Tag Archives: body

Self Care Advent Calendar Day 23

They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder – what do you see that you think is beautiful?

All too often we neglect to see the beauty in what’s around us. In nature, in our home, in our friends and family, in ourselves.

Beauty is all around you if you take the time to look for it.

There aren’t many people in the world who can look in the mirror and honestly say that they see beauty there – and that is a terrible shame. Of course we don’t all fit into society’s pattern of what beautiful looks like (which by the way changes dramatically depending on which society you are in) but we all have beauty in us.

Is there a part of your body that you are unhappy with? Maybe you think it’s too thin, or too fat….Maybe you think it’s too saggy or too taut…..Maybe you think it’s too big or too small….Whatever it is you are finding fault with doesn’t really matter, because my self-care challenge for you today is to find a way to love it, to appreciate it, to find its beauty.

There are several methods that I find useful with this sort of challenge. I have fat ankles -let’s use them as an example.

Reframing

Ok, so my ankles are a little on the chunky side – on the upside they are sturdy. They don’t cause me any pain and they support my body. They are flexible and strong enough to keep me balanced and allow me to walk and run anywhere that I want to. I may not look as good as I would like to in a skirt, but I did get to walk all over New York last month (110,000 steps in 4 days) and explore an amazing place in person. In balance, I would rather have chunky ankles that support me, than pretty ones that don’t.

The lotion method

Now, this doesn’t work for every part of your body, but it’s good for things that are covered in skin. The idea is that you but yourself a nice bottle or body lotion. Something that smells good and that will condition your skin. You then make a commitment to yourself to use the lotion on the body part you dislike every day. Spend time rubbing the lotion in and thinking about that part of your body n as positive a way as you can. By the time you have finnished the bottle, you should have better feelings about that part or you.

Ask for feedback

Quite often the part of ourselves that we dislike most doesn’t even register as a thing with other people. I’m quite self conscious of my ankles, so I tend not to wear skirts ot shoes that show them off. When I pointed this out to a friend of mine she laughed at me at told me there was nothing wrong with my ankles and that I was being silly. That gave me the confidence to buy a dress I wouldn’t normally have done, wear it and then get lots of lovely compliments about how I looked.

Work on it

If the part of you you’re not so keen on can be improved with diet or exercise, why not give it a go? I carry my weight a little differently than most people, and even when I’m not overweight, I have larger legs than most. However, despite it being the last place to go, when I lose the weight, the ankle do slim down too – not as much as I’d like, but they do slim down. Maybe I could try some different exercises that would stretch and lengthen them too – Now there’s a thought…

So, I’m off to research ankle exercises. What will you be doing today?



It can be difficult to change how you feel about yourself particularly if you have body dysmorphia. Hypnosis is a great tool to help change your feelings about yourself so that you can see the positives in your amazing body. Don’t suffer unnecessarily – get the help you need to feel great.

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Being Selfish

Let me start off by saying – I love what I do.

I’m a Hypnotherapist and every time I help a client to get past some issue or another it gives me a deep sense of satisfaction and accomplishment.

I love it so much when I get emails from them telling me how they are getting on now that their stumbling block is gone.

But just like with everything else in life – sometimes I need a break from it.

That’s what I’m doing this week.

Instead of concentrating on clients, I’m focussing on me.

I’m getting my diet back to where it should be.

I’m exercising every day.

I’m working on what I want from life and how to get it.

I’m being genuinely selfish – and I think it’s a good thing.

We all know people who are tired martyrs. They go through life doing everything for everyone else and very little for themselves. I quite often get to see these people when they have had enough – when they’ve burned themselves out. They come to me as anxious, nervous people who feel that everyone is taking advantage of them and that no-one appreciates them. Their stress levels are frequently through the roof and their self esteem can be very low. They often externalize their self esteem, so that they only feel good if other people are telling them how wonderful they are. The problem is that after a while you stop appreciating people who are ALWAYS doing things for you and you come to expect it from them. In fact you can go so far as to be upset with them if they stop for some reason, even if that reason is sickness or exhaustion.

The first thing I try to establish with these clients is a sense of self worth – not what others appreciate – but what they do. Once you have a genuine sense of self worth, you can start to be nicer to yourself and as a consequence, are sometimes nicer to those around you. This can be easier said than done, but hypnosis is a wonderful tool.

The next thing that comes from being nicer to yourself is making space in your life to take care of yourself. At its essence this is being selfish – and yes – I still think that’s a good thing. Thinking of yourself is important. Taking care of yourself is important. Being selfish is important.

As with almost everything in life, it’s about balance.

People who spend too much time just thinking of themselves can be even more self-destructive than those who never do.

So how much Selfish is good?

Honestly – that depends on you. It depends on those around you. It depends on what you are trying to achieve.

My challenge to you today is to ask yourself 3 questions….

‘Am I being selfish enough?’

‘Am I being too selfish?’

and finally ‘What am I going to do about it?’

Wishing you all balance and harmony, go and have a great day 🙂

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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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Do your best

Have you ever done your best?

Have you ever tried as hard as you possibly can?

Have you done all of the preparation work that you possibly could?

Have you trained as hard as you could have?

Have you reread and rewritten your work enough?

Have you been focussed enough?

Have you tried every possible way to get it done?

Have you sought professional help or expertise?

Have you eliminated distractions?

Have you avoided all temptation?

Have you given it everything you’ve got?

Chances are that the answer is a big fat NO.

That’s OK.

(almost everyone else will say no to that too)

Stop beating yourself up. Accept that your not perfect and be a little nicer to yourself

There are, of course, exceptions – maybe you’re one of them – and if you are – Well Done.

I’m very impressed and all that but seriously – get a life!

Smile, relax, have fun, eat a cake, daydream, watch silly TV, make up stories in your head – it’s all really cool stuff 🙂

So maybe do your best, but then again, maybe don’t.

Try to be happy…

…but don’t try too hard!

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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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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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You can’t win them all

I hate to break it to you but you’re not perfect.

Sometimes things will go wrong.

Sometimes things won’t work.

Sometimes people won’t like you.

Sometimes people will disagree with you.

The thing about not being perfect is it can be tough to accept.

People can be very hard on themselves.

This can lead to self hatred and depression.

Accept you’re not perfect.

Accept the fact that things aren’t always going to go the way you want.

Then forgive yourself for that.

If you can forgive yourself and accept your own flaws – yes you have those too – then you are more likely to be a tolerant and understanding person to others.

Be nice – to you and to them.

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and Relax

It’s Sunday

It’s time to kick off your shoes and relax

Relaxing is not just nice – it’s important.

Stress is bad for your health.

Seriously.

Relax.

Take some time today to switch off all your electronics, move away from any screens – TV, LapTop, Tablet and phone – yes all of them – and relax.

Be in the moment.

Listen to the sounds that you can hear.

Really listen to them.

What do they make you think of?

Smell what you can smell.

Feel what you can feel.

Notice your thoughts – see where they take you.

Go for a walk and find a flower.

Go into your garden and find something new.

Enjoy a shower or luxuriate in a bubble bath.

Put on some clean, comfy clothes and just relax.

if you start worrying about stuff you need to do – decide when you’re going to do it and relax until then.

Monday comes around before you know it,

until then,

Relax.

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Your Task for today

Here’s a simple little exercise that could change your life.

1. Write down a list of things that make you happy.

2.On another piece of paper write a list of things you do every day.

3. Compare the lists.

4. Adjust accordingly.

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Know yourself

Hi, my name is Sue.

I’m good at some things and not so good at others.

I am easily distracted – I think I may have been a magpie in a former incarnation. Shiny things (shiny ideas, toys, time wasters) can grab my attention.

I am good at finding creative solutions to problems.

For instance I get very excited at the start of a project – I come up with lots of ideas and think of imaginative and creative ways to do things. As time goes by I can become bored with my ideas and / or lose confidence in them and some of my plans and ideas fall by the wayside – my long term consistency can be lacking.

Other people can struggle with coming up with a plan, but once it’s made they will see it through to the finish, no matter what.

We are all different.

Now, of course, you can try to mould yourself into the person you want to be, but if you are fighting against your nature, then you are going to find it a difficult task to achieve.

The trick to achieving want you want is to understand yourself and try to work with your strengths.

Whenever I see a client who wants to change their life in some way, I ask them what they are good at, and what they are not so good at.

It constantly surprises me how difficult people find these questions to answer.

So – What are you good at?

– What are you not so good at?

Now think about a goal or plan that you have for yourself – maybe it’s to lose weight, get fitter, get a promotion, start your own business, grow your blog, change your relationship – whatever it is, think about how you can use your strengths to help you to achieve it. When you’ve worked out how you can get things changed, think about what might go wrong. Go back and look at the things you don’t do so well, and try to use your strengths to find solutions to overcome these potential obstacles.

This achieves two things.

Firstly you are working to your strengths – even when dealing with the things you don’t do so well. This means you are far more likely to succeed than if you are trying to change the things you struggle with.

Secondly – you have a plan. I know it’s a cheesy old saying but ‘Fail to plan and you plan to fail’. We are all at risk of forgetting what our goal is for thinking about what we want/don’t want right now. By having a plan – and writing it down – you achieve a different mindset. You keep your eyes on the prize and don’t forget about the overall aim so easily. If you set yourself mini goals within your overall goal it also helps to keep you focussed and motivated as you tick off the things that you have achieved.

Anyone can do anything the set their mind to – it takes work and dedication, but it can be done. I just think knowing yourself and acting accordingly makes it so much easier.

Good Luck with your goals 🙂

talktherapies

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