Tag Archives: social

Self Care Advent Calendar Day 18

Hi peeps – how are we all doing? With just one week to go to the big day, I’m hoping you’re all feeling pretty good.

A lot of what Christmas is about is relationships. If you’ve been watching a few cheesy Christmas films, you may have noticed that the heart of them all is the connection of one person with another,  and our connections to other people, whether family or friends are a significant factor in our happiness.

As with most things, what works for one person may not work for another, but those relationships are important to everyone – it’s just the numbers that vary. Some of us are happy with just a few people in our circle, some need many. The more people you have, the more work it takes to keep those relationships alive, and sometimes people get lost along the way.

Think back over the last 10 years or so. Have there been significant people in your life that have drifted away? I’m not talking about those we have lost because they have passed away (as heart breaking as it is, we have to learn to move on without them) but those we have lost to distance, time or disagreements.

Confession time – I’m not the best person at staying in touch with friends. There is a little insecurity there…a part of me believes that they’re probably not that keen on me so I don’t want to push to make arrangements in case they think of it as a drag or hassle. There’s also a little laziness…it take effort to stay in touch with people. There’s a drop of negativity…they will probably not want to get together anyway, and there’s also a little selfishness…I quite like my own company and my own home. All of these things come together in me, meaning that it’s very easy for me to lose touch with people. If I want to maintain or renew these connections, I have to make a little effort to do so. But when I do, the rewards are outstanding.

Each New Year I make a list of New Year’s resolutions. One of them that remains on the list every year is to reconnect with at least one person who has been important to me.

It can be a little scary making that first step. What if they ignore us? What if they actively reject us? What if they don’t remember us? What if nothing comes of it? Well the answer to all of those questions have similar outcomes. If they go our way great, but if they don’t we are in no worse a position than when we started. That person is still not in our lives we now just have a clearer picture of why they’re not.

So today, my self care challenge to you is to reconnect with an old friend. Write them a message on facebook, send them a christmas card, text them, email them, hell, you could even give them or call or go and visit them. It can seem daunting but a quick hello could lead to the nicest Christmas you’ve had in ages.


Social anxiety can reduce your ability to make and maintain relationships. This isn’t something that you have to live with. Please seek help from a qualified therapist to change how you feel so that you can enjoy life to the max. You really do deserve it.

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Laughter is the best medicine

Laughter is the best medicine – unless you have an upset stomach.

Fortunately my stomach is doing just fine, because I’m off out tonight to watch Jimmy Carr do his live show – No pressure Jimmy, but I’m expecting it to be hilarious.

When someone is feeling down, low and generally a bit rubbish, laughter can really lift the spirits and get you back to feeling good again. Why?

Well first of all laughing produces lots of lovely hormones in our bodies that make us feel good. Endorphins and seratonins can become elevated which just cheers us up. Literally just the act of laughing.

Don’t believe me – give it a try. Laugh as mightily as you can for a minute or two. Do real ‘belly laughs’ and a few giggles. Even if you start out faking it, you will soon find you are genuinely laughing and that it feels good.

There are many laugh therapists all over the world who use this special aspect of laughter to help people to feel better in themselves. Quite often they will work with groups of people at the same time because laughter is contagious. It also brings me onto my second point about why laughter is good for you.

As a very general rule of thumb, when we laugh out loud we are in company. Now you might think about a time that you watched or read something and laughed to yourself, and you were completely alone. This can happen, but usually if we are alone we tend to smile, or just give a little exhale of air. This is NOT the same. Laughing is often considered to be a social cue to demonstrate to others in a group that we are on the same page, that we understand what is going on and we are participating in it. Have you ever noticed that you laugh much more if you are at a comedy performance than you do if you are watching the same or a similar performance alone on DVD? Being around others and having social interaction is incredibly important for your mental health. I’m not saying you have to be around people all the time to be mentally well, but those who spend more time isolated are much more likely to suffer from mental health issues. Whether you’re naturally an introvert or en extrovert, millennia of evolution has formed you into a social being. How much you crave and accept that social aspect varies from person to person, but we all need to have some interaction.

Another reason laughter is good for our mental health is that it’s distracting. When you laugh you are generally in the moment. Your conscious thought processes are working on whatever it is that is amusing you – you are not thinking about what may happen tomorrow (anxiety) or what did or did not happen in the past (depression). By simply being present in the moment you can distract yourself from a lot of other worries. This gives your poor old brain a break and lets it know that it’s not all about stress and worry.

So, I say again, Laughter is the best medicine – unless you have a serious illness – then maybe a visit to a health practitioner rather than the local comedy club is your best bet.

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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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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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How to feel more confident

how to feel more confident hypnosis

Confidence is a bit like air.

When you have it you tend not to think about it, when you don’t it can feel awful.

Social anxiety, performance anxiety and generalised anxiety can all be debilitating, reducing sufferers to people afraid to leave their own homes and with serious esteem issues.

The good news is that it can be overcome.

It takes work, and it’s not always easy, but you can do it.

My advice would be to get professional help – counsellors and therapists can work wonders in this area.

If you’re not ready to take that step, or think you can manage it yourself there are some things that you can do to move forward.

How to feel more confident.

1. Challenge your beliefs.

If you you believe that everyone at the party will hate you – challenge that.

Firstly, it’s very likely that most people at the party will barely notice you. Most of the time we are so wrapped up in our own thoughts and lives that we barely notice what anyone else is doing, wearing or thinking.

Secondly, it’s very unlikely that EVERYONE will have a bad opinion of you, whatever you do. Even serial killers get fan mail. Surely you’re not that bad!

Thirdly, I doubt very much anyone will HATE you. Hating takes a lot of energy. Think about it – do you HATE anyone? If so, were they someone you randomly met at a party?

2. Ask yourself – so what?

If you believe that you will not be very good at something, ask yourself, so what?

What if you’re not very good at it? What will it matter?

Maybe people won’t clap – so what? What if they don’t? Will you die? Will anyone else die? Will it cause you pain?

Maybe they won’t / will laugh (depending on whether or not you’re trying to be funny) – so what?

Maybe they won’t book you to do another gig?

Maybe people will talk about you for a bit?

So what? It really doesn’t matter.

3. Remind yourself that it’s OK not to be perfect.

Nobody is perfect. Let me say that again – Nobody is perfect. We all make mistakes, we all get awkward sometimes, we all drop things, we all get nervous, we all say the wrong things sometimes – and that’s OK.

You are not perfect, and that’s OK.

4. The chances are that the person you are standing next to is feeling anxious too.

Have you ever been in a room, where nobody is talking and you are waiting for someone to make the first move and say something. Guess what, everyone else is waiting for the same thing.

Take the bull by the horns and say something. The relief on the other persons face will let you know that they were feeling the same way and that you have just shown yourself to be the most confident one there!

Check you out!

5. Work out whether you are feeling excited or nervous.

Sometimes when we are waiting for something we start to feel physically different. Maybe our heart starts beating a bit faster, our breathing becomes a bit more rapid, our palms may get a bit sweaty and our mouth goes dry…Am I describing feeling nervous or excited? They’re both pretty much the same, so how do you know you’re not just feeling excited?

Whether you decide to take these steps yourself or get someone to help you to feel more confident, I wish you and yours a happy, confident, fulfilling party season and a fantastic new year.

Go get ’em tiger!

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Do not click on this picture – a social experiment

hypnotherapy

🙂

Feel free to reblog

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What’s your superpower?

What’s your Superpower?

A study that Albert Mehrabian undertook in 1971, suggested that the way we communicate face to face is made up from three components – what we say, the tone of our voice and the body language we use. Surprisingly, the words we use only make up a tiny part of the way we communicate with the bulk of it being taken up by our body language, or non-verbal communication.

  • Words (the literal meaning) account for 7% of the overall message
  • Tone of voice accounts for 38% of the overall message
  • Body Language accounts for 55% of the overall message

There are certain non-verbal communication (body language) skills that each of us possesses in lesser or greater amounts.

There are six main skills within the way we use our body language and there are strengths and drawbacks associated with each:

Emotional Expressiveness.

Some people are naturally emotionally effusive. They easily convey their felt emotions through facial expressions, tone of voice, gestures, and body movement. The upside is that emotionally expressive people tend to be more popular, and can be the life of the party. The downside is that everyone knows what you are feeling. Importantly, emotional expressiveness is a key component of charisma and is related to what is called “dynamic attractiveness.”

You know this is your Body Language Superpower if people can always tell what you think about things or people, even though you think you are being diplomatic!

Emotional Control.

This is skill in monitoring and controlling the nonverbal expression of emotions and feelings, and being able to cover felt emotional states with a different, emotional “mask.” People high in emotional control are skilled emotional actors, but they may appear distant and “hard to read.” People with high levels of emotional control are like poker players—you never know what they are really feeling or thinking inside.

You know this is your Body Language Superpower if people often think you are difficult to read or if you are good at faking how you feel.

Emotional Sensitivity.

People skilled in emotional sensitivity are good at “reading” others’ non-verbal cues, and are able to easily detect others’ emotional states. As a result, those who possess a great deal of emotional sensitivity are seen as empathic; these are the persons whom others seek out when they are troubled or in pain. On the downside, possessing too much emotional sensitivity can make you prone to “emotional contagion”—feeling other people’s pain and emotional states to the extent that you become “infected” by their emotions.

You know this is your Body Language Superpower if you can always tell how other people are feeling and know if there is something that is upsetting them, even when they are trying to be normal.

Social Sensitivity.

This is a non-verbal skill with some elements of verbal and social competence. Social sensitivity it is the ability to “read” social situations, and to know how to behave appropriately in a wide range of social settings. It helps the skilled individual to understand the complexities of social interaction, and to anticipate others’ actions and behaviours.

You know this is your Body Language Superpower if people can read a room and can fit in in any kind of situation.

Skill in Deception.

The ability to lie successfully partly involves being able to tell a plausible verbal lie, but also requires the ability to portray oneself as honest. Research has determined that some people are successful liars simply because they look more honest overall, regardless of whether they are lying or telling the truth. Their non-verbal behaviour, which includes rapid speech, an expressive face, and fluid body movements makes certain skilled individuals better liars.

You know this is your Body Language Superpower if people can rarely if ever tell when you are lying!

Skill in Detecting Deception.

A very rare non-verbal skill is the ability to detect deception. Most people cannot detect deception at better than chance levels, but a very few individuals—what Paul Ekman and his colleagues call “wizards”—are able to detect deception through careful analyses of both verbal and non-verbal cues. This skill was portrayed in the TV seriesLie to Me.

You know this is your Body Language Superpower if you can always spot a liar – and not just because you have evidence to prove it!

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How lucky are you?

coventry hypnotherapy

Are you lucky? Do you want to be more lucky? Here’s how….

Let me start by saying I’m not a superstitious person.

I don’t believe in rabbits feet or four leaf clovers bringing good luck nor do I believe walking under ladders or across the paths of black cats bringing bad luck.

If you see a black cat walk in front of you, the only thing it means is that there is a black cat trying to get somewhere, if you have a rabbit’s foot just remember that it wasn’t very lucky for the rabbit!

Having said that some people appear to be much more lucky than others – I bet you know someone who is always winning competitions or raffles, always gets a good hand at poker or just has cool stuff happen to them.

So what sets them apart?

There have been several studies on this and the findings all seem to point to one thing…

Take a chance.

People who appear to be lucky tend to be more social and are open to opportunity. They tend to be more optimistic people who believe that good things will happen, so they take a chance. The more chances you take, the more likely you are that some of them will pay off.

Then a little psychology tends to kick in. Have you noticed that when people remember the past they have a tendency to see it through rose tinted glasses? Summers were always hotter and longer, Christmases were always better, people were nicer and had more respect….Well that’s what we do with opportunities – we remember the one’s that paid off and forget those that didn’t turn into anything.

So imagine a friend that takes a chance every day. Maybe one in 10 of those will pay off – so that’s about 3 good things that happen a month. Now think of a friend who only takes one opportunity a month – they may only have one good thing happen all year. It’s about the same ratio of good to bad but one friend will seem a lot luckier, particularly if they only tell you about the good things that happen.

So, if you want to be lucky say yes to every opportunity that comes your way – who knows where it could lead.

Today I saw an email asking for people to be extras in a zombie movie – I sent them an email and I’m going to be filming at the end of the month!  How cool is that!

What can you say yes to today?

Maybe you might want to follow this blog on wordpress, facebook or twitter – You might find something that interests you and then, who knows where it could lead?

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Pleased to meet you

puzzle

Do you enjoy meeting people?

A lot of people don’t. They suffer from social anxiety.

To a sufferer, the idea of meeting new people can be horrifying. Even being in groups of people that they know can leave them feeling uncomfortable. I help a lot of people who suffer from this using hypnotic techniques to help them relax and feel more at ease in these situations.

Even as a socially comfortable person, we don’t always take full advantage of meeting new people. Every person you meet is an opportunity for you to forge a new relationship. This relationship may help you personally, professionally, financially or spiritually and it it important, if you want to make the most of this, that you make the best first impression that you can.

The first thing to think about is ‘what sort of impression do I want to create’

Do you want to be seen as creative and free spirited or would you prefer to be seen as serious and level headed?

Do you want to be perceived as someone who is looking for something, or someone who can provide something others may be looking for?

The next thing to think about is ‘how am I going to communicate this?’

It can be a bit odd if you meet someone new and you introduce yourself by telling them that you are a kind, trustworthy person who is looking to connect – so how do you say this, without saying it?

The answer is with a story.

Find a personal story that lets the other person know a little bit of who you are.

If I was trying to relay the information that I mentioned above I might tell them a tale of a friend who I was chatting to who mentioned that they have difficulty meeting new people. I would say that in this conversation I had told them not to worry about the impression that they gave off, as people are generally good at seeing genuine, goodhearted people and that I had found that among my friends a lot of people worried about this unnecessarily. I might then go on to say how pleased I was that this wasn’t a problem for me as I loved meeting new people and found it really nice to form new friendships.

The thing about a story is that it uses something known as indirect suggestion. If you say to somebody – I’m nice – they may well question the fact that you feel that you needed to tell them that. It could leave them wondering if you are really nice at all. With an indirect suggestion – a story – about you being nice, they get to draw their own conclusion and are much less likely to question it.

You can tailor your story to create whatever impression it is that you want to give. Think about what you want to achieve before you go into the meeting and try to let the story come up in a natural way. If you just walk up to random strangers and start telling them each the same story, it could be a bit odd – so keep it easy, keep it natural and keep focused on what you are trying to achieve. That way, whether you are networking for business or fun, you will attract the right sort of people and create the impression that works best for you.

Why not try it today? I’d love to know how it works out for you, and if you want to tell me your story I’ll let you know what impression I get from it…..

Have a great weekend.

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