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Self Care Advent Calendar Day 25

Happy Christmas!

All I would like you to do today is to enjoy yourself.

Christmas is not about being perfect – it’s about having a good day. So don’t try too hard, relax, enjoy yourself and make the most of the day.

See you in the New Year x

merry christmas

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Self Care Advent Calendar Day 16

If you read my post yesterday, you’ll know that I wrote this yesterday in an attempt to get ahead of the game – I hope you enjoy it. What did you get ahead of, and how do you feel about it today knowing that you have one less thing to do?

One of the reasons I wanted to get this done yesterday is that today is my Partner’s Birthday. He is away at work in the morning, but will be home by afternoon and I want to make sure that the house is nice and clean, his favourite food and drinks are bought and prepared and that I can spend all my time celebrating with him.

Which brings me on to today’s topic – time.

The most valuable commodity you have is your time. We all have a limited amount of it – 24 hours in a day, 365 days in a year and who knows how may years in our life. We sell our time to our clients or our employers. We give our time to our friends and family. Some of us have more than we know what to do with, some of us could do with bonus hours in the day and days in the week. Time is precious.

I often have people tell me that they don’t have time to do things. Exercise , meditation, cooking for themselves, mindfulness etc. My response tends to be that we all have the same amount of time in a day, we just have to decide how we are going to use it. When you say you don’t have time, what you mean is I prioritise other things over this.

Have you ever had a conversation with a child who wants you to do something with them, and you’ve said that you don’t have time. Try reframing that sentence into a priority statement. Instead of saying I don’t have time, you say it as I am prioritising something else over doing this with you. Now if the thing you are prioritising is important, that’s ok. Some things have to take priority – earning money to pay bills, buying food to eat, cooking meals to keep them healthy. If the thing you are prioritising is less important or maybe even selfish, then this sentence can highlight that and help you to see things in a more honest way. For example if you tell someone that you are prioritising getting drunk over helping them with something important to them, then you are going to struggle to justify that.

So, spend your time wisely today – and every day. It’s one of the few things you can never get back.


One of the ways you can tell if you, or someone you know, has an addiction is the way they prioritise their time. If fulfilling the addiction takes priority over everything else, like being with others, taking care of themselves or their children, or working, then it’s time to get some serious help. Hypnotherapy and other talking therapies are one of the best ways to help you break free of addictive patterns. See if you can get the need today.

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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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Mental Illness is not contagious

Don’t be scared about being around someone who has a mental illness – it’s not contagious!

You can’t catch it by being kind to them.

You can’t catch it by spending time with them.

You can’t catch it by asking them what you can do to help.

You can’t catch it by talking to them.

In actual fact you can’t catch it at all.

That’s not to say that it is always easy living with someone who has a mental illness. It can be hard, confusing, scary and frustrating because you want them to be well and struggle to understand how you can help and support them.

Help is out there.

Help is there for people struggling with mental illness and help is also there for people trying to support someone who is suffering.

Getting help doesn’t mean that you’re weak or that you can’t cope – it just means that it’s OK to make it easier on yourself.

If you had to move a piano down a flight of steps would you try and do it on your own? Maybe you could, but wouldn’t it be easier with some friends to help – or even better some people who’s job it was to move pianos. Those people have the tools, skills and experience to do it in the easiest way.

So if you know someone who is suffering – either personally or because they are trying to support someone who is – be a friend. Lend a hand, or an ear, or even a shoulder to cry on. I know it can be difficult to know what to say or do, but just ask them if they’re ok and let them know that you’re there if they need to talk. You might be the only one who does and it can make a world of difference.

Did you know that statistically the biggest killer of men under 50 in the western world is suicide. Notice that I said men not people.

That’s because men are much more likely to commit suicide than women.

Do you know why? Because women talk more.

If you walk into work and see a woman colleague in tears, it’s pretty likely that at least one other woman will gather her up, take her off to the toilets and talk to her.

Now imagine it was a male colleague – what would happen then?

It should be the same, but it’s not.

Talking doesn’t make the problem go away, but somehow it makes it easier to deal with. You get support, caring, understanding and find a way through. When you try and do it all alone, you find that you can get into very destructive negative thinking patterns and have no one there to offer a different perspective. The downward spiral can be fast and horrific but it can be stopped – just by talking.

If people can’t talk to friends or family encourage them to talk to someone else. Maybe it’s a doctor or therapist, maybe it’s someone on a help line – hell, maybe it’s a bartender, but talking is always good.

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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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Let it go – with hypnosis

let it go hypnotherapy coventry

There is an old saying ‘being angry at someone is like trying to kill another person by taking poison yourself’

When you are angry at someone, or something, you don’t hurt them, you hurt yourself. What is the point of your anger? Does it help? Does it make you feel better? Does it achieve anything? If the answer to these questions is no, then the best thing to do is to let it go. Sometimes that’s easier said than done though, so how can you make it easier? Well, my choice would be by using Hypnosis.

I posted earlier in the week about one method that you can use to self hypnotise. There are other methods available and I will post more examples as we go along, but for now, give the eye fixation method described previously a try. Once you have achieved a nice state of relaxation you are ready to work on letting it, whatever it is, go.


Think about an image that represents the thing that you want to let go. For example if you did poorly on a test and you are angry at yourself, you might want to put get a picture of your grade on a piece of paper. When you have it clearly pictured in your mind, shrink it in size and imagine a bubble forming around it. Your bubble can be clear or coloured, sparkly or plain, that’s entirely up to you. When you can imagine the bubble, when you know what it looks like, think about holding it in front of you and blowing on it. Really give it a good blast of air so that it floats off into the distance. Follow it with your minds eye as it gets smaller and smaller, until it finally get so far away that you can’t see it any more and it entirely disappears from view. Notice how much better you feel now that it has gone from your mind.

Then when you’re ready, take a big, cleansing breath, wiggle your toes and fingers and only when you’re ready,

open your eyes.


It can take a few goes for your subconscious to take the hint and realise that you want to let go of this thought forever, so if it pops back into your mind, don’t worry, just take a a few minutes to go through the process again.

As with all of these types of techniques, you may find that it takes a little practise for it to work well for you, and that’s OK. It’s a bit like exercise or learning to play an instrument, you have to train and practise to get good at it.

So, let go of any anger, guilt, jealousy or any other negative emotion and find a little peace and happiness today 🙂

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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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Be someone who makes you happy.

how to be happy

How often do we blame someone else for making us sad or angry or frustrated?

How often do we say that somebody is driving us crazy?

How often is that true?

I would argue that the answer to the last question is never. Nobody has the power to control how you feel – that’s up to you.

Now, before you all start shouting at me, telling me ‘it’s not as easy as that’, let me say – I know. Letting go of the things that upset your happiness is hard, it takes work and practise and can sometimes feel impossible, but it can be done.

The first thing to do is to be honest with yourself, accept the fact that you a flawed person who is not perfect, and actually believe that that’s OK. You don’t have to be perfect. Nobody else is either, and that’s OK too.

Next you have to try to do the things that make you happy, and to not do the things that make you feel guilty. That’s not to say you have to be perfect (see the first point I made) but that you have to be OK with your imperfections.

Thirdly, you might want to try meditation, particularly Mindfulness. It shows you that you are not your thoughts and emotions, and you can separate yourself from them. Just because an angry thought flits across your mind, you don’t have to become angry – you can let it go.

On paper, that all looks relatively easy, but it’s not. It takes time, persistence, patience and diligence and many people give up along the way. My advice would be to get help. Join meditation classes, try a little therapy (in my opinion CBT and Hypnotherapy would be most effective), spend time with people who have the same goals as you.

Whatever your path to happiness, you’ll find that other people or things can make a difference in the short term, but true happiness comes from you.

I hope you find a way to make you happy. I’m still a work in progress, but maybe I’ll meet you on somewhere on the journey if our paths cross 🙂

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My Happy Jar

Sometimes it’s easy to look back on things and forget all the little things that make us happy.

I heard a nice story once 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

Orange Ice pops on a hot day

Comfy shoes that you can walk in for miles and miles

Crisp clean sheets

Ripe Strawberries

A waft of scent from the flowers in someone’s garden

A dogs trust

The complete openness of children

How it feels to write with a good pen

Getting the next book in a series you’ve been reading for a long time and feeling as though you’re catching up with a good friend

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 would you put in your happy jar today?

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The History of Hypnotherapy (part 1)

It is almost impossible to find the pinpoint the discovery of hypnosis as it seems to me that it has always been around. It is a little like sleeping or dreaming, in so much as it is something we all do and have done since the dawn of humanity. Hypnotherapy is just the use of therapies in conjunction with the hypnotic state, and this seems to have been around almost as long. Trance like states occur in many shamanistic, druidic, voodoo, yogic and religious practices. In 2600 BC the father of Chinese medicine, Wong Tai, wrote about techniques that involved incantations and the passing of hands and in 1500BC the Hindu Vedas mention hypnotic procedures. Modern understanding of hypnosis and hypnotherapy comes from a more scientific view which can be traced back to Franz Mesmer (1734-1815) who, despite having inaccurate theories, was one of the first to use a consistent approach to deliberately induce a trance and test it.

Mesmer was a physician who developed the theory of Animal Magnetism. It should be pointed out Animal comes from the Latin Animus or Breath and Mesmer believed that all living things had a magnetic fluid in them, hence Animal Magnetism. He believed that diseases were the result of blockages in the flow of this magnetic fluid and that he could store his own animal magnetism in baths of iron filings which could then be transferred to his patients with rods or ‘mesmeric passes’. Practitioners would refer to a hypnotised subject as being ‘back animal’ meaning that the person was back in a natural mental state where he/she recovers their most primitive part of the mind. He frequently said that his patients needed to achieve harmony, both with other individuals and with the universe at large. Mesmer was a showman and was responsible for the image of the hypnotist as a man with ‘magnetic’ eyes, a cape and a goatee. This imposing image and the fact the he conveyed that change was going to occur was probably more responsible for any effect he had than in what he actually did. It created and expectation and was both confusional and a form of direct suggestion.

In 1784 King Louis XVI commissioned an investigation into Mesmer’s theories. In one experiment test subjects were given several glasses of water, one of which was infused with the ‘magnetic fluid’. When subjects reacted, but to the wrong glass of water, it was judged that whatever benefit the treatment had produced was attributable to ‘imagination’. In the same year the Marquis de Puysegur (1751-1825), one of Mesmer’s most faithful disciples discovered a new state of consciousness he called ‘magnetic sleep’. An employee of his family, Victor Race (23), displayed a sleeping trance which Puysegur described as being similar to sleep walking. Due to this resemblance he described it as ‘artificial somnambulism’ but we would today call hypnosis – a term coined by James Braid in 1842. He is quoted as saying

“The entire doctrine of Animal Magnetism is contained in the two words: Believe and Want.

I believe that I have the power to set into action the vital principle of my fellow-men;

I want to make use of it; this is all my science and all my means.

Believe and want, Sirs, and you will do as much as I.”

 

If you’d like to benefit from a hypnotherapy session and are in the Coventry area, check out my website hypnotherapycoventry.org

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