A child’s vivid imagination can place monsters under the bed or transform a cubby house into a haven. The imagined monsters can trigger the same reactions as if they were real, as does being in a cubby house trigger feelings of safety and comfort.
There is a thin curtain between imagined events and real ones
Everyone has heard that practice makes perfect, and that this old saying suggests that mastery of a new skill or the development of a new habit requires rehearsal. What you need to keep in mind is that learning occurs in response to imagined scenes. and imagined rehearsals.
Imagine engaging in some experience, let us say a job interview and then imagine some pleasantly rewarding outcome. You receive a call and the head interviewer says “congratulations, you got the job.”
The imagined behaviour makes it more likely for this to occur in real life. Significant improvements happen in performance following imagined rehearsals of sporting events, performing arts, doing an exam, talking to a friend.
When people imagine how they want to behave and feel they find it easier to change their attitudes.
Efforts to use imagined events to improve learning, positive mental sets and responses are enhanced with progressive relaxation training.
I remember back to when I won a world championship in martial arts. In the lead up, I would imagine every detail of being the winner. I could see and feel myself standing on the podium in first position with the Australian flag around my shoulders. I could smell my gloves and the feel of people patting me on the back saying, “well done, you deserved to win.” I imagined going through every fight as the winner and repeat this exercise every day for a few months. It worked, I won the open black belt championships and beat many highly successful fighters, all of them younger than me.
Absorption of Hypnotic Trance
The vivid imagination of a child can place monsters under the bed and so can you, place fears wherever you choose.
Indeed, trance can be used to generate an intense, effortless participation on imagined events and change the outcome from failure to success.
With focused attention and absorption of hypnotic trance you can take the power of imaginary resources beyond the use of ordinary visual imagery – you use all your senses, sight, smell, sensation, taste and sound.
While completely absorbed in these imagined scenes, you can practise new response patterns and rehearse new skills or sharpen old ones
Confidence and Self-Belief
When you believe you can do something, then the chances of success are higher. People with high self-efficacy perceive themselves as being in control. Self-efficacy, a “I can do” attitude is increased by engineering success experiences. What is often quite difficult to accomplish becomes easier with role playing and mental rehearsal techniques to enhance coping abilities and positive expectations for specific situations.
Hypnotic techniques give an abundance of opportunities for enhancing self-esteem and self-efficacy. Enhancing self esteem is a powerful tool in working with the diversity of problems: anxiety, depression, lack confidence, substance misuse, over reactivity, stress disorder, panic, phobic reactions, eating disorders, performance.
Hypnosis is Not a New Practice
Research shows that the effectiveness of hypnosis is extensive. National Health Institutes have endorsed it and in Australia some Health Funds cover Hypnosis. It is a natural state of consciousness where you hear what is being said and aware of what is happening. It is safe, and you are conscious the whole time and your powers of concentration are exponentially heightened.
Life traumas affect us mentally, emotionally and physiologically and can limit our functioning in everyday life. When life deals the deck, we suffer stress that can manifest in many ways.
Take Brenda, not her real name, who was suffering from acute anxiety. The anxiety attacks were frequent and intense with associated migraines, nausea and feelings of panic when in crowds. She is a professional women with two children and the anxiety needed to stop. Over a several sessions, using a mix of counselling and hypnosis, the attacks lessened in intensity and frequency until the symptoms disappeared and Brenda was happy, calm and ready to return to work. She learnt how to soothe herself, or practised self-hypnosis as some might call it, and to listen the calm, confident and supportive voice inside of her.
And there was Peter, not his real name, whose stressful job had taken its toll. He was unable to cope with the smallest of decisions both at home and at work. His relationship with his partner suffered and caused concern with his performance at work. After several hypnosis and counselling sessions he could put things into a more positive perspective and release past painful experiences. He was more focused, his work life improved and his intimate relationship became more meaningful.
There is no doubt that hypnosis works and has many applications.