Just received this from a client who came in twice to Quit Smoking....
Thank you for your help last session. I have not had another cigarette since we talked last and I am extremely satisfied with the results. Due to outside circumstances I'm going to end our sessions with the last one but would like to express my sincere appreciation for your help.
The British Psychological Society has now officially declared hypnosis a proven therapeutic medium to curb stress, anxiety, pain, insomnia, irritable bowel syndrome, and migraines. "Improvements from hypnosis can be as specific as eliminating erectile dysfunction or premature ejaculation, remaining committed to a workout plan, delivering a dynamic sales presentation—or as broad as improving motivation and increasing confidence," said psychologist and certified hypnotherapist Marty Lerman, Ph.D., author of Mindshift. "...hypnosis can help adult patients control other forms of pain, relieve gastrointestinal problems, stimulate weight loss, clear up skin problems, and accelerate the healing of bone fractures and surgical wounds."
THE KEY TO SELF ESTEEM: ACT LIKE THE KIND OF PERSON YOU RESPECT!
If I were to ever put a sign above my consulting room door it would be "The Key to Self Esteem is to Act Like the Kind of Person You Respect"! So often we let ourselves "get away with" behaviors that we're not proud of. Behaviors that if our parents saw us doing, for example, we would be ashamed. And even though it can be easy or fun to cut corners, it creates in us low level guilt and shame that takes it's toll. We "put up" with less than dignified or courteous or brave behaviors in ourselves and so allow it when it comes from others. How many parents swear and yet get angry when their children swear back? Do we expect to be treated better than we treat others? There is an expression, "We teach others how to treat us"!
What does "Respect" mean to you? Who is someone you know, knew, is in the movies, or is a historical figure that YOU respect? Why? What are his or her characteristics? What would he or she do in a frightening situation? How about in an argumentative one? Does this person swear? Is he or she a doormat? Is he or she honest?
In my case, the person I respected the most was my father. He was an Army Officer, a veteran of three wars, and yet the kindest man with integrity, honor, and humility. He treated all people with courtesy. He was also gentle with puppies and the other parent to my enfant son. I never heard him swear. He never lied. And taking advantage of anyone was something absolutely foreign to him. Because of his conduct and character, I now have a 22 year old son who is sober, dignified, known for his kindness and courtesy, and a combat veteran. He's also funny and loving to his mother. Everyone he meets respects him even though he's so young.
In difficult situations I ask myself, "What would Dad do?" After my early years of "experimenting", I have become a person who is proud to call myself a "lady". I do not swear, lie, cheat, say awful things or name call in anger. I try to be brave, and I treat my fellow man with honesty. I treasure the word "integrity". Interestingly, people rarely swear around me (in THIS world of no-holds-barred language), treat me with courtesy, honor me, and think of me with high regard.
How do you want to be seen and treated? When acting like the kind of person you respect you have a deep sense of pride. You don't carry guilt. And you don't put up with anyone who tries to treat you in a demeaning way. Inside you know you are one of the people who doesn't deserve disrespect. And you will not allow it!
So take some time and imagine. Imagine the finest person you can. A person you admire. A person who conducts him or her self with self control, self confidence, grace, honor, and pride. That's your role model - your imaginary mentor. See how your world and your self esteem changes!
THOUGHTS TO LIVE BY
Courage is the ability to face difficulty, danger or pain without any fear. Courage can be of two types, physical fear and moral fear. “Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm” said Winston Churchill. Even if all the other qualities were to abandon a person, his ever lasting courage has the capability to give him that entire he has lost. Courage is the first of all the human qualities because it is the quality which guarantees all the others. And if courage is absent, all the other virtues have no meaning. It forms the stepping stone to success and also acts as a ladder at times. It guides you in times of crisis; it is the leading light and offers experience which is a great asset. Even fortune will help only those with courage.
"...hypnosis is the epitome of mind-body medicine. It can enable the mind to tell the body how to react, and modify the messages that the body sends to the mind."
"Studies show that people who combine diet and exercise with hypnosis lose more weight than they do with diet and exercise alone."
"[Hypnosis] can also be applied to improving study habits, stress reduction and raising self-esteem...If you are having difficulty controlling your appetite, sleeping or just need to relax, hypnosis might help you toward your goal."
‘The great discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind’
‘…To put it succinctly, hypnosis is an altered state of attention which approaches peak concentration capacity.’
- “You must make a decision that you are going to move on. It won't happen automatically. You will have to rise up & say, ‘I dont care how hard this is, I don't care how disappointed I am, I’m not going to let this get the best of me. I’m moving on with my life”
SOME THOUGHTS ABOUT ANXIETY ATTACKS
Anxiety and Panic are REACTIONS.
This is important, because it’s the struggle with anxiety, as if it were something you need to fight off, that causes the problem and starts the spiral the can result in a panic attack. When you get anxious, it FEELS like an attack…I know.
But it isn’t. It’s YOU.
Here’s what you would see if you could slow the process down and watch it…
You’re going about your day, minding your own business, and all of a sudden, you have a thought.
It could be a thought about anything. Maybe you have a thought about a trip you have to take in a few weeks, or an argument you had with your spouse, or a conversation you had with a coworker, or maybe you have a thought about the last time you had an anxiety attack.
Don’t forget that there’s ALWAYS thoughts running through your head…your mind never goes blank, not even when you sleep. In fact, you have so many thoughts running around that head of yours, you don’t pay attention to most of them.
In this example, you were driving to work and had a thought, whether it conscious or unconscious makes no difference. Let’s say the thought turned out to be, “What if I have an anxiety attack?”
That thought bothers you and brings up other thoughts, probably of how you felt the last time you had an anxiety attack in the car and how afraid you became. Those thoughts scare you, and you begin to feel some very minor sensations of fear.
Maybe a little lightheadedness for instance or an increased heart rate.
Then a critical transition takes place.
You STOP being concerned about the original thought, and you START being concerned about the feeling of fear.
The first part, the REAL thought that bothered you and your small reaction of anxiety, may have been so fleeting that it feels like your panic comes on “out of the blue”. If I ask you what you were thinking when your anxiety started, you may say, “Nothing, I wasn’t thinking anything.” But actually that’s not true, you’re ALWAYS thinking something…it’s just that you went from the REAL thought to the fear of the feelings so quickly you couldn’t tell them apart.
Back to the example…
Now you’re concerned about the feeling you’re having, which is nothing but a normal physical response to fear, and it worries you. You start to focus on it, and you scan your body for any other possibly evidence that something is the matter.
Maybe you have a slight tingle in your left finger…it could have been there for an hour without your noticing it, but now you’re on the lookout for ANYTHING, so you feel it and focus on it…watch it.
Maybe you look so hard that you’re able to feel your heartbeat. We know that’s been there for quite awhile too, but now it bothers you. (it would make more sense to be concerned if you DIDN’T have a heartbeat, no?)
You take it as further evidence that something is definitely wrong.
And that scares you further, so you have even MORE physical sensations of fear, which is MORE evidence, so you have MORE sensations…and so on and so forth, until your body maxes out the fear it can dish out and WHAMO! Panic time.
But hold on a second…
What about the plane flight to Hawaii, or the fight with your spouse, or the overdue bills,
or whatever was bothering you to begin with?
Oh…we tossed that REAL thought out the window a long time ago, as soon as we felt a physical sensation or had a thought we didn’t like, we said to ourselves…
“Hawaii? Who cares about Hawaii at a time like this! My left finger is tingly for Heaven’s sake!
We decided to focus on the feelings instead and let them scare us.
That’s a pretty big mistake.
See, they’re just feelings. They can’t hurt you. They’re not something that HAPPENS to you, they ARE you.
You create them. There’s only so “big” they can get. The worst that will ever happen is that you’ll have a panic attack. And yes, they’re scary and feel lousy, but scary and lousy is much different than DANGEROUS.
See, anxiety and panic are really playing this elaborate hoax on you, and that’s where their power comes from. When you learn how to stop letting them fool you, they can whither up and die. That’s really what the work we’re doing aims for at its very core, teaching you how to beat the trick in the fastest, easiest manner possible. True anxiety isn’t all that bad. It’s not the initial anxiety that gets us in trouble, it the REACTION to that first wave of anxiety that tears us apart. It’s the anxiety about feeling worse, or our scary thoughts coming true that does the real damage and makes you feel so terrible.
There’s three parts to the trick of how this tricks you.
Trick Number One
Anxiety tricks you into being afraid of yourself and your feelings, and not what’s really bothering you.
Like I mentioned before, you initially have a thought, it may even be one that you don’t realize you had, and you have a minor reaction of anxiety. You may get a slightly elevated heartbeat, a little dizzy, or any number of sensations, but like with all TRUE anxiety, they’re really very minor and most people don’t let them bother them at all.
But if you get sensitized to those initial anxiety sensations like people with anxiety problems do, you take them VERY seriously and start to overreact. Instead of feeling the discomfort of anxiety and trying to think of what could be bothering you so you can solve it, you instead start to worry if the feelings will get worse.
You begin to go on “red alert” and you scan your body for signs that it could be getting worse, and since you’ve now moved up to red alert status, it usually does.
You’ve totally forgotten about the thought that bothered you, and you’re looking for some evidence of impending danger. The environment looks safe, there’s no meteor that’s going to fall on your head or angry gorilla coming down the street, so your mind figures that if the environment isn’t the problem…it must be you!
So now your heads starts to race and you start thinking of all this bad stuff…
“What if I go crazy?”
“What if it gets worse and I lose control?”
“What if I pass out and drive off the bridge or into oncoming traffic?”
But the trick is that there IS no problem. No threat. Your reaction is the problem, and if you can give up that reaction you’ve gotten so good at having, everything can go away.
But it all got started because of…
Trick Number Two
Anxiety tricks you into thinking that it’s dangerous.
Remember, anxiety is just an emotion. When you get angry you don’t think you’ll get angrier and angrier and angrier until your brain snaps and you lose control and get put into a mental ward, right? But that’s what Trick Number Two is doing…it’s making you think that a normal emotion can consume you, last forever, or do you harm, when that just isn’t true.
There’s only so big anxiety can get, and you’ve probably already experienced it. Just like anger, sadness, or anything else can only grow to be so intense, anxiety is no different. As a matter of fact, like we talked about, anxiety by itself is small…weak.
It’s that reaction that has more power over you, but even that can only grow so large.
Anxiety is part of our makeup so we can snap to attention and pay attention if something dangerous is happening. Human beings didn’t evolve so successfully because when something scary happens, we pass out, die, or go crazy. That’s the exact OPPOSITE of what happens. We become very good to protecting ourselves. In fact, you’re OVERPROTECTING yourself from something that isn’t dangerous in the first place! You’re actually TOO GOOD at this survival stuff!
After some time, you may even get all the way to:
Trick Number Three
Anxiety fools you into thinking you need to avoid the “danger.”
This is closely related to trick number two, but it goes a step further.
Sometimes in order to try and “protect” yourself, you may begin to AVOID things that trigger, or you think MIGHT trigger these sensations that you’ve wrongly classified as “dangerous.”
Imagine if I told you that last week I was at the grocery store with my spouse and we got into an argument and I got very angry.
Now imagine that I told that because of that experience, I avoid the grocery store because obviously the grocery store creates anger in me and I don’t like feeling that way because if I get angry enough, or angry too often, or angry too far from home,
I may go insane or lose control.
What would you do if that’s what I said to you?
Here’s what I hope you’d do…
Put a cool washcloth on my head and get me out of the sun.
Seriously…that makes no sense at all. But that’s how good this trick is…it actually convinces you that the logic I used in that example makes sense. Let me replace some words:
Last week I was driving on the highway and I had a bothersome memory and I got very anxious.
Because of that experience, I avoid the highway because obviously the highway creates anxiety in me and I don’t like feeling that way because if I get anxious enough, or anxious too often, or anxious too far from home, I may go insane or lose control.
Wow…that’s a good trick, huh?
See how out of whack that logic is? See how ridiculous the first example sounded but we only had to change a few words and it describes EXACTLY what the trick does?
First, it tricked me into believing that my emotions were somehow dangerous to me.
Next, it tricked me into believing that the grocery store (swap out whatever it is you fear) was the cause of my feelings when it was clearly my thoughts or memories.
Finally, it got me to go a step further and not only blame the grocery store when my environment had nothing to do with it, but it got me to avoid going back there so I wouldn’t feel that way again!
Now you likely know MUCH more now about anxiety and what it REALLY is than most people suffering needlessly with driving anxiety. Heck, I think you probably know more than most authors who have written books about anxiety! Now that you know a lot more about anxiety, that’s a big step in the right direction.
The next step, and the MOST IMPORTANT step, is doing something about it. And that’s where our work comes in.
The first step is just the understanding.
Rise and shine
6am and your hand can't make it to the alarm clock before the voices in your head start telling you that it's too early, too dark, and too cold to get out of a bed.
... Aching muscles lie still in rebellion, pretending not to hear your brain commanding them to move
A legion of voices are shouting their unanimous permission for you to hit the snooze button and go back to dreamland, but you didn't ask their opinion.
The voice you've chosen to listen to is one of defiance.
A voice that's says there was a reason you set that alarm in the first place. So sit up, put your feet on the floor, and don't look back because we've got work to do.
Welcome to The Grind!
For the full script and amazing video go to
Today, there's general agreement that hypnosis can be an important part of treatment for some conditions, including phobias,addictions andchronic pain."
"We have done a variety of EEG studies," says Ray, "one of which suggests that hypnosis removes the emotional experience of pain while allowing the sensory sensation to remain. Thus, you notice you were touched but not that it hurt." William Ray
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