These days we regularly hear phrases such as we will “beat this illness or must “battle” against it. On the surface this fighting talk can sound very positive and help demonstrate that we are not just going to lie down and let ourselves be walked over whatever the odds. This in itself may be no bad thing but are there other unforeseen consequences to using this sort of terminology. A recent study at the University of Lancaster found that using “war metaphors” in the “fight” against cancer may not always be as helpful as it might appear.
How often do we hear that someone has” lost their battle” against a serious illness. This type of terminology is glibly used by media, pundits and experts but does it help the person suffering and does it help people recover or prolong their lives? In fact although these battling terms may be helpful for charities to raise money interestingly Macmillan Cancer Support has consciously held back from this sort of terminology. According to researcher Elena Semino professor of linguistics and verbal art at Lancaster University it is best left to the individual to choose their own metaphors to help them with their illness. It was also found that when battle terminology is applied patients may begin to feel a sense of responsibility if their condition deteriorates.
When we are ill what are we looking for? Health.
Whether one is suffering from an emotional or physical illness are we not looking for good health? And the first four letters of health are HEAL. By healing we are truly mobilising the resources of body and mind in a way that makes so much more sense. If we are in a “struggle” to lose weight implicitly we are in a struggle with ourselves. If we are “fighting” a life threatening disease then we could find ourselves fighting our own body! Will we really be able to muster the energy to “battle” with depression when one’s internal resources seem to be so low?
Anyone who has studied and qualified as a hypnotherapist, counsellor or psychotherapist will have been trained in the use of language and the importance of the words chosen and how how best to use them. Hypnosis uses it’s own particular language patterns and these patterns are designed to bypass the conscious mind and communicate with the unconscious mind. Without this we would have to rely on conscious communication to make a change and as we have all experienced at some time or other the conscious mind knows what we “should” be doing but does not always have the tools to make the required changes. Smokers may know that they want to quit but telling oneself is one thing and doing it is another just as telling ourselves to eat healthy food does not always make it happen.
We are using words constantly when communicating with others and when talking internally to ourselves. But are we really aware of what the message might be that is often hidden behind our thoughts and internal conversation and the effect it is creating? I see healing as the focus to bring together the natural resources of mind and body for real and meaningful change. However using such terms as fight, beat, and struggle could just be setting up an internal conflict that will block the results we are looking for.
For more information on how Hypnotherapy, EFT and NLP could help you please call or email and I will be happy to help.
As Mark Twain said in his famous quote “I have known a great many troubles in my life but most of them have never happened”
Many of us spend a lot of our lives worrying about things that seem at the time very important. And yet however overwhelmed we feel by these worries we are “still here at the end of the day to tell the tale.” This is not to say that there are not things in life that we may describe as legitimate worries. But the interesting thing is that when we really have something important to worry about we are often suddenly able to galvanise ourselves into action and deal with the situation in a way that it is hard to imagine possible with minor issues.
So what are the figures when it comes to categorising the quality of worry in our lives? It makes interesting reading.
40% Never happens
30% Has already happened
22% Needless worries
8% Actually happens
Of the last 8% –
4% We have some control over
4% Beyond our control
Putting it into perspective such as this can be a valuable way to help rationalise our responses and manage or defuse them.
However if you think you still need some tools and techniques that will really help you get on with your life there are two tools that I have found to be amongst the best to help release the demon of constant stress, worry and anxiety about things.
Hypnotherapy and EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique)
Why do I think Hypnosis and EFT are so good at helping us make change? Because they speak to the unconscious mind, the part of us that does not have the reasoning powers of the conscious mind but the part that generates change from the creative part of the mind. Most smokers would know logically they should stop like most of us know how to lose a few pounds if we want to lose weight but the conscious mind deals in logic and the bridge to logic and making a change is much harder to cross than the creative bridge from our unconscious. We may consciously know every step we should take but taking those steps is another matter. Harnessing the power of our creative unconscious can really clear the way to making amazing changes in our lives.
If you would like to know more about the techniques I use and how my experience has given me the opportunity to develop strategies that are practical yet amazingly effective to help relieve that uncomfortable “background noise” that is worry just call or email and I will be very happy to chat with you.