The other day I was scrolling through my social media news feed, as I tend to do while eating my breakfast, and my attention was caught by a video. In this video they were making banana bread puddings. It showed the process of making these incredibly tasty looking individual puddings using just banana, egg and milk as the custard. Needless to say, I was mesmerised and excited!
On a new health kick, I have been avoiding added sugar, and trying to cut out dairy and gluten where possible. I instantly commented on the video, tagging my sister (a budding Mary Berry) and proclaimed how wonderful it was that the recipe had no added sugar, and could very easily be adapted to be both dairy and gluten free too! My sister shared my enthusiasm!
It was only after sending this comment, receiving her reply and basking in the excitement of this find for a moment, that I began to notice others' comments on the post. I paraphrase here. "When will this site post anything healthy?" "Diabetes central!!!!" "Whipped cream, ice cream AND chocolate sauce, it is no wonder people are so fat." The list goes on as I am sure you can imagine. I hadn't even noticed that in the video they had topped the puddings off with chocolate chips, whipped cream, ice cream and chocolate sauce! I was too busy planning when I could next get baking!
Why am I telling you this story, I hear you asking? To me, this is a perfect example of a solution focused versus a problem focused mindset. Our brains are predisposed to wanting to see the worst in everything. It is it's way of keeping us safe from any potential threat. And every time we allow ourselves to think of our problems, we reinforce this tendency. But if we can start to reinforce a more positive mindset, we can get our logical, rational, intellectual part of our brain back into gear. That part of our brain knows that a video on social media isn't a threat to our safety, and as such can view it in a completely different way.
For our intellectual brain, there are no problems, only solutions. My intellectual brain watched that video and didn't for a second to consider the fact that a recipe containing milk, bread and ice cream could be a problem. It was far too busy formulating a solution! Almond milk, gluten free bread, and ooh, some sultanas may go nicely!
We all have the ability to be solution focused already programmed into us. We use it day in and day out without even noticing it. How many times a day do you solve little problems without even considering them to be a problem? Phone running out of battery? No worries pop it on charge! Not got anything in the house for dinner? That's OK, swing past the shop on your way home.
These may seem like trivial examples, but it demonstrates your brain's innate ability to be solution focused. In the areas of your life that you are struggling to find the solutions, it isn't because they aren't there, or because you don't have the skills or resources to find them. It is just that you have become seduced by the problem! The same way those people on-line couldn't see past the ice cream and chocolate sauce to see a potentially healthier alternative, we can get ourselves into a place where we can't see past the hurdles in our lives to the happiness on the other side.
When you come to see a solution focused hypnotherapist like me, we will ask you what has been good about your week. We get you to focus on all that has gone well, what has already worked, and how far you have already come, rather than all that is wrong, has failed or is yet to come. By doing so we start to reinforce that new solution focused mindset, so that you can begin to look past the ice cream and see all the exciting possibilities open up.