This month ‘Changes Welcome’ is focusing on what Hypnotherapy can do to help people stick to their New Year’s resolutions.
The most successful people are usually those who are the most motivated. There are many theories of how we can develop motivational skills, but one in particular and which is beyond doubt is that we need goals. Somebody who has a clear goal is more ready for action than somebody who doesn’t, whereas without goals there can be little if any action at all.
If you are constantly looking for new alternative sources of motivation, your goals are most likely not very well defined. A goal of becoming simply more motivated unfortunately won’t do. However, if you have a clear and positive defined goal of achieving something specific, then the motivation usually takes care of itself. Here, motivation is simply the end product of a clearly focused mind.
So what should we focus on if not motivation itself? For instance, instead of focusing on weight loss, we can focus on feeling healthier, fitting into our favourite clothes, or feeling more accepted. We need to learn to naturally focus on what we want, the deeper goals, rather than what we don’t want, which includes no goals at all.
By helping define deeper goals, Solution Focused Hypnotherapy (SFH) is an extremely valuable resource. It supports these ideas perfectly by helping people to clarify their intentions and move beyond psychological blocks towards achieving the strong self-motivational skills they are capable of. SFH helps on a deep level by supporting people to redefine their self-image and gain confidence in what they can achieve.
Whether it’s managing weight, keeping fit, maintaining a tidy house, dealing better with emotions, gaining qualifications or improving work/life balance, hypnotherapy can help you achieve your goal.
‘Changes Welcome’s clinical hypnotherapist Liane Ulbricht-Kazan works at the Marybrook Medical Centre in Berkeley. She employs techniques specifically designed to help people visualise their ‘preferred future’. She explains, “By asking specially formulated questions, I help people to describe how their future will be when they have achieved their goal. I encourage them to provide as much detail as possible so that they can create a vivid mental image.”
This visualisation exercise is followed by a session of hypnosis, a relaxed state in which the mind is more receptive to ideas and suggestions. Liane is keen to reassure clients that they don’t need to be creative or artistic to be able to visualise a scenario, “If people are worried about this aspect, I ask them to describe their wedding day, or tell me what their kitchen/ garage looks like. It’s no more difficult than that.”
She adds “People need to understand that Hypnotherapy can’t do it all for you – It can help define goals, and keep people on track, but willpower and determination are still needed”.
Most New Year’s resolutions involve changing ingrained habits. Some people may habitually eat more than they need, others may believe that they can’t go for a run or play with the kids until they’ve dealt with all their work emails.
Solution Focused Hypnotherapy works by helping clients to see an alternative behaviour, one that benefits them. We know that habits are created through repetition. The more we employ a new behaviour, the more automatic it becomes. By helping clients to imagine having achieved their goal, Hypnotherapists are helping them to create healthier habits of thought.
Neuroscience demonstrates that the changes, which take place in the brain when we imagine doing something, are similar to those when we are actually doing it. So, we can accelerate the formation of new habits by simply thinking about the way we want to be. The deeply relaxed state achieved during hypnosis helps the mind to absorb the positive mental image.