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Anyone who has had cognitive hypnotherapy will know how powerful the unconscious mind is. The scientists tell us that at least 90% of what we do is unconscious which means that we are nowhere near as in control as our mind tells us. This Psyblog article explores this idea. That means you are on automatic pilot most of the time. This works perfectly well for us most of the time except when the unconscious drives a negative pattern like anxiety or an addiction.

Logically why would you hide under the duvet with fear, have a panic attack on an air plane or eat or drink more than is good for you. Well, it’s very simple the unconscious mind believes that you are in danger so triggers a powerful fight/flight/freeze response to what it perceives to be a sabre tooth tiger that’s about to kill you.

Then an interesting thing happens and people describe it often as a war between the logical mind which can’t believe you are reacting in the way you are and the emotional, unconscious mind that continues to drive the habit even stronger when challenged by logic. Because of our evolution, the logical mind is a mere infant in out heritage unlike the unconscious which has been around for a lot longer. So when there is a choice between thinking and feeling, guess what the illogical, unconscious wins hands down. Safety and survival always come first. Try to argue yourself out of the anxiety that come from the presentation, the job interview, it’s very difficult. The skill is how to work with the unconscious mind and its concerns and then a powerful partnership can unfold which can serve you well. So the doubt and uncertainty generated unconsciously become the very things that help you give of your best. The mind can learn and unlearn anything and it is definitely possible to retrain it so it works with you rather than against you.

So the illusions the mind creates that it is in control can be very helpful. In cognitive hypnotherapy we retrain the unconscious to keep you safe in a way that is relevant for you today at the age you are now. I haven’t seen many sabre toothed tigers in Kingston this week!

Jill Tonks

Jill Tonks