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Outside the Comfort Zone

18 Feb

Out of the comfort zoneWhen was the last time you took a step outside of your comfort zone?

When did you last do something that made you feel a little bit uncomfortable, a little scared and quite excited?

Is there something you are wanting to do, but you find yourself making excuses about why you can’t?

As a mindset specialist, I know that when we challenge ourselves, when we do something different that takes us out of our comfort zone, we receive many benefits.  We grow our self-confidence, we feel better about ourselves and we expand our sense of possibility.

It’s been proven that around 95% of the thoughts we have each day are the same as the day before (and the day before that, and the day before that – yawn!)  The same goes for our behaviour.  We tend to do the same things, speak to the same people, go to the same places, day after day.  When we keep thinking and doing the same things, our world starts to shrink.  As our world begins to shrink, so do our confidence levels.

I know that it can feel easier to stay safely inside our comfort zone.   It’s a very tempting, cosy place to be.

I also know that when we challenge ourselves to do something different, it feels great and the positive effects can be long-lasting.

So, today I have set you a challenge.  Watch the video below and decide what action you are going to take this week to expand your comfort zone.

Don’t forget to comment below and let me know what step you will be taking outside your comfort zone.  I look forward to hearing what it’s like ‘out there’!

Shhh….. Are You Listening?

11 Feb

listenI quite often get asked to speak at different events and workshops, I’ve even been interviewed on BBC Radio, and I enjoy getting the word out about the power of hypnotherapy and emotional freedom technique.  But, as a therapist, what I do best is to listen.

When clients come to me, I’m not there to bombard them with information (we get enough of that in the media and online).  I’m not there to give my opinion (friends, family and acquaintances do a great job of letting us know what they think.)  I’m not there to tell my clients what to do (although some of them might like me to.)

What I am there to do is to carefully listen to what my client is telling me, to ask helpful questions, to give them the space to gently explore what is going on for them and to help them find the best way forward.

When you think about it, we don’t very often get an opportunity to be truly listened to in everyday life.  Even with those who are close to us, they will have their own ideas, their own agendas, however well-meaning.  Conversations can be fast-paced, backwards and forwards, as everyone tries to make their point.  Many interactions take place online or via text and words can be misinterpreted, our intentions can be misunderstood.

When we are truly listened to, it can be a transformational experience.  When someone hears our true voice, when someone ‘gets’ us, when someone gives us the space to get to what we really mean, what we are really trying to say and sometimes that can take time.

That is why I love working with my clients, offering a space for them to talk about and explore whatever they want to focus on.  We might use hypnotherapy or EFT to deepen that exploration, uncover underlying issues, or think about new possibilities, new choices, new opportunities, but before that I listen.

It seems so simple and it can be.

And do you know what?  Often we don’t even listen to ourselves.  Do you take the time to notice the signals your body is giving you?  Do you trust your gut instinct?  Are you in touch with your deep inner wisdom?  This is what I work on with my clients, helping them to find their own answers.   Because whatever you want to do in life, whatever changes you want to make, however you want to be, you have the answers.  You just need to get quiet and listen.

So, my suggestion to you this week is to take some time, give yourself some space and listen to what’s going on for you.  Ask a question of yourself and listen out for the answer.  It will come.

And if you think you could do with some therapeutic listening space, get in touch and let’s talk.

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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