As I’m speeding ahead, full force, to qualifying as a Solution Focused Clinical Hypnotherapist, some things has had to take a back seat. Like not blogging for what seems like ages…
But the good news is that what I’m learning is pretty priceless. Like how we can become our own makers of happy chemicals like serotonin, dopamine and noradrenaline – the ones which makes us joyful, content and motivated. How do we make them ourselves? Well it is not unique to hypnotherapy, or any other therapy for that matter, but it is very much down to our daily habits for which hypnotherapy can help;
- what we do
- who we see
- what we think
When we are physically active we are producing high levels of happy hormones like serotonin and we feel more positive. Numerous studies have shown again and again how important exercise is for mental well-being. But you know that, right? And you still can’t get yourself down the gym, not this week…. So the thing no one mentions is that exercise is probably never going to be something that you jump out of bed for and think ‘Brilliant!! Time for the gym!’ or ‘Can’t wait for the 10K run’. Lovely if it is but for most of us it’s not happening that way, IT IS A CHORE, PEOPLE!!
But we do it because we know that the pay off comes after – when we sleep better, when our mood improves, when our skin tone changes and when we get fitter and get a flatter belly. And that is the key. If we wait until we ‘feel ready’ or ‘in the mood’ it ain’t going to happen. So you have to take yourself by the scruff, be your own parent and decide that this is just something you’re going to do, for the rest of your life because it’s good for you. And eventually it will become like brushing teeth, or eating your greens, or cutting your lawn or emptying the rubbish. None of those things may be your cup of tea but you do it because if you don’t the result will be literally rubbish.
When we interact positively with others, we also produce high levels of happy hormones which makes us feel better. You know when you meet up with a friend and you leave uplifted, energised and understood. Like-minded, funny and loving company is essential for us all. We now know that being part of a tribe, a circle of friends, is an ancient need we have to feel good. We are better as a tribe than as individuals and we originally came from tribal communities where everyone helped, cooked, hunted and gathered for the good of many. Being ‘left out’ was literally a death sentence as it meant you had been abandoned by your tribe and left to fend for yourself in dangerous territory without the much needed protection of your tribe.
If you suffer from ‘abandonment issues’ then you are simply having that primitive response to something that once WAS a life or death situation. Don’t beat yourself up, these days we can re- frame those emotions emanating from our primitive mind with what is really going on in your life now and put it into context.
Most of our problems emanate from us believing what we are thinking. This would not be so bad if what we thought was uplifting and expansive. But for the majority of us the inner dialogue is mainly negative ‘I’m bad at this’, ‘Everyone has a better life than me’, ‘If I was thinner/richer/prettier I’d be more loved’ etc. So we need to shine the light on what we are choosing to think, what we are choosing to program our minds with. We have choices, we have control over what we fill ourselves up with, what we read, what we say, what we think. It all matters. Whether we think we’re good or bad we are going to be right. So it is quite critical for our mental well-being that we fill our minds daily with reminders of what is working in our lives, like who we love, what we are good at, what makes us laugh, what skills we possess and what we are truly grateful for. Sounds clichéd but it certainly works.
One of the things we talk about in our initial consultation with Hypnotherapy clients, is how the brain works. The explosion of new information that emanates from neuroscience has given us a much better understanding of how to be happier. One of the key findings is that our primitive mind, our fight/flight part of the brain, is not logical. It can’t tell the difference between what is real and what is imagined.
So if you have projected your worries and fears into the future, such as ‘I’ll never be thin’ or ‘I’ll never get married’, a.k.a catastrophizing, your mind believes you and prepares for stress which releases stress hormones into your system, making you anxious and worried which helps to create a future you don’t want. If you instead took control over your thinking, your daily inner dialogue, and projected positive and encouraging thoughts of who you are, what you want life to be like rather than what you don’t want life to be like, you stand a much better chance of creating a happy present which leads to a happy future.
The key is this. We can’t control life. Illness, stuff, other people, world events and so on. But we can choose our thinking around it. This explains why two people with a difficult past can have two very different experiences of their present which has nothing to do with money and status but all to do with their thinking relating to the difficult past.
What’s your happy?
What are you happy and grateful for today? Who makes you smile? When was the last time you had a massive belly laugh and what were you doing and with whom? What films make you happy? What music lifts your soul? What is your favorite memory? What do you look forward to today, this week, month and year? If we’re diligent we can start a happiness diary, looking out for that which is fun, which makes us feel excited or energised.
I urge anyone to take a moment, either last thing at night or first thing in the morning, to really focus in on all the things you love about your life right now. Your health, your kids, being in love, your home, having a family, wonderful friends, your morning ritual, your walk to work, your bike ride after work, putting your kids to bed with a cuddle, reading, having coffee in the garden and the list goes on.
Wishing you a wonderful week!