Most people have heard of the placebo effect. Basically, a placebo is a powerful mental suggestion that something is going to cure or fix something else. For example, I go to the doctor and say that my finger hurts. The doctor says, “You’re in luck. I just got in a new shipment of finger-fixer pills – most powerful thing on the market.” Even if he hands me sugar pills, there’s a good chance that my finger will stop hurting if I believe that the pills have the power the doctor has suggested.
Working with clients who are struggling to stop drinking, we have learned that alcohol is working for many people just like the sugar pills. If you ask an alcoholic why they drink, they’ll have a lot of interesting answers. Some drink because their job is stressful. Some drink because they’re lonely. Some drink because they’re sad. Some drink because their marriage is terrible. Some drink because it makes them more confident or more social.
Alcohol is either an amazing wonder drug that makes stress go away, gives you friends, makes people happy, improves marriages and increases confidence… or it’s a placebo. Think about that. What if it isn’t actually the alcohol that fixes the problem but your mind – just like the sugar pills?
What if getting off work relieves your work stress, not the bottle at the end of the day? What if hanging out with other people in a bar makes you less lonely, regardless of the drink in your hand? What if being happy made you happy, instead of obscuring your sadness with a drink or six? What if going out to the garage and taking a break from arguing with your spouse was helping you deal with your marital discord and not the beer in your hand? What if your spouse liked you more when you didn’t drink and your marriage began to look more like it did when you got married? What if you actually have plenty of confidence and you learned to unleash it without having to drown your perception of social awkwardness?
Alcohol isn’t actually fixing anything. Your situation, your mind frame and your belief that alcohol helps, is fixing everything. So go to the bar and order a ginger ale or soda with a slice of lime. Hang out with your friends. That ginger ale can cure anything that ails you – if you believe that it can.
Hypnosis is an effective way to help people find and resolve the underlying issues that may lead to drinking too much, drug use, over-eating and all kinds of distracting behaviors. If you’ve “tried everything” and you’re still facing the challenge, give us a call at Hawaii Hypnosis Center.