Using Hypnosis to Ease the Discomfort of Change

January 1st, 2013 Comments Off on Using Hypnosis to Ease the Discomfort of Change

Creating long lasting change in our lives is possible as long as we are consciously willing to change and are not living in a state of wishful thinking. Hypnosis is a valuable tool used to accelerate change and lessen the discomfort often associated with it. This article addresses the value of examining our belief systems in regard to the associated discomfort, or pain, of creating change in our lives.

January 1st: the beginning of the new year, an arbitrary date in the grand scheme of things. It is, however, the most popular time of year to eliminate unwanted habits, most notably to lose weight or quit smoking. Creating change in our lives is often easier when we set a start date, and what better time to begin this transformation than on the first day of the new year?

The degree of success with New Year’s resolutions varies widely. Why is it that some people find it easier to keep their resolutions than others do? For some, behavior change is as simple as owning up to the bad habit, agreeing to make different choices, and then doing it. Although not rare, this is the exception.

At Intuitive Hypnosis, in Portland, Oregon, I see the full range of confidence in my clients, from those who are absolutely certain about making change to attain their goals, to those who are in a state of desperation, having very little hope, if any, that change can really happen for them. Clients in this later group often feel hopeless, helpless, and victimized by the apparent lack of control in their lives.

One of the indicators I look for when working with clients is their level of discomfort, or pain, with their current situation versus the perceived level of discomfort, or pain, in having to change their behavior. If the level of pain or dislike for their current situation is greater than the discomfort of changing, they will find it easier to adopt new behaviors.

For those who resist the idea of change, and find it more uncomfortable than maintaining their current situation (even though they desperately want the results of change) the approach I use with them begins with a thorough examination of the beliefs around the behavior they want to change and only then do we focus on behavior modification.

I begin by finding out what they are telling themselves about the situation, and asking, “Is this belief true? Can you know that it’s true?” And “Who would you be without this belief?” This is followed by, “What would you need to believe to make it possible to create this change?”

We are programmed with beliefs from the moment we are born. We inherit beliefs from our parents, our extended family members, our community, our nation, our religion, our teachers, the media, and so on. How many of you believe that once you reach a certain age it’s harder to lose weight? This is a belief, not a fact. Have you heard that being addicted to cigarettes is just as bad, or worse, than a heroin addiction? Again, a belief, not a fact. A belief is just a thought that we keep on having that we think is true.

Examining our beliefs can be one of the most transformative experiences of a lifetime. Disempowering beliefs can keep us tied to a dysfunctional marriage, fearful of leaving a dead-end job, dependent on medications, or stuck in poverty. By examining our beliefs, and the meanings we give to them, we can begin the process of change at a deeper level. As so aptly stated by Eckhart Tolle, “If you get the inside right, the outside will fall into place.”

Those who succeed with their New Year’s resolutions easily are those who find it more distressing to maintain the status quo than to make a change. For those who struggle with the idea of change, but are willing to examine the disempowering beliefs behind the struggle, they are the true winners. Not only do they accomplish the desired change, they experience change at a deeper level.

Hypnosis facilitates this, and accelerates change, by bypassing the critical faculty, the dividing line between the conscious mind and the subconscious mind, allowing your conscious desires to enter the realm of the subconscious, which readily accepts the suggestions made.

So where are you on the scale of discomfort in relation to the changes you want to make this year? Is the discomfort, or dislike, of the unwanted behavior greater, lesser, or equal to the discomfort of changing what you’re doing? Are you willing to examine your beliefs, to become consciously aware of the beliefs causing pain in your life? Can you identify the internal resources necessary to accomplish the changes you desire?

Creating change in our lives can be challenging. Hypnosis is an excellent tool that can accelerate change and lessen the discomfort that often accompanies it. If you are ready to create change in your life for the new year I encourage you to take advantage of hypnosis. Take pause; listen to the story you’re telling yourself about your life. Start the new year off in the direction of your choosing, and have a Happy New Year!

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