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Hypnotherapy for Mindfulness and Relaxation

Recent research is revealing all the time more and more benefits to practicing some form of relaxation. This could take the form of meditation, which combines relaxation and mental focus, or breathing exercices, such as vagal nerve breathing. No matter what technique is used, the purpose remains similar - to relax the body and the mind away from tension and anxiety. 

Hypnotherapy is a perfect way to access and train these practices. It helps us to quickly access a relaxed state. From that point, we learn to enjoy and deepen the groove in our brain that makes it possible to sink into this place in our daily life. 

Exploring some of the Science
                                                          "Research Suggests ..."

A huge amount of research has been done into the processes and effects of mindfulness, meditation and relaxation. 

Each is the topic of many papers, research experiments and published books, but suffice it to say that they usually reveal overwhelmingly positive results when practiced frequently and intentionally. 

Indeed, each of these practices are basically the activity of intentionally - consciously - using our mind and body's natural abilities for restfulness and internal observation to regulate itself more effectively. 

From this place, we can appreciate things more, feel more gladness, joy, pleasure, connection and peace.

Here are a couple of websites where you can learn more if you want to...

 - Mindful.org, to know more about the science of mindfulness

- The NCCIH, to know more about the benefits of relaxation

A Little Bit About Emotional Regulation

Paul Gilbert, the creator of a branch of therapy called Compassionate Focused Therapy, developed a new concept of the systems that are activated within us when it comes to our emotional regulation. 

We'll talk more about them below.

Graphics below taken from PsychologyTools.com - Click here to access

The Soothing System

This is a system that is inbuilt into us - often called the parasympathetic system, or the 'soothing system'. This system helps us to feel contented, calm, at peace, and satisfied. It helps us to connect with ourselves and with others. It helps us rest and feel safe.

 

When this system is online, the body releases oxytocin, the 'bonding hormone'. 

The Threat System

However, so often, this system is switched off in favour of threat detection, what we often refer to as fight or flight - the sympathetic nervous system - the 'threat system'.
This system tells us to avoid, to run away, to hurry.
 
This system tells the body to release cortisol and adrenaline, the 'stress hormones'.

The Drive System

Alternatively, we might get stuck in the 'drive system' - the system in which we are motivated towards something.
From this system, we work to sate our hunger, thirst, desire, or ambitions.
This system releases dopamine, the 'pleasure homone'.
Each is an essential part of a healthy system - we need to be able to assess risk and act on that risk. We need hunger for things, and the ability to act on that hunger. The problems come, of course, when they are the only systems that are working, at the expense of ever having the third.
Imagine you are wondering about town without a care in the world. Suddenly, out of nowhere, you see ... an ice-cream!
"Oh my gosh! It looks so good! I really want it!", you tell yourself. 
But then comes:
"If I eat it, I will lose control, then I'll start eating ice-cream all the time and I'll become horribly unattractive! I already am horribly unattractive!" you hear a voice in your head...
"But I really want it!"
"But it'll be a disaster if you eat it..."
"But I want it!
And so on... jumping from drive to threat and back until something gives.
 
The key is to remember, there's a third option...
The question then becomes, how do I break the cycle? How do I move back into the soothe system? How do I return to calm, to rest, to connection?
 
The answer might indeed be learning self-hypnosis, mindfulness and relaxation. 

Centering Into Your Self

In each of us, there is the swirling mist of our complex systems, and within it a centre from which we can access, understand and relate to our system in new ways. 

It feels like when you are in control - calm minded, creative and compassionate. 

When we are operating from that place within us, we can be flexible, find solutions, try out new things, and help ourselves. 

We will be working to access that state and train this skill into being readily available, even in difficult or challenging circumstances.

White Sand and Stone

Some of Benefits of using  Hypnotherapy with Mindfulness and Relaxation 

Mental and Emotional Flexibility

Through learning to focus and explore your mind and emotions in this way, you will gain a greater ability to be flexible in the face of challenging situations, but also to adjust your own mood and mental processes. 

Image by Logan Troxell

Centredness and Calmness

Mindfulness and Relaxation are at heart the proces of calming the system in order to find our centre - the place from which we are in command and able to process events and situations more openly and with greater compassion and curiosity.

Image by kazuend

Greater Appreciation and Feeling of Aliveness

When we have spent time disengaging from the tangle of our most negative thoughts and processes, we can appreciate what is more easily, and experience things that are positive - that live outside of the realms of our negative thinking - more easily and more readily. 

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