This clip from You Tube is from a recent Horizon programme on the unconscious mind. Experts in the field of neuroscience were asked to show the balance between the conscious and unconscious mind. We convince ourselves that we are completely in control and yet so many of the people I work with can’t seem to get back in control of their weight loss, their anxiety, their depression, their obsessive compulsive disorder etc.
At an evolutionary, fundamental level, the brain exists to protect us and for all the sophistication of the modern brain, if the older part of the brain believes you to be under threat, it will protect you and override the conscious mind.
Let me give you some examples:
Anxiety – this is a common experience for a lot of people. Change, i.e. the unfamiliar, generates a fear response in all of us. In evolutionary terms, the familiar was safe, and the unfamiliar dangerous. We still have this response wired powerfully in the older part of the brain, the limbic system. This part of the brain sets off a flight/ flight response when it believes there is danger ahead or around you. It’s an overactive response which can create severe panic attacks, emotional and catastrophic thinking which plays havoc with the mind and body. If you wait around 4000 years, the modern brain and the old brain will be wired differently to avoid this response! Alternatively, you can alter the oversensitivity in the brain very easily with Cognitive Hypnotherapy.
Depression is an extreme response to continuous anxiety. Over time the limbic system becomes so over sensitised to so many things and becomes exhausted. This results in very powerful, overwhelming thinking and powerful emotions than can lead to feelings of desperation and no hope at the extreme. Insomnia is one of the effects of depression. The mind is so concerned about safety, it won’t let you sleep.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is often a fear of death, contamination and the unconscious devises a set of behavioural rituals or excessive catastrophising which the unconscious believes will protect you and keep you from harm. These can be very distressing for you and people around you. Medication and cognitive behaviour therapy can help. Cognitive hypnotherapy can help you to get to the bottom of why these habitual patterns started , interrupt these habits so the thinking and behavioural response becomes more normal.
The good news is that you weren’t born with any of these issues. Babies are happy, in the moment and unburdened by our adult experience. So what is learned, can be unlearned. Cognitive Hypnotherapy harnesses the power of the unconscious mind which is part of the problem and also part of the solution. The brain can rewire itself which means change is always possible. It isn’t always easy but it’s always possible.
If you would like a free, half hour, confidential chat about any issue you are having that you would like to change, just give me a call.