How Your Mind Really Works…and Why Hypnosis
Can Change It
Have you ever wondered why you do the things
you do? Or why others turned out the way they did? This is a little journey
into the workings of your mind. You’ll learn just how your mind really works.
You’ll also learn a little about Hypnosis and why it works so well for so many
Hypnosis has been used successfully for decades to help people
deal with pain, fears, spiritual enlightenment and many other issues. Some
other cultures are more in touch with their “inner minds” and as a whole express
much less dis-ease, both emotionally and physically. Hypnosis has been approved
by the American Medical Association and many other reputable organizations as a
fast, effective treatment for many issues. But to understand hypnosis, you must
first understand how your mind works.
Let’s separate the mind into 3 parts to make
it simpler. You have your Conscious mind, your Subconscious mind and your
Unconscious mind. They all work together, and they all have different jobs and
THE CONSCIOUS MIND
This is the part of your mind where you live
your life. Your daily thoughts, opinions and actions come from your conscious
mind. It is responsible for your short-term memory, which recalls phone
numbers, people’s names and other things stored temporarily. It also makes the
little decisions that you need on a daily basis…”should I make that phone call
now or wait until later…” is a good example. Your conscious mind is also your
analytical mind (ever hear those voices in your head – arguing!?). Some people
seem to be much more analytical than others – you probably know someone who
analyzes everything over and over again. Your reasoning mind is also part of
the conscious mind. The reasoning mind must give you a reason for everything
that happens and everything that you do. Even if it has to make it up! Ask a
smoker why they smoke – they will probably tell you that it relaxes them. That
it makes them feel calmer or more at peace. The problem with this is that
nicotine is a stimulant – it actually increases the metabolism. So here you
have a case of the conscious mind making up a reason, just because it has to.
Willpower is also part of the conscious mind. How strong is your willpower?
Are you one of those people that has great willpower the first two weeks of the
year, right after you’ve made all your New Years’ Resolutions?
So this is how you live your life – in a
conscious mind that’s analyzing everything, making things up and really
inconsistent, is that it? True, the conscious mind is quite weak, when you
think about it.
THE SUBCONSCIOUS MIND
Then you have the powerhouse – the
subconscious mind. The subconscious mind is like the most powerful computer on
earth. It can process faster, store more material and generate your reality.
The subconscious is responsible for several
Your long-term memory
The subconscious mind has stored everything
you’ve ever seen, touched, smelled, heard and experienced in your whole life.
Even from before you were born – it’s all in there. At any point in time an
experience hypnotist can take you back to re-experience any event in your life –
how about your second birthday? And you would be there like you were re-living
Your conscious mind can only handle so many
inputs. Even where you are now, there are thousands of inputs – the light, the
temperature, the sounds, the reflections off each object in the room…it goes on
and on. Your subconscious mind puts this picture together for you and only
presents your conscious mind with what it believes is relevant for you at this
time. If you’re presented with too much input, you lose your focus, become
confused and your productivity declines.
Your subconscious mind is responsible for the
generation and storage of emotion. Here’s where we run into real trouble. In
our society, we have no constructive ways to release emotion. We teach our
children not to cry. We say, “Stop crying or I’ll give you something to cry
about.” We’re not supposed to get angry – we get punished for that. You can’t
feel sad, guilty, or afraid. So what happens to those emotions? They get
generated, but where do they go? If the emotions don’t get released, the
subconscious will find a place to put them. It may store them in your head
(migraines). Maybe it stores them in your stomach and intestines (Irritable
Bowel Syndrome). Or maybe it stores them in your neck, shoulders and chest
causing anxiety and stress.
The subconscious’ biggest job is to protect
you. And it will – from all danger, real or perceived. Now this was very
useful in the ancient days when we were all sleeping in trees. If you moved a
little during your rest, you’d wake up with a start – that instant awareness
that would keep you from falling out of the tree. Or you ran into a bear – the
fight or flight response would pump up your adrenaline, increasing the energy to
your body and giving you speed to get away. And this protective trait is still
very protective, increasing your awareness to alert you of possible dangerous
situations – in parking lots, walking through parks, etc. But sometimes this
protection goes awry.
Imagine walking through an elevator in a
hotel. You pass a really pretty, fragrant inside garden on the way, and enjoy
it as you wait for the elevator. As you board the elevator and it begins to
rise, you start to feel a little uncomfortable, but you don’t think much about
it. Maybe that lunch you just ate was too spicy. So you go on with your day.
Two weeks later, you board an elevator in a clients’ office. As soon as the
doors shut, you are struck with a sense of panic – you feel like you have to get
out of there, or else you’ll die! You have no idea what’s going on – you feel
totally out of control. The only thing you know is that you absolutely must get
off the elevator – NOW!
So you go to see a hypnotist. Through
hypnotic investigation you recall that when you were young, your brother locked
you in the closet for over an hour (until your mom got home). While you were in
there you were afraid and angry. You could smell your mom’s perfume on some of
the coats in the closet, and you just waited, yelling for someone to let you
out. Then your mom came home, let you out and scolded your brother, and you
forgot about it. But the event was stored in your subconscious mind – along with
the fear and anger you were feeling and not able to express. Then you went on
with your life.
So why would this cause a fear of elevators?
As you passed that garden on the way to the elevator, you smelled a faint floral
smell, much like the one that your mother used to wear. Then you entered a
small, closed in space and your subconscious mind made a connection – back to
that time in the closet where you were afraid and angry. It decided that to
keep you safe, it would pull up these panic feelings – in response to the
“perceived” danger of being locked in a closet, and there you are. Terrified to
go into another elevator in case those feelings come back again.
Until you’re the age of 5 or 6, there are no
barriers as to what goes into your subconscious mind. Everything is accepted as
your reality. Everything your parents tell you, everything your friends say,
what you hear on the radio and TV, even things that strangers say to you. And
this becomes the programming by which you live your life. Maybe someone said
that you had chubby cheeks. Or baby fat. Or maybe that you would be fat just
like everyone else in your family. Hmmmm.
Then when you are 6 or 7, you develop a
filter. We call it the Critical Factor, and it’s stationed between your
conscious mind and your subconscious mind. The job of your Critical Factor is
to evaluate all suggestions coming in and accept them or reject them. It
doesn’t make that determination based on if the statement or suggestion is
positive or negative (that would be too easy), it makes the determination based
on if the suggestion matches what is already in your programming. If someone
says “you’re looking great!” and that’s consistent with your programming, the
critical factor allows it to go right in. But if it’s not consistent – maybe
you’ve been programmed to see yourself as fat, the critical factor rejects that
statement and in doing so reinforces the programming you already have. Is it
any wonder that it’s so hard to change?
So here’s what happens. You’re 30 pounds
overweight. You have been for years. You’ve been on diet after diet, only to
gain all the weight back, sometimes even more than you lost. Then you find a
diet that’s actually working for you. You easily drop 10 pounds and start to
feel pretty good. You’re fitting into a smaller size – those jeans you haven’t
been able to wear in 10 years, but you held onto them to “motivate yourself” are
almost wearable. And then it happens. Somebody says “Hey, you’re looking
pretty good – have you lost some weight?” All of a sudden your critical factor
kicks in and grabs that statement. It says “Hmmm, is this consistent with our
programming? Oh no, I can’t accept that statement. Wait a minute, she’s lost
10 pounds? That’s not right! Emergency! Kick it into gear, we gotta get her
fat again.” You end up with your head stuck in the refrigerator, cleaning out
the leftovers for the entire week. Then you go for the junk food, feeling
horrible, defeated and hopeless. Wondering all the time what happened. And then
the feelings of guilt complicate the situation – how could you be so out of
Can you see how the critical factor keeps you
from changing? No matter what the problem, you might be depressed, you might
have anger issues, or even health issues.
Hypnosis, by definition, is the bypass of the
Critical Factor of the mind, allowing your hypnotist to work directly with your
subconscious mind, the part of your mind that drives your feelings and
behavior. Through specific techniques, your hypnotist will guide you into a
wonderful, relaxing state of hypnosis and guide you to find the cause of your
issues and resolve them.
In hypnosis, you will be fully aware and an
active participant in the session. You are in complete control at every moment,
though you may have feelings of heaviness or lightness. Most people get very,
very relaxed as their mind becomes distinctly focused. Your hypnotist will be
guiding you through techniques and exercises to uncover the cause of your issues
and resolve them. Then you get to re-create yourself. You begin to experience
changes in your life that are natural and consistent with your new view of
yourself. You get to choose who you will be.
At the end of your session, your hypnotist
will answer any questions you have. You may still feel very relaxed at the end
of your session, some people feel a bit groggy. This is because your
subconscious mind has processing to do, and is still focusing on changes. This
is completely natural and will dissipate after a good night’s sleep. Some
people, however, feel very energized by a session and will jump right into
things that may have fallen behind.
Whatever your experience, know that it is
usually relaxing, very often profound, it is right for you.