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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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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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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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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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World Hello Day 21 Nov 2014

hellohello

Today is world Hello Day.

If you want to participate in World Hello Day is quite simple: all you have to do is say hello to at least 10 people during that one day.

This is supposed to send a message of openness and goodwill to others, and the creators of the holiday hoped this small gesture alone would demonstrate how communication can be instrumental in resolving disputes and preventing conflicts.

If you would like to take this a step further, you could always think about a person in your life that is important to you, but that you have fallen out with over something that is perhaps not quite worth it. Time tends to be a great healer, so if enough time has passed from your conflict for you to be able to analyze the situation and all of its aspects, seeing your own faults and wrongdoings as well as those of the other party, maybe it’s time to put the conflict behind you? Many people do not know how good it actually feels to admit you were in the wrong and say sorry—instead, they see such behavior as a display of weakness, when it is actually a display of strength and confidence. People also often make the mistake of thinking that the other person will lose respect for you if you apologize to them, and this too is incorrect. Most people will respect you more for being able to admit you were in the wrong, than if you decide to stubbornly hold onto your convictions after being proven incorrect. It may seen a bit daunting at first, but if the person you’ve fought with is important enough to you, it will always be worth the struggle to make the first move and extend your hand to them in a gesture of peace.

The History of World Hello Day

World Hello Day was first created in 1973 in order to show people that conflicts can and should be resolved through communication, and not violence. The idea is that clear, honest communication breeds peace. In the 1970s, the conflict between Egypt and Israel was quite severe, and many people began to fear yet another huge war would end up coming of it. World Hello Day was in fact created as a direct response to the Yom Kippur War that had just finished in October of 1973, during which thousands of both soldiers and innocent civilians were killed. Some soldiers had also been tortured and flat out executed. The peace discussion at the end of the war was the first time that Arab and Israeli officials met for direct public discussion in 25 years. The concept of World Hello Day was created by Brian McCormack, a Ph.D. Graduate of Arizona State University, and Michael McCormack, a graduate of Harvard. Over the last 42 years since its creation, World Hello Day has been celebrated in 180 countries, as citizens of each of these countries take advantage of this time to express their concerns for world peace. Thirty-one winners of the Nobel Peace Prize have stated that World Hello Day carries substantial value as an instrument for preserving peace, and as an occasion that makes it possible for anyone in the world, individual, organization or government, to contribute to the process of creating peace.

So, Hello,

How are you doing today?

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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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Still I rise

Maya Angelou was an amazing woman.

She wrote so many inspirational pieces, did so much good, was a friend and role model to so many.

If you don’t know about her, do a little research – trust me it’s worth it.

On of her poems was a piece called Still I rise.

This is just one verse from it, but it gives me goosebumps every time I read it.

You may shoot me with your words,

You may cut me with your eyes,

You may kill me with your hatefulness,

But still, like air, I’ll rise.

If you want to read the full poem it’s definitely worth checking out.

Enjoy your Sunday, and whatever happens this week, be like the air and rise.

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Spider Season

In the UK we are fortunate not to have a real spider problem – that is unless you have arachnophobia.

There are varying figures reported for how may people are affected by fear of spiders, but it seems to me that the numbers are quite large. It varies from a paralysing fear at just looking at a picture to just not wanting to pick one up, but it affects a LOT of people.

We are just about to enter ‘Spider Season’

This is the time of year when we are most likely to see our friendly house spiders on the move. They are one of the larger species of spider we have, though they pose no direct danger to us. I say direct danger, because I have heard of people doing themselves all sorts of injuries trying to get away from them, from tripping over, to falling down stairs. In reality, the danger is our own fear, not the oblivious arachnid.

So why do they suddenly appear in September and October?

I rather naively thought they were coming in to get out of the cold, but it turns out they live in your house all year round. They are normally quite shy and much more careful about revealing themselves. The rather amusing or disturbing truth (depending on point of view) is that they are on the search for a mate. This is their breeding season and as shy retiring little creatures they normally stay away from hysterical humans, but their primal drives force them out of hiding in search of their perfect partner.

So next time you see a stranded spider stuck in your sink, or dashing out from under your sofa, don’t reach for the slipper with murder in mind – see him for what he is, (for he is, indeed, likely to be male) a slightly frustrated desperate little dude, just trying to find a girl…

If that’s not enough to help you get over your fear, maybe try a therapy. There are many very effective solutions available from exposure therapy to Hypnotherapy.

Don’t live your life in fear and don’t teach it to your kids – You’ll be happier and so will the spiders 🙂

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Time flies when you’re having Fun

pain management hypnotherapy

It’s Sunday – That lovely day when you have nothing pressing to do…

So why does it go so fast? And why do Mondays last so much longer?

Why does 5 minutes between snoozes on the alarm go by in seconds, but the 5 minutes before your lunch break takes an eternity?

Why does a watched kettle never boil?

Because you can distort time! (aren’t you a clever thing)

We all do it.

The problem is most of us are doing it wrong.

We extend the periods of boredom, of discomfort, of sadness or of pain, and we shorten the times of joy, relaxation, happiness and love.

In hypnosis, time distortion is a regular phenomenon. People often say to me that we’ve only been talking for a few minutes, when often an hour has gone by. This is a trick you can learn. When you are hypnotised your mind is incredibly focussed on one thought, usually the voice of the person who has hypnotised you. That focus is where time goes…it’s like you can’t concentrate on time and be completely focussed on something else. That’s why time can disappear when you are lost in a good book, listening to music, or having a great time with friends.

When you are unhappy, bored or in pain, your focus is often on the time itself…so it gets longer. By willing it to go fast, we extend it further and further until it feels like an eternity.

So, if you want time to pass quickly, STOP focussing on the time and START focussing on something else.

Sometimes that’s easier said than done, but that’s where hypnosis is fantastic. Whether you use self hypnosis or go to a clinical hypnotherapist, that focus can be achieved.

Enjoy what’s left of your weekend – I hope your happy moments last a life time 🙂

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