Composite image of mother and daughter fighting with pillows on a bed
“How Do You Know That You Love Me?”
It has been said that children are our greatest teachers, and most often, their primary method of teaching us is by asking questions. Did you know that the average child can ask up to 300 questions per day? Some questions are as simple as “why is the sky blue?” Other thought provoking questions can stop us in our tracks, making us ponder the very meaning of life itself.
A recent talk given by Jose L. Alonso recounted a sweet encounter when a tender question was asked by a young child to his grandmother. The young boy asked, “Do you love me?” “Of course I do!” replied the grandmother. The young boy then inquired “How do you know that you love me?” The grandmother then reminded him of all that she had done and was willing to do for him. She then asked the child the same question. “How do you know that you love me?” To which the child quickly responded,“l know I love you because I feel it inside my heart.” A simple, yet profound answer given by an innocent child, satisfied that he knew it to be true because he had felt it in his heart. I would like to think that both the child and grandmother’s answers are right. Love is a combination of words, actions, and feelings.
The words we speak with our mouths, the actions we do with our hands, and the feelings we feel with our hearts are all equally important in showing love to the children in our lives. Speaking words of love and encouragement may come naturally to some, others through gathering and studying information from the plethora of parenting books available, or for the majority of us through trial and error. (Note to self: yelling out “I love you!” as you drop off your child for the first day of middle school is not advisable.)
Actions are often the day-to-day tasks that we lovingly perform with our hands. Hands that braid hair, make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, give endless piggy back rides, and underdogs at the park. Hands that pitch ball after ball until our little slugger finally connects. Hands that show love. The feelings we have for the children in our lives are often difficult to put into words. If you’ve ever had the privilege of rocking a newborn baby to sleep, experienced seeing the pride in a child’s eyes as they take their first steps, or witnessed the moment of truth when the training wheels come off, you know what I mean. There will also be times your heart aches—when you learn your child has been eating lunch alone since school started, or tried and tested such as when your 15-year-old admits to taking the family car and running over your mailbox (true story). Your heart will grow and stretch in ways you didn’t imagine were possible.
Children are masters at this golden trifecta of words, actions, and feelings—almost always expressing some form of it. So the next time your child hands you a fistful of dandelions, drowns you in sticky kisses, or hands you a cephalopod drawn in Crayola, soak it all in because that, right there, is the good stuff, that, my friends, is love. I would invite you to ponder what your answer would be if your child were to ask, “How do you know you love me?”
Hypnotherapy is the application of the relaxed, yet highly focused state known as hypnosis for the purpose of achieving goals and creating lifelong transformation. Hypnosis is a natural state of mind with numerous beneficial characteristics.
In this natural state, our subconscious mind is open and receptive to powerful, positive healing ideas and imagery. In this state, we can learn to manage chronic pain, reduce stress, and change unwanted behaviors. But how and why does our subconscious work? Why can’t we just use our willpower to relax or reduce pain, eat healthier, or stop smoking? To answer these questions and more, consider the story of Chicken Little!
Chicken Little And The Flight Or Fight State
One fine morning, Chicken Little can be seen happily eating tasty corn in the barnyard, when an acorn suddenly falls on her head. Believing the sky is falling, she starts frantically running around, shouting, “The sky is falling! The sky is falling!” Chicken Little’s belief that the sky was falling was so strong that she convinced her emotions, which affected her behaviors and even her physiology. Her little chicken heart started to beat rapidly, her blood pressure went up, her cortisol levels increased, her immune system responses became suppressed, and her perception of pain increased. Chicken Little effectively, “stressed herself out.” What this story demonstrates is that our perceptions influence our autonomic nervous system. In the stress state, also known as the fight or flight state, the sympathetic nervous system is activated. Higher cognitive thinking decreases, and rational thought ceases. Our stress response is natural and designed to protect us from acute threats, but it becomes harmful when we live in that state 24/7. Sadly, many people are living today as if the sky is continuously falling. They are in a state of chronic, underlying stress, which puts them at increased risk of anxiety, depression, weight gain, sleep problems, and more.1
The Subconscious Mind Is Literal, So It Can’t Tell The Difference Between Fact And Fiction.
Living in a constant state of stress, predicting doom and gloom at every turn, means we are effectively saturating our subconscious mind with negative limiting beliefs or false truths. As Chicken Little shows us, this false truth can become our reality. Unlike our conscious mind, which is logical and analytical, the subconscious mind thinks in pictures and is literal. It can’t discern between fact and fiction and so believes what we tell and show it. This is especially true when experiencing a heightened state of emotion, such as fear. The subconscious mind is also the storehouse for all of our memories and beliefs, whether positive or negative. Although we like to think of ourselves as rational beings who make logical decisions, that’s not usually the case. It is our beliefs behind our emotions that drive our behaviors. That is why our conscious mind or willpower never wins over the subconscious.
Hypnotherapy Helps To Clear False Truths And Negative Imagery So You Can Achieve Your Goals.
Hypnotherapy is so effective for people because it works at the subconscious level. During a hypnotherapy session, we quiet the conscious mind so that we can speak directly to the subconscious mind. In the relaxed, yet highly focused state of hypnosis, we can effectively clear false truths and saturate the subconscious mind with healing imagery and positive healing ideas, also known as affirmations or suggestions. Hypnosis is a powerful state. On a physiological level during hypnosis, we shift from the fight or flight state (the sympathetic nervous system) to the resting or safe state, where the parasympathetic nervous system is activated. When the parasympathetic nervous system is activated, the perception of pain decreases (that’s how people learn to control and potentially even eliminate pain naturally). The immune and digestive systems get a boost, and higher mind problem-solving functions are supported.
What False Truths Have Resulted From Past Emotional And Physical Trauma?
People learn to rewire the brain to support their goals and to achieve transformation. Until we clear the negative beliefs and imagery that frequently result from past emotional and physical traumas, problems can remain or take a very long time to resolve. Pain worsens, self-worth suffers, unhealthy habits continue, and so on. Integral hypnotherapy does not involve reliving or talking through the details of past emotional or physical trauma. Integral hypnotherapists only need to understand what false truths resulted from a past trauma that may block a person’s ability to achieve their goals. They then work with the individual, using evidence-based protocols to reverse those limiting beliefs and saturate their subconscious mind with positive healing ideas and imagery that support their desired transformation.
You May Not Know It, But You Are Already Experienced At Self-Hypnosis!
Many people wonder if hypnotherapy will work for them or if they can be hypnotized. Although hypnotherapy is not appropriate for everyone, the vast majority of the population can learn to use their mind to achieve a state of hypnosis. Most people are surprised to learn that hypnosis is a natural state of mind that we all experience twice daily, upon waking and just before falling asleep. During these times, your brainwaves are predominantly in the alpha state – actually in the lower end of alpha and the top of theta. Experiencing the therapeutic benefits of self-hypnosis is grounded in science and human physiology, not magical or wishful thinking. To get the most benefit from a hypnotherapy session, you must be highly motivated to achieve your goals, have an open and receptive mind, and be willing to do the self-care work between sessions. A good imagination helps, too, as visualization techniques are heavily used.
All Hypnosis Is Self-Hypnosis.
No one can control your mind during hypnosis or make you do silly things or act in ways that are against your moral code. That’s a Hollywood myth that makes for a scary movie or entertaining stage act, but it is patently untrue. All hypnosis is self-hypnosis. You are responsible for your own mind and how you use it. People can learn to control their pain in hypnosis. That’s more control, not less. Learning self-hypnosis is a re-education process and a skill. A good hypnotherapist teaches you to fish; they don’t just give you the fish. In only a few sessions, people can learn the lifelong skills they need to achieve their goals. Changing the beliefs that are behind the emotions and behaviors is the key to creating lasting transformation!
Is Hypnotherapy Right For Me?
For help with pain and other ailments, your medical provider’s or mental health provider’s approval is required to add hypnotherapy to your treatment plan. While hypnotherapy may have many beneficial effects, it is not a substitute for medical treatment or psychotherapy.
Audrey Holocher is a Certified Medical Support Clinical Hypnotherapist specializing in evidence-based protocols for natural, safe pain control, stress reduction, and behavioral change. she has an M.S. degree in Environmental Science and Engineering, a B.S. degree in Food Science and Technology, and is a Certified Narrative Consultant and Master Practitioner in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP). more information at wasatchhypnotherapy.com.