Did you know that hypnosis can change your negative mindset? In this post, we’ll see how your mindset affects you and how hypnosis can help with your mindset.
Can Hypnotherapy Help With Mindset?
A study conducted by Vasel and team (2016) on a group of women showed that hypnotherapy is an effective way to strengthen the ego and reduce negative self-talk. This was achieved with the help of ego strengthening suggestions. Another study by Kirsch (1995) proves that hypnosis also increases the efficacy of CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy), which is a form of psychotherapy aimed to improve thoughts and behaviour as well.
We’ll look at what exactly mindset is, how hypnosis helps with mindset, and why it is important to have a positive mindset in more detail one by one.
Let’s jump right into it.
How Hypnotherapy Can Help with Mindset
Our mindset is the set of basic belief system that we have. It determines how we look at the different circumstances of our life.
The life experiences that we have and the beliefs our parents/family passed down to us determine how our mindset is going to be. The more positive those thoughts and beliefs are, the better the outlook we have for our lives. Conversely, negative thought pattern affects our lives negatively.
But, we can change these fixed negative beliefs with the help of hypnosis.
Let me explain.
Hypnosis is a method using which we can tap into our subconscious mind. It’s your subconscious mind where the negative thoughts, habits, and feelings live.
One may seem asleep during hypnosis but the mind is hyper-attentive and is highly open to new suggestions while in the state of trance.
The hypnotherapist uses this state of suggestibility to replace the ideas that are holding you back with positive thoughts that help develop a growth mindset.
What does this mean for you?
We quite often find ourselves saying things like:
- “I’m not good enough”,
- “I don’t know how to do it”,
- “I can’t do it”,
- “This is not what I was told to do”,
- “This will make me look stupid”,
- “what if I fail”,
- “I can never lose weight”,
- “I don’t have enough confidence to do it”,
- “I can never look that pretty/handsome”, etc.
These types of thoughts subconsciously develop a false belief that this is who you are and nothing can be done to make changes.
Hypnosis eliminates these thoughts. Your new positive set of beliefs will then encourage positive thinking. There will be an increase in self-admiration, self-confidence, and motivation.
With these new changes, you will become more open to new experiences and you will not fear failure. This way, hypnosis can end our habit of looking at things in a fixed way and develop a mindset that can adapt to any situation.
Now that you know how hypnotherapy can help you get rid of the negative mindset, let’s see why a positive mindset is important.
It gets even more interesting.
What Is Mindset?
Mindset refers to a set of beliefs a person holds.
The Implicit theory of intelligence developed by Carol Dweck, Lewis and Virginia Eaton Professor of Psychology at Stanford University and her team gave us the two types of mindset.
Dweck conducted a study on a group of students. She divided them based on their beliefs about where a person’s ability comes from. From the study they were able to identify two groups:
- students that had a growth mindset; and
- students that had a fixed mindset.
Which one do you have?
Are you a Fixed mindset?
People with a fixed mindset believe that we’re born with our abilities. They believe that traits like intelligence are innate and nothing can be done to improve it.
People with this type of mindset are usually very scared of failure. They hesitate to try something new because of their fear of failure, and they often find themselves questioning their abilities.
Or are you a Growth Mindset?
People with a growth mindset believe that skills can improve. They believe that they can learn by exploring and putting constant efforts.
Not to say that they are delusional about human abilities. But they believe that while they may have certain limitations, they can always work to improve their skills.
People with a growth mindset are not afraid of failures. They believe that failure is something that can help them learn and improve. They use failure as a tool for growth.
They have better self-esteem, are very curious, and are not easy to quit.
What’s the bottom line?
Having a growth mindset helps develop intrinsic motivation. This is the type of motivation that comes from within you and is essential to have long-term motivation and success.
This theory gives us an idea about why some people bounce back from failures well, as compared to others. It all depends on the type of mindset they have.
The concept of mindset applies to every aspect of our lives. Studies in recent years have shown how much our mindset affects our lives in different ways.
To give you an idea, the placebo effect is a perfect example of what a positive mindset can do.
Let me show you how that exactly works.
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Why People Have a Certain Mindset
While we all are defined by our genes, our environment plays a greater role in developing our mindset. The way we think and perceive things depends on our life experiences, and the “lessons” we learn as a child.
A study by Hokoda and Fincham (1995) proved that our parents play a greater role in it. Certain things like:
- punishing the child for being bad,
- praising the child for being smart and the good outcomes rather than their efforts,
- telling the child to act smart rather than enjoy learning, and
- linking failure to the child’s abilities,
…are a few things that are responsible for the development of a fixed mindset in a child.
Think of it this way.
Telling a child to focus on certain attributes and outcomes gives out the message to the child that it’s more important to “look smart”. Efforts might take a back seat in this case, as no one ever emphasizes it.
If you tell a child that he/she is smart, they will link “smart” to their identity. They will then avoid anything that will put harm to their “image” or anything that makes them “look stupid”.
Similarly, if you tell a child that he/she is dumb, they will start seeing themselves as dumb. In this case, they will not attempt anything to grow, because they subconsciously believe that there is no hope for them and so it won’t make a difference.
On the other hand, if we praise a child for their efforts despite the outcomes, the child is more likely to develop a growth mindset. Allowing the children to explore and try new things are a few things that support the growth mindset.
The mindset, thus formed, affects all areas of our life.
5 ways Your Mindset Affects Your Life
There isn’t an area of your life that is not affected by your mindset:
1. Your Personal Growth:
By now, you must have the idea that a growth mindset is needed for personal growth in life, and various studies have proven this.
People with a fixed mindset believe we can’t develop our abilities. So, when exposed to negative situations, they show a helpless response pattern. This means they feel helpless about their situation and believe things can’t improve.
This kind of attitude, over time, results in reduced self-esteem (Robins and Pals 2002). Following a failure, their performance continues to drop, and they end up with a lower self-confidence and pessimism.
People with a growth mindset have a mastery-oriented response pattern. It means that the person has a desire to become competent at a task.
People with a mastery-oriented response pattern are self-motivated to improve. They try to get better at things despite their difficulty level. They are not depended on anyone’s approval and do not get negatively influenced by poor results.
A growth mindset helps them stay persistent in their efforts. They work to improve their strategies and choose to think positively, despite failure.
A study by Romero and colleagues (2014) shows that students with a growth mindset tend to choose advanced academic courses, and have a better ability to adapt to challenging situations.
This shows how important our mindset is for our personal growth.
2. How Your Mindset Affects Your Weight Loss Goals
Diet and exercise are important for weight loss, but having a positive mindset is equally important. Your mindset will help you develop the motivation that you need to follow through your plans.
Your mindset is going to affect the decisions you make. For example, if you have a “diet” mindset, you are likely to starve yourself to lose weight.
Now, the negative effects of dieting are well known.
The Minnesota Starvation Experiment (1945) showed us how not eating makes us binge and destroys our metabolism. So, in short, if you have a dieting mindset, you will end up gaining more weight.
If you have a good mindset about your food, you will provide your body enough nutrition and the much needed time to lose weight.
A study by Corbin (2011) proved that our mindset affects Ghrelin response in our body. Ghrelin is the hormone that regulates hunger. The higher the level of Ghrelin in your circulation, the more hungry you will be. The study shows:
- When you think that you are consuming more calories, the level of Ghrelin in your circulation decreases. Even if you are consuming way fewer calories, your body will respond to your thoughts.
- Your satiety levels are consistent with what you think, rather than what you actually eat. So if you think that you are consuming more calories, you will feel full.
This proves how effective our mindset is in controlling our satiety and cravings.
But this is not it!
Yet another study by Crum and Langer (2007) proves our mindset increases the effectiveness of the exercise. This study shows that if you think that you are getting more exercise than usual, you will lose weight, without making any extra efforts!
Once again, our beliefs put placebo effect on our body and lead to a higher weight loss.
But there’s more.
3. Your Mindset Decides How your body responds to Stress
Stress is predominant in the 21st century. Most of us live under stress. We stress about work, relationships, personal growth, health,…. and everything else!
We do need some degree of stress in our life. It’s stress that gets things done– helps you get up in the morning and makes you finish the work before the deadline.
But as many studies have shown, chronic stress puts a lot of negative effects on our body. Stress can lead to many illnesses; like heart disease, cancer, diabetes, depression, anxiety, etc.
So what’s the point?
In recent years, as more and more studies came up with newer findings of the link between stress and health issues, the awareness for stress and management grew. But with that people also started developing a mindset that “stress is bad”, and that “stress kills”. In fact, you can see people getting stressed about stress.
This negative mindset about stress determines how much effect stress is going to put on you.
Stress mindset is how you look at the stress: do you think stress is harming your body, or do you think it’s quite helpful at times? A recent study by Crum and Salovey (2013) shows that your belief matters.
Your mindset about stress determines what effect stress is going to put on your body, how you will cope with stress, and how much influence stress will put on your performance.
A negative stress mindset will cause more negative effects on your body. But, if you don’t see stress as the ultimate evil, your body will have an easier time coping with it.
4. Your Mindset Determines you Pain intensity
You probably have heard about the placebo effects of medicines. It is when your doctor prescribes you a sugar pill for, say, pain, and yet the patient notices a relief in their symptoms.
This is a classic example of how our mindset affects the response of our bodies. The belief of the patient that the medication will help him gets him pain-relief. It is a widely known and practised method that doctors use to tackle the unnecessary demands of medications by the patients.
What people might not know is that mindset not only helps or worsens acute pain, but is also responsible for maintaining chronic pain.
How, you ask?
Pain catastrophising is the tendency to describe pain in an exaggerated manner and feel helpless about it.
People often use words like “this is terrible”, “I can’t stand it anymore”, “it feels like it would never get better”, etc. The thing is, the more you use such phrases for pain, the more intense your pain will be.
A study by Quartana and team (2009) shows that pain catastrophising worsens pain-related outcomes. These may include an increased insensitivity to pain, increased interference of pain in daily routine, depression, etc.
Here’s what that means in layman’s terms.
So you see, not only how you think, but how you talk about your pain affects your response to pain.
Hypnosis is one of the methods that help alter the way you look at pain. In a study by Adachi and colleagues (2016) wherein participants were subjected to heat stimulation, the results showed that hypnotic induction and hypnotic induction with anesthesia suggestions reduce exaggerated pain experience.
5. Does Your Mindset Play a Role in the Development of Mental Illnesses?
Stress is one of the major causes of mental illnesses. No wonder the 21st century is also the host to mental disorders. Again, your mindset plays a very important role.
Your mindset can provide you protection, or make you susceptible to mental illnesses.
On the other hand, people with a fixed mindset tend to suffer from mental illnesses, as per a study by Schleider (2015).
Here’s another way to think about it.
Can a shift in mindset help treat your mental illnesses?
A 9-month study by Schleider (2017) revealed that participants reported relief from anxiety and depression after a single-session intervention aimed at developing a growth mindset.
Growth mindset develops resilience, and that’s the reason why people with a growth mindset are better at handling stress. Their optimistic views, belief in growth, and the general outlook about themselves are the protective factors.
Here are some examples.
3 Ways To Change A Fixed Mindset to a Growth Mindset
With all the studies done in the field of mindset, it’s clear that mindset plays a very important role in every aspect of our lives. People with a growth mindset live a better life. They are great at handling negative situations and live a healthier life.
Mindset develops naturally over time, but, the good news is that it’s not a fixed character. We can change it for good.
Apart from hypnosis, a few things that will help you in this process are:
1. You are what you think
Like you already know by now that what you say to yourself really matters a lot. It imprints in your subconscious mind making you think that you are not good enough. Therefore you should monitor what you say to yourself.
Instead of saying things like “I can’t do this”, start saying “I’ve got this“. Hypnosis will indeed help you with the negative thoughts but an added effort from your side would be supportive.
2. Evaluate Who are you hanging out with
Is there a Negative Nancy in your life? Get rid of her (or him)! You don’t want anyone’s negative mindset to influence your thought process.
Surround yourself with people who believe in growth and support you in your growth as well. You can, in fact, learn a lot from others as well. Observing other people’s thinking and behaviour will actually help you in self-reflection a lot.
3. Stretch the boundaries of your comfort zone
Starting with something as simple as ordering food that you usually don’t eat will help you get out of your comfort zone. Try out some new hobbies, and make some goals that will push you out of your comfort zone.
Ask the supportive people in your life to take part with you. This will make the transition less scary.
Once you do this, you will realize that trying new things may end up giving you your new favourite food, and that failure is not that big of a deal in reality.
Can Hypnosis Help with Motivation?
Various studies have shown that hypnosis helps with motivation. A study by Estabrooks and May (1965) proved hypnosis helps improve motivation in college students.
Another study by Craciun and Holdevici (2012) showed the effectiveness of hypnosis in improving motivation and reducing procrastination in people with anxiety.
You can read more hypnosis and motivation here: Can Hypnosis Help with Motivation?
Can Hypnosis Help with Self-Confidence?
A study by Barker and Jones (2010) performed in soccer players showed that hypnosis helps enhance and maintain self-confidence and performance.
Self-confidence develops with the help of ego-strengthening suggestions.
CEO & Founder | Clinical Hypnotherapist | Weight Loss Specialist | Health Coach
Leading the charge is Jodi Clarke, the CEO and Founder of Awaecnan who is also a Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist. Having studied at The Academy of Hypnotic Science, an Australian government accredited Clinical Hypnotherapy training academy, Jodi’s hypnotherapy skills are both effective and award-winning as she supports clients to achieve positive changes in their everyday lives.
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