Archive | NLP RSS feed for this section

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.

Lessons from 2013

10 Dec

2013As we approach the end of 2013, it’s a good time to reflect on how the year has been.  What has gone well?  What has been challenging?  What have you learned?  How have you grown?  What do you want to leave behind and what do you want to take forward into 2014.

For me, this has been a year of growth, both personally and in terms of my business and I wanted to share some of the lessons I have learned with you.

1) Set Big Goals (and don’t beat yourself up if you don’t reach them!)

This has been a key lesson for me.   Part of me likes to go with the flow and another part likes to have a clear idea of what I am moving towards and this year, I have learned that I can do both.

At the beginning of 2013, I thought about what I would like to achieve during the year and, although it was scary, I set myself some BIG goals.     Some of things I aimed for, I have achieved (more of that below), but some I haven’t.  At times I felt stressed and frustrated that I wasn’t getting quite getting to where I wanted to be.  I looked at other people and thought, ‘How come they seem to be doing what I want to do?’

As I moved into the second part of the year, I started to be easier on myself.  I realised that by setting myself big goals, I have stretched myself, I’ve taken action and although I haven’t achieved everything I wanted to, I’ve come a long way.

So, I take time now to appreciate my successes this year and look forward to setting some new BIG goals for 2014.  How about doing the same?

2) Trust the Process

This is an interesting one.  As I mentioned above, I set myself some big goals for 2013 and to tell you the truth, I didn’t truly believe I would achieve some of them!  When I set two of them in particular, in the back of my mind, I was thinking, ‘Not sure how I’m going to do that!’

The two goals that I’m talking about were to run a retreat and to have an article published in Natural Health magazine.  Even though I had no idea how I would reach them, I chose to trust the process.  I wrote them down and started to think about small steps I could take towards them.  I took action that moved me closer to my goals, running a day’s workshop as part of preparing for how a retreat would be and writing articles for an online magazine.

I still didn’t have a clue how I would actually achieve these two goals, but I trusted that it would happen.  And do you know what, it did!  As I kept taking small steps, moving forward, opportunities presented themselves to me, the right people appeared to help me and I ended up achieving both of these wonderfully exciting goals by the end of the year.

So, even if you feel a goal is out of reach, write it down.  Think about small steps, small actions, you could take to move you towards your dream and trust that it will happen.

3) Take advice and listen to your heart.

This year I have worked with various mentors, coaches and teachers, both online and in person.  I’ve been like a sponge soaking up information!  I love learning new stuff and I get excited about developing.

But at times I felt overwhelmed with everything I was hearing.  Sometimes what other people were recommending or suggesting just didn’t feel right for me, it didn’t fit.   So, these are the times I decided to sit back, to get quiet and listen to what my heart was saying.   And what I learned is that my heart generally knows best!

It’s great to ask for advice, to read books, to work with people who are specialists in their area.  But whatever you learn, whatever advice you receive, always make time to check-in with yourself and see whether it’s right for you.  You are unique and you will have your own special way of doing things.  Listen to your intuition and hear what your heart is saying.  You are the expert on YOU!

So, what have your learned in 2013?  What are you choosing to take forward with you into the New Year?  I’d love to hear what you think and if you would like some help with achieving your goals in 2014, get in touch and let’s think BIG.

Hypnotherapy for Weight Loss

5 Aug

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-portrait-thoughtful-young-woman-kitchen-image29191340People are sometimes surprised that I do so much work with weight loss clients.  Wouldn’t a nutritionist or personal trainer be the most appropriate person to call on when you you want to lose weight?

Actually, until your mindset is in the right place, I’m afraid that anything you try to lose weight is going to be a struggle.

This is where hypnotherapy comes in.  When we work with hypnosis, we are working with that deep part of the mind, the subconscious, that influences our behaviour and decision-making.  If the subconscious is not in alignment with what we are trying to do for example, losing weight, then it can feel like we’re battling against ourselves.  This is when the weight loss process becomes REALLY hard work!

When I work with clients who want to lose weight, we use hypnotherapy to do three key things:

  • Let the subconscious mind know exactly what you want and how good it will be when you get there.  (This gives the subconscious the clear direction it needs).
  • Identify any unconscious blocks you might have in the form of past experiences or limiting beliefs, for example, the idea that you must ALWAYS clear your plate, or the belief that you won’t be able to maintain your ideal weight.
  • Find a way to lose weight that fits for you and is in alignment with the way you live your life.  (This means that the process feels natural and effortless, rather than frustrating and difficult).

By using hypnosis in the above ways, you can lose weight without dieting or depriving yourself.

So, rather than choosing hypnotherapy as a last resort, maybe it’s time to get your mindset in the right place and allow yourself to finally be the weight you want to be?  Contact me now to arrange your free 30-minute consultation and find out more.

What’s Your Meaning?

30 May

 

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photography-woman-thinking-image9668962Through my work as a hypnotherapist, I have come to realise that if we make our goals as compelling as possible for the subconscious mind, then it will help us to get to where we want to go. To do this we need to give that deep, powerful part of our mind a very clear idea of what we want.

When I am working with clients, one of the first things I get them to do is to visualise how they will look when they are the weight they want to be. This is very important in itself, as it gives the subconscious a wonderful image of where you want to be. However, to take this a step further, you need to really get in touch with how it will be for you when you are the weight you want to be and what that will mean to you.

So, how do you do this? Well, I’d encourage you to think about the following areas:

  1. How will you feel when you’re the weight you want to be? Often women know that they will feel more confident, happier with themselves, more relaxed.
  2. How will the way you behave change, both socially and at work? Maybe you will feel a greater sense of freedom and this means you will act differently.
  3. Think about the impact your weight loss will have on your relationships, particularly your children if are a mother. Clients often say this is a big incentive to adopt a healthier relationship with food, in order to be an inspiration to their children and their loved ones.
  4. How will being the weight you want to be make a difference to the clothes you wear? This is something that virtually every woman I work with mentions, being able to wear what they want and not feel restricted.
  5. How you will your weight loss affect your health and fitness levels? Imagine how it will be to experience a new sense of vitality and energy.

 

This is why I love working with weight loss, because I have seen over the years that it’s not just about the physical changes. In fact, often this is only a small part of what happens to my clients. Losing weight has a huge impact on all areas of their lives.

If you are trying to lose weight, or make any sort of lifestyle change, take some time to think about the difference it will make in all of the above categories. Go through each point and write down what your weight loss will mean to you in as much detail as possible.

If you are a particularly visual person, then perhaps you could create a vision board which shows the impact in all areas of your life.

Have fun and start to get excited about what you are moving towards!

Once you have done this, it will be like you’ve created a 3D image of your future and your subconscious will know exactly where you are heading and how amazing it’s going to be. And do you know what? It will start finding ways to get you there, without you even thinking about it.

Amazing eh?

If you are struggling with losing weight at the moment and you feel like something is holding you back, the home study version of the Your Forever Weight Loss online program is the perfect solution for you. Click here for more details and you can get started straight away!

What’s on Your Nurture List?

26 Apr

 Nature Image

When we think about losing weight, we tend to focus on diet and exercise – it’s what we’ve been conditioned to do. However, we can then become frustrated, as we find it difficult to actually eat healthily and be more active. It’s like something is stopping us from doing what we know we should be doing.

 The reason it can be difficult to stop overeating is that often we are using food to meet our emotional needs. In short, we are comfort eaters.

I’m sure that many of you recognise this in yourselves – you stop on the way home from a stressful day at work to buy some wine and chocolate or you come off an upsetting phone call with your partner and head straight for the ice-cream in the freezer. Food has become the friend we turn to when we feel stressed, sad, angry or fearful. In fact, pretty much any emotion can trigger off a need to overeat.

So, when we decide to lose weight and cut back on our eating, it’s like we’re being deprived of our closest friend, our biggest support. How is that going to work?

When we comfort eat, we are suppressing the emotion we are feeling, whatever that may be. We are putting a lid on it, rather than meeting the real emotional need. This is why, when I work with clients, we spend time looking at what’s happening for them when they get that urge to eat and they know they’re not physically hungry. Are they sad? Are they stressed? Are they angry? We then look at other ways of meeting that emotional need. It’s all about giving ourselves alternatives to overeating. Once the subconscious mind knows that there is another way, that it has some options, we find it easier to make healthier choices, meeting our true needs.

How can you do this for yourself? Well, I’d encourage you to take some time to think about the things you can do to help you feel more relaxed and uplifted in your life. Give yourself some space and make your own list of activities that nurture you. These can be as simple as having a cup of tea or running a bubble bath – find what feels right for you.

For me personally, I know that being outside in nature helps me to feel more grounded and peaceful. So, I make sure that I build time into my week when I can go for a walk or just sit in the garden. This morning, I took myself off to the forest to take some photos and felt such a sense of contentment and stillness. I know that if I don’t make time to do this, I will start to feel stressed and under pressure, so I’ve learned to plan regular ‘outdoor time’. This stops me from relying on the short-term fix of comfort eating.

So, create your own nurture list. Then start planning these activities into your week. Take positive action and start to truly meet your emotional needs. I guarantee you will find that you eat less and start to feel more balanced. I’d love to know what’s on your list, so please do share.

If you’d like to explore this in more detail, I am offering free weight loss clarity calls to three people next week. Contact me at nicola@horizon-hypnotherapy.com if you are interested.

 

Page 1 of 3123