Tag Archives: mind

The Blogging Habit

making habits hypnotherapy

Most of the people reading this will be bloggers.

There are many reasons for people to blog. Some want to shout into empty space, some want to unload to a place where no one knows who they are, some just want to share their stories, but most of us want followers.

So why do we want followers?

For some people it may be affirmation that what they are saying is interesting. For others it may be a boost to their egos. Others are using their blog to promote or sell something. Some may be trying to launch a writing career. What ever your personal reason to blog, if you want followers then you have to get into the habit of blogging regularly.

I know. I started this blog about 18 months ago and I had this silly idea that if I blogged once a month or so, somehow, people would magically find me and my stuff and would all want to know what was coming next. Some did, and for that I am genuinely grateful, but numbers were low. In retrospect, that wasn’t really very surprising. Firstly, there just wasn’t enough material there for people to get what they needed from my blog. Secondly, how were they supposed to know it was there?

In August last year I set myself a little blogging challenge. I decided that I was going to blog every day for 90 days. I didn’t have a goal for how may new followers or likes I wanted. I just knew I wanted to start a new blogging habit of writing EVERY DAY.

To start with it was relatively easy. I was full of enthusiasm and ideas that came pouring out. About 3 weeks in it started to get a little harder. I struggled to think what I would write about, I was worried about repeating myself, I started to make excuses for why I shouldn’t complete my 90 days.

Then I made a plan.

I wrote down a little blogging plan. I thought about topics that I could add to each week. I thought about big ideas that could run and run. I thought about fun things that I liked writing about. All of a sudden I had mapped out the next couple of months topics and I was back to feeling excited about it.

I’m not saying I always stuck to the plan. Sometimes a new and exciting idea would come along or maybe something would happen in the news that inspired me, but I always had something to write about.

Before I knew it my 90 days were up, and do you know what I did to celebrate this milestone? I blogged about it!

Blogging had become my new habit and I enjoyed it.

This works for blogging, but it also works for any other thing you might be wanting to change in your life. What we do is generally a matter of habit. So whether you are trying to make new habits or change old ones, make a plan, make it achievable and get on with it. Before you now it, it will just be something you do.

Then you get to reap the rewards.

If your habits change your body you’ll see it, If they change your mind, you’ll feel it, and if they change your wealth you’ll notice it.

What habits do you want to make or break that will leave you feeling better for 2015?

Here are some ideas.

Diet – eat 7 portions of fresh fruit and vegetables a day

Exercise – 30 minutes a day

Meditation – meditate daily

Blogging – blog daily

Business – build your online profile

Relationships – speak to at least one friend a day

Partner – compliment your partner at least once a day

Mindfulness – practice being in the moment daily

Hobby – spend some time each week doing something you enjoy

Experiences – try something new every week

Learning – learn a new skill

Little changes make large differences – where do you want to be in 2016? What are you doing to get there?

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Word of the month

word of the month

My word of the month for January is …

Habit

January is a time when a lot of people are trying to make new habits or break old ones. It’s that New Year, New Me stuff.

We are fast approaching the time when most New years resolutions fall by the wayside.

According to studies most people give up on their resolution by the 22nd of January. If you’re still going for it, well done, but if you’ve already let old habits slip back in, don’t feel to bad about it – these things happen.

In some ways I was surprised to find that the resolutions were broken after 3 weeks. We are often told that it takes between 2 and 3 weeks to make a break a habit, which would suggest that by the 22nd we should have that habit firmly established. So, what get’s in our way?

I think part of the problem is that we still have the habit of thinking about whatever it is we are trying to change.

Whether you are trying to diet or exercise, study more or worry less you eill find yourself thinking about ‘how it used to be’. This is a habit you are creating too.

What can you do about this?

The main thing you can do is notice that you are doing it. When you notice these thoughts popping into your head, think about what you are saying to yourself. Are you saying things like ‘I’d rather be doing…’ or ‘I’m missing out on…..’ or ‘I’d normally be eating….’ All of these are really tempting difficult thought patterns for you to deal with.

Imagine being on a diet and you have a best friend who was constantly with you. Every time you get hungry they say ‘some cake would be lovely around now’ or ‘that salad is rubbish compared to the takeaway we normally have on a Friday’ or ‘wouldn’t you rather have a biscuit?’

That would be really hard to deal with, and you’d probably fall of the wagon.

Now imagine that best friend was really supporting you. Instead of all that unhelpful talk they were saying things like ‘You are looking and feeling better every day’ or ‘That healthy choice you’ve made for dinner is helping you to get into those jeans you want’ or ‘I’m so proud of you sticking to your diet, even when it’s tricky’.

That friend is going to help you to achieve your goals.

Make a new habit to be your own best friend and think about what you are saying to yourself. Support yourself as you would a true friend and you’ll be surprised what you can do.

Sometimes it can be difficult to deal with negative thought patterns and this is where therapy and in particular CBT and Hypnotherapy can be very useful. With CBT you work on changing the negative thought patterns into positive ones by completing exercises to challenge your thoughts. With Hypnotherapy we use access to the subconscious to change these thought patterns in an easy way. There’s no reason not to get help with these things if you find them too difficult to do on your own. You used an instructor to teach you how to drive, why not use one to help you think in a productive, fulfilling way?

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Time to try something new?

try sue

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Make it happen

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January 1, 2015 · 5:20 pm

The Hollow Men, QI, a 90’s rock band and Franz Schubert – a strange journey into my mind.

I have always liked poems and songs working together.

I think a lot of song lyrics are the most beautiful prose and ¬†lot of poems could be made more powerful with music, but what I’m really talking about here is when someone uses a line or two from a poem or play in their music, either to preface it, as a quote or to sum it up.

I was reminded of this the other day when I was listening to a TV program and the host said, “not with a boom but a whimper…” I thought – where’s that from? – It definitely rings a bell, so I hit google.

I quickly found the quote, ‘not with a bang but a whimper’ from T.S. Elliot’s The Hollow Men – a great poem, but not one I had been familiar with. When I got to the last verse it read…

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.

There was that bell again, but this time it was the repetition of This is the way the world ends. Where did I know it from. A bit more searching and I found my answer.

There was a band in the 90’s called EMF. They released an album in 1991 called Schubert Dip, which included a track called Longtime. I was a fan at the time, but I probably hadn’t listened to this particular track for over 20 years. Yet here, sparked by a misquote of a poem, I had been drawn back to EMF who had themselves misquoted the poem at the start of one of their tracks. Their quote went

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a band…

Here is the song itself in case you’re interested…

Have a wonderful day, with your wonderful brain, making connections, remembering long forgotten things and generally following your thoughts ūüôā

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How to stop thinking

brainworm

Have you ever had a thought that just won’t go away?

Maybe it’s the thought that something is going to happen, or not going to happen.

Maybe it’s the thought of needing to do something that you don’t really want to do.

Maybe it’s an argument that you keep playing over and over again in your head.

Whatever it is there are some tricks that are worth knowing if you really want to get the thought out of your head.

Just get on with it.

Our brains have this annoying habit of not letting go of something that has been left incomplete. Various studies have shown this to be true, and it is a technique hypnotists, like myself, use to get you to remember something in your subconscious. Once the task has been completed our brains file it as done and forget about it. So, if you have a nagging thought about doing your taxes, cleaning the loft, having a conversation with someone – just do it!

Stop thinking of Pink Elephants.

Ok, so if I tell you to not think of a pink elephant, the first thing your brain does is bring up the idea of a pink elephant. It has then failed to NOT think of a pink elephant, so it will then keep reminding you of it (see the above point). You can complete the action by deciding that you want to think about pink elephants for a minute. When the minute is up, you have completed the task and your brain can file it as done – no more pink elephants!

Plan to think about Pink Elephants.

If you can’t think about Pink Elephants now (or whatever it is you don’t want to think about) make a decision to think about Pink Elephants at a certain time. Write it down, schedule it in. Your brain can now file this under another heading – it’s not done yet, but you know when it will be, so you can stop thinking about it.

Do something that takes ALL of your concentration.

Your brain is amazing, but it can’t do too many things at once – not even if you’re a girl! By doing a task that really takes concentration you will forget about the pink elephants.

Talk about the Pink Elephants.

Talk about them, write about them, sing about them, draw pictures of them. Make use of friends, family, religious leaders, doctors, psychiatrists, counsellors, therapists, bar tenders, co-workers, the woman who serves you at the supermarket, the guy who delivers your Pizza – who ever and where ever you can, go on about the Pink Elephants until even you’re so bored of them that you don’t want to think about them any more.

Self Hypnosis

I wrote a post a while ago called let it go with hypnosis – check it out! It’s a really useful technique to get an unwanted thought out of your head – what have you got to lose?

And if all else fails, maybe you should try a little professional help – It’s what I’m here for!

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Tim Minchin: If You Open Your Mind Too Much Your Brain Will Fall Out (Take My Wife)

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Can you see what you think?

visualise

Do you see pictures in your mind?

As a hypnotist, I often ask people to visualise things in their minds eye, but some people have real problems doing this.

Part of this comes down to how we perceive the world.

There are 3 basic categories

Visual – People who connect with the world via images

Audio – People who connect with the world via sound

Kinaesthetic – People who connect with the world via feelings

Understandably, visual types are often the best at ‘seeing’ things in their mind, but anyone can do it.

The trick is to start small.

If you can describe your front door, then the image is in there somewhere.

What colour is your door? Where is the handle and what is it made of? Is there a letter box? Where is it placed? Which way does it open? What do you see when you open your door?

Another thing you might want to ‘see’ is your morning routine – what do you do? What do you see as you do it? What does your bathroom look like?

If you can answer these questions the images are there – you just need to relax and let yourself access them.

When you have a few minutes to relax, just close your eyes and let an image or a colour appear – you can try to manipulate it or you can just let the images flow and see where they take you. The better you get at this, the more you can notice the random images and see what they tell you about what you are thinking.

It’s a bit like dream interpretation – the meanings can be a bit obscure, but they are there.

Which reminds me – if you dream, (which you do, even if you can’t remember them) then you can create images – because that’s how you dream. You see pictures almost as though you are in your own personal movie.

Have fun exploring your subconscious.

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Self Hypnosis – Eye Fixation

Eye (2)

Would you like to be able to hypnotise yourself?

There are several methods for achieving this perfectly natural state. What I talk about here is one such method, often called Eye Fixation. The process detailed here will not affect any change in itself, i.e. you will not suddenly lose weight/quit smoking/be a confident speaker just because you have self hypnotised, but it is a skill that you can learn and then use in conjunction with other things to help you achieve those and many other goals.

James Braid developed this process. He¬†was one of the original Hypnotists – in fact he coined the term hypnosis – and he specialised in eye treatment so it’s no surprise that his initial methods of inducing hypnosis would involve the eyes and fixing their attention. ¬†


Quite simply what you do is sit comfortably in a chair with your head facing forward. Without moving your head, look upwards to the ceiling and find a point that you can fix your eyes on. It should be a bit of a strain, but not too uncomfortable. Then imagine that your eyelids are getting very heavy and that you NEED to close your eyes. This might sound a bit silly, but your imagination really is the engine that drives hypnosis, so imagine the eyes getting really tired and think about how nice it will feel when you close them. You might want to imagine a light shining in the eyes, or maybe a dry breeze blowing across them and again it just makes you think about how nice it would be to close them.

All the time that you are thinking about this, keep your eyes fixed in that same position without wavering or moving or allowing your eyes to relax. Keep your head and eye position in the way that ensures the eyes become tired.

Then, once they are ready to close (usually after about 30 seconds or so), you let them close and that is the initiation of your hypnosis. 

To make yourself feel even more relaxed it’s good to imagine a time when you felt completely at ease¬†– maybe it’s when you’re curled up in bed in the morning, or when you’re dozing off in front of the TV. You might even want to imitate this by making all the muscles in your face and neck go loose and limp.¬†

One of the ways I make myself even more relaxed is to imagine that I’m standing on top of a set of stairs going down to a secret garden. There are 10 stairs in all, and as I go down each one I feel myself getting more and more relaxed….twice as relaxed with each step…. until I finally get to the bottom and go into the beautiful garden.


As I said before, this self hypnosis method will not change anything on it’s own – that’s where the therapy part of hypnotherapy comes in – but it will give your mind time and space to slow down, and that is valuable in and of itself. In some ways it is like a self guided meditation and carries a lot of the same benefits – calmer mind, inner peace, better sleep etc

I hope you give this method a try.

I’d love to know how you get on, what your relaxing place is and how you find it…

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Welcome to the Weekend

Don’t you just love the start of the weekend?

If you work Monday to Friday then Saturday is a sacred day. It’s your first day of the week where you can do what you want (assuming you haven’t got other responsibilities that create a timetable for you). You can lie in bed till way past the time the alarm will be going off on Monday, or you can get up early and make the most of your free time – it’s up to you!

You can spend the day reading, listening to music, catching up with friends, watching TV, walking in the park, making a great meal, shopping, painting, writing – You can do exactly what you want – and that is a Joy.

The main thing the weekend gives you is time. Time to do what you want. I wonder how we can best use that time to make us feel better in ourselves and for the rest of the week.

For those of you that follow this little old blog of mine, you will know that my main preoccupation is health – more specifically mental health. I think if we can work on positive mental health the rewards it gives us every day, far outweigh any time or effort we put in and the weekend is the perfect time to take steps to keep us going strong.

The thing I would encourage everyone to do this weekend is take a little exercise. It doesn’t have to be strenuous, just a little walk if you can manage it. Take a walk in nature, no headphones, no phone, no internet, no distractions. Take a little walk, smell the air, feel the wind, see the sights, hear the sounds and just be. Exercise is good for your body and mind, pumping blood, oxygenating your cells and clearing out toxins. Being in nature is good for your mind – creating space, being in the moment, taking a quiet moment to just be.

What ever you decide to do, enjoy your weekend, your sacred Saturday. The day when Monday is far enough away to not be a concern and Friday is already a fading memory.

Take care of yourself and those around you.

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