How often have you felt that you’re being pulled in different directions by your own mind?  Part of you wants A and another part wants B.  The end result? Confusion!

I had a lady come to see me recently who had bought a puppy.  She showed me a picture of a gorgeous (in my opinion!), really cute Labrador pup, with big brown eyes and a happy face.  Having chosen said puppy, brought him home, named him and bought him every toy imaginable, this lady felt that something wasn’t right.  When she’d been to the breeder to choose the puppy there had been two that she had instantly fallen in love with. It had taken all her willpower (and a not-too-enthusiastic husband) not to take both of them, and so the deal was done.  The problem was, over the days and weeks that followed she could hear a loud internal voice saying “should have got the other one, it had a cuter face”.  This voice (not a literal voice I hasten to add, but a sense of the words in the form of thoughts) was relentless.  The lady loved the puppy she had chosen, but she felt she was being pulled in two directions because she couldn’t stop thinking about the other pup.  She also felt a great sense of guilt towards her new pet about having the thoughts.  She also had a sense of the voice of reason saying that even if she had chosen the other puppy, she probably would have wished she’d gone for the one who was now living comfortably as part of the family.  These conflicting feelings, or inner talk voices, were affecting her enjoyment of the new family member, and she began to feel very stuck and pressurised by her own thoughts.  She needed help to free her thoughts!

We worked with hypnosis using Parts therapy, which enabled the client to give acknowledgement to her conflicting feelings, while at the same time letting go of the doubtful voice in her mind, so that she was able to really bond with her puppy, and focus her attention on the pleasure that came from that.

We all have internal dialogues going on all the time – shall I/shan’t I?  Should I, could I, what if? Should have said that, should have done that.  We usually use the word “should” because we’re basically telling ourselves off, and at the same time creating more confusion in our minds.

A good tip to change the perspective of the thoughts going round in circles in your mind (you know the feeling, when your mind feels like a ball of wool!) is to change the word “should” to “could”. Try it and see how differently you feel.  Using the word “could” gives us choice, and relaxes the mind because choice is liberating, whereas “should” is like being told off by a parent or teacher!

If you have that ball of wool ravelling itself around your thoughts, try this.  Sit quietly, and notice where in the room the conflicting inner voices would be if you could see them.  You might choose symbolic representations for the inner voices, such as a cartoon character.  Imagine getting a large piece of duct tape and sealing over the mouth of the voice(s) and telling it/them to be quiet.  Then take time out – whatever time you have, whether it’s 5 minutes or an hour, to simply be quiet and let your mind show you a clearer prospective.  Enjoy the peace!

Lynda Roberts is an established Hypnotherapist and Trainer using psychotherapy and hypnotherapy techniques to help clients change their lives for the better.  Hypnotherapy Southeast is based in Colchester, Essex.

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