Category Archives: Breathing

Quit Smoking Day 8 March 2017

https://www.talktherapies.co.uk

Hello you beautiful people!

Hands up if you’re a smoker….

Wow, that sucks for you. I know because I was a smoker for 17 years.

Let me list some of the many reasons it sucks…

  1. It’s seriously bad for your health – I mean seriously bad. Not only is it likely to shorten your life significantly, but it will also reduce your quality of life. Reduced blood flow can cause blindness, teeth falling out, amputation and stroke. Lung problems are almost a given and heart disease and cancer are likely. But you knew all of that right – I mean it’s not like you live under a rock.
  2. It’s expensive – now I’m all for spending your money on things you enjoy, but seriously, how much do you enjoy smoking? Work out how much you spend on smoking a week, then multiply that by 52. Chances are you are looking at thousands.
  3. You are constantly restricted. You can’t smoke here, you can’t smoke there. You are always being told where you can and can’t smoke.
  4. If you smoke in public, people are silently judging you all the time.
  5. You will occasionally have to go longer than you are comfortable with without smoking. Maybe it’s at work, maybe a friends home, maybe a flight, but there will be times that you cannot smoke for one reason or another and it will cause you stress, anxiety and discomfort.
  6. You kind of smell bad – all the time.
  7. The people that love you worry about you constantly
  8. If you have kids in your life they are learning from you. You are teaching them that smoking is a positive thing. Even if you tell them constantly that it isn’t they learn from your example far more than what you say. They see you smoke when you are stressed – they learn that smoking is good to calm you down.
  9. You are always thinking about whether you have enough cigarettes/tobacco. Do you need to make another trip to the shops? Will you have enough for the next day?
  10. Your self respect is not where it could be – trust me when I say, I have never felt prouder or more capable than the moment I realised I had quit smoking forever!

I could go on and on but I think you get the idea.

Now for the good news – You can be free from this crappy habit.

It is entirely possible for you to decide today that you will never smoke again and do it. It’s literally that simple. You will go through a couple of days of feeling a bit awkward, feel itchy and unconfortable and maybe have a short temper. So what. That might sound a bit tough, but that’s all you need to go through – a couple of days of feeling unconfortable. No pain, No agony, No awful consequences. After 2 days the nicotine will be out of your system and if you decide to never put it back in again, you will slowly but surely feel better and better. It will get easier and easier. Within a couple of weeks you will have got rid of the habit too and will think about it less and less.

Quitting smoking is easy. You just don’t put another cigarette it in you mouth.


I tried to quit smoking for years – unsuccesfully. It wasn’t until I tried hypnosis that it all fell into place. If you want some help getting free of the evil weed, give me a call.

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Blog Plans for 2017

Happy New Year!

Well, after a lovely Christmas break, I’m back to the blogosphere….How are you all doing?

Personally I love January, because I love new starts. They are full of opportunities, possibilities and potential. They also scare me a bit because of this – when everything is a possibility it can all be a bit overwhelming – there’s just too much to choose from, and in my humble opinion, you do have to choose. Anyone that tells you that this year is the one where they will eat healthy, exercise regularly, look amazing every day, make a million dollars, have the perfect relationship with their friends and family, start a new business and find inner peace is expecting a little bit much, don’t you think?

Even if all you’re planning on doing is growing your blog audience or blogging every day, it can still be a big expectation. There are so many things to blog about, but how to choose? Sometimes there is so much possibility I can’t narrow it down, sometimes I can’t think of a single thing. What to do?

For me it starts with a plan. Plans don’t have to be set in stone, they are a starting point. Write yourself a plan, but know that it can and probably will change.

The next thing I do is think about what I want to talk about – broadly speaking. As my blog here is all about happiness, health and hypnosis that needs to be at the fore of my planning – what large topics fall under that remit?

So this year I’ve decided to dedicate a month to a topic. I started last year. December was all about self care, and I wrote it like an advent calendar with a different post every day from 1 to 25. It worked quite well for me and those that follow my blog. It gave me structure and motivation to write (I’d promised after all) and it gave my followers a reason to check in – they knew what to expect. If it wasn’t something they were interested in they could take a pass, but if it was, they knew to come back every day for more.

In the same vein here are my ideas for Blogs I will be writing each month for 2017.

January – Diet

February – Relationships

March – Addictions

April – Happiness

May – Food

June – Anxiety

July – Exercise

August – Depression

Sept – Different therapy techniques

Oct – Dec TBD – I’m open to suggestions here, if you would like me to cover a topic that falls under the title of Happiness, Health and Hypnosis, this is your chance to put forward an idea! Just leave me a comment.

See anything there that you think you may be interested in – make sure you click follow to get them when they come out!

Once I’ve narrowed it down to topic areas, I find it easier to think about topics related to each big theme. Take diet for example. I can look at nutrition, staying satisfied, types of food that keep you feeling fuller for longer, diet myths, healthy goals, body image, small changes to make a big difference etc etc. So now we both know what to expect 🙂

Starting tomorrow the rest of my January blogs will be dedicated to diet. Getting right and making it easy. If you want to make sure you see them, you know what to do.

See you soon – let’s make January an awesome start!

 

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Self Care Advent Calendar Day 21

Regular readers (hello) may have noticed a pattern emerging in the last few posts. On the 19th we looked at sound (so to speak) on the 20th taste. Following on with the theme of senses let’s spend some time thinking about smell.

Our noses are spectacular – not as good as many other animals, but still spectacular.

We can recognise different scents – some we may love, others we may hate, but all of the smells we smell have memories and associations with them. It is often said that scent has the strongest link to memory. Have you ever caught a whiff that sent you straight back to childhood? Or another that made you feel like you did at the dentist?

One way that we can self care through smell is to make sure that we, and our environment smell nice. Make sure things around you are clean. Then choose the scents you want to experience. If you want to feel refreshed and invigorated go for more citrus scents. If you want to feel more relaxed and calm go for more earth scents. Want to feel like you’re on a beach holiday – coconuts and mangoes.

Another way is through therapies like aromatherapy. These use specific essential oils either just as a scent or as part of a massage to make you feel well.

Think of a happy memory, or just some place that you really enjoy. Think of what scents you would notice if you were there, and try to recreate them in your environment. Maybe your subconscious will then give you more positive happy thoughts to brighten your day?

 

 

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Self Care Advent Calendar Day 12

So what have I got planned for you today?

Nothing. That’s right not one thing.

No, I’m not being lazy. No, It’s not that I can’t think of things to do.

I want you to do nothing.

Give yourself a break. There is an idea that being busy is good, and it can be, but so can being still. Particularly at this time of year it can seem that the list of things to do is never ending and there is always something for you to do. People will often tell you how busy they are with the shopping and the cleaning and the cooking and the cards….as though that makes them good people or something.

I don’t care how busy you are, you need time out. If all you can manage is 10 minutes, take 10 minutes. If you can take 30 minutes, that’s better. If you can take 30 minutes every day, that’s brilliant. If you can take 30 minutes every day in nature, then you my friend are taking good care of yourself. Well Done.

I’ve talked quite a lot about making mental space. It’s not that I can’t think of other things to write about, it’s that I think this mental space idea is incredibly important and often overlooked. It’s all too easy to dismiss this. We often think we don’t have time – but this is when it is most important. There is an old saying ‘everyone should spend 20 minutes a day sitting in a field, unless you’re busy, then you should spend 40 minutes’. I know this sounds counter intuitive but it’s exactly right. The busier you are the more important it is to make space.

Sometimes when we are busy we can become unproductive. Have you ever had so much to do that you really don’t know where to start? I know I can start rearranging things – moving things from one pile to another, making lists but never ticking anything off, stressing about how I’m going to fit everything in. When this happens, I stop. I breathe. I remind myself that the guy rearranging deckchairs on the Titanic never saved any lives. I think about what’s going to make the most difference and I get on with that.

I was chatting to a friend of mine the other day who said she was so busy that she barely had time to sleep. That worried me. As well as taking time to do nothing, you really must make time to sleep properly. Sleep is not doing nothing, nor is it unproductive. Sleep is essential to our mental health and is one of the things that can have a knock on effect to lots of other areas of life. Did you know that you eat more and make less healthy choices after a poor nights sleep? Did you know that sleep deprivation has an equivalent effect to alcohol on your responsiveness? Sleep is so important!

So , today, plan in your hectic schedule a little time to do nothing, and enjoy it.


If you are having trouble with your sleep you really need to get on top of it. Talk to a doctor or a hypnotherapist to see what you can do to improve things – and remember do what you can without chemicals, but know that medicine has an important place too!

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Summer time and the living is easy

In the northern hemisphere we are now well into summer and it is glorious.

I’m not particularly a summer person – I don’t like to be too hot, I’m not a big fan of sunbathing, I can live without ever going near a bikini – but it’s still glorious.

So what is it about summer that makes us feel so good?

Well, obviously a large part of it is the sun. Longer days means more hours of daylight. Our bodies naturally respond better with more light as it makes us feel more alert and energised. We feel that we have more time to enjoy ourselves and do things. Also, because the weather is warmer, we can do more outdoor activities which means that we feel less cooped up and closer to our environment. There’s an old saying that you should spend at least 20 minutes a day in nature – unless you’re busy – then you should spend an hour! Being outside without the distraction of TV’s and computers gives your brain a chance to rest and recharge, which in turn helps you to be more present and happy.

Try taking some time to look at what’s around you – in detail. I know the old cliché of taking time to smell the roses, but seriously take the time to smell them, to look at them, each petal, each leaf, the construction of the stem, the shape of the prickles…think about the ecosystem it lives in and what lives on it….see where that takes you. This is all part of being mindfull – being in the moment. It is becoming increasingly significant as a form of therapy and self help as research evidences more and more the beneficial outcomes of this kind of thought process. It reduces stress, anxiety and helps to prevent relapses in depressive episodes. All of these help to increase mental health which in turn promotes physical health. It really is worth taking the time to smell the roses!

On the same theme, another thing that summer tends to provide us with, is holiday. Most people will take at least a portion of their holiday during the summer. Unlike other times of the year like Christmas, where the ‘break’ actually comes with a lot of other pressures and work, the summer holiday tends to be a time to relax and have a rest. If you are taking a holiday this year, make the most of it by ditching as much technology as you dare. At the very least avoid calls and emails from work. By staying in contact you aren’t letting your mind and body get the full benefits from being away. Your subconscious doesn’t know that the office is 2000 miles away. If you’re thinking about it, you may as well be in it!

I’m a big believer in ‘you are what you eat’ so another advantage of summer is the abundance of great seasonal fruits and vegetables. Salads are an amazing way of giving your bodies a variety of nutrients without too many calories. If you want to stay healthy (and younger looking) make sure that you eat the rainbow. Certain Buddhist traditions say that you should have at least 5 different colours in every meal – I love that idea. Not only does it promote variety in what you are eating, but it also means that you have a beautiful tasty meal to look forward to.

Enjoy your summer – whether it’s short or long. Eat well, take time to be and get some (but not too much) sun while you can.

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What does the moon smell of?

If you want to see what it looks like on the other side of the world you can look at a picture.

If you want to find out the history of a building you can read a book.

If you want to hear what it sounds like in the jungle you can listen to a recording.

But, what does it smell like?

In the film Good Will Hunting, there is a famous monologue…

“So if I asked you about art, you’d probably give me the skinny on every art book ever written. Michelangelo, you know a lot about him. Life’s work, political aspirations, him and the pope, sexual orientations, the whole works, right? But I’ll bet you can’t tell me what it smells like in the Sistine Chapel……”

That part of the speech has always stayed with me and one day I hope to visit the Sistine chapel and get a good nose full.

One place I can never expect to visit is the moon. I’ll never get to smell what the moon smells like – but then I thought that no-one else could either. I mean, even if your lucky enough to walk on the surface, you’re still in a space suit with a helmet and breathing air that you bought with you, right?

But then I heard someone talking on a daytime TV show. They had interviewed someone who had walked on the moon and the guy had said that he was bored with all the usual questions. The interviewer asked him what he’d like to be asked, and he replied that no-one had ever asked him what the moon smells of. The interviewer laughed and said that this was a trick question, because no-one could take a sniff when they were on the surface of the moon, but the astronaut replied that when he came back to the space ship and came through the airlock, he took off his suit and it was covered in dust – and he had smelled that. ‘What did it smell of?’ the interviewer asked. ‘Rusty buckets in the rain’ he replied.

I may never see a rusty bucket again without wanting to sniff it and think about what the moon smells of.

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What causes Stress? – Environment or how we handle it?

hypnotherapy for stress coventry

Have you ever noticed that some people can get stressed out over the slightest thing, whilst other people can seem to thrive in really high pressure environments?

Yet we still hear people say that they were in a stressful job, or a stressful situation.

Now don’t get me wrong, certain circumstances and issues can be difficult to deal with, but it’s how we deal with them that either gives us stress or doesn’t.

One of the common causes of stress is around control issues.

If you are trying to manage and control every aspect of a situation, and feel responsible for all the outcomes and how it will effect all parties involved you will undoubtedly be feeling the stress. One of the biggest lessons we all have to learn if we want to eliminate stress from our lives, is that we have little, if any, control over what happens.

Let me say that again – we have little, if any, control over what happens.

A lot of people are going to disagree with that statement. so let me add a little more to it.

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t prepare/train/practice – of course you should, that’s how you get good at things.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t try to avoid dangerous risks – of course you should, if you want to live a long and healthy life.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t plan – of course you should, otherwise you will be met by unexpected problems at every turn.

What I’m saying is, after you’ve practised, planned and assessed your risks, you have to let go.

There is always a certain amount of rolling with the punches, things will go wrong and people will be unpredictable – and that’s OK.

If you’re someone who feels a lot of stress – here are a couple of tips which may help you to manage it better.

1. Plan, prepare, practice.

Get yourself ready for what ever the situation is that you are stressed about.

2. Breathe

Being stressed and uptight will not help you to make good decisions. Take a minute or two to breathe – slowly and steadily, making sure your out breath is always longer than your in breath. Some people like to count to 7 on each in breath and count to 11 on each out breath – personally I prefer to breathe in as normal and then blow the air out slowly through pursed lips to control my breathing. This simple act changes your body chemistry and allows you to feel calmer and more relaxed.

3. Ask yourself – What is the worst that could happen?

Unless you are in very unusual circumstances the situation you are in will not be life and death. If something goes wrong – so what? It may not be ideal, but it’s probably not worth giving yourself a heart attack over! You know what -even if it is life and death, you can still remind yourself that you are doing the best you can – and nobody can ask more of you than that.

4. Imagine it’s a year from now – do you still care about whatever it is you are stressing over?

If the answer is no, it’s probably not worth worrying about now either.

Stress is a killer – avoid it where you can. If you struggle with this on your own, consider seeking some help – it’s definitely worth it!

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5 ways to stop a panic attack

Panic attacks are horrible.

They can be terrifying, debilitating and disabling.

They can also be treated.

There are drugs that doctors can prescribe to help manage them, but there are also less invasive solutions that can be even more effective, like hypnotherapy.

Panic attacks are created in your brain. I like to think of them as a mental allergic reaction.

Think about an allergy such as hayfever.

Your body sees the pollen as a threatening alien invader and goes into defence mode. It makes your eyes itch, your throat get scratchy and sets off your bodies immune system as though it’s under a full blown attack. The truth is, the pollen is harmless and the only unpleasant thing is your own bodies response to it.

The same happens mentally with a panic attack. Things are floating around your brain, thought, ideas, scenarios. Your subconscious feels threatened by something and goes into defence mode. it makes you hyper alert, increases your senses and dumps a load of adrenaline into your system in case you need to run. This makes your heart beat faster, increases your blood pressure, makes you breath faster and that in turn can make you feel light headed and dizzy. Your palms may sweat and your mouth becomes dry. All of these symptoms inly increase the anxiety and the cycle starts making it worse and worse.

So, how do you stop them.

1. Educate yourself.

Research what panic attacks are. Understand them. If you know why you are feeling this way it can take lots of the fear out of it and stop you entering the panic cycle.

2. Be aware of your triggers.

Try to notice where you are, what you are doing, what you are thinking about, who you are with, what you are feeling etc when you have a panic attack. By being aware of your triggers you can start to work out what it is that you are uncomfortable about and try different things to manage that. I do not advocate changing your life to never come across a trigger, but I do advocate knowing what your triggers are and working with a therapist to find better ways of managing those feelings.

3.Train yourself.

If you have regular panic attack you have begun to train yourself to follow a pattern. A follows B follows C.

for example – I notice that my chest feels a bit tight, then I can’t get my breath, then my heart starts beating really fast, then my fingers start to tingle.

When you are relaxed and calm think about the first symptom of a panic attack – bring it to mind, feel it in your body. If you can bring it on them you can let it go too. Train yourself to feel that feeling and then let it go.

4. Breath.

One of the common symptoms of panic attacks is a feeling of breathlessness and hyperventilating. Just learning to control your breathing and making sure that you breath out slowly with each breath can stop a panic attack in it’s tracks.

5. Get help.

If all of these steps don’t work for you, it’s time to get some help. There are plenty of therapists who can help you be free of these awful experiences forever. There is no shame in getting some support to get rid of them. If you had persistent headaches it would be a good idea to consult a doctor. If you get persistent panic attacks, it’s a good idea to consult a therapist.

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Everyone said

Here’s my weekly poem – I hope you enjoy it

It Couldn’t Be Done

BY EDGAR ALBERT GUEST

Somebody said that it couldn’t be done
      But he with a chuckle replied
That “maybe it couldn’t,” but he would be one
      Who wouldn’t say so till he’d tried.
So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin
      On his face. If he worried he hid it.
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
      That couldn’t be done, and he did it!
Somebody scoffed: “Oh, you’ll never do that;
      At least no one ever has done it;”
But he took off his coat and he took off his hat
      And the first thing we knew he’d begun it.
With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin,
      Without any doubting or quiddit,
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
      That couldn’t be done, and he did it.
There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,
      There are thousands to prophesy failure,
There are thousands to point out to you one by one,
      The dangers that wait to assail you.
But just buckle in with a bit of a grin,
      Just take off your coat and go to it;
Just start in to sing as you tackle the thing
      That “cannot be done,” and you’ll do it.

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How to feel more confident

how to feel more confident hypnosis

Confidence is a bit like air.

When you have it you tend not to think about it, when you don’t it can feel awful.

Social anxiety, performance anxiety and generalised anxiety can all be debilitating, reducing sufferers to people afraid to leave their own homes and with serious esteem issues.

The good news is that it can be overcome.

It takes work, and it’s not always easy, but you can do it.

My advice would be to get professional help – counsellors and therapists can work wonders in this area.

If you’re not ready to take that step, or think you can manage it yourself there are some things that you can do to move forward.

How to feel more confident.

1. Challenge your beliefs.

If you you believe that everyone at the party will hate you – challenge that.

Firstly, it’s very likely that most people at the party will barely notice you. Most of the time we are so wrapped up in our own thoughts and lives that we barely notice what anyone else is doing, wearing or thinking.

Secondly, it’s very unlikely that EVERYONE will have a bad opinion of you, whatever you do. Even serial killers get fan mail. Surely you’re not that bad!

Thirdly, I doubt very much anyone will HATE you. Hating takes a lot of energy. Think about it – do you HATE anyone? If so, were they someone you randomly met at a party?

2. Ask yourself – so what?

If you believe that you will not be very good at something, ask yourself, so what?

What if you’re not very good at it? What will it matter?

Maybe people won’t clap – so what? What if they don’t? Will you die? Will anyone else die? Will it cause you pain?

Maybe they won’t / will laugh (depending on whether or not you’re trying to be funny) – so what?

Maybe they won’t book you to do another gig?

Maybe people will talk about you for a bit?

So what? It really doesn’t matter.

3. Remind yourself that it’s OK not to be perfect.

Nobody is perfect. Let me say that again – Nobody is perfect. We all make mistakes, we all get awkward sometimes, we all drop things, we all get nervous, we all say the wrong things sometimes – and that’s OK.

You are not perfect, and that’s OK.

4. The chances are that the person you are standing next to is feeling anxious too.

Have you ever been in a room, where nobody is talking and you are waiting for someone to make the first move and say something. Guess what, everyone else is waiting for the same thing.

Take the bull by the horns and say something. The relief on the other persons face will let you know that they were feeling the same way and that you have just shown yourself to be the most confident one there!

Check you out!

5. Work out whether you are feeling excited or nervous.

Sometimes when we are waiting for something we start to feel physically different. Maybe our heart starts beating a bit faster, our breathing becomes a bit more rapid, our palms may get a bit sweaty and our mouth goes dry…Am I describing feeling nervous or excited? They’re both pretty much the same, so how do you know you’re not just feeling excited?

Whether you decide to take these steps yourself or get someone to help you to feel more confident, I wish you and yours a happy, confident, fulfilling party season and a fantastic new year.

Go get ’em tiger!

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