Monthly Archives: June 2015

Laughter is the best medicine

Laughter is the best medicine – unless you have an upset stomach.

Fortunately my stomach is doing just fine, because I’m off out tonight to watch Jimmy Carr do his live show – No pressure Jimmy, but I’m expecting it to be hilarious.

When someone is feeling down, low and generally a bit rubbish, laughter can really lift the spirits and get you back to feeling good again. Why?

Well first of all laughing produces lots of lovely hormones in our bodies that make us feel good. Endorphins and seratonins can become elevated which just cheers us up. Literally just the act of laughing.

Don’t believe me – give it a try. Laugh as mightily as you can for a minute or two. Do real ‘belly laughs’ and a few giggles. Even if you start out faking it, you will soon find you are genuinely laughing and that it feels good.

There are many laugh therapists all over the world who use this special aspect of laughter to help people to feel better in themselves. Quite often they will work with groups of people at the same time because laughter is contagious. It also brings me onto my second point about why laughter is good for you.

As a very general rule of thumb, when we laugh out loud we are in company. Now you might think about a time that you watched or read something and laughed to yourself, and you were completely alone. This can happen, but usually if we are alone we tend to smile, or just give a little exhale of air. This is NOT the same. Laughing is often considered to be a social cue to demonstrate to others in a group that we are on the same page, that we understand what is going on and we are participating in it. Have you ever noticed that you laugh much more if you are at a comedy performance than you do if you are watching the same or a similar performance alone on DVD? Being around others and having social interaction is incredibly important for your mental health. I’m not saying you have to be around people all the time to be mentally well, but those who spend more time isolated are much more likely to suffer from mental health issues. Whether you’re naturally an introvert or en extrovert, millennia of evolution has formed you into a social being. How much you crave and accept that social aspect varies from person to person, but we all need to have some interaction.

Another reason laughter is good for our mental health is that it’s distracting. When you laugh you are generally in the moment. Your conscious thought processes are working on whatever it is that is amusing you – you are not thinking about what may happen tomorrow (anxiety) or what did or did not happen in the past (depression). By simply being present in the moment you can distract yourself from a lot of other worries. This gives your poor old brain a break and lets it know that it’s not all about stress and worry.

So, I say again, Laughter is the best medicine – unless you have a serious illness – then maybe a visit to a health practitioner rather than the local comedy club is your best bet.

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Filed under coaching, depression, Development, experiment, fun, Good News, Happy, Health, humour, inspiration, lifestyle, meditation, Mental Health, Motivation, Positivity, Psychology, Relaxation, Self Help, support, Worrying

5 ways to look younger!

Everyone is always looking to find ways to look younger – to defy ageing – to regain that twenty something complexion.

Sorry to disappoint you but this post isn’t about ways to look younger – It’s about how we are all so obsessed with appearance and age that we forget how unimportant it really is.

I once heard a nurse who specialised in neonatal care talking. She was asked if getting older bothered her. She replied that she wore each wrinkle as a badge of honour as it was something that too may people never got to experience. When you are surrounded by sick and dying babies, the idea that someone might lose sleep over a wrinkle seems a little ridiculous.

And it does, doesn’t it? In fact isn’t it almost the definition of shallow?

I’m in my forties now and my skin is starting to change – wrinkles appear, everything is looking a little saggier than it did 5 years ago and quite frankly when I first wake up and look in the mirror I can freak myself out a bit! I get that it’s not great to see you face and body showing the signs of age, but try to shift your perspective a little.

How lucky are you to have survived this long when others that you may have known or loved have not.

How lucky are you to have a body that still functions and allows you to experience the world.

How lucky are you to have lived long enough to earn your wrinkles.

Try looking inwards a little more.

How young do you feel?

How much have you learned?

What can you do with that knowledge?

What can you do with the time that you have been gifted with to make things better?

I choose to love the body I’m in – wrinkles and all – it has served me well so far and I intend to look after it as much as I can in the hope that it continues to do so. I am far more concerned with what I am like than what I look like. Healthy, happy and fulfilled beat youthful and smooth in my book.

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Filed under coaching, Happy, Health, hypnosis, inspiration, lifestyle, Mental Health, Motivation, Positivity, Psychology, Relaxation, Self Help

My WordPress Birthday

I had a message from WordPress today to let me know it was my 2 year anniversary.

How time flies.

There have been times over the 2 years when I have blogged daily, there have been other times when I was lucky if I managed to write something once a month.

I started slow.

I don’t really know what I expected.

As I have said in previous posts, I had two main reasons to blog. The first was to share ideas that might help people. I come across all sorts of issues in my hypnotherapy practice and some of them are relatively easy to resolve. It just takes a change of perspective and a little practice. I’ve tried to share these things and I’ve had some lovely feedback from people who have given it a go.

Which brings me on to my second reason for blogging – to showcase an promote my business. This has had a really positive effect for me. Not only have I helped to increase the visibility of my website on Google and Bing, but I have also had a resource to send clients to when they are looking to find out a little bit more about me and what I do. I have also had clients who have found me from my blog, which was a little unexpected, but an absolute thrill for me.

Another unexpected bonus was that I have had a few more likes on my Facebook and Twitter pages – again, helping to improve my visibility to clients.

As with all things, people have to know you’re there before they can get to know you, so when I’m going through one of my more prolific stages I try to like and comment on other peoples blogs to advertise my presence. This has been one of the most rewarding things of all. Getting to know some of you, reading your wonderful thoughts and experiences and seeing your struggles has helped me enormously. If you want a better understanding of what people with depression or anxiety go through – read their work. If you want ideas on how to help and support them – understand them. If you want to see things from a different perspective – look for different perspectives. The people who write and share on here are heroes who have a wealth of knowledge and experience for you to see. Go and find them – it’s truly brilliant.

So I guess what I want to say on my two year anniversary is Thank You.

Thank You for clicking on my links.

Thank you for reading my blog.

Thank you for all the support and feedback you have given me.

Thank you for helping me with technical issues that confused and bothered me.

Thank you for sharing a bit of yourself with me.

Thank you for helping me to understand.

Thank you for everything.

Hopefully we’ll all still be here in another couple of years – tapping away on our keyboards and sharing our thoughts with the world – but until we get to celebrate that milestone – Thank You.

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Poem for today

coventry, hypnotherapy, sue griffin

May my heart always be open

May my heart always be open to little
birds who are the secrets of living
whatever they sing is better than to know
and if men should not hear them men are old

May my mind stroll about hungry
and fearless and thirsty and supple
and even if it’s sunday may i be wrong
for whenever men are right they are not young

and may myself do nothing usefully
and love yourself so more than truly
there’s never been quite such a fool who could fail
pulling all the sky over him with one smile

e.e.cummings

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Plot Twist!

One of the few constants in life is change – ironic right?

Change can be fantastic.

Change can be devastating.

Change can be invigorating.

Change can be unnerving.

One of the few things you know it will be, is different.

So, when life throws you a curve ball – and make no mistake – at some point it will,

just yell

‘PLOT TWIST’

and move on.

Trying to hang on to the past will not help you.

Do what you can to embrace the new because before you know it your new ‘new’ will be the status quo that you are worries about changing.

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The power of belief

coventry hypnotherapy

Belief is a powerful thing.

We all believe in things.

Some people believe in God who has a hand in their life.

Some people believe that they are lucky.

Some people believe that everything happens for a reason.

Some people believe in fairies.

Some people believe that the sun will come up tomorrow.

Some people believe in themselves.

Sometimes the things we don’t believe in are just as powerful.

What if you don’t believe in yourself?

Do you try anyway?

What if you don’t think you can do it?

Do you give up at the first hurdle because it just proved to you that it was impossible?

What if you don’t believe you’re lucky?

Does every bad thing that happens confirm that you were right?

We all have something called confirmation bias.

That means that we give extra attention and credit to things that confirm what we already think.

For example have you ever noticed that if you don’t like someone, almost everything you do annoys you. yet if a person you really liked did exactly the same thing it probably wouldn’t bother you (well, not as much anyway).

So when we don’t believe in ourselves our confirmation bias just makes it even harder to believe.

As a hypnotherapist, I often work with people who don’t believe that they can do the things they want. Maybe it’s lose weight, maybe give up smoking, maybe be confident in public, maybe its to be unafraid around spiders. Whatever it is, the more they believe that they cannot do it, the more likely it is that they won’t.

Luckily I have a few tricks up my sleeve.

The first thing I have to do is to change their belief set.

Today I was working with a lovely lady who wants to lose weight. She said that she had been overweight since she was a small child. When we first started the session I asked her if she believed she could lose weight and she said ‘no’. When I asked her why she said that, she had never been a healthy weight, so didn’t see how she could be in the future. So, after finding out about her eating habits, how she felt about food and eating, going through her routines and requirements we started with the hypnosis. The first twenty minutes were all about changing her belief patterns – nothing whatsoever about eating, appetite or food. After we had worked on this I asked where she was now – how much did she believe that she could lose weight? She replied ‘90% sure’

So we went from 0 to 90% in 20 minutes.

We then went on to work on changing eating habits and food types and put in place all the things she needed in order to be able to lose weight easily.

The real work was done in the first 20 minutes. She now believes that she CAN lose weight. Her confirmation bias will prove to her every day that it’s possible and if she wants it, she WILL be able to do it. The other stuff was just making it easier for her.

Think about what you believe in and maybe more importantly, what you don’t.

It could change your life!

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Lean on me, I won’t fall over.

These are the lyrics of a song that means a lot to me. I’ve posted the lyrics rather than a you tube video, because I know the type of music will put some people off listening to it and I think that’s a shame. If you feel like it, I strongly recommend checking it out – it’s called lean on me, I won’t fall over and it’s by Carter USM. Everyone needs to lean on someone from time to time. Who’s there for you? Who are you there for? Do they know?

One of these days you’ll get away from London town
Causing chaos and delay on the underground
I’ll read your letter as I pass away the time
Stuck in a tunnel on the Hammersmith and City line

I’ll hurry home a little bored but still alive
Unplug the phone to keep the outside world outside
I’ll take some aspirin then I’ll take myself to bed
You’ll be gone and you’ll be dead, all because I never said

Lean on me I won’t fall over
I’m made of steel and stone cold sober
If you feel the need come over
Lean on me I won’t fall over

You’re off the wagon, you were never really on
Chasing the dragon like you’re
Saint f***ing George or someone
Stop punching walls don’t cut yourself
Shift some burden onto somebody else

Lean on me I won’t fall over
I’m made of steel and stone cold sober
If you feel the need come over
Lean on me I won’t fall over

Am I made of wood, am I too arrogant?
To be the last of the good Samaritans?
Stop punching walls, don’t cut yourself
Try shifting some burden onto someone else

Don’t give up hope if you think you can’t cope
We should keep in touch if it gets too much
Have faith in yourself for the sake of your health
Stop sniffing glue try something new
Confide in your friends you’ll get by in the end
If nothing else works have you tried the church?

I didn’t want to be so dozy, darling
I should have promised you a rosy garden
And told you life is sweet, stick around and enjoy it
Flush that stupid nonsense down the toilet
And lean on me I want fall over

Songwriters
CARTER, LESLIE GEORGE / MORRISON, JAMES NEIL

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Filed under addiction, depression, Development, Health, inspiration, suicide, support

Milestones – 1000 followers

Hi Peeps.

Firstly I want to say a big Thank you to everyone who follows me. Whether you follow on wordpress, twitter, facebook, linkedIn or by email you are part of a group who has reached the 1000 mark!

Now I know some people may think ‘phh only 1000 – what are you celebrating that for?’ but to me, it means a lot.

I started this blog to help to grow my business and to share ideas that come up when I’m working with clients. I really believe that we can help make a difference by sharing our knowledge (excuse the hippy vibe) our positive energy and our good intentions. I know from feedback that I’ve had, both from emails and face to face contact, that in my own small way I’ve made a difference. Maybe it was helping someone in an interview, maybe it was making them giggle, maybe it was giving them ideas on how to handle something differently – what ever it was – it made a positive difference.

For me, this feedback means that what I’m writing is of some value and hitting the 1000 follower mark means that more people are getting to see it. I don’t know why 1000 was more significant to me than 998, but it was.

I think we go through lives making little milestones for ourselves. Originally milestones we literally stones by the side of the road that told you how many miles you had to go before you reached your destination – or to look at it another way – how many miles you had already travelled.

One of the things that can get us down is to think about all the things we have left to achieve and how much work it will take in order for us to achieve them. We can sometimes forget to look at how far we have come and what has already happened.

If I had a target of having 50,000 followers I could look at the fact that I still have 49,000 yet to go. (I don’t by the way – but it would be pretty great!) But instead I could be looking at the fact that 1000 people have decided that what I wrote was worth reading and feel proud and happy (which I do, and as I already mentioned – very grateful).

When you have a large target it can seem very daunting and one of the reasons that people give up on big challenges is the fact that they don’t think they can do it. It all just seems too hard. Break down your goal – what ever it may be – into smaller, bite sized chunks that you can do one at a time. Each small victory is a milestone on your journey to success.

Take for instance the problem of struggling with addiction. It doesn’t matter what your addiction is – alcohol, sugar, drugs, nicotine, gambling, porn – the idea of having to go the rest of your life without it can be difficult to face. Many addicts dealing with their addiction take the attitude that it’s one day at a time. Each day is a victory. Each moment is. That’s why organisations such as AA give out chips to mark off milestones in time. every one of them marks a win.

My advice is have a goal. Break that goal down to achievable milestones. Celebrate each an every one of them.

p.s. did I mention that I think each and every one of the 1000 that have chosen to follow my little blog are blooming marvellous?

Thanks again folks – you’ve made my day!

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Perfect place

In Hypnotherapy I often ask people to think of a perfect place – a place where they can feel safe and comfortable, a place where they can be entirely themselves. I ask them to think about where it is, what it looks like, what it feels like, what the light is like, what smells they can smell and what sounds they can hear.

It’s good to have a perfect place.

It reminds me of this song I used to love as a teenager. Still do actually.

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My Happy Jar

My Happy Jar

This is the latest post about my Happy Jar. It’s been a little while since I posted an update on this, but don’t worry there’s still plenty going in the jar 🙂

The Happy Jar is a way to look back and remember all the little things that make us happy.

The idea came from a nice story I once heard about a woman who had a jar. Every time she thought of something that made her happy, she would jot it down on a piece of paper and put it in the jar. Whenever she felt down, or fed up, she would go to her jar and find all the things that made her happy. Some things were big things, events that happened that she could look back on and smile, but most were little things that she could cherish and maybe even recreate to make her feel better.

So here are a few things from my Happy Jar this month.

A pink sunrise (yes I know, red sky in the morning – shepherds warning, but it’s still pretty)

Catching up with old friends at a house warming

Seeing friends happy – on a new journey, full of excitement and anticipation.

Fresh Blueberries in my porridge for breakfast.

A gift to myself being delivered.

The smell of freshly cut grass after it has rained.

Seeing my old dog act like a puppy when she finds a new walk.

Listening to an album I haven’t played in years (and still remembering the words).

Sprouting seeds.

Finding an old friend on social media.

Getting my nerd on with a friend.

Finding out that some amazing shoes I want actually come in my size (I’m 6ft tall and have size 9 feet)

Getting great feedback from a post

Getting caught in the rain and running for cover (then getting home and dry!)

Rediscovering a joy in drawing.

I know none of these things are amazing, there is nothing earth shattering about them, but all of them have made me smile and brought a least a little joy to my soul.

What will you put in your happy jar this month?

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