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Good Communication Creates Good Feelings

Interview with Roger W. Vaisey on "Wellness"

e are constantly communicating with ourselves and with others, without fully realizing how much it affects our health and emotional wellbeing. Since communication is an essential part of hypnosis work, we asked Roger Vaisey, for some background and advice.

How important is communication to wellness?

It is very important for us to be able to receive the messages from our body to our conscious awareness that something is not OK and needs to be taken care of. For example if we eat too much or feel stressed or tired, our body gives a message to eat less, or take a break now and do something different.
Then there are the communications we give ourselves. These are usually very unconscious and consist of the sort of self-talk and inner images we create. Mind and body can not be separated; they are basically one unit. So the thoughts we have – namely the inner pictures and voices we create – profoundly affect our body.

How does it work?

If I say, "do not think of a black cat," you have to think of a black cat in order not to think of one. An inner voice that says," life is hell," "so and so is a pain in the neck" or "I can't stomach my job," could easily create a terrible hellish life, a painful neck and severe stomach problems. The messages we give ourselves are received by every cell of our bodies. Not only that but our unconscious minds are very literal and hear "pain in the neck" literally, thereby causing an actual pain in the neck. This is called organ language because it directly affects different organs or parts of our body.

When we understand this we can begin to talk to ourselves more lovingly and start to give ourselves the inner pictures that help us toward a more healthy and satisfying life.

The great hypnotherapist and psychiatrist Dr. Milton H. Erickson once said "If you talk to your self like a dog you will feel like a dog. If you talk to yourself like the loving human being that you are, you will start to feel like the loving human being that you are".

The way we communicate with ourselves can be an enormous stumbling block. We do not receive the messages our body gives us about taking better care of ourselves. We give ourselves horrible messages, and even health professionals do not understand the power of their use of language through negative comments and suggestions.

How can this be improved?

When a doctor asks the patient to tell him all his problems: the focus is on what is wrong. That is necessary to a degree, yet many doctors do not understand that more is needed. They say, "So you have a bad pain in your stomach, you often feel nauseous and have bad restless nights tossing and turning. Take these pills and come back next week."

If the doctor were also to talk about how the patient will feel when the symptoms are gone, how it is to have a healthy stomach, and to think about how great it will be when he can once again sleep deeply and comfortably throughout the night, he would be communicating powerful messages that the patient absorbs. So instead of only thinking about pain, discomfort and sleepless nights, the patient now thinks about a healthy stomach, a good digestion and a good night's sleep. And this helps the body/mind to create the results he wants.

Why is it that we often think we communicate clearly, yet the message is not received the way we meant it at all?

We have something we want to communicate, and it is very obvious to us. We give our message and assume that because it is clear to us it must be clear to the other. We then do not take the time to really notice if our message has been received and understood. If we took more time to check this out, we wouldn't end up with so much miscommunication. It all comes down to taking responsibility for our own messages rather than thinking it is the other’s responsibility to understand us.

We can easily think that people have the same understandings and experience as we have. Nothing could be further from the truth. We all live in our own memories, beliefs, different social conventions, and experiences. We say that everyone lives in their own map of the world and that every map is profoundly different. Every life situation is experienced in another way by each one of us and although there might be similarities enough for social life to happen on a daily basis, each person’s experience of a shared event is very different.

Imagine a walk through a forest. Think of what your own experience would be. Then think of a poet doing the same thing. Or a forestry official, or a botanist, or a pair of lovers, or an official thinking of building a new capitol city, or an expert on birds, or an expert on insects, or a composer, and so forth. We all see things differently and this is vital information when it comes to communicating.

Do you have some tips for us?

There are small things which come from the science of hypnosis that we can do to help. Keeping these aspects in mind as you communicate with others can make your interactions more effective, creative and satisfying, instead of leaving them a hit-or-miss affair.

1) When talking to someone, take on some characteristic of their body posture. It might be the angle of their head or body, or the way they arrange their arms or legs. This will help to create a rapport with the other person, and they will be more open to communicate with you. If you are relaxed and easy with this, the other person will not consciously realize what you are doing, and their unconscious mind will like it – as long as you are not out to create a win for you and a lose for them. It is like saying “hello” at a deep level. We all enjoy this.

2) If you have a message to convey to someone, do not assume that they have understood your meaning after you have delivered it. Check their verbal and non-verbal responses carefully. They may say they understand, but the expression on their face and the tone of their voice might indicate otherwise. In other words, pay careful attention to the receiver of your message; do not simply assume you are understood. The person you want to give a message to might have a very different map of the world from you. Are you using language and understandings that your receiver can grasp?

Is there anything you would like to add?

It is important to remember that we are all have the potential to be enlightened beings. The problem is that most of us have not realized this yet. So even if you do not particularly like the person you are communicating with, and even if they are being difficult or it is not easy to get your message across, when you separate their current behavior from their potential, you do not have to get stuck with their momentary response. You can see beyond that and thereby free yourself from reacting to them. In that way you give both of you the chance to interact in a more creative and loving way.
If you have any questions or comments about these articles, you can always email Roger at ObscureMyEmail
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