So, I've been studying hypnosis as part of my training to become a Hypnobabies childbirth educator. And you know what? The mind is rad! In my studies, I've learned that the ability of the subconscious mind to bring it's beliefs to fruition - for good or for bad - is quite a real phenomenon. We can worry and stress ourselves to literal sickness, just as we can train our minds to give un-medicated birth to 9lb. babies in comfort. :) We can create elaborate mental blocks that prevent us from achieving our goals, or we can knock them down and find ways to accomplish the things we know will help us become the best people we can be. One thing is for sure, our actions and many of our actual physical experiences were first conceived in the imaginative soil of our subconscious mind.
In the textbook for my Hpynosis course, Roy Hunter's The Art of Hypnosis, he explains that there are 5 different methods by which the subconscious mind is programmed. They are (H.E.A.R.D.):
· Hypnosis/Self-Hypnosis: This is the fast track to subconscious programming. This suggestible state is often entered while watching movies or TV, doing anything with a screen (video games, internet time, etc.), driving, reading, listening to music, daydreaming, listening to a particularly captivating speaker, meditating, during hypnotherapy sessions, etc.
· Emotion: Emotions, especially intense ones, can open the subconscious to deep and long-lasting impressions. An emotionally excited person can often overcome many obstacles in achieving a goal. Also, a painful attack from a vicious dog can leave a person with a phobia of dogs for life regardless of any conscious logic, or analytical attempts to change the phobia.
· Authority Figures: Messages we hear from people we view as authority figures have a greater ability to impress messages on our subconscious mind (parents, religious leaders, doctors, teachers, etc.) Each time we have a desire to obey or rebel a real or imagined authority, that is a subconscious reaction.
· Repetition: Repeat something enough times, and your subconscious will believe it - unless there is strong resistance from your subconscious. This is a slower, more difficult method of mental programming, but it usually works.
· Desire for identity, or identification (ego): The desire to identify with others open the subconscious to input. We all have a child inside that desires love, belonging, acceptance, and recognition - and it avoids rejection.
As I have pondered these methods of sub-conscious programming and other concepts I have learned about the mind, I have been prompted to change some of my negative mental habits and have already seen some very positive results. I wanted to share them with you all as I have a little hunch that they might be able to help you, too. :)
Positive Mental Habit #1: Give positive verbal and mental commands to your brain (and children.) This thing I'm about to tell you about is most likely the reason you clicked the link to read this post. The subconscious mind doesn't process negation well. For example: Right now, DON'T imagine a bright blue hippo wearing a floppy garden hat, jiggling her bum. DO NOT imagine a blue hippo. DO NOT imagine that hippo wearing a floppy garden hat. DO NOT imagine that hippo is jiggling her bum. What did you imagine? If you didn't imagine a blue hippo wearing a floppy garden hat, jiggling her bum, I'd say you were lyin'! In order to negate a command, the subconscious must first visualize what it has to negate so that it can make up another image. So, we should get in the habit of giving ourselves and our little ones positive commands. Instead of saying to myself, "Don't drop your phone!" I now say, "Hold your phone firmly in your hand. Keep your phone in your hand." And - surprise! I don't drop my phone anymore. When I tell myself, "Don't forget to bring the library books!" instead of, "Remember to bring the library books!" I inevitably forget. When I remember to say, "Stay calm. Relax. Take a deep breath." instead of "Don't yell! Don't get really angry!" well, you get the idea. For some reason though, I'm still getting the same disobedient result when I call out to my near two year old, "Don't run in the street!" and "Stay with mama when you are crossing the road." But, since the positive command stuff works on me I know it will work for him - hopefully soon. ;)
Positive Mental Habit #2: Positive self-talk. Have you read this blog post yet? If you haven't, you really should. This is a great example of the kind of thing I am talking about here. Instead of wasting time, energy, and precious personal progress berating yourself for your failings, praise yourself for each of the good things you do. Also, tell yourself what you want to become. Instead of saying, "You are such a bad mom. You always fail. You are so impatient. You are so stupid. . ." STOP!! Say, "This situation is a challenge that I am capable of meeting." "I am calm, cool, collected and patient." "I am a thoughtful neighbor and friend." "This is easy." Start your days off with some "Drops of awesome," and keep telling yourself those positive things, and even better take time to visualize and imagine yourself doing all those things you want to do and become, and you will find changing habits and living life becomes easier and more fulfilling. I've noticed that just like the negativity I heard about birth while pregnant, I have had many many people tell me about the terrible adjustment to becoming a mom of more than one child. Worrying over what that might be like brought me to tears before Atley was born. Luckily for me - #1 Atley is a great little baby, and #2 My granny told me a message I chose to believe more than what most everyone else said - the message that being a mom to two was easier than being a mom to only one. And so far, it mostly has been! There have been moments, yes, there have been moments. Days even. BUT my greater desire to believe that I can not only cope, but thrive as a mom of two, has helped me immensely. My anwer to my friend's questions about how I'm coping/surviving/dealing with being a mom to two? "Pretty great, actually." If you are talking to yourself, make it positive. And just let others keep their negativity to themselves, because what's theirs doesn't have to be yours if you don't buy it.
Positive Mental Habit #3: Avoid junk food for the mind. While it is possible to work off extra calories you consume, the mental data collected by the sub-conscious is never forgotten. And since what we hear, see, and experience can if repeated enough times, be installed in our minds as true, we have to make sure that we aren't taking things in to our minds that are contradictory to our beliefs and values. The TV shows and movies you watch, the video games you play, the books you read, the music you listen to, the things you view while surfing the internet - all of these things can have a noticeable effect on your beliefs, and even your behavior. Just look at the moral decay of our society and it becomes simple to see how our filthy media is fueling the car that's driving our society to a very dark place. So jump out of that car, and start riding a bike in the other direction! Don't become lost in the trance-like beat of a song, when it's messages are degrading and evil. Pop in something uplifting, and filled with truth instead. Instead of playing a murderous video game where you get points for killing other people, play a board game with your spouse. You see where I'm going with this. Choose positive uplifting messages, images and music for your mind to digest. Your mind and spirit will thank you for it.
I shared my positive mental habit secrets with you, now tell me: Have YOU ever made a purposeful change to your negative mental habits? Did it help you? Do share! :)