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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?

The Value of Relaxation

16 May

Relaxation is something I work on with all my clients – it’s so important whatever the issue, be it weight loss, fertility or anxiety.  The importance of relaxation has been brought home to me personally this week.  I have a big event this weekend and have been rushing around trying to get everything finalised for it.  My sister had arranged a spa day for me yesterday, knowing that I might need some me-time in preparation for the weekend.  When we were driving there I noticed that I was thinking how I didn’t really have time for this, there were other things I could be doing with the day, getting things done and being productive.  I felt quite stressed about taking time out!

Once I was at the spa, all of these negative thoughts changed.  I started to relax and enjoy being away from everything, knowing that I couldn’t do anything if I wanted to.  It was bliss!  I ended the day feeling totally chilled out and much more energised.

This experience has reminded me how important it is to take time out, however busy you are.  Clients often tell me that they don’t have time to relax, even for a short period.  I was lucky to be able to take a whole day to relax, but it doesn’t have to be that long.  Stopping, even for the shortest time, will recharge your batteries meaning that you have much more energy for the rest of the day.  So why not sit and watch the world go by, lie back and listen to your favourite song, or take yourself for a 20-minute walk outside?  I guarantee you will feel much better afterwards!

 

Listening to your Body

6 Mar

When we’re busy and rushing around, it can be all too easy to live in our heads.  We focus on our thoughts, worries and anxieties which can lead to us feeling out of balance and ‘top-heavy’.

By bringing your attention back to your physical body, it can help you to feel more grounded.  This is often one of the first steps I take with my clients – inviting them to focus on what’s going on in their bodies.  This can be especially helpful if you’re struggling with a particular feeling, for example, anxiety, anger or sadness; just noticing where in your body you are holding that feeling can help you to take control.  Often just taking your breath into that area of the body can help, breathing deeply and allowing the breaths to travel down to that particular part of you.

If you’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed, it can help to focus on your legs and feet, taking your attention to the lower part of your body.  Whether you are sitting down or standing, just notice how you are making contact with the floor.  Take some time to feel firmly planted, allow the energy from the ground to flow up through your feet into your legs and the rest of your body.    This will help you to feel more grounded and secure, moving your focus from away from your thoughts and into your physical body.

As there is such a strong connection between the body and mind, by taking some time to relax physically and feel more grounded, you will automatically start to quieten the mind.  This sense of space can be deeply beneficial and replenishing.

So, why not take a few moments now to notice what’s going on in your body?   Listen to what’s happening for you physically and take some deep breaths.  I guarantee you will notice a difference.

Acceptance

16 Nov

The work I do with my clients is all about change.  Some may want to lose weight, some may want to be more confident, others may want to improve their relationships – the ways of working with hypnotherapy are endless.  However, the approach I use doesn’t try to offer a ‘quick fix’; I want people to make a long-term change that stays with them.

This means that when I start working with someone we will spend time looking at the underlying reasons for any unhelpful patterns of behaviour.  When we find the part of you which is causing you to perhaps overeat, smoke or hold back in life, I will encourage you to see that this part is trying to do the best for you; maybe it’s trying to comfort you, relax you or keep you safe.  Once we can see what’s going on in our unconscious minds and accept that part of ourselves, we can start to change the way we behave.

The psychotherapist, Joseph Zinker encouraged people to look at themselves as if they were a beautiful sunset or a view in nature.  When we see something like this, we don’t try to change it, we appreciate every part for what it is.  If we can see ourselves like this, appreciating and accepting every part of us, then change will start to happen naturally.  We will feel freer to move forward, rather than using our energy constantly trying to suppress our true selves.

So, take some time out to appreciate every part of you.

Letting Go

22 Feb

I find that a lot of the work I do with clients is about letting go of negative thought patterns and behaviours.   It’s easy to cause a lot of our own problems by mentally beating ourselves up, being overly self-critical and taking refuge in unhelpful habits.  In addition, we can spend a huge amount of time worrying about the past and what’s to come in the future.  It all sounds pretty exhausting and it can leave us feeling drained and anxious.

So, what’s the answer?  Well, it’s really quite simple – we just need to stop and bring ourselves back to the present moment.   Whenever I wake up in the middle of the night and start worrying about something I haven’t done, or something I have to do, I catch myself and pull my mind back to the present.  What do I possibly have to do or think about in the middle of the night?  Nothing!  I remind myself to let everything go, clear my mind and drift back to sleep.  It can take some practice, but the more you do this, the easier it becomes.

There’s a technique I use with my hynotherapy clients which helps with letting go and focussing on the moment.   I ask them to imagine a box in front of them, a box where they can put any worries or anxieties, any troubling thoughts or tension.  I ask them to put anything they want to let go of into the box and then imgaine a helium balloon attached to it.   Finally I ask them to give the balloon a push and watch the box floating way from them, up into the air and into the distance until it drifts completely out of view and out of their awareness.   They often feel a real sense of lightness afterwards, as if a weight has been lifted from them.

It sounds simple, but this technique can be used at any time.  Just stop for a moment and let any troubles float away.  Why not try it out now and see how letting go can make all the difference?

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