal training a client.
Think about that and let me know what you think. Mahalo Claudia