Schooled by an 11 Year Old!

I could have done with some hypnotherapy myself over the last couple of weeks!

My 11 year old son has just started High school. He has moved from a tiny village school, in a class of 19 children and a total of 130 children in the school to a class of 30 children and a total of 1200 children. He has gone from me driving him to school and being taken across the road by a genial lollipop man to walking himself to the bus stop, crossing the road and getting a bus to and from school. He’s my third (and last) child to go to High school, but the other two were girls, and somehow just seemed more together, and more ready for the transition.

In his first week of high school, he got lost (a lot – though so did most of his class mates), the bus broke down, he missed the bus (well, more accurately, he watched the bus pull away, because he was not sure which one to get on), he lost his PE kit (well – he left it in the changing rooms and found it again in the Head of PE’s office), and he left his bag and homework on the bus (resulting in a high speed dash to follow the bus and retrieve the bag). The bag was the last straw, and my stress spiralled into shouting into a pillow about how much more I could take.

At the point of screaming into that pillow, I was reminded of a valuable lesson by my 11 year old, who has been taught in the ways of solution focused hypnotherapy for the last few years. After the bag was retrieved, he started telling me all the really good things that had happened to him that day, and all the things he had enjoyed since starting high school. He told me about new friends, new subjects (Geography it appears is not a favourite, but as expected he is loving Maths!), laughs had over getting lost and how much he was looking forward to cooking next week. To him, all of those things which I found so stressful (especially the bag on the bus!) were new and exciting adventures. And it reminded me that it’s not the events in our life that cause us anxiety and stress, but the way we think about the things that happen to us.

There are always two ways of looking at things. If we choose the negative way (“I can’t believe this is happening, how unlucky, why does this always happen to me?”) then our brain reacts with an anxiety response – a release of adrenalin and cortisol – which has a physical effect on the way we feel. And of course the more we do this, the more efficient we become at the anxiety response, and before we know it, we can find ourselves in the grip of an anxious cycle. But what if we think about things in a positive way?  Things seem much better and the more we do that, the more efficient we become at thinking positively – we can create a new neural pathway in the brain which makes us always look at the positive aspects of life.

So – take some advice from my 11 year old. Breathe, calm down, and be grateful for all the positive things in your life.  And if you need a little help with that, then please contact me and find out how hypnotherapy can help you.