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The Beauty of Paying Attention

12 Jun

I am reading Julia Cameron’s wonderful book The Artist’s Way at the moment and one of the things she talks about very eloquently is the value of paying attention to what’s around you.

Often we can be rushing around from one thing to the next, barely noticing the people, places and natural beauty that surrounds us.   This can result in feeling stressed and disconnected, damaging  relationships and our own well-being.  If we can learn to slow down, even occasionally, and pay attention to what is happening around us right now, it can be immensely healing.  Life will automatically feel more manageable and you will gain a sense of perspective.

We can often miss so much as we simply don’t take the time to notice.  Recently I watched the television programme Britain in a Day which was made up from snippets of film that a range of different people captured, showing what they did on a particular day.  Much of this was the ‘ordinary’ stuff that we all do all the time, however, this ordinary-ness was what made it funny, moving and quite remarkable.

It’s easy to dismiss the people and things that we see all the time as  boring and not worthy of our attention, but if we just take the time to notice we might realise that we’re surrounded by beauty.  Why not try paying attention right now and let me know how you get on?

Hypnotherapy and Anxiety

22 May

Clients often come to me wanting help with anxiety and this is often underlying with other problems, such as weight loss, smoking and fertility issues.

Hypnotherapy is a wonderful way of helping to ease anxiety – it is deeply relaxing and encourages clients to slow down and notice what is happening for them at any given time.   However, it is important to realise that we all experience some form of anxiety pretty much every day.  This may be fairly low level, for example feeling a bit stressed sitting in a queue of traffic, or it could have more of an impact, i.e. severe anxiety or panic attacks.  Whatever the case, anxiety is part of the human condition, we are programmed to respond to certain situations with an unconscious ‘fight or flight’ response and it can be very helpful at times.

We often beat ourselves up about feeling anxious, worrying about how much we worry, stressing about how stressed we are.  This can build up and up until we’re ready to blow our tops.  With my clients, the first step is always to acknowledge that it’s ok to be anxious – give yourself a break!  Just realising that some anxiety is normal can help people to feel calmer.

We can then start to look at ways of managing anxiety, not trying to force it away, but  noticing how any anxiety is being experienced – where is it being held in the body, what thoughts are leading to it, how do we behave when we’re anxious?

Once we have some of this information, we can start working with it.  One of the exercises I suggest is to imagine breathing into the part of the body where you are holding anxiety, allowing the breath to flow in and starting to relax and let go of any physical tension.  As soon as you start focusing on the breath, your mind starts to slow down and we send a powerful message to the body to relax.

Another technique if you are struggling with worrying thoughts is just to notice each one as it comes into your mind and then imagine that thought being encased in a bubble.  Once it is inside the bubble, visualise it floating away from you.  As it gets further away, just notice how you feel different.  You may have a lot of bubbles to start off with and that’s ok.  Let them all float away and notice how they become fewer and fewer.  This is a powerful tool that can be used at any time.

There are lots of ways of working with anxiety and hypnotherapy is particularly helpful as it deals with the unconscious mind.  If you would like to discuss this with me in more detail, then get in touch.

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