7 ways to develop emotional resilience with hypnotherapy
Emotional resilience refers to a person’s ability to adapt to stressful situations, and to recover more quickly and fully from stressors. Many factors can reduce a person’s emotional resilience, including childhood neglect and trauma, gender and age. But – even if you feel that you are a person who finds it difficult to handles stressful situations and takes a long time to recover from experiences which your friends or family appear to handle with ease – you can develop emotional resilience. Here are seven ways hypnotherapy can help you to develop emotional resilience.
1) Identify your inner resources
Inside us all – no matter how bruised and battered they might be – we contain inner resources which can help us to be emotionally resilient. If you were neglected, criticised or abused in some way as a child, you might have forgotten that you have strength and knowledge within you. You may have learned early on not to trust in your own judgement, or you may have been taught that your ideas were wrong. One of the first things we will do together is to work to connect with your inner sense of yourself, to provide the time and space for you to quieten the critical voices, and to connect with what your body is telling you. Your body is an incredible storehouse of information and constantly tries hard to communicate with you what’s right and wrong for you – what we sometimes call our gut instincts. We often tend to get caught up in logical thinking and ignore what our bodies are telling us. Hypnosis provides a great way to listen to our bodies which, somewhere, have stored that awareness of our inner resources. By using hypnotherapy, you can learn how to identify these resources once again – and use them in a positive way.
2) Imagine a positive future
Under hypnosis, you can imagine the future you want. Hypnosis provides a powerful way to make this future realistic. The brain finds it difficult to distinguish between what is real and imagined, and you will experience under hypnosis what it feels like to be more resilient. You’ll rehearse certain situations which you usually find difficult, and experience how it feels to tap into your inner self at these times. By using hypnosis in this way, when you next have to face a difficult situation, you will have a powerful experience of how it feels to have strong emotional resilience. In contrast to your future self being an abstract idea, hypnotherapy helps to make that idea real. Once you’ve felt and imagined it under hypnosis, it’s so much easier to pursue that future with yourself in it as a more emotionally resilient version of you.
3) Develop a strategy to pursue that positive future
It’s always useful to have a plan in place so that you know exactly what is required in order for you to be more emotionally resilient. You need a strategy to work towards and a range of practical measures you can take to help build emotional strength. These measures might include identifying the situations which you usually find most challenging, and coming up with solutions – in advance – to help you cope with these situations in the future. It can also include identifying self care measures – such as exercising, developing a support network and pursuing interests and hobbies that help you to feel fulfilled – which will improve your mood and help you build emotional resilience. It may include developing a detailed timetable of helpful activities, and making sure you commit to the time each week to carry out these activities. It may involve identifying long term goals and life changes which you need to help you become more resilient. During our hypnotherapy/ life coaching sessions, I will help you to develop your own personal strategy for emotional resilience and will provide the support to help you stick to your goals.
4) Change perspective
We all tend to become entrenched in our ideas, which is perfectly understandable. If, as a child, you were constantly put down and criticised, you will have learned that your opinion is ‘wrong’ and that you don’t deserve the respect of others. If you were subjected to trauma while you were growing up, you will have learned that the world is a difficult and dangerous place. When faced with stress, your mind and body will react accordingly and you might find it very difficult to cope or to recover from a stressful incident. Your perspective will be framed by these negative experiences, and the way you act will be informed by that perspective. Using a combination of life coaching and hypnosis, I can help you to reframe that perspective – which is unhelpful and limiting – to a more positive perspective. If you can go into a situation with a healthy idea of what may or may not happen, and how you may manage it, you will be far more resilient in the fact of a whole host of stressful and difficult situations.
5) Increase awareness
If you come to see me and feel that your emotional resilience is lower than you would like, it’s possible that you may judge yourself quite harshly. You might feel you are stupid and incapable for not being able to manage certain situations as well as you would like. You may well blame yourself for feeling this way, and feel inadequate. In fact, there is nothing inherently wrong with you. You simply learned – probably a long time ago – that the world is a dangerous place, and that you are powerless to change it. Although this isn’t true at this stage in your life – and there is a huge amount that you can do to empower yourself and become resilient – it might have been true for you as a child, when you lacked a decision making capacity and were disempowered. If you weren’t properly respected and cared for in your early years, you can very easily reach a point where you find it hard to cope with life as an adult. It’s very important to accept that there are reasons for the way you react to things, and these are reasons which were probably out of your control for much of your life. It’s important to let go of self-blame, and to move forwards. Increasing awareness in this way is also not about blaming other people, but accepting that some of their actions perhaps had unintended consequences for you. It’s about identifying how and why your emotional resilience was first lowered, and then taking that knowledge to turn your situation around, to regain any control that you might have given away and to put into places any changes which now become apparent to you. Hypnotherapy can help you increase your awareness and let go of resentment and blame as you move forwards.
6) Have a form of release
It is important that – as you commit to becoming more emotionally resilient – you have a form of emotional release. Sometimes it’s easier to continue to act as we always have, despite the fact that we can see it’s not doing us much good. It’s easier to avoid a social situation which may cause us stress, even though it prevents us from having fun or meeting people who could turn out to be nice. It’s easier not to apply for a new job, because the process will undoubtedly be stressful – although it could result in an improved quality of life. When you commit to becoming more emotionally resilient, you will find yourself confronting situations and digging deep emotionally, and you need to make sure you have some way of releasing the stress and tension which may accompany these experiences. Hypnotherapy and life coaching will help you identify suitable forms of release for yourself, and I will support you in maintaining activities and experiences which help you pursue that emotional release. Self-hypnosis is a wonderful way of providing emotional release, and you will learn some easy and highly effective self-hypnosis techniques as we work together.
7) Provide support
As a hypnotherapist and life coach, one of the most important things I can do to help my clients become more resilient is to provide them with the right kind of support. Ultimately, the goal of any therapist is to work with a client until the point where that client becomes resilient and is able to manage their lives in a fulfilling way without the support of the therapist. The therapist is not like a friend or family member who will be there for the rest of the client’s life. The therapist’s job is to help the client become more independent and sure of themselves, ready to take the tools they have learned in therapy into their lives. Until that point, I will provide you with the ongoing support you need to become more resilient. I’m there to discuss your advances and set-backs, and to encourage you to take risks and try new things out to help strengthen your resilience. Making huge changes is scary – and having the right kind of support along the way will help you to achieve those changes which are necessary to become the emotionally resilient person you wish to be.
I hope you’ve found the above article interesting. Once you’ve developed emotional resilience, it is a skill and a way of looking at the world which you’ve got for the rest of your life. I work extensively in this field, and it’s always a wonderful moment when I see the scales tipping in favour of a client becoming resilient. If you’d like to visit me in my office in Prestwick, Ayrshire or would like a Skype appointment, please get in touch.