Contrary to popular belief positive thinking can be detrimental to achieving our goals!
During the 90’s it was discovered that a group of lady dieters who had a positive attitude to losing weight did worse than others who were more pessimistic! This was at a time when positive thinking was thought to be the way to achieve anything our hearts desired! And we still say to friends and children think positively, believe in your goals and you can do anything!!
Studies were done over the next 20 years on the effects of positive thinking and reaching our goals. Findings were dismissed at first but, over time more and more evidence showed that positive thinking alone just doesn’t work, and this is because our brain doesn’t know the difference between imagination and reality.
Think of a time when something bad happened to you or someone you love; you can recall that feeling vividly? The same is true when we think about special times in our lives, maybe the birth of a child or falling in love. Take a minute to enjoy that happy memory.
Now I am not saying that positive thinking is a bad thing by any stretch of the imagination Positive thinking is helpful to increase low mood, but, it can also trick our brain into thinking it achieved something already. So the evidence shows we are less motivated to carry out our goals. The brain likes to automate everything we do, think, or feel. For example, when we learned to ride a bike or drive a car, at first, we thought we would never learn and how hard it was, but now you don’t give it a second thought. Imagine just how exhausted we would be if we had to think about every move we made. The same thing happens with our habits, over time they become unconscious actions that we do without thinking!
Anything new takes practice! And quite frankly sometimes our brain doesn’t like change! We have thousands and thousands of neurons that fire and wire together, they form our memories and behaviors. You’ve been traveling down the same old road, the same road that you’ve traveled down every day. But, one day you hit a roadblock, what do you do? You can’t go over it and you can’t go around it so you have to find a new route. And that is what hypnotherapy does it finds you a new map to follow.
This is where I come in as a Clinical and Medical Hypnotherapist I’m always being asked (mainly women) if I can hypnotise them to lose weight, stop eating chocolate, crisps whatever their downfall might be!
I know through my training quite a bit about how the brain works concerning our thoughts, believes, and habits. But knowing that didn’t help me to kick my bad habits, there is a thing called the GI Joe fallacy: The idea that knowing is half the battle.
The type of hypnotherapy I do is well researched and evidence-based, I help people to imagine their preferred future using solution-focused questions and guided imagery. So, I’m combining this research and my Solution Focused Hypnotherapy training to help you to achieve your goals.
I have walked my talk. At first, I used my approach to get my own snacking under control, I lost 1/2 stone in three weeks, that how much snacking I did!!
I then used my approach to get over my lazy thoughts towards exercising at the weekend. I get up on a weekday and do 30 minutes yoga each morning apart from Friday and the weekends which I consider my days off, but why? That’s the time, I have more time! I know how much yoga benefits me, my flexibility, and mental well-being, but still, my brain went ‘THE COMPUTER SAYS NO! The next Friday was V.E day, I got up feeling motivated and did yoga. I mention it was V.E day for a reason, I am not going to lie I did have a few drinks that day, but Saturday I still wanted to get up and do yoga!! And I did, and yes, I have been surprised.
Weight is affected by many factors, stress, and sleep issues among them, hypnotherapy lowers the stress hormone cortisol so it helps you to relax and unwind, your sleep patterns improve, which in turn helps with weight management and mental well-being.