Hypnosis may sound like some mind-controlling trick you see in a movie or at a stage show. It’s far from that yet, exactly like that in some aspects. Hypnosis has its place in our career as law enforcement officers, our personal lives, and the success in both aspects. First, a brief explanation of hypnosis and how it can help with our mental/emotional fitness.
Hypnosis, simply stated, is the state of being mentally focused on a given area of interest. Does that make sense? For example, you find yourself in a situation that on duty that involves some level of force. How did you react and what do you remember thinking? Some say that they have the feeling that time stands still or some may say they have the opposite feeling, “it happened so quickly.” Both reactions are valid. The common factor is how we all get tunnel vision and become focused during these situations. Now, step aside from our careers, let’s talk about our personal lives, sports for example. Competitive athletes are constantly seeking that “zone.” The athletic “zone” is hypnosis.
Hypnosis can amp you up and it can also calm you down. As a hypnotherapist, I have helped clients find that concentrated focus as well as find that well needed emotional relaxation. There are times in our lives where we are too proud, too afraid, or too busy to ask for help. When coping with the dangers of stress, we can’t be too proud, too afraid or too busy to ask for help. There are plenty of ways to cope – some of us run, some lift weights, others may drink and choose to deal with the dress by not confronting the issue. Regardless of what we choose, we must have a balance of all methods of coping skills. Think of it this way, the more gear we carry on our Sam Brownes, the more options we have to defend ourselves.
Hypnosis is quite simple and has roots in various other methods of emotional fitness. Some may compare hypnosis to meditation, guided relaxation, and yoga. Hypnosis can be conducted by a trained operator (hetero hypnosis) or by yourself (self hypnosis). Finding a balance between both methods is a great choice and both are extremely easy to master. It just requires a little patience and about 10 minutes a day, a few times a week to start. There are two key concepts that you can use – breathing and relaxing.
It’s best if you’re starting out to find a quite spot in the house, (I chose to lock myself in the bathroom with a pair of headphones attached to my IPod to block out some of the noise at home). Sit up straight with your feet uncrossed, flat on the floor. Make sure your back is straight and that your hands are on or in your lap. Once you get yourself situated start taking long and deep breaths (4 seconds inhale and 4 seconds exhale) through the mouth or nose is your choice. After a few deep breaths, you can close your eyes to block out any visual distractions and just continue to concentrate on your long deep breaths. Once you get the breathing going for a few cycles, begin to systematically tense and relax your major muscles groups. It’s important that you give yourself permission to relax and with each deep breath you tense and relax your muscles even more. Once you’re done and ready move on, open your eyes and enjoy your new sense of relaxation and rejuvenation!
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Carlos is currently a sworn police officer with the Los Angeles Police Department. He is assigned to the Crisis Response Unit where he serves the members of the community who are experiencing personal crisis. He has had assignments in patrol, crime suppression, narcotics, and collision investigation. Carlos is also a certified hypnotherapist and is in the preliminary planning stages of forming a non-profit group focusing on public safety/military personal. He wants to share his knowledge on the effective uses of hypnosis for combatting stress and PTSD related issues. Carlos stresses that there is strength in awareness as well as strength in numbers to cope with stress and PTSD.