By Hakeem Alexander
(Exercising Your Mind)
“Your mind is more important than anything else you own.”
–Marilyn vos Savant and Leonore Fleischer, “Brain Building in Just 12 Weeks”; 1990
I agree that the mind is most important and should be nurtured as with anything of great value. I believe that Hypnosis is one of the highest Arts and Sciences that may be studied by anyone. It is most important because it utilizes scientific techniques based on the best parts of psychology, and aims at the cause of any concern or, Personal Exploration Topic (PET) as I like to call them.
All of our experience originates in mind, whether it be from our interpretation of external stimuli, memories, or thoughts and emotions that we originate ourselves. Our perception dictates what we believe to be reality. Therefore, great skill and care should be taken when providing the optimum maintenance for our mental environment.
As a “Professional belief system enhancer”, the root of the matter, which may usually be attributed to the subconscious mind, is accessed for applications to “Vocational and Avocational, Motivation and Self-Improvement”. By way of using affirmative-suggestions and other mind exercises, Hypnosis as I practice, serves to uplift and inspire in many cases. For others, skills are taught to raise confidence, self-esteem, and other positive reinforcements. Many people are surprised at the level of personal power that I perceive to be inherent within us all, and the absolute confidence that I have in their abilities to overcome any adversity.
In the revised and updated 2003 edition of “Building Mental Muscle” by David Gamon, Ph.D and Allen Bragdon, the section called “Self-illusions are good for you” states the following:
“Common sense has it that an accurate self-perception is essential to good mental health. By this view ‘normal’ people have a realistic understanding of who they are, what they are capable of, and what will happen in the future. People who lack such a balanced understanding, by contrast, may be unwell or, in extreme cases, insane.
The facts show the opposite may be true. The healthiest and happiest people, it seems, are the ones who have unrealistically positive illusions about their own good qualities, their control of chance events, and their future prospects. The realistic ones have a tendency to suffer from some degree of depression”
Interestingly enough, without having to cross the boundaries of practicing psychology or psychiatry without a license, as a “lay-hypnotherapist”, many clients are able to shrug off depression or other more intense experiences. I have been told that this is because the self-improvement skills gained, has provided the confidence and motivation required to lift up out of many low emotional states. In other words, they have received the extra boost of energy needed to break free of the inertia that once held them captive.
I see it as being somewhat like “Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs”, the basic belief being that lower level needs must be met in order to advance to the next level of needs. In my interpretation, when I assist someone in meeting a ‘lower level need” such as Motivation, they are able to advance through something more serious because they are now inspired to take action upon it where before they were not so confident. A little Motivation goes a long way in Self-Improvement.
As a fitness trainer, I have sculpted the bodies of many clients through repetitive exercises associated with or targeted at specific muscles or groups of muscles. Similarly, through the repetition of certain hypnotic techniques and subconscious exercises, associated with certain emotional, mental, or desired outcomes, I have witnessed the increasing personal power of many clients and friends. This newfound behavioral strength has eliminated many unwanted habits and detrimental thought processes. Not only that, but new and more desirable behaviors and habits have been uniquely created to fill the “void”.
In “The Secret of ‘The Secret'”; 2007, research faculty member of Columbia University Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research, and the University of Toronto Department of Psychiatry, Norman Doidge says:
“The brain in certain respects is, indeed like a muscle insofar as it responds to exercise, and we can preserve and develop our brains with the proper exercise, and even strengthen weakened areas we thought we couldn’t”
One remarkable aspect of all of this Motivation and Self-Improvement exercise, is that it appears to be lasting, rather than some palliative method. Former clients, months and years after therapy, actually report being better for having “suffered” if that is how they have felt. Others who were seeking sports improvement, confidence with test taking, stress relief or other less intense augmentations also claim to experience life with more clarity and poise than before, due to the insight gained about the subconscious mind.
“Difficulties are good for you. They are the exercise of your mind. You are the stronger for having overcome them.”
–Robert Collier, “The Secret of the Ages“, 1925
The analogy that the mind can become more fit as with working out the body is a very empowering concept. I am pleased that such a simple application may be used when enhancing the belief systems of myself and others. Just as when the body becomes more fit, and when fat becomes scarce to expose the beautiful muscles beneath; so does my HypnoAthletics help to expose the conditioned personality. Once exposed, this conditioning may be analyzed to determine whether it has been serving to benefit all whom it effects or, if it could use some work.
The depth, scope and power of our subconscious minds is absolutely astounding. However, many of the enhancements are quite easy to learn and simple to use. I used to be very skeptical because I felt things were moving too slowly as far as my personal results were concerned. But now that I have a few years practice behind me, and the fabulous results to enjoy, I am quite convinced.
Marilyn vos Savant and Leonore Fleischer, in “Brain Building in Just 12 Weeks”; 1990, have provided an excellent introduction which I now use for many new clients that I meet. It reminds me of the inner voice that spoke to me when I first sought Hypnotherapy to aid me in developing self confidence. I trust you will find in it the insight that I gained in regard to my habitual ways of thinking, and will inspire you to begin “Exercising Your Mind”.
“Not that you haven’t been using your brain, but you have been using it in an undeliberate, unconscious kind of way, without a lot of stretching and without demanding that it operate at full capacity. Up to now you’ve been taking your mind for granted”