Tag Archives: Free

Self Care Advent Calendar Day 9

Welcome my lovely troupe. We are currently ho ho ho ing our way through December and spending each day making sure we survive (and maybe even thrive) during the festive season.

A few of the previous posts have focused on creativity. Making things, making habits, making plans etc. So today, I want to flip that on it’s head and think about destroying something.

How can destroying something be a an act of self care? By destroying something that is negative.

We all have bad habits. Go on, admit it – you do too.

They might be habits that have a bad effect on our health, like smoking, drinking or eating junk food.

They might be habits that have a bad effect on our mental health, like worrying, putting ourselves down or listening to that negative voice.

They might be habits that have a bad effect on our relationships, like gossiping, ignoring phone calls or taking people for granted.

You get the idea.

Generally I prefer to work on creating positive habits, but breaking negative ones can be just as important. It’s difficult to lift yourself up if you are constantly being dragged back down by your behaviour.

You may think that it’s too difficult to change your bad habits – particularly if that habit is addictive – but it is possible to do it.

One of the ways I help people to change negative habits is to help them frame it positively in their mind. Let’s take smoking for example. It is more difficult to quit smoking than it is to be smoke free. Quitting has lots of negative connotations. Losers quit. I’m no quitter. What will I be missing out on? Freedom has lots of positive connotations. Free, costs nothing, escaping, choices. Just a simple word change can make the whole process so much easier.

Another way to make things easier is to think about what you will gain rather than what you will lose. Taking smoking as an example again. What will you gain by being smoke free? Peace of mind that you’re not actively causing health problems? A load of money? Fresher breath? Not having to worry about where you will be able to smoke? Not needing to think if you have enough cigarettes to see you through. What will you lose? Nothing? An addiction? Cravings (non smokers never crave a cigarette)?

As you may be able to tell from the fact that I’ve used smoking as the example, I think this is the number one habit people should be working on being free from, but you should work on what is important to you.

Make the changes you want to in your life – Imagine how fantastic you will feel a year from now when you look back at today – the day you made your life better.


Many people struggle with breaking habits on their own. If you’ve tried and failed, don’t worry. It doesn’t mean you can’t do it, it just means that you could do with a little help. The good news is Hypnotherapy is a great tool to help you to be free from those unwanted behaviours. If you want to ‘quit smoking‘ but struggle on your own, get the help you need.

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under addiction, coaching, depression, Development, Dieting, Exercise, experiment, Food, fun, Good News, Happy, Health, hypnosis, inspiration, lifestyle, meditation, Mental Health, Motivation, nutrition, Peace, Positivity, Psychology, Relaxation, Self Care, Self Help, Stop Smoking, Stress, support, Worrying

How to have a Stress Free Christmas

Christmas is supposed to be a lovely holiday – friends and family celebrating, joy to the world, peace and harmony – so why do so many people end up feeling incredibly stressed?

Did you know that the suicide rate increases dramatically at this time of year? Also the divorce rate soars in early January. How sad that this season creates so much unhappiness.

I think most of the problems are caused by expectations. You want it to be perfect. You want to feel loved and love in return. You want everyone to get along.

So my first tip is…

Manage your expectations. If you have a group of people coming together, don’t expect the all to get on. There will be friction (especially if there is alcohol involved) so expect it and have a plan to deal with it. That plan could be just to let it go, not to worry about it. It could be to plan an activity or game that will keep people occupied. It could be about mediating and finding common ground – whatever it is , have a plan, but also accept that your plan may not work out how you want it to.

If you are going to be alone you still need to manage your expectations. At a time of year when everyone is talking about how important family is, how great it is to be in a relationship etc etc you need to own your singleness. I’ve been alone at Christmas a few times – sometimes it’s been utterly depressing, sometimes it’s been awesome. That tells me that my happiness doesn’t depend on whether I’m with people or not, but it does depend on how I feel about it. Don’t dwell on what you think it should be, accept what it is and make the absolute most of it. Plan something wonderful for yourself. If you have the money, go away, book a trip, do something you’ve always wanted to do. If you’re broke, get your favourite snacks in, plan a personal pamper day, grab the cosy blankets and a good book/film and enjoy it (all the while thanking your lucky stars that you’re not spending the day running yourself ragged trying to please a load of unappreciative family who will just have a fight and ruin your day anyway)

Which brings me to tip 2

Plan and Prepare. Try not to give yourself too much work to do on the day. It might seem a little over the top, but a little planning goes a long way. Write yourself a list of things that you need to do for YOUR Christmas. I can’t give you a list as everyone’s Christmas is their own, but think about furniture that you need, food that you want, games that you want to play, decorations you want to have, gifts you want to give, how you want to wrap them, people you want to see, cards you want to send. Do as much as you can as early as you can. Leave NOTHING to the last minute. Last minute = stress. Avoid it where possible. Cards can be written, addressed and stamped now. Some food can be prepared and frozen. Online shopping lists can be created. Get on it now – not only will it reduce your stress, but you’ll also feel amazingly smug and well organised when you hear about other people stressing.

Despite what I’ve just said, you also need to remember tip 3

Keep it simple. Your job is not to put on the most elaborate Christmas celebration that has ever existed. You don’t have to handmake soaps in the shape of wrapped Christmas presents, you don’t have to cook like a gourmet chef, you don’t need to buy everyone a uniquely thoughtful gift that speaks to their soul. Sometimes a scented candle or some bed socks are OK. Pre prepared food still tastes great and most people will be happy with the slightly dodgy Christmas TV and a nap after dinner.

Which brings me back to expectations and tip 4 is

It’s also OK to manage other people’s expectations. As a business owner I know how important it is to manage other peoples expectations. If I tell you I’m going to do something, I need to be able to deliver that. If I don’t deliver, I disappoint. If I do what I said I was going to do, then my clients are OK with that. If I exceed what I said I was going to do, everyone is happy. So, underplay what you are going to do and over deliver.

My final tip for today is

Don’t try to do everything yourself. This is a double edged sword. Firstly, by delegating tasks you avoid the stress of having to do everything. That’s a win. The weight of Christmas is not ALL on your shoulders. The other side is that your guest may actually really enjoy contributing to Christmas. It makes them feel involved and gives them a chance to show that they can make something wonderful too. If people offer to help, don’t get defensive. They are not trying to tell you that they don’t think you can do this. They just want to help and to be involved. Let them. Christmas does not belong just to you.


All of these things will help to keep things a bit calmer, more relaxed, under control. However some people will still struggle with stress at this time of year. Please, however you feel, don’t let seasonal stress get to you. If you can manage it yourself- fantastic. If you can’t please get help. There are lots of professionals around who can help you to feel the way you want to feel, to live the life you want to live. As a hypnotherapist I help people all year round, but stress, anxiety and loneliness are more prevalent at this time of year ( and weight loss is more prevalent in January!)

Here’s to your stress free Christmas

 

 

4 Comments

Filed under Blogging, depression, Dieting, Food, Good News, Happy, hypnosis, inspiration, lifestyle, meditation, Mental Health, Motivation, Positivity, Psychology, Relaxation, Self Help, Stress, support, Worrying

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!

Leave a comment

Filed under addiction, Blogging, coaching, depression, Development, Dieting, Exercise, Food, fun, Good News, Happy, Health, humour, hypnosis, inspiration, lifestyle, meditation, Motivation, nutrition, Positivity, Psychology, Relaxation, Self Help, Self Hypnosis, Stress, support, Worrying

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?

3 Comments

Filed under Blogging, coaching, depression, Development, Exercise, experiment, Good News, Happy, Health, inspiration, lifestyle, Mental Health, Motivation, Positivity, Psychology, Relaxation, Self Help, Stress, Worrying

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under coaching, depression, Development, experiment, Good News, Happy, Health, hypnosis, inspiration, lifestyle, Mental Health, Peace, Positivity, Psychology, Relaxation, Self Help, Stress, Worrying

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.

1 Comment

Filed under coaching, depression, Development, experiment, fun, Good News, Happy, Health, hypnosis, inspiration, meditation, Mental Health, Motivation, Positivity, Psychology, Relaxation, Self Help, Self Hypnosis, Stress, Worrying

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.

4 Comments

Filed under coaching, depression, Development, experiment, fun, Good News, Happy, Health, inspiration, Motivation, Positivity, Psychology, Relaxation, Self Help, Stress, Worrying

Emotional eating – what that really means.

How we feel affects our appetites – for some more than others.

One of the ways people say that they can tell if there in love is that they go off their food.

For other people, being in a relationship (hopefully a happy one) will make them eat more.

An experiment was done recently where a group of people were sent on a mock driving test. No matter how good a driver you are, being tested is never nice and the tester in this case was trying to make them feel anxious. They were asked to do difficult manoeuvres and notes were taken without any comments. When they came back they were introduced to another group who had had a relaxing couple of hours. They had been chatting and listening to music – in general, they were just calm. They were then invited to an all you can eat buffet. When the amount eaten by each group was analysed it was found that the ‘stressed’ group ate many more calories than the ‘relaxed group’ – over 30% more. Although both groups had access to the same foods and had eaten the same thing earlier in the day, their experiences made them eat differently.

On the other hand some people lose a lot of weight, because their appetite dries up if they are stressed or upset. A phenomenon known as the ‘break up diet’ or ‘divorce diet’ is well documented. When we go through the trauma of a break up it can upset us so much that we go into a kind of grieving process and stop eating. This isn’t a deliberate act, the person concerned just has no hunger and food tastes unpleasant if they try to eat.

So all this can seem contradictory – when we are in love we can lose our appetite or eat more – the same goes for when we are stressed.

The truth seems to be much more about how we feel about ourselves during these processes and about how we want to feel. Food is often used to change the way we feel, but if we feel like we need to be in that emotional state, we tend to eat less.

The truth about all emotional eating is that when we eat we tend to go for comfort foods – foods that are high in fat/sugar/salt or all three. This is because these tend to set off the reward centres in our brains that make us feel better.

If you are trying to lose weight and think you are an emotional eater – before you eat something ask yourself – am I hungry. If the answer is yes, then ask yourself, am I hungry enough to eat an apple? If the answer to that is no, then your not actually hungry at all! Try doing something else to get your pleasure centres working – go for a walk, have a bath or play a game. When you’re hungry enough to eat something good for you, then eat that and be proud of yourself!

If you struggle with this or any other bad eating habit it may be worth seeking some help from a Hypnotherapist – they can help you to change your eating habit easily and permanently.

2 Comments

Filed under coaching, Development, Dieting, Food, Happy, Health, hypnosis, inspiration, Motivation, nutrition, Positivity, Psychology, Self Help, Stress

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!

10 Comments

Filed under Breathing, coaching, Development, Happy, Health, hypnosis, inspiration, meditation, Mental Health, Motivation, Positivity, Psychology, Relaxation, Self Help, Self Hypnosis, Stress, Worrying

Word of the Month – Magic

hypnotherapy coventry

My word for March is Magic.

I read a lot.

A lot of what I read is about magical things.

Fairy tale worlds of science fiction and fantasy.

I’m currently reading Skin Game by Jim Butcher about a wizard in Chicago. It’s ace.

I practice magic a little.

As a hypnotist I help people to make magical transformations in their lives.

I’ve also learned a few card tricks along the way.

I like fantasy and fun, I like tricks and trickery, I like things that astound and amaze.

I sometimes get told that I have a childlike quality.

I choose to take that as a compliment.

Kids see magic everywhere.

I believe you can find magic everywhere if you are willing to look for it.

My idea of what is magical may have changed as I have gotten older, but my love of it hasn’t faded.

Now I can be amazed at what people can do in science and technology.

I can be astounded at how much people do to help and support others.

I can be thrilled by seeing the changes that people achieve.

Be a kid, see the magic and find a way to be amazed today.

Leave a comment

Filed under charity, coaching, depression, Development, Dieting, Exercise, experiment, Food, fun, Good News, Happy, Health, hypnosis, inspiration, Mental Health, Motivation, Peace, Positivity, Psychology, Relaxation, Self Help, Self Hypnosis, Worrying