The Pursuit of Happiness: Can Self-Hypnosis Make Us More Content?
Is being happy even remotely achievable?
I often wonder this from the piss-easy comfort of my first world life. I don't really believe that being happy is the purpose of life particularly, but obviously, it makes life that bit easier. Sometimes I think that being content is really the goal, just getting a nice even keel on the emotions front would be great. Now obviously there're loads of arguments for why we should all stop moaning and get on with being happy with what we have, so let's just take it that that is a given. We should all be doing this, but it definitely seems as though some of us are just that bit better at it than others, doesn't it?
Some studies have shown that quote unquote "happy people" are not just wired that way but actually work at it. Which was kind of bad news and good news for me, mild malcontent that I am. Bad news in that it appears there would be some work required which is obviously less preferable than the no effort approach, but good news in that perhaps happiness or contentment or whatever you want to call it is perhaps achievable for everybody.
I spent a bit of time googling happiness and the various ways we try to achieve it and stumbled upon The Positive Habit, which sounds like a training course for your brain, a bit like exercising the happiness muscle. The Positive Habit creator is Dublin-based Clinical Hypnotherapist and Certified NLP practitioner, Fiona Brennan who says:
“When many of us were growing up, the general consensus regarding brain development was that your brain was programmed at childhood and further development in adulthood simply did not happen. So if you believe you are a born worrier or have always suffered with anxiety, the accepted belief was that there was nothing that could be done to change this. However, more recently, scientific evidence shows us that we can in fact re-wire our brains, alter our thoughts, perceptions and experiences, and change a negative mind-set into a positive one. I am fortunate enough to see this in my clinic every day.”
Now I don't want this to sound like I'm in a constant funk by any means. I'd say I'm fairly average on the happy-o-meter, maybe a solid 7 or an 8 but I am more than capable of getting into prolonged strops about everything from work stress to money stress to raging at other drivers in their cars and other humans in general. I have actually gotten headaches from frowning. That's quite an intense grump right there, so I would love to know if I can train myself out of these negative spirals.
The Positive Habit is a 6-week self-hypnosis course that promises increased positivity and presumably fewer frown-headaches. I have signed up to the course as an experiment in happiness training. I have never gone in for any kind of self-help or meditation or self-improvement before (I think I'm too lazy), but I've always been dying to know if hypnosis works. Fiona does face to face client sessions with people who are struggling with issues like comfort eating, anxiety and stress – things many of us struggle with to varying degrees if we're honest, but created the digital course for those of us who may not be able to commit to face to face therapy. The course includes video tutorials, exercises and self-hypnosis audio that works on a subconscious level.
The Positive Habit is divided into eight modules with titles like Love and Compassion and Success and I'm doing my best to approach it with an open mind and minimum cynicism. I will be listening to the modules and reporting back from my adventures in the world of self-hypnosis. Wish me luck...
For more information visit Fiona Brennan Hypnotherapy