Oh boy, running this morning was tough, the waves were crashing on the shore, a very unfriendly head wind and I was struggling……out of breath, legs hurting, stone in my trainer and the beginnings of that destructive self talk, ‘ what do you think you are doing? Turn back, go home and get into a warm bath, you could be reading the papers in half an hour…. go on no one will know, anyway you are too old to start this caper.’
Suddenly I started to pick up speed, went further than I intended, time whizzed by and I did my best time since I began training a few weeks ago.
Interested to know what happened? Well I just changed the thoughts that were stopping me getting through a wee tough running patch. The problem and the solution lay within processes called anchoring and pattern matching, we teach the principles behind them on our online hypnosis training and in great detail on the Hypnotherapy Diploma. They are governing principles in all human psychology and behaviour.
So when I was running and felt the discomfort, for a moment my attention was naturally focused on the pain, then I started to remember how I had gone through the same difficulties when I trained for the half marathon last year. But thankfully I also recalled how I had overcome those barriers and smashed through them as I got fitter. What seemed like miserable aching miles soon became like a walk in the park.
I recalled last year how my mate Caroline (who used to live in Kenya) told me of how men of all ages from the Kipsigi tribe would run around their farm on Christmas day after lunch…all 8.000 acres….just for fun!!!! I used to run imagining how those guys must have felt, what they looked like and how they would have ran with the great ease and grace that Caroline described.
My mind focused on this every time that I went running last year and it created a pattern for me, my association with running became something fun, time to be able to enjoy nature and I saw no boundaries to how much I could improve.
So when the going got a little hard today; those hypnotizing negative thoughts that would have made it impossible for me to continue where ousted out by the strong positive hypnotic association that I had created last year. Phew!!!!
Here is a summary about anchoring from the glossary in the Hypnotherapy Course student manual…..
Anchoring: the means by which an emotional learning becomes linked or associated to an experience producing a predictable response whenever that experience or part of it repeats in future. Because of the way the emotional mind works (see pattern matching) the intensity of the emotion will determine how often the learning needs to occur before it ‘sticks’. For example, if someone has a highly frightening experience coupled with the smell of oranges then in future the smell of oranges may well produce the fear or phobic response. If someone has a very minor emotional experience, perhaps mild discomfort, whilst smelling oranges then this experience may have to repeat many times before the unconscious association becomes part of the person’s unconscious emotional repertoire. We can see that phobias and sexual fetishes are both produced by anchoring or ‘learned pattern matching’. Because pattern matching is for basic survival then it is often sloppy and we can see how high arousal can attach to anything that happens to be around at the time of the arousal. Anchoring occurs all the time and certainly in all kinds of therapeutic situations often without the therapist being aware of it or using it as part of the therapy. Once you have hypnotised someone the first time it is almost always easier to hypnotise them again because they become anchored into going into trance with you and your voice. Anchoring needs to be used knowingly by the therapist as it is a fundamental aspect of the way we work. Part of curing a phobia is to ‘unhook’ the anchor from the emotion.
Mark and I are preparing to teach our students how to use the ‘fast rewind’ technique to unhook those anchored emotions from a stimuli, I will let you know how we do this later in the week.