It is said that 50% of our thinking time is spent considering anything but the present. Think about that. Half the time we are thinking about the past or what comes next. It is interesting when you think that we have no real control over either of those things: we cannot change the past and we cannot determine the future.
So what does ‘being present’ look like? Many books have been written about this state of mindfulness as it is called and many of them can be very helpful. Mindfulness however is a practice. It is something that will only develop and improve with use.
Let’s take an example from hypnotherapy. A client may well come to me and say ‘I am overweight’ or ‘I am depressed’ or ‘I am anxious’ or ‘my life is a mess’. These people believe themselves to be defined by the thoughts they are having. It is more helpful to separate oneself from the thought and look at it almost as an observer: ‘I am having the thought that my life is a mess…’ or better still ‘my mind is having the thought that my life is a mess…’.
Hypnosis and the practice of hypnosis can help to quieten the noise made by our conscious minds. Thoughts come and go and somehow in hypnosis it is easier to allow them to just come and go: accepting that thoughts are just words and that words are constructs not reality and that reality is just now and nothing else.
When we look at our lives vertically rather than horizontally, as we do in hypnotherapy, all that is important is to focus on this moment, the sound of my voice, the feelings and sensations we have right now.
So you see, being present takes some getting used to. It takes practice. And to move from a horizontal approach to our chaotic lives to a vertical one, can bring order to that chaos.
Breathing can be a great exercise to calm the mind down and I will often practice this with clients. It is the observation of what our bodies are doing when we breathe however that focuses attention on the present. For example, breathe deeply in and out and as you do that, notice what the muscles in your shoulders are doing, what are your lips doing, your eyes, what sounds are you hearing?
If living more ‘vertically’ sounds like something you would be interested in practicing, hypnotherapy is for you. Let go of your past and your future and focus on now. Get in touch.