One of the great things about training to become a hypnotherapist is learning about how our brains work. But we don’t want to keep this information to ourselves! At Inspired to Change we teach our clients all about how they can get the best out of their brain and here are some of our favourite tips to help you unlock your brain’s potential too!
Tip 1 – Get a Good Night’s Sleep
There is nothing more powerful than a good night’s sleep for restoring your mind! Whilst we sleep powerful restorative and problem solving processes are taking place in our brain – during sleep we form memories, we retain and store information and process our experiences, decoding the information we have received during the day. Whilst asleep we aren’t taking in new information so our brain has the capacity to problem solve helping us to move forward. All of this helps us to function better the next day, think faster on our feet and rationalise situations better. So sleeping isn’t just about restoring our body!
Tip 2 – Stop the over thinking
We spend too much time in our brain time travelling – if we aren’t skipping ahead to the future worrying about what might happen we are dredging back through the past worrying about what has already happened. All that over thinking takes up a lot of brain capacity! If you use up all your brain energy worrying you won’t have any resources left for the thought processes and focus that helps you achieve what you want to achieve
Tip 3 – Feed your brain
When we are chosing what to eat we usually think about the energy and nutrients our body needs and little thought goes on thinking about what our brain needs. Our brain has about 500 calories a day available to it for all the thought processes and decision making it needs to make. But not just any calories – our brain loves the slow release energy we get from low GI foods like nuts, seeds, high quality proteins and leafy green vegetables. Healthy snacks between meals stop the afternoon brain fog and low motivation evenings that can be a spanner in the works if you’re trying to achieve something awesome! And don’t forget to water your brain either! Our brain’s are 85% water and dehydration will also have a negative effect on your brains ability to function.
Tip 4 – Exercise your body
We all know that exercise is good for our bodies right, but did you know it was good for your brain too? When we exercise we release our feel good hormone serotonin which doesn’t just make us feel happy, it lights up all the connections in our brain helping us to think faster and more creatively; to take information in better, store it better and retrieve it faster too; it helps us to problem solve as well as motivating us to take action. So a morning run, swim or ride to work is exactly what you need if you want to have the benefit of that serotonin all through the day or a brisk walk at lunch time is the perfect boost to stave off that afternoon brain lull.
Tip 5 – Exercise your brain
Use it or lose it is the message here! Exercising your brain increases the blood flow keeping it sharp, healthy and functioning at it’s very best, improving your memory and staving off the cognitive decline that is often associated with age. But what is the best way to exercise your brain? Strategic puzzles and memory challenges deepen the neural pathways in your brain but actively stilling your mind and focusing exercises are just as important which is where mindfulness activities come in. The key is variety and finding things that your enjoy whether it be chess, learning a new language or reading and practicing mindfulness.
Tip 6 – Be clear about what you want to achieve
If you want your brain to help you achieve something, whether that is finishing a task at work, getting from A to B in the quickest way, planning a project or achieving a life long dream, you need to be clear about what you want. Our brains are problem solving machines but we need to point them in the right direction! If we are clear about what we want to achieve, “I want to sign off this project by Friday” for example, our brain will problem solve for us and come up with the best solution available to us. Where we often go wrong is in focusing on what we don’t want – “I really don’t want this project hanging over me over the weekend” for example. Our brain doesn’t understand the “don’t” word and just focuses on the subject matter, just read that alternative sentence back about the project and remove “don’t”, what you get then is an instruction to your brain which says “I really don’t want this project hanging over me over the weekend” – that is what your brain is problem solving! Just a small shift in focus to what you do want, rather than what you don’t want is enough to make sure your brain is pooling all it’s resources on the right problem!
Tip 7 – Be Optimistic
Being optimistic is like taking the blinkers off our brain! When we are optimistic our brain is open to the fact that something will happen and it starts scanning for solutions to make it happen. When we are pessimistic it’s like putting those blinkers back on – if we are telling ourselves something is never going to happen why on earth would our brain expend energy on trying to find a solution – that would be wasted energy surely? Next time you find yourself thinking in a pessimistic way challenge yourself you find an optimistic view on the situation and see the difference it makes.
Tip 8 – Don’t be hard on yourself
We are all guilty of being hard on ourselves but countless studies show encouragement and positive language and mind-set improve performance, wellbeing and even lead to faster decision making, raised levels of confidence and more creative thinking – even when we are talking to ourselves! Try this experiment if you want to see how powerful your language is: pretend you are the parent and try out different ways of responding to a negative action or event…check how you internally react. How did it feel after you told yourself off, demanding why you can’t just do as you’re told (etc) as opposed to calmly stating it is not the behaviour you want, being kind and encouraging that next time will be better and how proud you’ll be when you get it right.
Tip 8 – Gain a higher perspective
Our instant response to the situations we find ourselves in can often be negative, pessimistic views – that’s our primitive brains kicking in to trying and keep us safe from potential dangers. Bearing in mind our primitive brain doesn’t understand the difference between us worrying about money, relationships or job issues and a lion coming to attack us, this first response isn’t always the most sensible! Challenging ourselves to look at a different perspective is all it takes to get our more sensible, intellectual brain to take a look at the situation and give us a more rational view point. So next time you recognize that pessimistic, cynical or down right negative internal voice kicking in ask yourself is this the only perspective here? How might someone else see this situation? How might you see this situation in a week, a year or a decade? Look at the situation from every angle possible and then make a choice about which perspective is the best for you.
If you’re wondering if hypnotherapy could help you to get the best out of your brain then why not book in for a FREE initial consultation to find out how we can help you.
Read how of our clients did just that, here.
Inspired to Change Hypnotherapists are all recognised by the National Council for Hypnotherapy, the UK’s leading not-for-profit hypnotherapy professional association and are based across the UK in Bristol, Cambridgeshire, Devon, Kent, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Norfolk and Somerset.
To find out how you can train as a solution focused hypnotherapist click here for our hypnotherapy school information