Why hypnotherapists use positive suggestions

Updated: Mar 1

Please indulge me for a moment. Settle back in your chair if you are on a chair, take a nice silky-smooth breath in and then out, and relax your mind. Just for a moment. And now that your mind is relaxed. I would like you to do something. I would like you to not think about a pink elephant. Please don’t think about a pink elephant. That’s it. I really hope you aren’t thinking about it.

When experiencing this exercise, most people will report that they can’t help but picture a nice, big, pink elephant in their mind’s eye. Maybe it was the same for yourself? So why does this occur?

Your subconscious mind does not incorporate the word “don’t” and only hears “think about the pink elephant” and complies appropriately. The same thing happens when you think “don’t bite your nails” or “don’t eat that chocolate”. You are actually giving your subconscious mind the suggestion to bite your nails or eat that chocolate and you are more inclined to do these things simply by telling yourself not to. Therefore, you act to entrap yourself in doing exactly what you wish to avoid.

The subconscious mind is a powerful facilitator of changing unhelpful thoughts, behaviours, feelings, and habits, and hypnotherapy acts as a tool to promote this change. As hypnotherapists gently guide clients into a place of relaxation where the subconscious mind is ready to take on suggestions, they only use positive turns of phrases to appeal to the subconscious mind to bring about positive change.

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