Billy was walking to school.
He was fretting about the English lesson.
He was not sure how he was going to control the student’s behaviour.
After all, it was not the cleaner’s duty to do so.
What happened as you began to read these sentences? Did you paint a mental picture of Billy? Perhaps, you made up all sorts of visual imagery about his situation and why he was so worried.
You see, our minds constantly use the information around us to interpret the world. Our mind can elaborate on the detail and fit it in with our experiences of the past and our perceptions of the future. How you perceive a situation may be completely different to someone else.
What is more, we often react in ways that are determined by our past experiences and beliefs. It’s as though we carry our experiences with us and use them into the future without wondering whether any of our perceptions need to be updated. We believe our thoughts and perception to be real and this can have a huge influence upon how we may choose to live our lives. As Williams (2010) put it, ‘we don’t see the world as it is, but as we are.’
This can cause huge problems in our lives. Let’s take the following scenario. Penny works in advertising, she enjoys her independence and loves to work on major projects past her normal working hours. She often gets completely absorbed by things that take her attention and tends to live in the moment.
She has been seeing Matt for three months. They have a great connection and hit it off every time they see each other. He has had a string of bad relationships and often felt abandoned by the women that he has been in relationships with. Both of them had a great time on the last date and continue to really like each other.
One night, Penny decides to work on a huge project that has come in from overseas, she is really enjoying it. She receives a text message from Matt right at a time when she is busy designing the advertising campaign and forgets to text him back. She will do it later and doesn’t think much of it.
Matt on the other hand, waits by his phone. He is anxious to know that she likes him and he craves her attention. He starts to remember the time when the last woman stopped texting him. He never heard from her again and he starts to wonder whether he will hear from Penny. What if he doesn’t?
Meanwhile, Penny leaves work exhausted. She gets home and falls asleep. By the time she gets in contact with Matt again, he is upset. He isn’t going to date a woman that ignores him. She is clearly messing him around and he doesn’t want to get hurt. He has become emotionally exhausted by trying to work out Penny’s intentions and feelings. He starts to associate negatively with Penny and ends it.
This scenario is a little exaggerated but the point is that often our minds can actually get in our way. From phobias to intrusive OCD thoughts, we can become caged by our perceptions. Hypnotherapy can help you to look at the world in a different light. It can help you to put the past to bed and stop it from dictating how you react to things in the future. Hypnotherapy is also great for calming the mind so that you can make decisions based upon much more than your thoughts alone.