Start playing as if life is just a game.

When I talk about playing games, I mean that literally. As children, we were always playing games and that is how we learned as our subconscious mind is very playful. In fact, up until the age of about seven, we only operate at a subconscious level, that's why when kids are sad they scream and when they are happy the scream. In fact, they just scream all the time because they have no conscious awareness of themselves, so they don't care about what other people think of them as it's not a thing to them. Following on from this, in Scandanavian countries such as Finland and Sweden who are constantly in the top ten for the best education systems in the world, don't start formal education of their children until the age of seven because they have realised the power of play in children's psychological development. The more they can play, the more they can learn as they get older. In fact, I would strongly suggest to never stop playing as it can have some very serious effects on your adult life in a very good way!

Brain training games play a massive part in how I work with my clients here at my practice in Edinburgh especially when it comes to children and athletes as they just love to move!

Working from the premise that anxiety, pain, and stress are basically subconscious signals and responses, it makes sense to use protocols and approaches that connect and appeal to the unconscious mind directly and playing brain-training games is the way forward because when we are having fun, change can be so easy.

One of the best games that I have adopted into my daily life is the "Act as if" game meaning if we "act as if" we become it. This one game alone changed and actually saved my life. For example, when I am presenting in front of an audience, I act as if I am a very confident Hypnotist employing the right body language, voice tonality and even the words they might use and guess what happens after about 60 seconds? I actually feel and become confident.

You see if I act confident physically, because the mind and body are connected way more than you might think, the body sends signals to your subconscious mind that I am being confident, so it thinks "okay, we better make him be confident" as the subconscious mind wants to be congruent at all times.

As children we do this naturally as it is how we learn. I remember when I was young playing football if I pretended to be my favourite player(I won't mention who to protect my reputation!)I would all of a sudden start playing much better. I even started talking out loud to myself just like a sports commentator, observing how well I was playing, predicting the moves, evading the tackles and passing the ball and even practicing me celebrating scoring goals. The funny thing was that I scored a goal as I had mentally and physically rehearsed it time and time again. I was doing positive self-talk and mental rehearsing for high performance without even knowing I was doing it!

I now apply this attitude in my adult life, except for the constant commentary, and it works. Please remember that the unconscious mind is like a super Intelligent child and just loves to play, so when we treat life like a game, it takes the pressure we put on ourselves to win but just have fun scoring goals!


© 2020 by Andy MacArthur, Clinical Therapist.