Tuesday, October 13, 2009

We are what we eat – and see, hear, smell, touch, taste.

We are influenced at an emotional level by all our senses. In hypnosis we typically use soft words to create a receptive feeling as the subconscious open to suggestion. However, aggressive words also create a response, often the reverse. Our guard goes up, and we become defensive. We are anything but receptive. Many of us will dig our heals in and respond to aggression by refusing to co operate.Actually when we are very stimulated we have all our senses working overtime, as the XTC song says.

As a hypnotist I tend to be very aware of the importance of these sensory responses. Some are subtle and others less so. If you listen to harsh aggressive music, guess what… You’ll become harsh and aggressive. Listen to sad melancholy songs all the time and you are going to have a response too. One way to beat depression for some people is to play upbeat music, watch comedies on TV and dress up in brighter colours.

Even exposing ourselves to the news can have a negative effect for some of us. My best advice is to take a break from the news now and then if you find it depressing. Keep a little balance in your life. Whatever dreadful happenings are going on half a world away, if you are feeling down, turn off the TV news. The world will manage without you for a few days.

Humans are very responsive to their environment. Some smells make us feel relaxed, as the makers of aromatherapy candles have long known. Looking out over a calming seascape, or mountain view does the same. Even the process of stroking a dog or a cat can bring us a feeling of calm. Tastes, smells, sounds, sights and touches are all able to positively affect us. Making a note of those things we find relaxing, and actively increasing them in our lives is a simple way to make ourselves feel better every day. Try it – you’ll find the results surprising.