Monday, 13 February 2017

Prove the power of your mind - with a lemon

Most people have a good idea about what’s involved with coaching or counselling, which I use to help a large number of stressed people. But they are intrigued - or occasionally alarmed - when they find out that I also offer hypnotherapy. (Bear with me, we'll get to that lemon!) Visions of clucking chickens and dancing Elvises must pass through a few minds, but actually hypnosis can be a really useful tool to use in your stress management sessions.

So what is hypnosis?

If you have been looking around the web, you might have even been feeling a bit confused. It's not surprising because there are almost as many definitions and explanations for hypnosis as there are people offering them. And part of the reason for this is that people experience trance in different ways. It’s a bit like the blind men with the elephant, one thinks it’s like a tree because he's touching the leg, one thinks it’s like a snake because he's feeling the trunk and so on. They all have what is the truth to them.

Some people expect hypnosis to be a kind of weird, psychedelic experience but in fact most don’t experience it that way at all, and you may have already been there without recognising it.

  • Imagine being engrossed in a film, book or video game. You're aware if someone else enters the room, but may not catch what they say to you without disengaging a bit.
  • Imagine driving a familiar route and suddenly thinking 'how did I get here?' because you seem to have driven part of the way without noticing.
  • Imagine being in a really boring class at school (or a meeting at work) where your body remains upright, and possibly even taking notes, but your mind is off doing something more interesting.

All these are similar to what you might experience in trance.

The mind and hypnotherapy

Hypnosis, or the trance state describes the state of mind where the logical conscious mind – our internal mental 'voice', the bit we are usually aware of - is bypassed and the more creative and instinctive part of the mind (called the unconscious) takes over. In that state we are very suggestible, and imagination seems very real. Sometimes we can even notice physical changes caused by our own thoughts or suggestions made by a hypnotherapist

Test the power of your mind

And, finally, here's that lemon. Shut your eyes and imagine you are sucking a lemon. Really go for it, and put in as many details as you can. Notice how your mouth feels different, how cold the lemon feels, the texture of it against your tongue. You may even notice extra saliva in your mouth, as you would if you were sucking a real lemon. Maybe that even happened when you looked at the image at the top of this page.

Here's another one, but I don’t suggest you try it for obvious reasons. What do you think would happen if you paced up and down for five minutes and only thought about things that worried you? Chances are you would get more and more anxious, right? (If you want to give this one a go, try concentrating for a few minutes only on what makes you feel good instead of what makes you worry.)

This is roughly how hypnosis works. Our imaginations have a real effect on us, physically and emotionally. My job as a hypnotherapist is to guide you to thoughts, feelings and imaginings that will help you overcome whatever problem is making your life less good than it could be.

Hypnosis is not a 'magic' or instant solution, not do I have control over your thoughts; change is generally a process that happens over time, rather than an event where it all comes at once. But it is very powerful when it is aimed at a goal you really want. It harnesses your most creative state of mind, so that your physical feelings and your emotional ones can be changed.

And that can be the beginning of a new way of life for you.


Author: is a professional stress management coach, specialising in working with individuals and smaller employers to minimise stress and maximise feeling in control.
Debbie is the author of Their Worlds, Your Words and has co-written the Hypnotherapy Handbook both of which are available from Amazon.
Find out more about Debbie's services on  or phone 01977 678593

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