SOULWALK IN SOBRIETY
SOULWALK IN SOBRIETY
By Kim E. Baccigaluppi
What is a hypnotic state?
A hypnotic state has been referred to as an altered state, a meditative state, or a state of deep relaxation. Hypnosis is also known as guided imagery or guided meditation. Hypnosis is achieved naturally within various life scenarios. For example, upon waking in the morning, while not fully awake, and while falling asleep at night, not completely asleep. These intensely relaxing sensations of body and mind mimic the familiar feelings one may experience while listening to a long lecture, or perhaps driving extended periods of time. One will also enter states of hypnosis while falling in love or looking at the beauty of nature.
How is hypnosis induced?
There are various ways of inducing hypnosis. Standard practice begins with ‘eye closure,’ achieved by staring at an object, allowing the eyes to tire, and eventually close. The client is then instructed to relax each muscle from head to toe. This is called ‘progressive relaxation.” In order to access the subconscious mind, the conscious mind is overloaded through verbal cues and visual imagery. After ‘deepening’ one’s state of relaxation, experiences that represent what the client wants is recreated utilizing the imagination. Marrying the thought, visual, and corresponding emotion is called, hypnotic suggestion. These suggestions drop into the subconscious mind, and one is free to create changes in behavior and thinking, without resistance.
How does hypnosis work?
When you are in a hypnotic state, your conscious mind has been purposefully overloaded, allowing the hypnotherapist to work directly with your subconscious mind. The subconscious mind holds 'programming', much like a computer. You can know in your conscious mind that you want to make a change and be determined to make that change. However, if your computer is programmed to continue doing, feeling, being, and thinking as it always has, it will be nearly impossible to make lasting changes unless you change the programming. That's precisely what hypnotherapy accomplishes.
Can someone control my actions while in a state of hypnosis?
No. Hypnosis is a way of giving you more control, not less. You cannot be hypnotized unwillingly, and you cannot be prompted to do something that is outside of your moral code or say or reveal anything you do not want to. While in a state of hypnosis, one is mentally ALERT, physically RELAXED, and emotionally CALM. The subject consciously experiences one’s body entering a ‘sleep state,’ feeling relaxed, calm, and at ease. Indications of a hypnotic state include tingling of the hands and/or feet while one’s breathing becomes rhythmic while one’s senses are heightened. You can come up from a hypnotic state any time you want. You can no more get stuck in hypnosis than you can get stuck awake or stuck asleep.
Does Hypnosis really work?
Absolutely. In recent years hypnosis has become an accepted therapy to address a variety of conditions. Researchers and professors in universities such as Stanford, Harvard, and Penn State, just to name a few, have conducted clinical studies in hypnosis and found that hypnosis does in fact alter the brain and can be effectively used for a multitude of conditions.
THE POWER OF THE SUBCONSCIOUS MIND
The Mind is Separated into Three Basic Functions:
1. Conscious: analytical and critical, present thinking
2. Unconscious: in charge of bodily functions such as breathing, digestion, etc.
The Importance and Power of the Subconscious Mind
Acting as an enormous computer bank (or hard drive), the subconscious mind stores every experience we have ever had from birth to the present day. Within the construct of the subconscious mind are the negative and positive self-beliefs created over time, (mostly from our childhood experiences from age zero to 7 yrs.). These beliefs determine patterns of how one responds and reacts to life and life's circumstances.
Programming in the subconscious becomes the silent director of the film called, “your life.” Beliefs and patterns stored in the subconscious mind become the foundation from which one manifests aspects of life, personality, and character. For example, one’s sense of self, relational dynamics, attitudes, and coping mechanisms, just to name a few. Life-determining choices and decisions are a product of whether or not we feel (and believe) we are good enough, smart enough, lovable, worthy, and deserving. This is our programming.
The Role of the Subconscious Mind is our Friend and Protector
The subconscious mind protects us by maintaining the status quo. Each and every way you would normally handle life's challenges and upsets is programmed. Without reprogramming (through guided imagery in a hypnotic state), the subconscious mind will RESIST any attempts of change.
The subconscious is very literal; it cannot discern between that which is good or bad for you. Simply, it is in charge of your survival. All the subconscious knows is that you’re still alive and it needs you to stay the same to keep you alive.
For example, how you react and respond to the news of the loss of a loved one or getting a diagnosis of cancer is predetermined. Feelings and thoughts are triggered automatically. What you say to yourself and your plan of action toward taking care of yourself is also an automatic response. THIS MAY NOT BE IN YOUR BEST INTEREST.
How do you typically deal with upset of this magnitude? Do you shrivel up or fight? Do you stretch yourself or respond by default? Do you become hopeless, angry, or feel defeated? Do you persevere till you have a breakthrough or do you become suicidal? Do you rely spiritually or do you feel abandoned? Does 'guilt' cause you to feel you deserve it as punishment? Do you allow yourself to be vulnerable with those who can help or do you alienate yourself? Do you anesthetize your emotions with addictions or become emotionally available to yourself? I think you get the point.
Remember, one of the most important pieces of information to understand is: the subconscious mind is threatened by change simply because it doesn't believe we can live through it.
THE SOLUTION TO CREATING CHANGE - HYPNOSIS
Understanding the role of the subconscious mind allows you to understand why change is so difficult.
Facilitated by a Clinical Hypnotherapist, hypnosis (and/or hypnotherapy) is the vehicle that will enable the change.
Change requires emotional and psychological risks and s-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g. This includes a deep desire for change, willingness to be uncomfortable, and discipline of repetition. It is important to know clearly and consciously what change you are wanting, and one must expect resistance.
Steps to Change:
Initially, offer the subconscious mind the experience of what it is that you are wanting through visualization. The marrying of the thought and the visual with the corresponding emotion is called a hypnotic suggestion.
Utilize your imagination and intensely and purposefully feel the experience of your desired outcome, with all of your senses: taste, smell, sight, touch, and feel (the emotions). The more intensely you allow your senses to participate, the more your experience will register as “real” within your subconscious mind. Should you have trouble conjuring the experience, pretend. Remember that repetition is important.
Through repetition, the subconscious mind learns to BELIEVE you made the change(s) and that you lived through them, therefore, you are more easily and readily to make the changes you want, without resistance.
THE REASON FOR THIS IS BECAUSE THE SUBCONSCIOUS MIND CANNOT TELL THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WHAT IS REAL AND WHAT IS IMAGINED.
Should you have trouble conjuring the experience, simply pretend. Remember: repetition is important. Additionally, stay conscious of how resistance shows up for you enabling working through it instead of it stopping you.
Resistance is natural to change. The key is to know HOW resistance shows up, manage it as it comes, and break through the other side. Resistance may show up through:
The moment you identify resistance, you are able to work through it, for example, by staying uncomfortable with the new behavior or identifying a belief you have that supports the change you want to make. Managing resistance takes conscious practice. You will learn how to manage your resistance effectively and easily. Unattended resistance may lead to sabotage.