Up until the 1950s it was thought that when we went to sleep, we shut ourselves down completely. Only resurfacing on waking. Recent research has shown this to be completely inaccurate. There is so much going on when we sleep. REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep in particular is very important for our mental health. During this time we re-run the events of the day and drain the emotion out of them. For example, if someone said something rude to you at work and it upset you, your brain would deal with that for you during REM sleep. It drains any anxiety, frustration, anger and so on, out of your response to the remark so you are able to simply move on. You may have forgotten about it in the morning but you would no longer be upset about it.
The trouble is, when we have had a lot of difficulties going on in our lives our sleep can get disrupted and this process can go wrong for us, so we stay upset and these negative emotions can build up. You may find yourself at the stage of feeling that an upset is ‘the straw that broke the camel’s back’ where something really insignificant upsets you, and then all sorts of problems start to occur. The amazing thing about hypnotherapy is that it is very similar to REM sleep. Although you would not be asleep during hypnotherapy, you would be deeply relaxed so your brain will deal with the emotional events from your day through hypnotherapy. It is a little like a ‘reboot’ on a computer. You can come out of the ‘trance’ feeling refreshed and ready to take on life’s challenges. It generally doesn’t happen in one session, as problems that have built up, need some time to dissipate, but it is wonderful to see clients emerge ‘lighter’ from our time together.
We can often take our minds and our mental health for granted. Not really thinking about our minds much until something goes wrong. However, a little investment in our mental health can reap huge rewards and significantly contribute to our quality and enjoyment of life. The huge advantage humans have over the other animals that we share this planet with, is that we are creative creatures. Our curiosity, problem solving and creative abilities gives humans genius like qualities. It takes discipline and skill to make the most of these abilities we possess, but it is worth the time and energy investing in them.
A coach or a hypnotherapist can help you unlock this potential. Often with our own problems, we ‘can’t see the wood for the trees’. Sometimes even just talking about them brings us clarity and starts us on the road we need to walk down.
Happy new year! May 2021 bring you good mental health.
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.
(Traditional Irish blessing)
23 January 2021
Did you know, there is a special technique that hypnotherapists use to help people recover from PTSD? We call it the Rewind technique and we use it for all sorts of trauma recovery or phobias.
For example, if someone has been in a car crash and is now scared to travel in a car we would ‘rewind’ that particular memory (and perhaps a second memory that was unpleasant that involved car travel). Essentially with the rewind technique we are draining the emotion out of that event and turning it from being a ‘nightmare’ (something that makes us very anxious), into just a memory (something that is part of our history but no longer holds us back). We don’t forget the memory altogether, we have just dialed down the emotional intensity that accompanied it.
We get the client to picture this memory and rewind, fast forward it so many times that it becomes boring and loses its emotional intensity. It sounds a little odd but I’ve witnessed it work many times.
This technique ideally also needs to be accompanied by an emptying of the ‘stress bucket’. The stress bucket is an accumulation of our stresses and emotional upsets that can build up within us. This would ideally happen over the course of several weeks, if the client has had a particularly stressful time recently. There may be quite a lot to empty. If you think you might be suffering from PTSD or just feel very emotional generally, you might be amazed at how these techniques can help you and make you feel yourself again.