It’s a bit like torture.

When people come to my hypnotherapy practise in Haverhill, I find a lot of the time that the issue isn’t the issue. What I mean by that is that they come to me for and say anxiety, but they don’t know what set it off, or they blame the wrong event, anxiety is a mixture of emotions and it’s when those emotions all get together that you start to suffer. So when people come to see me, we always talk first, and I do this for two reasons. firstly, by talking I can begin to understand what the client is feeling, I can build up trust and make notes on what they say and how they feel it’s affecting them. However more importantly, is that by talking about their issues and how it’s affecting them I know that the subconscious is listening, and it is the subconscious that needs to make the changes.

So why have I said it’s a bit like torture? Well, if you think of your mind like a bucket under a dripping tap, and over the years, even when you small child, all the things that you have ever seen, heard, smelt, and felt are all stored  in your subconscious mind. All the happy memories, all the good times, times when you laughed, times when you felt happy on the inside and on the outside. Times when you may have heard a certain song, and if you were to hear that song today you go straight back to when that melody got into your head. Certain smells may transport you back to perhaps your grandparents house, something like a real fire burning or in my case A paraffin heater. At this time of year if I go out for a walk and I see some conkers on the floor, it brings a smile to my face because at the end of my street that I was brought up on were some huge conker trees, and me and my mates which stand there for ages throwing sticks as high as we could to get the biggest conkers down. For me they were great days and those memories will forever stay in my head. However our subconscious doesn’t only store the good stuff, all the bad stuff is in there too, The insults, The putdowns, the bullying, the injustices, the guilt, the grief every bit of negativity that we have had said to us or we have put on ourselves is stored in our subconscious. So that bucket under the dripping tap has been filling up bit by bit and then one day out of the blue something happens, that makes that bucket overflow, and it all comes out.  

Our mind is like a dripping tap

Now, that thing that made that bucket overflow could be something really simple, on its own not a problem at all, but because it was the straw that broke the camel’s back you focus on that as the problem that you come to see me with. And if you don’t go and see somebody, you end up focusing on the wrong problem for the cause of your anxiety. Think about it you are at home and your child accidentally drops a plate or a glass, and because your mind (your bucket) is full of unwanted thoughts and memories You overreact. You start shouting at the child, you angrily try to pick up the pieces of the broken glass or crockery and you may cut yourself so you shout more at the child As that plate or glass hit the floor that was the drip that made your bucket overflow.  

Now you are annoyed, now you are angry, the child is upset crying perhaps hiding away from you and because they are crying and making irritating sounds you get even more annoyed. So the cycle begins, you blame the child for your anxiety , you blame the child because you cut your finger, you blame your child for ruining your day she blamed the child for everything, but hang on that’s not right.

Just one drip can make us overreact

Let’s take a step back, let’s look at the situation but from a Birds Eye view.

There you are resting on the sofa, you just been speaking to work and you’re a bit stressed, your daughter senses that mum is a bit stressed, she wants to help, she notices the washing up on the side so while mum is resting she decides to do the washing up, she can’t quite reach the sink but she does her best, she washes the plates, the pans and she is reaching into the Sink And with her soapy slippery hands she picks up the last glass, but as she lifts it up it slides out of her hands and on to the floor. You go running into the kitchen, you see the broken glass, you see the water on the floor, and you shout you lose it. You shout at your daughter you become angry, you become irrational, you’re annoyed and you pick up the glass from the floor and as you do you cut yourself, in your eyes that’s your daughters fault as well. Now look at the scene your daughter is crying and looking scared, you’re angry and bleeding from the cut on your hand, and you feel the anxiety rising in your body.

When the issue isn’t the issue

So let’s look at the facts, your daughter sensed the stress and she wanted to do something nice for you, she wanted to give you one less thing to have to worry about, so she decided to do the washing up. It was a lovely gesture because she didn’t want to see mummy stressed. She did her best, and through no fault of her own she accidentally dropped a glass, actually she didn’t drop it, it slipped, slipped from her soapy hands because she was trying to do something nice for you. You were stressed on the sofa, you heard the glass break and before you assessed the situation you got angry, you overreacted, you lost it. Whereas what you should have done is comforted your daughter, make sure she was okay, after all to please you she had pulled a chair up to the sink, she put her hands in hot soapy water, there might have been some sharp knives in there, she didn’t care, she wanted to make life easier for you, when that glass slipped out of her hand she obviously became very upset, and had you not overreacted you would have notice that.

That incident is not the cause of your outburst, that incident was just the straw that broke the camels back. Perhaps the call from work started that bucket to overflow, perhaps it was the fact that you stubbed your toe this morning and it put you in a bad mood, or perhaps it was because when you came down this morning the cat had been sick and you had to clean it up. But you lost it, you overreacted to something that was being done to help you.

Now you know what was really going on, take a deep breath, relax and now what would you do?

How many of you can relate to this?

It’s so common, Hypnotherapy can help. We can release some of that clutter, imaging having a valve that you can open at any time. We can change the past but we can change the way it affects us.

If you would like to know more about hypnotherapy contact me, and if I can’t help you I have a network of other therapists that can.

Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. It’s actually a sign of strength.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Until next week, or possibly the week after 

Have a great week or two.

Take care and stay safe.

Jon X

Hypnotherapy in Suffolk, Essex and Cambridge. and online via Zoom

Jon Adkin Author of ‘Can I Change?’ Available from Amazon. and 100 days in isolation. A collection of funny original images of one mans decent into comic madness during lockdown

Find me on You TubeFacebook and Instagram.

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