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How to deal with feelings of stress or overwhelm

25 Mar

simplicity image Many of us have to deal with feelings of stress or overwhelm at times.  Maybe life throws us a curveball, perhaps we have a never-ending to-do list or we feel that those around us are constantly making demands on our time.

Whatever the reason, when we are stressed and overwhelmed, it can feel difficult to cope.  We might find ourselves reaching for junk food, caffeine, alcohol or drugs.  We might experience physical symptoms, such as muscular tension, headaches, low immunity or even chronic disease.  Stress and overwhelm can also impact on all areas of our lives in a negative way, for example, our relationships, health, weight, fertility and general well-being.

So, how can you cope with any feelings of stress and overwhelm you are experiencing right now?  One of the best ways I have found, for myself and my clients, is EFT (emotional freedom technique).  This simple tool can be likened to emotional acupuncture, a way of shifting and releasing any unhelpful feelings.

I often use EFT in combination with hypnotherapy to help my clients achieve powerful results.  To give you a taster of this wonderful technique, I have created a video specifically designed to help you with any feelings of stress and overwhelm.   You can watch the video below and tap along to feel calmer and more in control.

 

Please do comment below to let me know how you found this video.  If you would like to know more about how EFT can help you, get in touch to arrange an initial chat.

How to Establish a Gratitude Practice

17 Mar

Gratitude imageMost of the people who come to see me want to make some sort of change in their lives, maybe they want to lose weight, feel more confident or perhaps start a family.  This means that there is generally something they are currently unhappy with.  When we’re unhappy or dissatisfied with an element of our lives, we can get tied up with thinking about it constantly. We can start obsessing with how overweight we feel or the fact that we just can’t seem to get pregnant.  This kind of thinking can easily turn into a downward spiral and it can be difficult to see a way out.

When we’re thinking unhappy, fed-up thoughts, we tend to get more unhappy and more fed-up – it’s the way our minds operate!  So, I work with my clients to break that negative cycle and encourage them to start focusing on what they are happy with, to adopt an attitude of gratitude.  Maybe you’re not particularly happy with your body at the moment, but what are you grateful for in your life?  Perhaps you have a wonderful, supportive partner, or children who inspire you to be healthier?  How about all of the qualities you have that can help you on your way – your organisational skills, the way you motivate others, your attention to detail?  These are all things you can be grateful for and when we start to focus on feeling grateful, we automatically start to feel good!

Have you ever noticed that when you feel good, life is so much easier? You have more energy, you can get things done and everything seems more enjoyable.  Well, by adopting an attitude to gratitude, you will be creating a shift in your mindset which makes it far easier to get what you want.

This week, my regular Tuesday Challenge video focuses on how to establish a regular gratitude practice.  Watch the video below and let me know how you are going to make gratitude a part of your everyday life by commenting at the bottom of this post.

Why 1-1 hypnotherapy is SO different from just listening to a CD (or reading a book).

5 Feb

woman listening to musicApologies for the long title to this blog post, but this week I am on a bit of a rant (only a bit, I don’t do huge rants generally!)

Recently I was reading some reviews on Amazon for Paul McKenna’s Hypnotic Gastric Band book and CD and although many of the reviews were positive, I was struck by one in particular.  This woman said it hadn’t worked, but at least it had saved her money as she had previously been planning to go and see a therapist for a hypno-gastric band.  Because she had read the book, listened to the CD and didn’t have the desired results, she was ruling out getting individual help.

That’s fair enough.  I don’t expect everyone to want to work with a hypnotherapist.  However, if you want results, if you want to address your unique needs, then one-to-one is absolutely the way to go.

Reading self-help books is fantastic (it’s one of my favourite pastimes actually!), but the only way to make a change is to take action.  I must admit, I often find myself reading books that have suggestions and exercises in them and most of the time, I don’t do them.  Obviously, the change I am reading about is just not important enough for me to take action.  That’s okay.  I enjoy the book and I will take something from it, but if I don’t fully engage then I won’t receive the best results.

I haven’t read Paul McKenna’s Hypnotic Gastric Band book, but I’m sure that has action points in it too, suggestions on things to do differently.  The fact is, those who don’t implement the suggestions won’t get the results they want.  Simple.

How about listening to a hypnosis CD?  These can be very useful.  CDs can help you to relax and work with specific issues.  However, a CD won’t be specifically tailored to you.  It won’t use your language and it won’t address your individual needs.

I was speaking to a friend the other day who had used hypno-birthing CDs prior to having her baby and although she had found them useful, when it came to her personal labour experience the CDs didn’t fully meet her needs.  She wished she had booked some one-to-one hypno-birthing with me.

When I work one-to-one with a client, I don’t go straight into the hypnosis part of the process.  The first (and hugely important) step is to talk.  I ask the right questions so that we can get to the core of the particular issue we are working on.  Often talking about and exploring a problem can be transformative in itself.

Once I have the information I need, we move into hypnotherapy and often this can be a two-way process with me asking the client questions under hypnosis.

Every part of the process is tailored to the individual client and this is how we achieve big changes and shifts, often very quickly.

So, if you are interested in hypnotherapy, please do buy a book and listen to a CD to find out more, but if you want to make powerful and long-lasting change, get in touch and let’s talk about what’s best for YOU.

 

How Positive Affirmations Can (Really) Help You!

29 Jan

BelieveI’m sure you have heard about positive affirmations – a statement which you repeat either out loud or in your mind in order to reprogram the subconscious mind, helping to bring about a desired outcome.

Maybe you are even using them at the moment?  Perhaps you have a phrase or a number of phrases which you repeat to yourself to help you reach a particular goal?

I love positive affirmations – I use them personally and I often recommend them to clients.  They certainly can be a powerful way of focusing and directing our subconscious mind.  However, it’s important to recognise when we are using affirmations as a kind of sticking plaster.  What do I mean by ‘sticking plaster’?  Well, sometimes we may endlessly be repeating a positive affirmation, for example, ‘I am effortlessly becoming the weight I want to be’, when underneath we are thinking, ‘Oh come on, I’m never going to do it.  I’ve never managed to lose weight before, so why would I now?  I just can’t do it.’  You can see that in this situation the affirmation is just sitting on top of the negativity underneath.

I was speaking with a client about this recently.  She is coming to me to help reach a particular goal and was telling me how she has positive affirmations on post-it notes around her house.  This is a great idea as each time you see them, it reinforces the positive statement.  However, when we talked a bit more, it was clear that she had a bundle of negative thoughts and feelings going on which were getting in the way of her truly believing and embodying the affirmations.

So, what can we do about this?  How can we clear away any negativity so that we can use positive affirmation to change our mindsets and our feelings?  One of the best ways I have found is to use Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT).  EFT works by tapping on different parts of the body to shift any unhelpful thoughts or beliefs.   If you haven’t experienced the technique, you may think this sounds a bit strange (tapping on different parts of the body can change my thoughts and feelings?!), but it really works.  EFT can help you to transform your perspective, gain clarity and shift limited thinking.

When we use EFT to clear the way for our positive affirmations, the effect is powerful.

So if you feel that your positive affirmations are more of a sticking plaster than a mind-booster at the moment, or if you would like to find out more about how a combination of hypnotherapy and EFT can help you achieve your goals and dreams, get in touch today and let’s chat.

The Power of Positive Rituals

24 Jan

 

Taking the powerWhen clients come to me, we often work on behaviour that has become habitual. When we think about habits, we tend to focus on those habits that we feel are unhelpful – always having something sweet after meals, smoking or biting fingernails.  We talk about our ‘bad habits’, as if they are something we can’t change.

 

What I encourage my clients to do is to find a more positive habit to replace the old behaviour.   When we try not to do something, our minds can struggle.   This is why diets can be so troublesome – we are constantly thinking about the food we’re not allowed to eat!   That’s why it’s helpful to come up with an alternative.   That way our minds have something to focus on and the change feels a lot easier.

 

In their wonderful book ‘On Form’, Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz talk about positive rituals, ‘precise, consciously acquired behaviours that become automatic in our lives’, in other words – habits.  We can choose to establish new habits that become positive rituals in our daily lives, an established routine which is faithfully followed.

 

A number of my personal habits have become positive rituals, which form an important part of my life.   Some examples are:

 

  1. Morning Meditation.  This is something that has become part of my daily routine now, setting me up for the day.   On those days that I miss my meditation, I notice that I feel less grounded.

     

  2. Walk to work Wednesday.  I like to walk as often as I can and on a Wednesday, I make a special effort to walk to the therapy room where I am based.  It’s a habit that often spreads to other days of the week and has a positive impact on my body and mind.

     

  3. Curry Thursday.  Now this might not sound like a particularly positive habit (bear with me!)  Curry Thursday is my date night with Mr H and is something we have done since we first met.  It’s now firmly embedded as part of our relationship and is important as often we don’t see much of each other during the week.  It’s a positive ritual that means that we always make this time for each other.

     

So, my challenge to you this week is to think about at least one positive ritual that you can begin to make part of your routine. What area of your life would you like to improve? Maybe your positive ritual could apply to your health, your relationship, your work or your self-care?

 
Take some time to think about it now and feel free to commit to your new positive ritual below in the comments.

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