Category Archives: Breathing

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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Quitting Smoking is Easy

MarkTwain1

“Quitting smoking is easy – I’ve done it thousands of times” – Mark Twain

In the UK the powers that be have decided to run a campaign to help people to stop smoking. They call it Stoptober.

As a Hypnotherapist I have helped lots of people become smoke free – and that’s how I like to refer to it – becoming smoke free. When you stop or give up something, there is a feeling of loss. When you are free from something, there is a feeling of relief.

I became smoke free after smoking for 17 years.

I had tried to stop smoking before that, but had always failed. I tried nicotine replacement with gums, and patches and even electronic vapes, but I always felt like it was a poor substitute for an actual cigarette.

You know why? – because it was.

I was still feeding my body with this pernicious drug, but not in the way it wanted it. By drip feeding it nicotine, I was keeping it hooked, but never satisfying it.

I used to think ‘If I could just have a cigarette I would feel so much better because I would get rid of the cravings’.

This was wrong – having a cigarette, or any kind of nicotine, is the only way to keep the cravings in place. You’re never getting rid of them, you’re just postponing them for a bit.

The only way to get rid of cravings is to not have any of the drug.

When I went cold turkey – no nicotine at all – it took 2 days for the drug to leave my system. I had done some work with hypnosis and so this was fairly easy to deal with. It was no worse than feeling a bit hungry. Honestly – that was as bad as it got. Then, 2 short days later, I was free.

Forever.

I cannot explain how good that makes me feel. Not only do I feel like I’ve conquered something that had tripped me up for years, but I also feel like I’ve taken control of a part of my life that I had felt was lost to me. I feel more positive about my health, I have more money and I no longer stink the place out!

I’m not here to tell you to quit smoking – only you can decide when it’s the right time for you.

I just want you to know that it’s going to be a lot easier than you think – especially if you get the right help.

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It’s not deliberate

Not you – obviously You’re not annoying – it’s everybody else – right?

Do things bug you? Do those who you love most in the world sometimes drive you insane?

The problem is we can take every irritant personally. We treat every action, deliberate or accidental, conscious or subconscious, as a personal slight—a sign the other doesn’t care about us or isn’t prioritizing us the way they should. When we don’t get what we want, we can interpret it as, “You don’t love me enough.” We think, “If you really cared about me, you’d stop driving me crazy with all your irritating habits.”

Unfortunately, much behaviour is mindless; we do many things without thinking. The simple fact is that people engage in automatic behaviours that are habitual or self-focused without taking the other person into account. Yes, it’s a little self centred, but not deliberately so.

If your partner has a habit that he or she is not aware of but that drives you up a wall, like leaving the bathroom door open, leaving bread crumbs in the butter dish, walking around in underwear or cracking their knuckles it is worth bringing it up in a loving way. Maybe it simply never occurred to them that it bothers you.

If you’ve spoken to them about their habit and they continue to do it it could be that your partner just can’t change this aspect of them self and it’s time to take stock. Try reminding yourself what you have—and what you stand to lose. Yes their habit might annoy you, but is it worth losing them over. If the other aspects in the relationship are going well, maybe it’s just about doing some re framing on how you feel about the habit. Take for example the habit of leaving the bathroom door open. Is there any way that you could see this as a positive? I mean, how great is it that they trust you so much that they can be completely open and vulnerable around you?

Sometimes the thing that drives you crazy is totally out of their control. Snoring is a classic example of this.

Yes, it’s annoying.

Yes, it’s disruptive.

No, it cannot be controlled by the snorer.

So what to do?

Well, if you can’t re frame it by saying to yourself that at least you know that they’re breathing and safe in bed next to you, then you could try hypnosis. Hypnosis can be used for all sorts of things including changing how we feel about things. I have hypnotised people to feel more confident, more assertive and less irritated by trivialities. In the case of a wife who was driven to desperation by her husbands snoring I just helped her to feel more and more relaxed with each snore that she heard, so that instead of disturbing her, the snoring sent her into a deep peaceful sleep.

If you don’t fancy Hypnotherapy then maybe it’s time to buy some earplugs or move to a different room 🙂

Have a great weekend with those you love.

Ω

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Don’t sweat the small stuff

small stuff

I read a great post yesterday on Second & NE about taking time out and not getting too caught up in everyday stresses.

It reminded me of the fact that we can all get lost so easily in our ‘normal lives’ that we forget to take even the smallest of times to refocus on ourselves and clear our minds.

Sometimes clients will say to me – I haven’t got time for that.

The standard answer is – If that’s the case you, can’t afford not too.

You see, the more stressed and busy we become, the more important it is that we give ourselves time to recharge.

Not only does this help us mentally and physically, but it also makes us better able to focus and be more productive when we have go back to doing our tasks.

The break you’re giving yourself doesn’t have to be a two week holiday in the Bahamas (though that does sound quite nice), it can just be taking a few minutes to relax or even a few seconds to really breathe and centre yourself. Using a form of meditation, mindfulness or self hypnosis will deepen the benefits of this, so use them whenever you need to.

Working on relaxation is just as important to most people as going to the gym should be – your body and mind work together. If you want to stay healthy it’s important to look after all aspects of yourself.

Wishing you a relaxing stress free Thursday

Ω

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Self Hypnosis – The Switch

Self Hypnosis Technique

Eye (2)

The Switch is one of my favourite Self Hypnosis techniques, but if you are just beginning to use self hypnosis you may want to try something else to begin with, like the Betty Erickson Technique or a progressive relaxation.


To begin with, decide what you want to achieve with this session – summarise your goal into one simple line e.g. I want to be more confident or I want to feel more relaxed. Try to avoid using dead men’s goals.

Now, make yourself nice and comfortable. I usually find that it is best to be sat in a comfy chair with my feet resting flat on the ground, but you can choose whatever feels right for you. Just make sure you are in a safe place and that you have enough time to complete the exercise.

Start by imagining that you have two kinds of wires that go into every nerve and fibre of your body.

One kind controls all of the automatic functions of your body, like your blood pressure & heart rate. Decide what colour this is.

The other connects to every single voluntary part of your body that you can control e.g. breathing, limbs, muscles and your speed of thought.  So, if you were to reduce power in that second bundle, your limbs, breathing and mind would instantly relax. Decide what colour this one is.

Now lift up the index finger of your left hand, and imagine under that index finger is a switch that will turn on or off that entire bundle of voluntary muscles and mental speed.  Right now that light switch is in the ON position.

Close your eyes & take a very deep breath and hold your breath for approx. 5 seconds.  To relax into self-hypnosis, simply imagine the coloured wires of your voluntary system going to that switch and when you breath out turn off that light switch by slowly dropping your finger.

As you do, slow your breathing, relax all your muscles and limbs and allow yourself to relax completely, as if all of the power had simply been turned down.

With the power down, focus on your goal. See yourself successfully doing your new goal. Hear all the sounds that are important to you and really feel what it will feel like. Multiply the positive feelings you will have of you achieving you goal / new habit – make them bigger, brighter and stronger until you feel absolutely brilliant.

To get maximum effect, repeat the above in different scenarios & situations and notice how you are different in the future to how you are now.

You might also notice all the little, achievable things that change to get you to your goal. See how easy they were to do and how amazing you feel when they are done.

When you’re ready to be your usual self, simply tell yourself that’s what you’re going to do. Take a deep breath in and as you do, lift your finger back up. Don’t be surprised if you feel the energy flooding back into your body when you flick the switch back to ON. By the time you breathe out, notice how you feel completely back to normal and positive, but bring with you the sense of achieving your goal and the knowledge of how to do this in the right way for you.


I hope you give this one a try. It can help you to do amazing things!

Let me know how you get on

Ω

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Go with the Flow

calm relaxation hypnotherapy

“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them – that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” – Lao-Tzu 

I was reminded of this a few days ago when I was looking through my feed and saw a post from Optimistic Kid with this quote, and it got me to thinking – what do we need to do in order to be able to go with the flow?

Firstly you have to Realize that you can’t control everything. Bad hair days were sent to remind us of this fact. Then you need to Notice when you are becoming frustrated with something you cannot control. Once you are aware of it take a few seconds to just Breath and relax. It’s then worth asking yourself a question ‘will I care about this in a week, a month or a year?’ If the answer is no, is it really worth getting upset about now? This might seem simple enough, but it takes practise to get good at it and you might have to do it consciously at first, until it becomes habit and just happens naturally. As you get better at it you may find that you laugh at situations that would previously have ruined your day, and as you accept that you don’t control everything you will also see that you can’t control what other people think or do and you may notice yourself becoming more understanding of their imperfections as well as your own. All of these things help us to accept change when it comes along and that is basically what we mean when we say – go with the flow.

It is said ‘What you resist, persists’ so “Flow with whatever is happening and let your mind be free. Stay centered by accepting whatever you are doing. This is the ultimate.” – Chuang Tzu

Wishing you a peaceful and harmonious week  🙂

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Therapy – Disney Style

The Bare Necessities From “The Jungle Book” composed by Terry Gilkyson is as good as any philosophy when it comes to breaking addiction.

The final verse..

And don’t spend your time lookin’ around
For something you want that can’t be found
When you find out you can live without it
And go along not thinkin’ about it
I’ll tell you something true

The bare necessities of life will come to you

I heard this song not long after I quit smoking and it struck me as an absolute truth. The moment you stop thinking about it, is the moment you are free. I had quit smoking several times before and had always seen it as a massive challenge. Every day was my own personal battle to beat my cravings. The longest I had ever managed before was about 3 months and always with the help of some sort of nicotine replacement. I had tried chewing gum, patches, inhilators, ecigs and lozenges. All of them were pretty disgusting to start with, but I persevered as it was the only way for me to get my nicotine fix.

As time went on and I tried to wean myself off this replacement, it could go one of two ways. Sometimes I would find it hard and then I would think it was all pointless and start smoking again and sometimes it I would find it relatively easy and I would think, well, that was OK, I could probably just have one cigarette….and I would start smoking again.

So, what changed?

Well, I had pretty much given up giving up. I figured I was just too weak willed and I was stuck with it. I was studying hypnotherapy with a group of people and one of the things we learned was how to help people quit smoking. There were two of us in the group who smoked and so, obviously, everyone wanted to try their therapy skills on us. I kept telling them I was a lousy subject, as I didn’t really want to quit – I had come to terms with the fact that I was going to be a smoker for the rest of my life, but this didn’t deter them. After several days of inductions and therapies I took some pleasure in going out at every break and lighting up. The course ended and everyone went home.

About 2 weeks or so later I started working on a programme that I could use as a therapist to help people who wanted to quit. The more I read about it and the more I wrote, the more I realised that I really didn’t want to smoke any more, so I stopped. As simple as that. The combination of the therapy I had received along with my own personal decision to stop was all it took.

No nicotine replacement, No struggle. I just stopped.

The significant difference between this and all the other times I had tried, was that I just wasn’t thinking about it.

All the the hypnotic suggestions that had been given to me had changed my subconscious enough to stop me dwelling on it. And so I go back to my little Disney ditty..

When you find out you can live without it
And go along not thinkin’ about it
I’ll tell you something true

The bare necessities of life will come to you.

If you are suffering from addiction of any kind, cigarettes, food, drugs, sex, gambling, shopping….or anything else you feel you can’t live without my advice to you is Don’t give up giving up, just try something new. Maybe Hypnotherapy will work as well for you as it did for me.

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Do you know how to breathe?

just breathe

Do you know how to breathe?

I’m guessing the answer is YES or you probably wouldn’t be reading this right now…

But do you know how to breathe to change how you feel?

Most people feel stressed or nervous from time to time (some people feel stressed and nervous most of the time) and I think we can all agree it’s not a great way to feel. Something known as the fight or flight response kicks in and our bodies are flooded with hormones that make us feel jumpy, hyper alert, make our breathing rapid, our palms sweaty, gives us a fluttery feeling in our stomachs, maybe even makes us feel nauseous. In extreme cases this can lead to panic attacks and in chronic cases (ones that last for months or even years) it can have devastating effects on the body, particularly the heart.

But how can you control it? Well one of the ways is to control your breathing. Simply by making your out breath longer than your in breath, you change your bodies chemistry and start to reduce the stress hormones and increase the hormones related to relaxation and sleep. Sometimes this is called 7-11 breathing as it is suggested that you breath in to the count of 7 and breath out to the count of 11. In my experience with clients, they can sometimes find this a little tough and then they get stressed about their breathing, which doesn’t help, so just try taking a deep breath in and then blowing it out slowly through pursed lips – almost like you are whistling, but without making the noise. Do this 5 or 6 times and you should already be starting to feel a difference. A teacher of mine one called this the 60 second tranquilliser, and it really does work that fast.

Of course there are times when we want to feel more alert and in those situations (for me it’s while I’m waiting for the morning Coffee to kick in) you can do the reverse. A slow deep breath in, followed by a fast exhale will get you feeling the energy in no time. Do be careful with this one though as some people can feel light headed when they do it.

So, there you have it – two quick and easy tricks to change how you feel just by breathing….

Be Safe, Be Well and Feel Great

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