You Can Overcome Negative Thinking with Hypnotherapy
Almost everyone gives themselves suggestions on a daily basis. Some of these may be positive to boost confidence and self-esteem while others may be of a negative or unhelpful nature. And while occasionally giving in to feeling bleak or sad is not uncommon, having excessive negative thinking patterns can become problematic.
What you say to yourself through internal dialogue can really affect your thoughts and feelings. In fact, the effect is much more powerful than that of what others may say to you. When you converse with yourself internally, the influence is more persuasive, more insidious and way more permanent.
Gloomy scenarios may also bring out the tendency to jump to conclusions and fill in the blanks. They can bring your defenses down and make it very easy for the minor things to escalate into huge problems. This can make your negative thoughts crowd out positive ones and make you catastrophize everything.
If you take the time to notice where your thoughts go, you may see that thoughts tend to follow your attention. You can do this by recognizing the tone of your thoughts, whether you think supportively or critically of a person, situation or event? At this point go back to your inner dialogue and pay attention to how you speak to yourself and whether your thoughts make you feel uplifted or exhausted.
How can I change negative thought patterns?
The initial step is to become more aware of your negative thoughts so you can recognize their harmful effects. A common indicator of negative thoughts is that these are often disguised as questions when you talk to yourself.
For instance, you may find yourself questioning why you screw up so often. Although posing as a question, this negative statement may actually be concealing the thought that you have a real knack for messing things up and just can’t seem to get it right. Or asking yourself, “why me?” may imply that you got exactly what you deserved. Both are examples of negative self-talk that can bring you down emotionally but are not grounded in reality.
The nature of such negative thinking often feels intensely emotional imparting an “all or nothing quality”, minimizes the positive, and tends to make rather broad and overgeneralized statements. Yet, all of it feels very real and each feeling comes with its own set of consequences.
For instance, the all or nothing mindset is a one-way street to thinking in extremes. With emotions ruling the mind, everything appears black and white with no greys in between. This thinking pattern misses out on the subtler shades in life and makes you see the past, present and the future in terms of dramatic disasters, failures and catastrophes.
Likewise, minimizing the positive only magnifies setbacks and leads to demotivation and misery. Instead of viewing setbacks as minor or temporary, you only see them as permanent and pervasive. Overgeneralizing any given situation, on the other hand, will make you reach broad and inaccurate conclusions.
How does hypnotherapy help with negative thinking?
Using hypnosis as a therapy is popular among people looking for help to manage negative thought patterns. People undergoing these symptoms may likely be overthinking, repeatedly going over real, imagined or even exaggerated fears.
Since hypnosis is a relaxed state of mind, it can be a highly effective way of changing unhelpful thinking patterns or negative assumptions. According to a 2007 study published in the International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, that compared results between participants receiving cognitive hypnotherapy (CH) and others getting cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) showed that the hypnotherapy group demonstrated significant reduction in depression, anxiety and hopelessness levels.
This study worked with 84 individuals who were depressed and were enrolled in 16 weeks of either CH or CBT. When treatment ended, both groups showed improvements but the CH group exhibited better results over its CBT counterpart.
As such, hypnosis has been used successfully for treating self-sabotaging thoughts and behaviors often associated with negative thinking. Once the gloomy thoughts and behaviors have been resolved, the mind can then use hypnotic suggestibility to step back from negative thoughts and see them for what they really are. It will no longer get caught up in dreary fantasies and be better able to respond to negativity in a healthy way.
Another 2010 evidence based study put together by Assen Alladin and published in the International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis on hypnotherapy for depressing thoughts used a number of hypnotic approaches and outlined how a clinician should structure their sessions. The study also recognizes that there is no universal, but rather individualized treatment when working with people with negative thinking patterns.
If you would like to use hypnotherapy as a way to stop negative thoughts from taking over your life, get in touch with Jake Y. Rubin, M.A. at Westside Hypnotherapy. You can call us to book a free consultation 24 hours a day or schedule online. Your thoughts and beliefs CAN change for the better.