Guilt can be a terrible emotion to live with. Hypnosis Newcastle is a way for you to release the often sharp and cutting emotional pain of guilt so you can let go of the past and move on and forward. Newcastle hypnosis can help you learn from your past and keeping the very useful learnings let go of what can be a crippling emotion we call guilt.
When people experience the emotion guilt it can be for a number of reasons. Firstly guilt can be about inaction or action. Guilt can be related to behaviour, thought or both. Guilt can be experienced by breaking your own personal promises as in yo-yo quitting ( eg dieting, addictions, spending or arguing ) and is very much related to unresolved conflicts of your own personal values.
We can understand guilt and shame to be related to transgressions, that is to say, things a person has or has not done that are not in line with what they believe ( or worse are told ) they should or should not have done. This feeling is directly related to values be they your own or cultural norms.
A person experiencing guilt re-running past memories, often talking to themselves and as a result feeling very bad. Bad physically and bad emotionally.
Guilt is a Type of Anxiety Disorder
One of the characteristics of anxiety is that a brain scan will often reveal that one hemisphere is more electrically active than the other. Having a real physical sensation accompanying the guilt thoughts would be characterised as anxious arousal and the majority of the activity would likely be found in the right hemisphere.
Guilt is a circular emotion in that the thoughts and feelings repeat much like Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Obsessing about guilt may well be linked to OCD. In OCD there is a great deal of internal mental activity that is tiring and emotionally charged.
Neurologically there is a circuit in the brain that fires with obsessive thoughts. Nerves in the caudate fire creating the urge to ‘do something’. The caudate is responsible for learning and for kinds of ‘automatic thinking’ like ‘remember to wash’ or ‘is the oven off before leaving the house’. Next the orbital prefrontal cortex is activated which gives the feeling that something is wrong. Then the cingulate cortex is activated which keeps attention focuses on feelings of unease.
The amygdalae will be activated because of stress hormones circulating in the brain and bloodstream. Guilt is a very hungry emotion in that it eats up energy, demands an inappropriate stress response and diverts mental energy.
Prolonged worry, stress and anxiety can deplete the brains neurotramsmitter dopamine which in extreme cases could lead to depression.
Stressing about something is stressing. Excessive stress activates the sympathetic nervous system and this in turn releases adrenaline and glucocorticoids which over time impair the bodies immune system along with the general care and repair mechanisms of the body. In short stress in excess as in excess guilt is really bad news for health, both physical and mental.
Possible Historical Origins of Guilt
In the history of the western religion Christianity the idea of original sin is very closely linked to guilt. On committing a ‘sin’ the resulting feeling will be ‘guilt’ and ‘sin’ here is defined as failing to act in accord with some deity’s rules about how you should live your life. A member of the religions organisation can then help the sinner atone and remove the ‘guilt’.
Guilt or the idea and feelings associated with guilt have been used for thousands of years to control populations of people. As well meaning parents of children and of institutions tell people “you should feel guilty for that!” to attempt to control behaviours or even thoughts.
Approximately 50 years after the birth of Christ ( aka Jesus, Yehoshua ben Yosef ) Saul or later St. Paul after his revelation went to find people who would listen to his message. Paul developed real listeners and followers in Corinth.
Joseph Campbell has postulated the debt and repayment theme in modern Christianity is because the people who propagated the eastern Gospels ( which became the western bible ) where the money lenders of Corinth. So it may be that the worshipping Christ to redeem ourselves before god may have originated in the credo of the merchants of Corinth.
Ignorance and Enlightenment – Remorse Not Guilt
The spirituality of the East has nothing to do with debt and repayment. Instead the Orient in terms of spiritual or some may say religious practice is about Ignorance and Enlightenment.
A great book is ‘The Art of Happiness’ by HH Dalai Lama. One story from the book is regarding a monk that killed himself following a conversation with the Dalai Lama. Although the Lama expresses real regret following on from that conversation there is no excessive guilt, no self punishment, no self induced suffering. A genuine sense of remorse without a crippling feeling of guilt can be a wonderful way to guide your actions in the future.
When dealing with guilt it is incredible important but often most difficult to forgive yourself. Wisdom comes from great experience and great experience comes from making a huge number of ‘mistakes’. Another way to see ‘mistakes’ are as learnings in action.
Moving Through Guilt By Rethinking What Happened
When anyone who is experiencing guilt, which is by definition about the past, at the time of ‘the event’ they never set out to make themselves feel guilty. Think about it, for anything you may have at one time felt a sense of guilt about, at that time you probably did not before hand say something like “I am going to do this ‘X’ and I will feel so guilty about this afterwards BUT I’m still going to do it anyway.” Or maybe you did! At that time you were in accordance with some higher level value that you may not have been conscious of.
No, at the time you were, whether you realised it then or now, acting out on some personal value that you have. Let’s call a ‘value’ some kind of experience you want ( should do ) or don’t want ( shouldn’t do ) that is important to you.
So at the time, if you come to think about it this way, you were acting in accordance with your values. Now, guilt is a reflexive emotion that now as you look back there is a sense of regret and when it is intense enough, that is to say it conflicts with one of your values now you experience guilt as a strong and negative emotion.
As you begin to let go of the feelings of guilt you will not forget what happened. You will begin to feel differently about what happened but you will use your learnings like a behavioural guide. You can let go of the guilt and allow yourself to experience the real value you were acting out from. Recognising this value and acknowledging that you can both change your values so that as appropriate you can either choose a different way in the future or as appropriate become comfortable in your ways of being.
Sometimes it is very difficult to do this yourself and when you really do need help in transforming guilt into something akin to compassion for yourself Hypnosis Newcastle can help you. When considering hypnosis in Newcastle it is important to understand that the intention is to help you change your feelings about yourself for some event or events in the past. You will not forget those events but use these experiences in ways that can help you live a fuller life.
For professional Newcastle hypnosis for moving on from guilt telephone Nigel Hetherington on 0770 481 8467 or email as described in Booking A Therapy Session Newcastle Hypnosis.