There is nothing more exciting than thinking of a new idea. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing a new idea work. There is nothing more useful than a new idea that helps you meet a goal. The point here is lateral thinking, is the ability to think creatively, or “outside the box” basically, to use your inspiration and imagination to solve problems by looking at them from unexpected perspectives. Creative thinking is not a talent; it is a skill that can be learnt. It empowers you by adding strength to your natural abilities.
Thinking is perhaps the most significant mental activity in all of you. Whatever the human achievements and progress you see, it is all due to the thought processes in our human mind. The great evolution in history, arts, culture, tradition, science and medicine are possible because of human thoughts. Thought always precedes action and both of them are inseparable. All actions start soon after a spell of thinking.
Well thinking always initiates itself with a problem at hand and it always ends with a solution. The thinking process differs with different people. Some people have a high degree of thinking that can be too sophisticated, while many others may not have a marked degree of thinking. Finding a solution to the problem depends on one’s ability to think and devise a plan in the mind. The quality of thinking process that you adapt to solve the problem, ultimately decides the efficacy and quality of the solution. Thinking always leads to action. Action will end in solutions! Hence, right type of thinking can lead to most suitable solutions that are more practical and result oriented. Thinking is always deliberate, though some types of thinking are subconscious. And today we will talk about the subconscious. But before that we will talk a bit about “insight” first. Are you familiar with the word insight? In the context of creative thinking it means an idea that appears in the conscious mind from subconscious, with no immediately preceding conscious thought or effort. It’s the proverbial ‘Aha!’ or ‘Eureka!’ moment, when an idea pops into your mind out of the blue. There are many accounts of creative breakthroughs made through insight, from Archimedes in the bathtub onwards. So the mind has always been the primary vehicle of achievements and growth both in relationships and in life. It is even more so in today’s intellectual economy driven by knowledge, creativity and innovation.
The point here is we only use 10% of our mind power. 10-percent — that’s it. Let’s say, tomorrow, you start working in a company & you start earning. Now think of going through life only spending 10-percent of your salary? Could you do it? No! Yet you go through life only using 10% of the power of your conscious mind. That 10-percent is creating 75% of all success, failures, sickness everything in our life right now because we don’t even know how to use it properly. Now imagine if you just used 10% of our mind’s power correctly? What would happen? What would happen if we learned to use 90% of our subconscious mind’s power correctly? Imagine if we could properly direct our subconscious mind? The results would be phenomenal! The problem is, a lot of what has been imprinted or programmed into the subconscious mind could be called “faulty programming” & that we get from our socio cultural educational & religious upbringing. Examples of faulty programming are thought habits like telling ourselves that we can’t do something, can’t have something, don’t deserve something, etc. When we repeat these often enough, to the point where they become part of our programming, we can’t help but create situations in our life that validate and express what we hold in our subconscious mind. Well the conscious mind is like the programmer. It’s the thinking mind. However, the conscious mind is influenced by filters that our predominant thoughts have created and stored in the subconscious. The subconscious mind, just like a computer, does not judge or discriminate between what can and cannot be achieved or obtained. However, the conscious mind evaluates a situation and says, “you can’t do this or have that” based on the programming in place within the subconscious! So we can see it can be a vicious circle. When we learn to master our conscious mind, and imprint the right programming into the subconscious, we will be absolutely unstoppable. We will then have full control of the subconscious mind’s incredible powers to make us aware of opportunities, people, resources and situations that we need in order to have or do something; and, it will make our actions effortless and natural.
Manifesting what we want will truly be easy when we harness the power of our subconscious mind. Physical reality, as well as our thoughts and emotions, are nothing but vibrations of energy. This basically means that the energy of our thoughts can, and does, influence matter. What we focus on our predominant thoughts is what we attract. So think about your inner speech. What does your mind fear? What does it believe? What do you tell yourself, day in and day out? What does your mind do when you introduce a new idea that is in conflict with your subconscious programming? Most of the time, we are not aware of our inner speech. We go through our days on autopilot – most of our actions and speech patterns are nothing but regurgitated data stored in the subconscious. Yes, it makes life easier. Imagine how hard it would be to think about how to tie your shoes every time you had to do it – it’s a lot of mental effort that has become automated!
Awareness of our inner speech gives us the information we need to master our mind. If our circumstances are not to our liking, it’s because we have been thinking and feeling in a way that has pointed our mind in a certain direction, and that is where our life is headed! So when we become aware of the nature of our inner speech, we can imprint new programming and totally change the direction of our life. Change comes from within. We can change jobs, end relationships, move on etc. – but unless we “change our mind” from within, we will just attract more of the same – or our changes will be temporary at best. It will be “same stuff, different face/location/job. And this change can be done with the help of cognitive hypnotherapy. As we are very much aware that Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is now in use worldwide, while hypnotherapy as a technique continues to attract serious interest from the professional community. Integrating the two, the field becomes cognitive hypnotherapy and this field actually uses the natural trance states of clients to unlock subconscious thoughts and memory patterns that can generate and sustain problems. Cognitive hypnotherapy works within the client’s model of the world, so that changes are more likely to be subconsciously accepted and become permanent.
There is a variety of hypnotic strategies for accessing and restructuring conscious, semiconscious (automatic), and unconscious cognitive distortions and negative self-schemas. Three strategies for uncovering and restructuring maladaptive cognitions in hypnotherapy are:
- Regression to Recent /Activating Event: This technique is utilized to access subconscious maladaptive cognitions related to a recent event that triggered depressive affect. While in hypnotherapy, the client is given suggestions to recall the situation that caused a recent upset. Then the client is instructed to remember his or her emotional, physiological, and behavioral responses and then to become aware of the associated dysfunctional cognitions. Encouragement is given to identify or “freeze” (frame by frame, as in a movie) faulty cognitions evident in the client’s thoughts, beliefs, images, fantasies, and daydreams. Once a particular set of faulty cognitions is frozen, the patient is coached to replace them with more appropriate thinking or imagination, and then to attend to the resulting (desirable) syncretic response. This process is repeated until the set of faulty cognitions related to a specific situation is considered to be successfully restructured.
- Regression to the Original Trauma: Within the Cognitive Hypnotherapy context, this strategy can be used when it becomes important to identify the origin of core beliefs. Hypnotic regression can bridge the link between client’s affect and cognition by helping him or her remember the original incident that has led to an emotional breakdown. Once these core maladaptive cognitions are identified, the Circle of Life Technique can used to help to create the right perspective. The Circle of Life Technique is a strategy commonly used in CBT to counter all- or-nothing thinking. The therapist draws a large circle on a board or sheet of paper and fills it with large dots, each dot representing an activity. Then the therapist asks the client: “As you can see from the number of dots, we do hundreds of things daily. Do you know of anyone who does everything well?” (Usually the answer is “No.”) “Do you know of anyone who does everything badly?” (Again, the usual answer is “No.”) Then the therapist points out, “Therefore, no one is all good or bad. We are all a mixture of good and bad.” Then the client is encouraged in hypnotherapy to give himself or herself go back in time and work and heal the personality who was confused and in a state of shock.
- Editing and Deleting Subconscious Files : Another method for cognitive restructuring in hypnotherapy involves the computer metaphor of editing and deleting old files. This method is particularly appealing to children and adolescents. When the client is in hypnosis, the client is first instructed to become aware of the “good feelings” (after ego strengthening and amplification of positive feelings) and then directed to focus on personal achievements and successes (adult ego state). Here attempts are made to get the client to focus on higher order skills of cognition, judgment, and reality testing. Once this is achieved, the client is ready to work on modifying old learning and past experiences. To begin, the client in hypnosis is instructed to imagine opening an old computer file containing old beliefs or outdated behaviors or feelings that require editing or deletion. At the outset of the session, it is usually decided which file the patient would be working on during the hypnosis session. Once the client is able to access the specified file, he or she is instructed to edit or delete it, paying particular attention to dysfunctional cognition’s, maladaptive behaviors, and negative feelings “in the file.” By metaphorically editing the file, the client is able to mitigate cognitive distortions, magical thinking, self-blaming, and other self-defeating mental scripts.
Other hypnotic uncovering or restructuring procedures (such as an affect bridge, age regression, age progression, and dream induction) are also used to explore and restructure negative self-schema.
The point here is the things that we are most likely to call “problems” can be understood as (negative) everyday trance states. That is, ineffective or damaging pieces of subconscious programming. And the core objective of cognitive hypnotherapy is to de-hypnotise the client out of their problematic trance states in order to live life more happily, become more productive, and achieve more.
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