HOW THE BRAIN WORKS
The Conscious part of the brain
The Subconscious part of the brain
When we work from the Conscious part of the brain (also referred to the Intellectual part) we tend to make the right decisions in life. It will assess the situation we are in or consider an appropriate answer that we could give and then makes a rational decision based on what we have already learned and experienced during our lifetime.
However, the Subconscious part of our brain (also referred to the Primitive or Emotional part) works in a different way as it is responsible for our survival, drive, and instinct. If for instance, the mind thinks we are in any kind of danger our Flight/Fight/Freeze mechanism is activated and we move from the Conscious part to the Subconscious part and this happens almost instantaneously. We experience symptoms of Anxiety such as increased heart rate, sweaty palms and churning stomach which can lead to full blown panic attacks. Whilst this reaction would be appropriate if we were in actual danger, these symptoms are still occurring whenever we feel threatened. In today's modern society these threats can manifest as Public Speaking, Work Stress, Exam Stress, and Social situations.
The build up of the feelings of Anxiety can be a gradual process starting from when we were very young. The more we feel anxious the more we operate from our Subconscious brain.
Is is not just feelings of anxiety that we can experience when the Flight/Fight/Freeze mechanism is activated but also depression and anger.
So how does Hypnotherapy Help?
Imagine that each time you experience a stressful, demoralising or upsetting situation, the memories of these experiences are stored in your brain in, let's call it a 'Stress Bucket'. The more that you pile into your bucket it will start to fill up and overflow. The more you feel stressed, depressed and anxious leads to more time spent in your Subconscious brain leading to more time feeling negative.
In order to reduce the time spent feeling negative, one of the ways to empty your bucket is REM sleep (Rapid Eye Movement). This process moves your experiences of the day from the Primitive to the Conscious part of your brain were you have control over them, However REM sleep is only part a percentage of our nightly sleep pattern as it is the most energy-intensive sleep stage.
In Hypnotherapy we use Trance which is not the same as sleep but does have some of the same benefits. Trance allows you to move into a REM/hypnosis state which allows the Stress Bucket to be emptied enough to let an overloaded brain catch up. Clients feel better after hypnosis and find they can think more clearing and focus better. By moving into the REM state, hypnosis can open up communication between the Conscious and Subconscious brain. This allows for the Subconscious brain to consider suggestions made during Trance to be considered and acted upon if they are for the clients best interest.
A very light level of Trance is used and we often experience light levels of Trance during our everyday lives, such as driving a familiar route to work but not necessarily remembering every aspect of how we got there.