John-Paul Flintoff, theguardian.com, Monday 11 August 2014 00.05 BST
It is all too easy to fall into unhealthy patterns of thought, but visualising your inner critic can help
“Psychologists use the term “automatic negative thoughts” to describe the ideas that pop into our heads uninvited, like burglars, and leave behind a mess of uncomfortable emotions. In the 1960s, one of the founders of cognitive therapy, Aaron Beck, concluded that ANTs sabotage our best self, and lead to a vicious circle of misery: creating a general mindset that is variously unhappy or anxious or angry (take your pick) and which is (therefore) all the more likely to generate new ANTs. We get stuck in the same old neural pathways, having the same negative thoughts again and again.
Happily, increasing evidence of the brain’s plasticity suggests that we can disrupt this poisonous cycle and put in place something much more healthy. Brains don’t stop developing in childhood, as was previously believed: studies of London cabbies doing “the knowledge” of the city’s layout have found a redistribution of grey matter, and individuals who sustained massive brain damage have been shown to develop workarounds using undamaged parts. So we can learn to stop our thoughts travelling down the well-trodden neural pathways by creating entirely new ones…” To read full article please click here.
Interesting short article offering a tool to help us confront and work with our automatic negative thoughts. The term “automatic” refers to the nature of those thoughts, which “pop into our heads uninvited” as the article says. These thoughts come from our subconscious mind, the part of our mind which contains everything we have learnt and experienced through our life, and to which we do not have acess. All our memories, learnings, attitudes, opinions and believes about ourselves and the world around us. With the contribution of hypnotherapy we can achieve an increased access to our subconscious mind and install new re-worked, re-structured elements which we believe to be benefitial to us at any point in our life. This way, the outcome of an exercise like the one described in this article practiced in a hypnotic state can be integrated into our mind in a faster, more effective way than from our normal state of awareness.