“Imagination is more important than knowledge.”- Albert Einstein

Your imagination is more powerful that you realise! Neuroplasticity has shown us that our brains actually change when we think differently. We are not stuck!

This is extremely exciting. Imagine the brain as a muscle – it might be in the habit of repeating the same old thoughts, and therefore the same old behaviours and emotions. But just like learning a new exercise, it needs some commitment and repetition of a new routine in order to become proficient. If you went to the gym and had never been on the rowing machine before, it would feel awkward and hard at first but after about ten days your muscles would have grown and you would be able to carry out the same routine whilst thinking about something entirely different – because it had become an unconscious habit.

As human beings we are all brilliant at creating habits because we could not survive without making most actions unconscious. Learning to ride a bike or brush our teeth was hard at first but soon we were doing it without thinking. Naturally we develop negative as well as positive habits. But the good news is that these are changeable.

The idea behind the well used ‘positive affirmations’ in therapy is that you start consciously thinking a new positive thought, based on what you want. Always in the present tense, as if it is happening now. “I am attracting…” or “I deserve…” or better still “I am…” or “I have…” It feels odd and awkward at first and we might find it uncomfortable saying it to ourselves whilst looking in the mirror. Not being able to look at ourselves in the eye, as part of our internal dialogue tells us don’t believe it. But we keep doing it and eventually after several repetitions it becomes unconscious. We have this thought without meaning to! It becomes our fall back dialogue instead of the negative landscape we habitually gave ourselves.

So many people wake up and within seconds bring on the anxiety or gloom they had before because of a negative thought. Imagine waking up in the morning and the first thought is a good one!

This is an example of how we can change and the good thing about hypnotherapy is that we do this at an unconscious level in the first place. So it works deeper and faster.

We have this incredible brain but scientists have only just started to really understand how it works over the twenty years or so, as brain imaging scanners have improved. So there have been no lessons growing up about how to harness this wonderful mind. Perhaps, one day, people wont need as much therapy because we will have had lessons like PE for the brain. Imagine having learnt how to communicate well, how to creatively visualize and how to be positive and make the most of ourselves from kindergarten up!   In the meantime we muddle through until eventually we put our hands up and say we need help!

Sift through your own automatic thoughts. What are they? How many of them are negative? I wonder how long has it been there – often since adolescence? Question your assumptions, pick out the worst thought and turn it on its head. What is the opposite of that? If a 15 year old had been thinking “I am so ugly”, “Nobody likes me” or “I am useless at x” – imagine the different to their sense of self if they thought well of themselves. Not only would it give them better expectations, more confidence, self respect and attract better things to them but their brains would develop healthier life skills. If you feel good about yourself you don’t care so much about what others think! Working from the inside out.

This positive thinking is not just wishy-washy pseudo-science. This is real change at a neurological level. Scientists have witnessed neurological pathways and clusters growing and developing with repetitive thoughts under an MRI scanner.

Imagination is the rehearsal room of the mind. What we IMAGINE is what we CREATE. A gold medal winner at last year’s Olympics didn’t just practice physically, they would have been taught to imagine winning. Our ability to day-dream is a subtle and yet powerful evolutionally tool. It is not something to be dismissed as time wasting. Some scientists reckon we developed it in order to plan movement once we crawled out of the water. At a neurological level our brains respond EQUALLY to an imagined situation as to a real one. Unfortunately we use mental rehearsal for negative things that we fear as well as positive outcomes so we need to train the mind how to look forward in a useful way. It is important that we use our imaginations in a positive way. Hypnotherapy not only teaches you skills for relaxation and overcoming fears and negativity, it also teaches you how to work with your incredible brain, imagine a better future and create it realistically for yourself.



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