Yesterday I was working with a client who has developed claustrophobia on planes and in theatres.
His ‘happy place’ is the top of a mountain, so that’s where we went (using the power of his mind. We didn’t actually leave the session). Why? Well, there’s a simple but very powerful idea here.
Think right now about your happy place. Might be the beach or the mountains, in your reading chair or in the water, at the ‘G or in front of your painting easel. It’s different for everyone, and don’t ever let anyone tell you what you enjoy doing doesn’t count. (Recently I had a client whose favourite place was bed. I’m surprised that’s not the case for more people, actually.)
Now, how do you feel when you’re there? Pretty good, huh? And how do you feel when you’re experiencing whatever it is you’d like to get rid of – maybe claustrophobia, like my client above, or getting your blood pressure taken, or when your boss says, ‘Can I have a word?’ or when your partner or your kids say that thing that drives you nuts?
Here’s the thing: you can fetch the feeling from your happy place. If you’ve ever felt calm, relaxed, at peace, then not only do you know how to feel that way, you know, or rather with a little help you can discover, how to fetch that feeling and have it any time you like.
If that feels a little airy-fairy for you, here’s four other reasons why this approach helps:
1) It puts you in control
Feeling helpless and hopeless is no way to feel. Giving you choice puts you back in the driving seat
2) It’s a form of dissociation
Often people with anxiety feel like it’s overwhelming, like you can’t catch your breath. You could practice your breathing… but doing that only brings attention to your breathing, which is probably the last thing you need
3) Your body can’t tell the difference between imagination and reality
As anyone who worries – that’s you, right? – knows only too well, worrying about something is every bit as uncomfortable as experiencing the thing you’re worrying about. That shows that the body can’t tell the difference between, say, the idea of a slice of lemon resting on your tongue right now and the real thing. Are you noticing that your mouth is producing saliva right now?
4) Your body can’t tell the difference between cause and effect
We smile because we’re happy, right? Ever noticed how it works the other way, too? Smile and you feel better. I suggest you’re alone when you try this, because otherwise people thing you’ve gone a bit strange (or stranger, perhaps), but try smiling broadly for 30 seconds and see what happens. You will be surprised.
You can use this right away – think of your happy place, ‘go there’ in your imagination, and experience a taste of how it feels to actually be there. Then, when you’re thinking about the thing that makes you unhappy, fetch that feeling. It’ll be rather diluted and not immensely effective, which is where using hypnosis and a few other things helps.
Give me a call on 0423 793887 and I can explain a little more.