Tag Archives: mind

What is Mindfulness?

https://www.facebook.com/MindfulnessCoventry/

Mindfulness is a term that is being used a lot at the moment, but do you know what it’s actually all about?

What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness started out as a practise in India about 2500 years ago. It was created as a type of mediation that allowed the practitioner to be present in the moment and to notice what was happening in their own mind. To notice their thoughts, feelings and emotions and give themselves the time and space to look at them, hear them and to react to them in a non judgemental, balanced way.

There is a direct correlation between our thoughts, emotions and behaviours. Think about this for a moment..

You wake up in a great mood. ‘Today is going to be a good day’ you think to yourself. You get up, go through your morning routine and leave the house. When you get to work you see a parking space and get ready to move into it. Just as you are about to take the space someone else grabs it. How do you feel? What do you do?

Now, go through the same scenario but with you waking up in a terrible mood, convinced that today is going to be a nightmare. Now how do you feel? What do you do?

Did you get the same response each time? If you’re being honest with yourself, probably not. Yet both of the situations were identical apart from the first thoughts and emotions you were feeling. See how they can influence things?

One very effective form of therapy is CBT or cognitive behavioural therapy. It uses the same principles of analytically looking at our own thoughts and deciding if they are appropriate or not and then adjusting them accordingly. For instance if someone was suffering from OCD they may have a thought or belief pattern that makes them believe that if they do not carry out a certain action or set of actions then bad things will happen. Using mindfulness and or CBT techniques, they would learn to be able to notice these thoughts and to consider them in a balanced non judgemental way. With practice this can change and alter them into healthier patterns, which in turn, changes their behaviours.

Mindfulness is more than just this though. It is the ability to be in the moment. To fully appreciate what you are experiencing.

How many times have you not enjoyed something because you were worried about something else? Lost yourself in your fears that were totally unnecessary? Many of the clients I see as a Hypnotherapist suffer from social anxiety. This can be crippling and stop people enjoying their life, yet it doesn’t have to be the case. Simply learning and practicing mindfulness can eliminate it entirely.

In some ways Mindfulness is like a work out for your mind. It strengthens it, makes it more flexible and more able to handle things if and when they get tough. It’s like exercise in another way as well – it takes training and practice to get good at it. In this way your mind is like a muscle. You need to exercise it, to make it stronger before you have to do the heavy lifting or the marathon. You start small, get frustrated, keep at it and get better.

So, next time you think about a bit of self-care or self-improvement, you might want to consider getting yourself on a mindfulness course. Start small, practice and get stronger so that you are mentally as well as physically ready for anything life throws at you, and if someone asks you what is mindfulness, you’ll be able to tell them.

 

 

 

 

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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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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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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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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.

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Come sit down beside me

I just read a beautiful little poem – here it is for you.

Come sit down beside me, I said to myself.
And although it doesn’t make sense,
I held my own hand as a small sign of trust
And together I sat on the fence.

Michael Leunig

Sometime when we feel lonely or that we don’t quite fit in, we need to remember that we can sit beside ourselves and offer some comfort.

If you are religious, maybe you feel that your God is sitting beside you.

If you believe in an after life maybe it’s a lost relative or friend.

If you would rather believe in the universal energy, maybe that’s what will hold your hand.

Me, I’ll sit on the fence with me and make faces at everyone.

If you fancy it, come and join me 🙂

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How to influence people

My Job is to influence people.

I’m a Hypnotherapist and people pay me to influence the way they think and feel, so I’ve learned a few tricks along the way.

One of the least successful methods to get anyone to change is to tell them to, yet that seems to be what most people do most of the time.

Another thing people think will work is to explain things to people. They believe that if the other person just understands that what they are thinking/doing is wrong then they will change their behaviour. Unfortunately, this rarely works either. Take smoking for instance. We all know that smoking is damaging to us, and that we are likely to suffer ill health if we do it, yet there are still millions of smokers in the world. Telling them so stop doesn’t work. Explaining that it is bad for them doesn’t work. So what does?

Generally speaking, the best way of influencing someone (who isn’t hypnotised) is by leading by example.

If someone has a phobia of spiders there is a pretty good chance they were influenced into this way of thinking by someone close to them who was also scared of spiders. They saw this person freak out and subconsciously decided that this was a good way to react. Conversely if a person with an existing phobia is surrounded by people who are calm and relaxed around spiders, they may start to feel more relaxed themselves.

I had a client the other day who desperately wanted their partner to come for a hypnotherapy session with me. The partner was adamant that it wasn’t for them and refused point blank to even think about it. So my client booked 3 sessions with me to work on an issue she had. She went home after each session and told her partner how good it was making her feel and how much she was gaining from it. By the third session, he was asking if he could take her place.

When I was 11 years old I was told by a headmaster that the best piece of advice he could give me was to choose my friends wisely. It was a great piece of advice. Not only have my friends helped me through some difficult times and made good times better, but they have also influenced me. They have shaped my ideas and beliefs, they have led by example and I have learned so much from them. If I had chosen other friends, who knows where my life would have taken me. My advice to you would be to choose friends you respect. Choose friends you care about. Choose friends you want to be like.

If you want to influence someone be the example. Be their friend and show them by your words and more importantly your actions how good life can be. Show them what it is to be strong, caring, committed, healthy, reliable, responsible, fun, interesting and non judgemental. It may take some time, but you will be amazed at the impact it can have.

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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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Word of the Month – Persistence

hypnotherapy coventry

Persistence

Lets be honest – this is where most of us fall down.

We start off with good intentions, full of enthusiasm for what we are about to do, the mountains we’ll climb, the heights we will reach, the success we’ll achieve.

Then we start to get a bit bored.

It starts to seem like a bit too much work.

We forget what we wanted to achieve in the first place and start to think about what we want to do right at this particular moment.

Maybe a few obstacles have got in our way.

Maybe someone has said something that has demotivated us.

Maybe those mountains seem a bit too high right now.

You haven’t failed until you’ve stopped trying.

Persistence is King

It’s said that experts in a field have failed at it more times than most people have even tried.

Persistence

Mastering a skill – really mastering it – takes about 10,000 hours of practice.

Persistence

So, think back to the start of this year – what did you want to achieve?

Are you still on track?

If not, maybe it’s time to remember why you wanted to do it in the first place.

Pick yourself up, forgive yourself for not being as amazing as you had hoped you would be and get back on it.

Persistence

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Extraterrestrial Culture Day

Today is Extraterrestrial Culture Day.

Now I’m definitely not saying there is no such thing as aliens, but when I saw this it reminded me of a lovely phrase…

Don’t open your mind too much, your brain might fall out.

I think the important part of that sentence is the ‘too much’.

It’s important to keep an open mind – that’s how we learn things.

It’s also important to question what you are told – that’s how we don’t make idiots of ourselves, or become pawns in someone else’s games.

Be sceptical – sceptical is good – it asks for evidence.

Don’t be cynical – cynical is bad – it means you dismiss ideas just because you don’t like them.

So keep interested, keep open minded, look for proof and ask lots and lots of questions.

Happy ET culture day

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The Truth is out there!

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