A Cursory Look at both the Laws of Suggestion and the Rules of the Mind from a brilliant mind, Emile Coue. This article should be of interest to educators and people wondering "why you do the things you do".
Anyone who has been trained in hypnosis is fully aware of names such as Arons, Mesmer Erickson and so many more. But today I want to discuss Emile Coue (pronounced K-Way) and the "laws & rules" associated with his research. Coue was a psychologist and pharmacist born 02/26/1857 and he died 07/2/1926. He played a major role in popularizing a method of psychotherapy and self-improvement based on optimistic autosuggestion, a.k.a. self hypnosis. And if I've said (and read it) a million times, I'll risk saying it again, ALL hypnosis is self hypnosis. Over time the "Laws of Suggestion" have been debated, explored, developed and discussed. But, they still resonate with the mind of the 21st century human more than century later!
There are many components of what is referred to as Coue's Laws of Suggestion; and I will share the major points with you today.
1. The Law of Concentrated Attention.
An idea becomes magnified when it is focused upon. This is important for anyone seeking goal management, ego strengthening, anxiety & stress relief and general positive change. Have you ever noticed that fertility clients lament the fact that ever since trying to conceive, they see pregnant people and babies everywhere. Makes sense doesn't it? This law links strongly with Rules 2 and 4 that follow below.
2. The Law of Auxiliary Emotion.
When an idea has powerful emotion, there is strong likelihood that idea will become reality. Negative ideas and thoughts, such as phobias, are powerful as they tend to have strong emotions attached to them, like fear. Rule 3 (below) has major influence with one.
3. The Law of Reversed Effort.
The greater the conscious effort we make, the less the subconscious gets involved, as you will see in rule 8. If we get stressed over getting a task completed, and try too hard, our subconscious mind isn't going to step in to assist. And the more we struggle with a dominant idea, the more powerful it becomes. (So this may be why I can't find the ketchup in the refrigerator?)
According to Coue, when willpower attempts to oppose imagination it actually strengthens the imagination (he also suggested not to waste time on willpower). However, by relaxing and not trying or consciously struggling, we can accomplish what we want easily. Thus autosuggestion is used without tension or effort, but simply and with conviction. This effort indicates the potential of resistance to overcome. Example: the effort to fall asleep can focus on the risk of staying awake. So in this scenario, two conflicting focuses are created; falling asleep and the potential of staying awake. Other examples of this law are:
* The more you try to remember a forgotten name, the harder it is to remember. Yet it often just pops into your mind after you stop trying.
* The more you struggle to maintain your balance and not fall in skating, the less likely you are to maintain balance.
* The more someone who stutters focuses on their speech, trying not to stammer, the more they tend to stutter. Yet with a distraction, such as music, the more fluent their speech.
4. Law of Dominant Effect.
The strongest emotion always wins. Someone having a strong fear of failure toward something, that fear will override the weaker desire to succeed. Fear being the stronger of the two emotions will hold a person back. This is why as a hypnotist, I work with my client's negative emotions and limiting beliefs, challenging them and work towards cultivating stronger, more positive emotions.
5. Law of Repeated Effect.
This is a major component in habit formation, continuously repeating something. Simply put, that with sufficient repetition, the subconscious mind will consider something is true, even if it is not. Politicians and advertising agencies use this Law all the time. Coue's phrase "Every day in every way I get better and better", when repeated 10 to 20 times each night affects the programming of the subconscious mind. Saying it once is simply not enough. Successful programming (or conditioning) takes time and requires repeating.
This repetition technique is used during hypnosis. The trained hypnotist will repeat a phrase or string of sentences several times during a session, very often 3 times in a row. It's not because she/he is stuck for words, it is to help the subconscious mind to rewrite an existing program in order for the client to change an unwanted or negative behavior into a positive one. I wonder how many times employers continually repeat their messages to their employees to "drive home a point"? It makes sense that politicians repeat their messages verbatim while campaigning, right?
6. Law of Subconscious Teleology
Simply stated, autosuggestion focuses on the goal and enables the subconscious mind to spontaneously find its own path to achieve that goal.
I had intended to make this a 2 part series, but decided to go against conventional wisdom and risk writing a longer than usual article. Because I reference "Rules of the Mind" in the above "Laws of Suggestion", I decided to continue onward. Yes, it is that important. Rules of the Mind are:
1. Thought Creates Physical Reaction.
Everything you think, every idea, every emotion, causes a physical reaction within your body. Every thought or idea generates a response releasing neurotransmitters and hormones into the brain. Emotions can have both short term and long term effects. Worry affects the stomach, anger stimulates the adrenal glands to release adrenaline, anxiety affects the pulse rate; while a happy thought and smile stimulates release of that feel good chemical known as serotonin.
2. What You Expect, Happens.
Did you know that what you expect tends to be realized, good or bad? We become what we think about. Our brain and nervous system respond to mental images. Whether real or imagined, the nervous system responds in the same way to these thoughts. If you expect to be sick, you are focusing your mind and will in that direction. Or, if you believe your nerves will limit your performance, that is where the mind's energy and focus is directed. This is an important rule for a hypnotist when working with performance issues and negative or limiting beliefs of clients. "Always think that what you have to do is easy, if possible; If you think it is difficult you will use more effort than you need, thus wasting it," according to Coue.
Self-fulfilling prophecy (see chart below) is a widely debated topic and psychological research has been conducted on it also. I am always drawn to a 1963 study that focused on students' treatment of rats they believed were super intelligent. This actually influenced how the students subconsciously treated the rats and that thinking influenced the outcome. NOTE: This applies to how classes are taught today. If a student is told (or led to believe) they are of lower intelligence and lacking motivation, the instructor may possibly treat them as such, unconsciously or unintentionally. Conversely, an instructor told that the student is highly motivated and bright in all probability will be treated as such.
3. Your Imagination is More Powerful Than Reason or Knowledge.
The body doesn't differentiate between what is real and what is imagined. Therefore the body will produce what the mind believes. We then behave as if the accepted is real and continue to reinforce it. I have had clients imagine the worst then go on to develop that initial thought into a huge negative outcome or obstacle. Even Einstein considered reason is easily overturned by the imagination. To believe something is true or real is far more powerful that actual truth. Ergo, the imagination can either work for us or against us, but we generally allow it to do the latter.
Imagination can change the perception of reality. To walk along a plank on the floor is relatively easy for most people. Raise that same plank eight to ten feet (or higher) alters how one walks the same plank, as the imagination suggests falling. Reason is overruled by imagination. Imagination coupled with a strong emotion cannot be overcome with just reason. This is why an arachnophobia client can't and won't accept that it is a tiny spider and there is no logical cause to be fearful. Imagination is more powerful than willpower. The imagination creates emotions, stimulates creativity and innovation, which is a vital element in expansion and growth.
4. We Are What We Create.
What we think about is what we create and opposing ideas can't be held at the same time without causing conflict. The mind can only respond to what you think about and prefers thoughts to be focused on the same outcome. It prefers to move in the direction of its dominant thoughts. When two thoughts are in opposition, stress is created. A dominant emotion can definitely outweigh a weaker one. For example, a hypnotist will use the technique of anchoring to create a resource store of positive emotion so when a fear presents itself the confidence anchor can override the fear being felt.
5. Ideas Remain Until Replaced.
When the subconscious mind accepts an idea, it remains until it is replaced by another idea. The longer the idea remains, the more opposition there is replacing it with a new one. When an idea has become subconsciously accepted, the more it is acted upon, the stronger and more fixed that thinking becomes, and a more fixed way of behaving is established. To change behavior, it's necessary to change the thoughts and ideas. Thus, a mental habit can become a physical habit. Let me iterate that hypnosis can visit the experience that created the thoughts that led to the unwanted mental and physical responses and change this pattern.
6. Emotions Can Have Physical Consequences.
An emotionally induce symptom tends to cause organic change if it is engaged in over an extended period of time. The function of a part of the body can be disrupted by the nervous system's reaction to an idea held in the unconscious mind. Chronic stress or worry can lead to a "nervous" stomach or worse.
7. Suggestions Lead to Greater Acceptance.
Each suggestion that is acted upon allows for greater acceptance of following suggestions. Each acted upon suggestion creates less opposition to successive suggestions. Once a habit is formed it is easier to follow and more difficult to break. A trained hypnotist will have little difficulty in unlocking that code.
8. Conscious Effort Reduces Subconscious Engagement.
The greater the conscious effort, the less the subconscious response. This may seem familiar after reading the aforementioned "Law of Reverse Effect". The harder you actively try to do something, the more difficult it is to do, and the greater your conscious effort, the less your subconscious response. Thus, the less the less the conscious effort, the more that the subconscious can and will respond. The subconscious acts automatically when conscious effort is let go of. Subconscious learned behaviors like nail biting can be repressed by will power or conscious effort. However, when the conscious effort stops, like thinking of other things, the automatic behavior usually returns (an example of forgetting a name as mentioned previously, above).
I hope this blog, although leggy, was at least somewhat helpful. Feel free to reach out to us, here at the Lakes Region Hypnosis Center at (603) 326-6008 to inquire how Rich can "Help You Help Yourself".
BREATHE - RELAX - HEAL
Welcome to Lakes Region Hypnosis Center's information sharing blog
I would like to begin my blogging career (sounds funny for a 60-something to be saying) by just introducing myself and some of the services we provide. My goal is to introduce you all to me and the wonderful worlds of hypnosis and other alternative, less expensive (in the long run) healing modalities we provide and clearly work. My intention is to also educate the public through my blogging.
I am a 67 year old who refuses to retire. I have worn many hats in my many careers, one could say it took me a long time to discover what I wanted to be or do when I grew up. I will say it did take me a while though. I've been part of management team where I was responsible for a multi-million dollar communication budget in a large financial institution. I left the corporate world as a thirty something and became a healthcare worker in a county nursing home. This was a very rewarding vocation by the way, but the greedy corporate world began sticking their fingers in the proverbial pot and infesting that career with their greed and gluttony. But, that's a whole different blogging path for the politically inclined, and does not belong here. I finished my career as a political action coordinator for a national public employee union and was forced out to pasture. Yes folks, even the unions have their dark side. But, I've always wanted to help others along the way, a healer so to speak. Whether a human client or a pet client (Animal Reiki attuned), I have always been driven to open up my heart, mind and arms to those who need some assistance along the way.
I began seeking a healing path for myself and something to provide comfort to others. I entered my chrysalis stage, my transition to the more spiritual path, that of a provider of proven alternative healing modalities. I became a Reiki Master/Teacher, actually being attuned through a local Reiki Master from Gilmanton and another from the West Coast. and still felt there there was more. I began various training along the way, as a physical medium, a crystal worker, and so on and so forth. I rounded out my resume at the Thomas Institute of Hypnosis and the National Guild of Hypnotists becoming a Certified Consulting Hypnotist. And this is the "Readers Digest" version of how I got to where I am now.
Operating out of Tilton, New Hampshire, ergo the name Lakes Region Hypnosis Center; we also perform Reiki healing sessions under Peaceful Light Healing (or PLH). PLH was my first organization and is now a part of our Lakes Region Hypnosis Center operation. Effectively combining both powerful tools (Hypnosis & Reiki) and we have created a healing modality second to none and without OPIODS. Healing others is a love and passion for us. Continuous education in the art of hypnosis on a regular basis, as well as consuming mandatory reading material is part of our modus operandi and in our operations manual. We also teach healing techniques at various metaphysical facilities and institutions. Sharing information at community events and local libraries, schools, and other public and private venues is always on our agenda. So please, continue to watch this website for updated events. Maybe learn a thing or two about hypnosis, Reiki, or even a bit about physical mediumship. But, be sure to watch my blogs for upcoming information to help demystify hypnosis and bring it to the forefront of where it belongs. The subconscious mind is a powerful tool for healing; and remember this, "if you can think it, it CAN happen". And don't forget about the Reiki!
Future posts will include myths and phobias of hypnotism, pain management, healthy living, stress and stressors, encountering negative suggestions and negative self talk, self hypnotism, emotional trauma, mind-body spirit, subconscious mind, daily affirmations and intentions, circumstance or predetermined, deja vu all over again, breathing techniques, Reiki, chakra centers, Past Life Regression "real or not" and many more topics on healing. So until the next post,
Breath - Relax - Heal.
P.S. Please let me know how I performed in my first blog post ever.