Senior Mindset Coach at Samuel and Co Trading. While studying and practising many energy healing systems spanning 40 years (EFT, TAT, TCM, Yuen Method, NLP, Applied Kinesiology, Qigong etc). He gained qualifications in Massage, Reflexology, Hypnotherapy and Psychotherapy. His goal is to continue to help his clients experience freedom from life’s emotional trauma, stress, negativity, limiting beliefs and to holistically balance the Mind, Body and Spirit.
Hi everyone, welcome back to my weekly article. In this article, I’m going to be talking about Pictures, Images and Metaphors.
Hopefully, by now, if you’ve been reading my articles, you will appreciate the power and complexity of the human brain and the subconscious mind. It’s incredible processing power and ability to control all functions of the body to maintain homeostasis; rebuilding, rejuvenating and regenerating every muscle, tissue and fibre of your whole body, including your bones. You may not be aware of the fact that all your cells are being replaced and, it takes seven years to rebuild your entire body. This process happens quietly and seamlessly while you go about your daily tasks.
I’ve tried to keep a common thread running throughout the articles, breaking down the functions of the brain and subconscious mind, and how we can influence them to achieve specific results. Your subconscious mind contains all your experiences, memories, beliefs, feelings and emotions, your coping mechanisms; how you react and respond to daily events. Your likes and dislikes, your preferences, fantasies and drives. Everything that makes you who you are. All of this happens on an ongoing daily basis, bit by bit, so seamlessly that you’re unaware of it happening until you try to do something differently, and then wonder why it’s almost impossible to change.
Hopefully, you’ll come to appreciate, after reading my last article on neuroplasticity, the brain is in a state of flux, constantly being moulded by the environment around you and your internal dialogue; what you’re thinking, feeling and experiencing. Your subconscious mind has all this power, yet it pays attention to and is influenced by your conscious mind. There is also something else that’s vitally important to understand, and that’s the two extremes of the emotional brain/body – pain vs pleasure. Pain and stress etc. weaken the bodies energy system, while pleasure strengthens the energy system. If one of the roles of the subconscious is to maintain health then, we find that pain triggers the amygdala (fight/flight), which then automatically puts certain pain avoidance ‘filters’ in place. These ‘filters’ manifest as thoughts, and reasons why we won’t do something go somewhere or avoid doing something at all costs. These ‘filters’ are really important when we want to achieve or experience something. So how do we influence and utilise the power of the subconscious mind?
Words and language are too limiting. The subconscious uses images, pictures, metaphors and feelings to process information – that’s its primary operating system. So, it is important to visualise or imagine what you want to give direction to your subconscious mind. Remember, that your subconscious doesn’t know the difference between what is ‘real’ and what is imagined. Think about cutting a lemon in half, then squeeze the juice into your mouth. Your face probably screwed up just at the thought of doing that or your mouth watered. The mental picture of the lemon affected the body even though the lemon was only imagined. The subconscious cannot tell the difference between what is real or imagined. There’s a neural connection between the mind and body. So, by putting these two things together, you can see why mind/body healing (Psycho-neuroimmunology) and hypnosis work by using guided imagery.
When is the subconscious most receptive to being influenced? The communication between your conscious and subconscious is strongest and open to learning when you’re relaxed and in the alpha brain wave level. By practising the Silence the Mind technique and Self-Hypnosis or meditation you’ll enter into the alpha brain wave level, that dream-like state where the critical, internal voice is silenced. The ideal, fertile ground for creation.
Start by writing down your thoughts, ideas and dreams, things that make you happy and satisfied. Writing them down gives you focus and clarity, you can build the picture in words. Use your imagination, be descriptive, know exactly what you want. Refine it, embellish it and create the life or experience you want. Go through magazines and cut out pictures if you find it difficult to describe in words. Remember that a picture paints a thousand words. Create a vision board, and stick pictures of your ideal house, car or lifestyle and focus on that – start small. Get emotional about it, just like a football player that scores a goal, a tennis player hitting the winning shot or a golfer putting the ball – they all pump the air with their fist, tensing their arm and expressing their success with a Yeeeesssssss! These actions anchor the positive emotional feeling/experience in the mind and body, thus promoting the release of endorphins (feel good factor) in the brain and, strengthening the neural connection through the entire nervous system.
Use all of your senses; see it, smell it, touch it, taste it and hear it. That’s how your subconscious store’s information, so use it all to your advantage. Tell/show your subconscious in clear, positive terms what you want, in language that it understands. Remember, your subconscious is like a child, you have to be very precise and clear with your instructions, otherwise you leave the door open to interpretation. Imagine selling your dream to a blind person – literally, create the picture so they understand.
Remember, your thoughts become your habits, and your habits become your reality.
Once you’ve entered the alpha level, see what you want in pictures or a movie or dream and see yourself included as part of the scene. The subconscious likes regularity, familiarity and patterns. It’s a safety issue, so be consistent and repetitive, over and over again, and those repeated experiences will become part of who you are. Always remember that through the process of visualising, creating, imagining and thinking about what you want to do, achieve or experience, you’re creating a neural network. Involving all your senses will increase the network throughout your entire nervous system and, repetition strengthens the network.
Start with simple things until you get comfortable with the process. Start each morning, imagining, picturing or playing a movie of how you would like the day to go, including all your habits and beliefs. If a negative thought comes to mind, be aware of it and replace it with an alternative, positive thought. Just ignore them and replace them. Be mindful of your thoughts and catch yourself when you experience negative thoughts, fears or disbelief and change your mental movie in ways that create your desired outcome. It’s your job, no one else, to educate your mind and change bad habits to create positive outcomes, success and happiness.
If you could change anything or want to experience something, what would it be?
I hope that you find these articles informative. As always, I hope you have enjoyed the input. I look forward to seeing any discussions and interaction from the community – more next week…