Managing Emotional Issues

Life is a sensory experience, completed by emotions, either you manege them or they will manage you!
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Hypnotherapy For The Treatment Emotions

Who will you be today . . . .

On any given day, sometimes moment by moment, we can experience different emotions, each with different feelings, That means our subjective perspective of life is in a constant state of flux, one minute we feel happy and the next, sad. And to add to the complexity of it all, we often have no awareness of why or how these changes occur but . . . there is always a reason?

One of the major reasons we have this ever-changing experience of life is because we are sentient beings. And the senses of Sight (vision), Sound (speech and hearing) and Touch (feeling) are largely responsible for that. These three senses are collectively known as V-K-A, (vision, kinaesthetic, auditory). Along with olfactory (smell) and gustatory (taste), they make up our 5 senses and are the primary way our brain works the way it does. 

From the moment we are born, even before that, our brain starts to store information and processes according to its perception or belief of what is happening. Of course, babies, infants or toddlers, have very few tools to properly analyse what is happening, so we take cues from those around us, e.g. parents, siblings, strangers etc. Eventually, this grows to include almost everyone outside of our family nucleus as other people begin to become familiar, e.g. grandparents, extended family, friends etc. And so, the process of development starts and, one way or another, it never stops. However, those first few years play a crucial role in the way our life unfolds.

Understanding The Fundamentals of Emotions

And . . . what they are!

Hypnotherapy helps us better understand that early world experience. It has a unique way of realigning and reconsolidating those misguided and, maybe, misunderstood learnings from our early experience of life. The child's brain learns to encode experience in a way that allows them to make sense of the world they live in. Depending on the family structure a child learns to adapt and modify their immediate needs for safety, satiation and pleasure. If the environment is a good one, that is usually all well and good. However, if not, development can become stilted. If we have too many negative early experiences, it can throw our development off-kilter and irrational, illogical behaviour can result. Essentially, we become functionally dysfunctional and life goes off the rails but . . . we survive! As adults, this can lead to us having difficulty in our work, and relationships and eventually, our personal life suffers. This is the stuff of destructive behaviours, e.g. alcoholism, drug addiction, weight gain/loss, anxiety, stress, depression or even psychosis!

The bottom line is, that life should not be lived that way. Life should be an experience of some fun, joy, love, happiness etc. I say 'some' because life will always have its twists and turns, ups and downs but those should be the exceptions to life, not the crux of it. So, how do we achieve a successful and happy life? Well, I hope I can answer that below!

The picture of a 1,000 words


It takes more than an open mind!


The sense of vision?

We Live in a world of senses - Sense, Non-sense and Nonsense!   

There are more areas of the brain connected with and relating to vision than any other sense and these have many and various types of connections throughout the brain. So, for most of us, how we see things directly impacts our view of the world; essentially we see what we want or expect to see.

Hopefully, it is obvious that there are no actual pictures in the brain, even if it seems that way? Nevertheless, we do see things, so what we actually see is a neurochemical representation of the world, somewhat based on perception. This perceptive experience is interpreted, either through neurochemical representations held in memory or the rational/irrational way our brain makes abstract sense of what it sees or thinks it does. The machinations of sight are hugely complex and involve a vast array of processes just to bring our world to life. Below are some of the brain areas (but by no means all) that directly or indirectly have extensive, efferent and afferent, connections within the brain, (in no specific order of importance) are:

a)The ventral tegmental area: this is the seat of the 4 major reward pathways (mesolimbic, mesocortical, tuberoinfundibular and nigrostriatal pathways)

b)The cingulum, which is a rich core of fibres that almost circle the entire inner brain, from the subcallosal gyrus of the frontal lobe, all the way round to the parahippocampal gyrus

c) Pendunculpontine tegmental nucleus (part of the Ascending Reticular Activating System) located in the pons of the brain stem

d) Basal ganglia, part of the motor system but has rich connections to the thalamus (a primary sensory processor). Hypothalamus (precursor of the stress response HPA Axis but much more too). Hippocampus, is the primary seat of memory and learning. 

Why we don't alway say what we mean!

The use of verbal language, as opposed to non-verbal, is one of the primary ways we think we communicate. I say THINK we communicate because it also happens to be one of the major ways we get things wrong. And because of that, it's just as responsible for the way we miscommunicate. Language, in a sense, is the interface between our conscious awareness of the world around us and the way our brain processes words at the level of emotion. When we speak we consciously and subconsciously hear what we say and often assume that what we hear, is what the other person hears also!

Spoken language is also largely responsible for the mental/emotional response to the ascribed meaning the brain attaches to words or phrases. That much becomes apparent when someone says something we find morally or ethically offensive or romantically pleasing. However, if life has taught us anything, we know what we say or how we say it, is not always reflected in the way we respond to any conversation? Be it in a good or bad way, the auditory/emotional systems process speech, partly for error detection/fake news and partly from a factual perspective. How else would we know when we or someone else makes a mistake? The complexity arises because of personal confirmation bias and how it influences the way emotion is processed, which can then distort what we say; or hear!

As far as emotional issues are concerned, someone not hearing what we said or more importantly, what we meant, can be an enormous source of our emotional issues. It becomes even worse when the misunderstanding occurs within our own self. This is a major cause of emotional and cognitive dissonance. Essentially, if all too often we don't mean what we say or say what we mean, this can lead to emotional conflict and, consequently, life goes out of balance! This state of imbalance is at the very heart of much of the malaise humans face in their everyday lives, hypnotherapy is the perfect way to recreate inner balance!

That foot in the mouth moment!

Putting your foot in your mouth

Surrounded by sound


Why we don't alway hear what was said!

The sense of hearing is the opposite side of the equation of speech, but is intrinsically linked to our own personal experience of life! As I mentioned above, when we speak we hear what we say and often believe we know what we mean. It is because of that, that we tend to assume that it is also what the other person hears and understands; likewise, this is not always the case either. We have or we at least should, an internal representation of all the words we know and their meanings. However, some words are rather fluid, in that they can have a different meanings, depending on the mood or state of mind we are in. For example, ask someone how they are and, the meaning can change, depending on their mood i.e. if it's, good, bad or indifferent. The inflexion and intonation of the word "OK" can influence the subjective meaning and, consequently, the ascribed meaning can be changed. Ordinarily, we are usually quite adept at adjusting our auditory sense to fit in with the vast array of different combinations of sounds/tones that we encounter. However, it is our momentary personal mood or state of mind that often leads us to misjudge meaning and/or intent. And that's when the experience can change from being positive in intent to negative in meaning? In short, our state of mind can alter or influence the way we use and process language.

The sense of Touch?

Because we are social beings, touch is an extremely powerful sense and one that we use often throughout our normal daily life. However, our greatest awareness of the power of touch (in the negative sense), comes from the relentless bombardment of unpleasant feelings that result from it.

Touch is a member of the VKA (vision-kinaesthetic auditory) dynamic trio of sensory experiences. While all of our senses are important, tough is rather special. This is because it is the one that most aligns with the fact that life is a feeling experience. The sense of touch emanates from the sensory-motor cortex, which runs from the centre top of the brain, to roughly above the ears. The brain begins to map the entire body onto these cortices shortly after birth. However, parts of the brain, in particular the insula cortex, have strong visceral connections to the internal organs and, to a certain extent, deeper and lower tissues, e.g. muscles etc.

Relating this to emotional issues is explained in the way we experience many different feelings while in a state of distress. When we go into the fight or flight response, several areas and functions begin to adapt in preparation to defend or survive. As the sympathoadrenal-medullary system kicks in, releasing adrenaline to make our heart beat faster. Brain blood flow is altered (together with cortisol), and adrenaline alters brain functions like memory and some executive processes.

Life is a feeling experience!

The subcutaneous blood vessels of the skin constrict diverting blood to the major muscle groups (arms for fighting and legs for running). Shortly after (in milliseconds), the HPA Axis kicks in and cortisol starts to pump through our body and brain. Digestion is stymied, and, in the case of chronic stress, the immune function becomes impaired. In the context of the sensation of touch, this experience, on an ongoing regular basis, actually changes both the reality and the perception of life. Hypnotherapy is an excellent way to bring the defensive mechanisms back under regulated control.

But what does this have to do with emotional issues?

Well, it points to the fact, that our senses are not always as reliable as we believe them to be but, nevertheless, we do rely on them. When growing up, children experience something every day; in fact everything, for the first time? When that happens they, subconsciously, give it meaning. Sometimes, it is the meaning they are told by their parents or a well-meaning adult, e.g. little boys don't cry, he who hesitates is lost, think before you leap etc. We may remember asking our parents, "where did I come from" and being told, "a stork brought you" or "behind the gooseberry bush" (or other excuses)! Quite an understandable excuse, as surely telling a small child about the human reproductive process would be too difficult to comprehend. Simply because their brain has not yet developed enough to make sense of that kind of information! Sometimes we say the things we do out of embarrassment; people just don't freely talk about their sex life! But it's somewhat strange that someone would think of procreation as an aspect of their sex life, rather than it being an act of creation? Realistically, the pleasure derived from sex is merely a byproduct of the act of procreation, the neurological motivational reward system that initiates the physical response. Whereas, for many people, children are often the unexpected result of their sex life! Hence the saying that most people are the result of an accident!

As I said above, think about the effect of telling a child things like:
a) little boys don't cry
b) you mustn't get angry
c) think before you leap
d) he who hesitates is lost
e) if you don't go to sleep the bogeyman will get you
f) smoking is bad for you (as you light up your cigarette)
g) you must eat all of your food (but don't do it yourself),o
h) or they see signs saying $500 fine for throwing litter (and then watch you throw litter)
i) why aren't you like your brother/sister etc. etc.

From the day we are born we are bombarded with ambiguity or things that can confuse or confound us! And people wonder why we have problems? Essentially we are the subjects of misinformation, misinterpretation and misunderstanding, almost, from the day we are born! Hypnotherapy helps to realign what we learn subconsciously and convert it into a functionally updated version of childhood memory. This is the precursor to leading a normal life experience!


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