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Comfort Zones


Good day, you lovely listeners. It's bonus episode day. I reckon I've been making these little five minute episodes for about a year now. Maybe longer, because life just flies by, doesn't it? And for listeners who might not realise it, I actually video these ones each week, and they go on YouTube. Which is a bit different to working with audio, which I've been doing since I was a fetus, and is well within my comfort zone, but video?

Well, that's a bit different. I'm enjoying it, though. But that's also because I quite like the idea of stretching my comfort zone. Although not everybody does. For some folk, just moving to a different desk at work is overwhelming, let alone changing jobs. But it's no secret that stretching our comfort zone to include more situations is a good idea.

But it's called a comfort zone for a reason, isn't it? It's because it's comfortable there. And if life is comfortable and the alternative is uncomfortable, then we're not going to have a great deal of motivation to make a change, are we? But when the pain of being in our comfort zone is greater than the pain of missing out on what's outside of it, that's when we've got to face our anxieties and slowly take steps to stretch our comfort zone out more and more and more.

And I want to share with you. A relatively simple technique to help people with that today. We use it in hypnotherapy a lot, and it helps by thinking of our comfort zone in a slightly different way to the way you might normally. Rather than imagining that your comfort zone is this space around you that you need to make bigger because it's become so small, you think of your comfort zone as being something that you can take with you everywhere you go. Like a magic hula hoop that only you can see that you can shrink down and hide in your pocket or something until you need it. A hula hoop you can magic out, put down on the floor, and step into it and feel comfortable. And magically let it move around with you, reminding you of how to feel comfortable.

It's important that you recognise that what makes something comfortable or uncomfortable, safe or dangerous is just our internal interpretation of things. It's not real, anyway. These things are only ever in our head. That's why we've got stair gates. If you've got toddlers, because they don't know that falling down the stairs is dangerous.

They don't look down the stairs and then develop a fear of heights. They associate it with fear, either because they did fall once, or because somebody screamed at them when they were looking down and it terrified them. Either way... The two things have become anchored together. An experience and a feeling.

And this ability the brain has to anchor together, emotions and experiences, can be used to our advantage as well as our disadvantage. It's not always about phobic responses, is it? Because you could hear a piece of music or you can smell something and it can take you right back to happy times, can't it?

But also bear in mind that that toddler with no fear of staircases... doesn't have to fall down the stairs to know that falling hurts. Because when learning to walk, they fall over all the time. And it doesn't take long before they develop the common sense, I guess, to avoid falling from high places, because they've learned the higher up you are, the more it hurts when you fall.

And you did that! You learned to feel the fear and do it anyway, as the phrase goes. You learned how to feel scared. But be okay with it until the thing you were scared about isn't scary anymore. You did it with stairs, you did it with going to the shops, you did it with meeting new people that soon became familiar people and were safe.

And all it took was repetition. So whatever you feel you might need your comfort zone for... Know that you can learn how to pull your magic hula hoop out and throw it down and step into it and think about creating the feelings that you want. Right, time's up for another Friday. As always, there's more about this topic on my Patreon page.

Come and support what I do on there if you'd like to hear a bit more about this. It's only 6 a month after the free trial and it could save you a fortune in therapy fees. It's the 1st of December. So there'll be two episodes out for you on that day. Next week's full episode is going to be about aging.

Because it's my birthday in December, so that's always on my mind. Um, I better go and prepare for that. Anyway, all good fun. Have a great week, everybody. Speak to you again next week. Ta ra!