I see many different people who cope with their problems in different ways. One group wants to tell me every bad thing that has happened, nearly happened and what could happen. They want to talk about it in depth and find out why and how they feel this way, they know their problem well.
Another group don’t want to tell me anything about what is causing them concern, they often say “I don’t want to feel like this, I just want to feel different, happier” They are sometimes embarrassed, feel awkward or confused.
As a solution focused hypnotherapist, I don’t look at the problem, in fact to help I don’t even need to know what the problem is.
I ask the client “What is your goal?”. “What are your best hopes?”.”How do they want to feel?” “What will you be doing when they are feeling better, happier?” “What will be different when you are back on track?”
Let me explain why, and how you can put this into practice for yourself.
You have a good day at work, nothing out of ordinary happens, you do your work well, you chat with colleagues, deal with what ever happens you do what needs to be done. You get home and your partner asks, How was your day? Your reply, yes good how about yours?
A different day, you have a difficult meeting where you can’t answer a question. Your computer is playing up, you spill a cup of coffee over you and have an argument with a colleague.
Same question when you get home, How was your day? You then go to great lengths explaining just how bad the day was. Repeating verbatim the conversations you had, what you think of yourself and others. Huge amounts of details about the terrible things that occurred and you could still be talking about it until bed time, feeling miserable, tired, annoyed and can’t get to sleep due to your anger and upset.
Does that sound familiar?
As human beings we want to learn from our experiences, and there is one part of our brain that wants to look at our problems so they don’t become dangerous. It believes that if you keep looking at what went wrong, go over and over what happened, keep reminding yourself of what went wrong it can keep you safe. The trouble when this happens is that some small negative events become bigger and bigger in our mind.
If you look at two things that had gone wrong but thought of them 10 times, your brain has registered 20 negative events.
Our brain doesn’t understand the difference between imagination and real life. When you think of the What if’s, the What could, the What maybe’s the brain registers these as events that have happened rather than imagination. When we talk about things that have gone wrong to 10 people, that one event has now happened 11 times in our mind.
This is when we can start feeling stressed, anxious, depressed, angry, lack of confidence, phobia’s, our lives start to feel like we have no control over events and start giving ourselves a hard time.
This is where you can help yourself.
When things go well, remember them, tell others, look at your skills and strengths that enabled you to do this, be proud. This can start to put things into perspective, the good things start to grow as every time we remember, they get stored again, remember the brain doesn’t know the difference between imagination and real life!
Don’t dwell on the negative events, they have passed, worrying about things that have gone or are out of your control will only make you feel more stressed and less able to cope with the situation.
Look to the future, what is your goal or best hope?. If you don’t know how you want to feel, it is difficult to work towards it. Think if you were going on holiday but had no idea of the destination. You don’t know what to pack, what transport is needed, what visa’s or vaccinations and you can’t plan what you will do when you get there.
People know they are unhappy or suffering in some way but have not thought about how they would like to feel and what thoughts and feelings they would like to experience. Once that is decided you can start to work towards this goal, not in one big jump, but little stages. What small thing can you change that will start you on the road to your goal.
Those small changes will show you that you can move forward, things can change. Notice the good things in your life, take note of what you are grateful of, what has made you happy, no matter how small, what you have enjoyed. When you look at the world in this way, the negative things get smaller and easier to deal with, your brain continues to remember the good things and not dwelling on the negative.
Try it and see how it makes you feel.