UNIVERSE WITHIN by Gwen Randall-Young
• Peace does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. Peace means to be in the midst of all those things and still be calm in your heart. – Angel Chernoff
Many people suffer from sleep problems and/or anxiety. In many cases, they also complain of very busy minds, which they can’t turn off along with their worry thoughts. Unless they are meditators, they do not realize we can learn to quiet our minds and tune into that place between or behind our thoughts.
Because of the rapid pace in our culture, many, if not most, people do not know how to truly relax. I increasingly see symptoms in younger people who have grown up with technology and who keep their cell phone at their fingertips. Something is always entering their consciousness via texts, emails, Twitter, Facebook and other social media. Before technology, there was much more quiet time. There was a time when stores were closed on Sunday. It was a much slower pace. It was easier to relax.
The kind of relaxation I am talking about here is not putting your feet up and watching a movie, but rather a scientific state of relaxation. I help my clients achieve this state through hypnosis, both in the office and by listening to my hypnosis CDs at home. Combined with cognitive behavioural therapy, this works very well. Essentially, we need to retrain ourselves to quiet the mind and calm the body. Look at how animals flop down like rag dolls after activity! We are part of the animal family and could do that too once.
The reason I use hypnosis is that it is hard, if not impossible, for us to put ourselves into a state of deep relaxation. Even meditators may find it hard to stop the thoughts. I think of it like this: the conscious mind is like a word processing program on a computer and the subconscious mind is like the hard drive. If there is a virus in your hard drive and you open a document and write, “clean up virus,” nothing will happen. You need someone with the technology to get into the hard drive, eliminate the virus, clean up the mess it made and perhaps even add or upgrade some programs.
I think of the tendency to worry or have anxiety like a virus in our hard drive. The hard drive is the operating system. It operates at the subconscious level. The technology to access and change it is hypnosis. Hypnosis creates a deeply relaxed state in which we can gain access to the subconscious, begin to eliminate the source of the problem and create new, positive programming.
We know the body and mind are not separate. Everything is connected and the state of our mind can affect our health. Scientists have shown that the practice I have described lowers heart rates, blood pressure and oxygen consumption, which alleviates the symptoms associated with a vast array of conditions, including hypertension, arthritis, insomnia, depression, infertility, cancer, anxiety and even aging.
Anyone can learn the technique of hypnosis, but there are great variations in ability, technique and depth of knowledge and understanding so there is a need for discernment. If you are curious, see the sample clips at gwen.ca
Ultimately, we need to develop the ability to take charge of our minds and heal ourselves. This can be a good way to start.
Gwen Randall-Young is an author and psychotherapist in private practice. For articles and information about her books, “Deep Powerful Change” hypnosis CDs and “Creating Effective Relationships” series, visit www.gwen.ca.