“What is this life if, full of care, We have no time to stand and stare.”

William Henry Davies

There’s something good about clichés: they are useful when imagination fails!! Life is too short to not live it well and too long to live it badly! Let’s also say, women and men are like wine, they mature with age if they are looked after well. For those who are now suspended in a fog of confusion, I’ll clarify the conceit behind the connection.

Like good wine does not only depend on nature’s bounty but also on skilful balance and maturity, women and men mature well if they are able to find a good balance in life between work and self-care. Do you now see the connection?

Balance is the key ingredient and in today’s times, unfortunately, that is what is most lacking in our lives!  Most of us lead very busy lives with numerous challenges which in itself is not a bad thing. After all, why have a dull life when you can have an interesting one? But, where we go wrong is by doing too much at the expense of our own emotional and physical well-being, throwing everything out of kilter, the “balance” we most need. Nurturing one’s own growth is key (I did warn you about the cliches!). But how can we do that if we don’t even recognize the signs that tell us we are tipping that scale just a bit too much in favour of stress?

First and foremost, let’s focus on the simplest of signs: our language! How many times do we use the word “stress” without doing anything about it? It’s a sure sign that something is out of balance and needs to be addressed. Stress in turn, manifests as acute anxiety that is sometimes not easy to connect with anything in particular, depression, disrupted or lack of sleep, state of confusion, low self-esteem, feelings of inadequacy or failure, panic syndromes, palpitations…… The list is long. It may be easy for you to shrug and say “But what’s new in this information, we already know this!”. True. Yet, how many of us do anything about it? What if I told you that we are our own worst enemies when it comes to stress? But that, as we have established, is only a paucity of imagination, the truth behind it is enormous and extracted from life’s pearls of wisdom.

The reality is that we are all pre-wired to think in a certain way and it’s very hard to consciously change or alter the belief system that determines the way we look at the world and our actions. So, it may come as little surprise that amongst other self-limiting beliefs we arrive into this world, pre-wired for stress. If we can somehow find access to our belief system, we can alter the negative beliefs and replace them with positive beliefs. From my experience, how one can help gain that access is via Hypnotherapy.

Hypnotherapy is a therapy that can bypass your conscious mind to find direct access to your subconscious. Unlike the stage performances on TV and in films, hypnotherapy is neither magic nor witchcraft. It’s a highly skilled and effective understanding of a very simple concept that the subconscious mind is stubborn and does not like to alter its belief system and has a filter (CCF: conscious cognitive filter) that does not allow any outside ideas to penetrate. Unless of course, we override the filter. By putting us in a trance-like sleep, the hypnotherapist can override this filter and gain complete access to the subconscious. It’s only once that access has been gained, therapy work can commence. It is truly remarkable how much easier it is to change old beliefs and attitudes through this therapy vis-a-vis conventional cognitive therapies. The habits that can be successfully and permanently altered include addictions (smoking, alcohol etc). People with debilitating self-defeating beliefs about their body image, self-confidence can be retrained to think differently too. But contrary to conventional belief, please note there is no magic involved here!! You have to be personally ready to make the change otherwise it does not work! Hence, no point in bringing in a reluctant spouse or child for a change that you would want in them. Unless they want it for themselves, no amount of expertise can make them go into a hypnotic trance. The key things that can make this therapy work are the client’s own faith in the process, their imagination and their anticipation of the result.

I wish to bring up hypnotherapy as a subject in the context of relaxation and self-love as means to balancing our lives. In our search to find ways by which we can enhance the quality of our lives, it would be sheer ignorance to not understand a little about hypnotherapy. Hypnotherapy is an extremely powerful way to achieve the same or similar level of relaxation that deep meditation can bring about. For those of us who have no time or willpower to meditate on our own, hypnotherapy can help. A 20-30 minute hypnotherapy session can be used to relax both body and mind into a very deep and de-stressing state and a relaxed body and mind, as we know, exudes a powerful and creative energy that can enhance our lives to make it even more interesting, as we grow in ourselves. This brings me full circle to my original point that we must take good care of our emotional and physical wellbeing equally. If we mature well, like good wine, we can become a desirable asset to ourselves and others!

One of Shivani's latest art works on the occasion of Valentine's Day 

One of Shivani’s latest art works on the occasion of Valentine’s Day

Shivani Bhargava

Artist (Oils and Acrylics)
Trainee hypnotherapist
Foundation course in Art Psychotherapy