Perception is everything. Your perception of who you are and how life is will influence how you feel and what you do. A key focus of Cognitive Hypnotherapy is to help you change your perception to one that serves you better.
Do you notice the above is upside down? Wouldn’t it be better and more helpful, prettier or even make more sense if it was the right way up? Sometimes making the change you want means turning the old perception on it’s head to create a clearer or happier perception of the future.
We know that the brain receives billions of bits of information per second and it’s our learnt filters, patterns and preferences which determines what our minds focus on and how this information is perceived. Even colours are seen in a unique way by each individual but we share a common idea of what colours are called or how they should be.
What’s perception got to do with overcoming anxiety?
“Anxiety is the mis-use of the imagination” – when someone suffers with anxiety they are literally scaring themselves with negative what-ifs and maybes projected into the future. The body then responses with the fight/flight response and high alert which then feeds a cycle of anxiety behaviour and symptoms.
What’s causing this anxiety cycle, how to handle it and gradually fully overcome anxiety is exactly what we work on together. Part of this work includes creating a new vision of the future and a new perception. How we react to different situations or people depends on our unconsicous perception of whether we are safe or not. By introducing new choices for how the unconscious might react or interpret things in the future you can start to become free of that old anxiety.
A key part of this is opening the door to being different, is to start to believe that change is possible and the brain can be reprogrammed. This post focuses on the fact that we can change our interpretation of past events, change our perception of who we are and create a vision of the future we want. There’s a great phrase in Cognitive Hypnotherapy which says that ‘we get the future we expect’.
So why not start expecting a better future where you enjoy yourself more? What if you perceived all the difficult things in your past as experiences which helped you learn and grow into a stronger person. Or what if you were to feel different in the moment using simple tools to change your emotional state?
Something that is hard for us humans to fully understand is that we create our own reality. We make most of what we experience up in our minds. We create symptoms in the body through what we focus on, believe and the behaviours we do. We make unconscious decisions about what things mean in the world which then influences how we feel and what we do.
We only have to look at the differences between cultures and religious beliefs to find examples of how beliefs influence behaviour and how people live their lives. We can look back at history to times when people believed in things we now consider weird and realise how for those people, their beliefs influenced their whole reality including how they felt and lived each day.
I often talk to clients how about we make ourselves up as we go along. This isn’t always an easy concept to grasp straight away but once you realise that your past doesn’t equal your future you can start to set yourself free. Once you begin to realise that it doesn’t have to be how it’s always been before, you can start to look forward to a new reality in the future.
Here’s a great Ted Talk that explores this idea of us making up our own reality as we go along – https://www.ted.com/talks/isaac_lidsky_what_reality_are_you_creating_for_you
Here are some other things that might inspire you to explore this topic further:
“There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” Shakespeare
“The light at the end of the tunnel is not an illusion. The tunnel is.”
Life and music by Alan Watts – http://ed.ted.com/on/yAsrcYHQ