‘I’m a mindset coach and I suck at meditating. Here’s what I do instead’
Clinical hypnotherapist and mindset coach Claire Aristides shares why meditation is hard, even for her, and how she gets her hit of mindset zen without the ‘ommming’.
Not a meditator? Me either. I wondered was what wrong with me in that I couldn’t sit still for 30 minutes and focus only on my breath.
My mind would wander and I’d lose my focus, I’d start thinking about emails I had to write, bills I had to pay, or my nose would become incredibly itchy… and I would lose focus.
So if you aren’t a meditator may I suggest you try hypnotherapy, or self-hypnosis instead.
A different kind of mindfulness
A few years back, I had burnout – I was a workaholic with my brand, working day and night seven days a week, at the expense of my health. After falling in a heap with a series of failed IVF’s I came back to hypnotherapy; something that my dad had embraced during his cancer battle years before.
I spent a year seeing a clinical hypnotherapist, unraveling the knots of stress that seemed to exist in every nook and cranny of me. We ended up working not only on my stress, but my confidence and mindset as an individual.
It was an incredible experience and here are four reasons it appealed to me.
#1. Hypnotherapy is like meditation, but with goals
Yes, it is similar to meditation in that you focus on your breath, you can involve a body scan, and other techniques to take yourself into a calm, meditative state. A complete natural state of mind, where we quieten our busy overthinking minds, but what hypnotherapy does as the next step is to work on a goal for yourself – from stress, eating, confidence, sleep, and so forth.
It works deep down at the subconscious level to work towards positively changing your mindset.
#2 Hypnotherapy aids self-development
So not are you only relaxing and calming your mind, but you are also working on yourself, evolving, developing, and changing negative thought patterns. For me, this gives the session a sense of purpose and direction. It feels more rewarding, and I connect with the time, feeling like I am empowering myself.
#3. Hypnotherapy involves visualisation
Many great sportspeople, successful leaders, surgeons, musicians see in their mind’s eye what they want for themselves. They play over and over in their mind what they want – like setting down a blueprint or the tracks of where they want to go.
So while being in your calm, meditative-like state, see in your mind what you want, see, feel, and imagine yourself as the future self you want to be. And repeat this over and over, making it feel normal and natural.
#4. Hypnotherapy uses storytelling
Using the careful choice of words, the hypnotherapist often tells a story that helps individuals move from a negative belief towards ‘breaking free’ or moving on and changing their beliefs.
The power of words is powerful. A study by neuroscientist and psychologist Dr Lisa Feldman Barrett showed that just listening to a story describing you being involved in car crash caused increased activity in the brain system that controls heart rate, breathing, metabolism, the immune system, and hormones. “The power of words is not a metaphor, it’s in the wiring of your brain,” says Dr Feldman Barrett
How to make the habit stick
Bringing self-hypnosis practice into your daily routine is the best way to make it a habit that sticks. For the long term.
It’s something you can do as you wake up, when you are still a little sleepy and groggy, to help start you day right. Or, if you love yoga, try bringing this practice and routine into your mat time. Or as you go for your daily walk, or run.
Claire Aristides is a Sydney-based clinical hypnotherapist and founder of Mindology App – an app to calm and empower the mindset. Find out more here.