These days, it seems everywhere we turn, there are reminders of how bad a shape the world is in. It is true, we are facing unprecedented times. With all the craziness going on around us, it is expected to get overwhelmed with the magnitude of it all and to feel helpless in being able to create some positive change.
When I feel that way, I go back to a wonderful exercise that I learned when facing an overwhelming situation. It made me feel like there was something I could do to improve the situation which really helped me feel more at peace.
The process is an easy one. Step 1, sit comfortably. Step 2, take a few deep breaths, relaxing and letting go of all the muscles from head to toe. (This may take several breaths). Step 3, picture the person or situation that needs attention (in this case, it might be the whole planet). Step 4, send the person, thing or situation, love, kindness, care, enlightenment or whatever you think is needed. Keep doing this for several minutes or until you feel you are done.
There is no way of knowing if doing this has any impact on the situation but it can help us feel like there is something we can do to help, even if it’s just sending good thoughts. I can tell you that when I have used this tool, it has been an incredible benefit as the anxiety and helplessness are lessened and there is a feeling of peacefulness and able to cope. Give it a try and let me know how it went!
Our world today is vastly different than it was a few weeks ago. Before this crisis, society had developed numerous initiatives to normalize emotional health issues and mental illness. The realities of the crisis occurring around the globe have created feelings of uncertainty, fear, stress, and loss for many. Despite our best efforts, many still find themselves unable to stand up and say, “I’m not OK”.
As a therapist, I encourage clients, friends, and family to reach out to others as a matter of routine self-care. The events we are living are unprecedented, and it is natural to feel overwhelmed by it all, especially self-isolation and physical distancing. If you are having difficulty coping (or like me, even simply taking it all in), I can’t stress enough the importance of reaching out to someone to share your thoughts and feelings. You might be surprised to find out that you aren’t alone and how much support is out there. Technology has its benefits in allowing us to connect in virtual ways. Many therapists, like myself, are offering support via video calls and phone calls.
At times like this, It’s OK not to be OK.
It is no secret that life has gotten busier and more complicated. The result is an overabundance of negative feelings like stress, worry, discouragement, anger and frustration.
Many people, and I was one of them, think that dealing with negative emotions is a time consuming activity that finding time for would just add to the day to day stress.
What if I told you that there are many techniques available that take seconds or minutes to practice that will bring relief from the feelings that come from the everyday pressures we are subjected to as we go about our lives. Imagine how much your life could change with an investment of a few minutes a day.
It is possible....I’m living proof.
In chatting with friends, several have mentioned their plans to do the spring cleaning during this Spring break. This is a ritual that many have, editing and cleaning their houses, top to bottom, once a year, to get a fresh start. I thought about how many people spend so much time completing the task. This caused me to question: how many people out there put energy into clearing up on the inside, to edit and clear out old thoughts, behaviours or habits that no longer serve them? As we move towards Spring, the season of renewal and growth, I ask you to consider what your habits are regarding your internal environment.
My husband is a fan of Gotham. Yes I admit there were initially days after he got hooked when I felt like a Gotham widow. However, over time I too have gotten into the characters and plots.
A recent episode introduced a new character called the Mad Hatter. This villain was a stage hypnotist who instantly hypnotises his victims into willing slaves with a swish of his pocket watch, compelling them to kill their loved ones and embedding hidden suicide commands into them. . . . . .
. . . . . . And people wonder why hypnosis sometimes gets a bad rap! (I met a new contact at a recent conference who said he wouldn’t look me in the eye after he found out I am a hypnotist …but that is a blog for another day).
Hollywood’s portrayal of hypnosis is a fantasy, just like flying super heroes and x-ray vision. The sad thing is, however, that while x-ray vision myths are benign the portrayal of hypnosis can actually do harm, by putting off people for whom it could actually be of benefit, be it relief from their troubles or installation of resources.
Hypnosis can’t make you do what you don’t want to do or would normally do. It can help unlock the power of your subconscious mind to help better your life.
So the next time you are watching a show with conniving villains, flying super heroes and mesmerizing evil hypnotists who take over the minds of the unwilling with a glance, just remember that the latter, just like the others, is just phantasmagorical magnification….(albeit it a pretty cool one).
Happy New Year to all of you! I wish you health, happiness and success in 2018.
At this time of year, many are moved to make resolutions for the coming year. I’ve done it myself. However, this year I am approaching it differently. I am taking a “baby steps” approach to my goals for the year which was inspired by a conversation with a client I discussed in an earlier blog.
In keeping with this way of thinking, this year, though I have some big goals in mind, I am setting smaller goals to be achieved in shorter chunks of time. I am setting a few intentions or goals that I believe are achievable, for the first 3 months of the year. Based on the progress made, I will set more the next 3 months and so on until the end of the year. I am confident that this will increase the chances of reaching my goals, making progress and achieving more than I ever have.
So if you are choosing to make a resolution or more, I would encourage you to think about adopting the Baby Steps approach and see how much progress you can make!
All the best for today and the coming year.
The other day I was thinking about the change process and how these days in our hi-tech, hi-def world, if something isn’t sensational, it just...well....isn’t. That if we don’t see significant gains quickly, we get frustrated that things are moving as fast as we want. I was reminded of a client from years ago, who called me to share having managed a long period of maintained change. When I asked her how she did it, she said “Baby steps, Louise, baby steps, referring to a previous conversation. Let’s not forget the importance of baby steps for each one moves us forward to that vibrant life we are seeking to create.
I’ve been asked by quite a few people if I can hypnotize them. This is an interesting question that shows that people in general see hypnosis is something that is done to them. Contrary to what the Hollywood movies have many believing, a hypnotist cannot force anyone into trance. In reality, anyone (with a few exceptions) can enter into a trance. Hypnosis is a partnership between the hypnotist and the individual where the hypnotist helps that individual to become hypnotized. If a person is convinced that they can’t be hypnotized, or has a deep need for control, they will not allow themselves to relax enough to enter into trance. At the end of the day, whether or not someone can be hypnotized comes down to their willingness to allow themselves to enter into a trance state. :)
I happened to see a quote the other day that spoke of our choice in taking circumstances in life and allowing them to make us a better person or allowing it to tear us down. This got me to wondering about what the difference is between those who do one vs the other.
Many psychologists have written about the way we feel about things and the impact of that on how we deal with problems or stressful times in our lives. Many get stuck in the mire of a situation to the point of immobility because they just can’t get past negative feelings about the issue. Hypnosis can’t change the situations in a person’s life, but it can help someone let go of unwanted emotions about an issue. Imagine being able to let go of hurt, or anger, or bitterness about something in your life. Just think of how that could change your entire life!
The other day, I was speaking to an associate of a former client. Having heard that I was a hypnotist, he expressed curiosity about the matter and initiated a conversation. He said that he had heard about hypnosis a long time ago and had wondered if it would work. He also said that he was skeptical about it, even though his uncle was able to quit smoking with hypnosis but was even less so after hearing of the benefits gained by his colleague.
After explaining to him how the subconscious mind works, what hypnosis is, and isn’t, the man decided to suspend his disbelief, and give it a try. Now before his first session, I asked him to rate his level of skepticism on a scale of 0-10, which he rated at a 7. After his first session, he was surprised at how the experience felt, stating “that was great”, adding that his skepticism was now at a 5 out of 10. He decided to try another session during which he was able to go into a deep state of trance. More surprising to him was that he was able to feel worry free, stating “I haven’t felt that in a long time, if ever”.
In speaking with him afterwards, he stated that his level of skepticism had dropped to a 0 and that he wanted to have another session to really focus on his goal.
Looks like the numbers speak for themselves.