Tag Archives: talking therapy

Dead Men’s Goals

Do you ever set yourself dead men’s goals?

In case you don’t know what I mean by that, a dead man’s goal is one that can be achieved by a dead man. They generally go along the lines of “I don’t want to…………..any more” for example

‘I don’t want to worry any more’,

‘I don’t want to feel bad any more’ or

‘I don’t want to stay awake all night’

Whilst there is nothing wrong with these goals in themselves, there is a flaw in the way they are being expressed. The problem is the brain is not so good on focussing on negatives like ‘don’t’, ‘won’t’, ‘can’t’ etc. It’s much better at focussing on the active words in the sentence – worry, feel bad and stay awake. One trick you can use when you want to achieve a goal is to think about the way you word it in your head and make sure you are not setting dead men’s goals.

Instead of ‘I don’t want to worry any more’,

try ‘I want to feel more at peace and relax’

Instead of ‘I don’t want to feel bad any more’

try ‘I want to feel good about things’


Instead of ‘I don’t want to stay awake all night’

try ‘I want to have a good nights sleep’

It’s a small change, and you could argue that the goal is still the same, but you might be surprised at what a difference just changing your words can have on yourself.

As a hypnotherapist I have to take great care in choosing what words I use with my clients, and as the biggest influence on your own minds, you should too 🙂



Filed under Development, Happy, Health, Mental Health, Positivity, Psychology, Relaxation, Sleep, Stress

Fear and Loathing in Coventry (or anywhere else for that matter)

phobia hypnotherapy

A lot of people have Phobias. I mean, A LOT. I would go as far as to say most people, in fact.

A phobia is an irrational fear. Some people thinks they haven’t got phobias because they think their fear is rational:

Of course I’m scared of spiders/snakes/jellyfish/wasps/bees etc – they can sting/bite me!

Of course I’m scared of heights – I could fall!

Of course I’m scared of Birds/rats/cats/dogs – they could be carrying a disease!

Of course I’m scared of Flying – we could crash!

Of course I’m scared of bridges – they could collapse!

but of course to those of us who aren’t scared, they seem pretty irrational.

It has been said that we are born with 2 fears, and 2 fears only – Loud noises and falling, but to be honest, I’m a bit dubious of that as I have seen babies that will only sleep in noisy environments and lots of tots love being ‘dropped’ or thrown around in play with their parents.

Everything else is a learned response.

It may be learned from our parents: Most kids have the same phobias as at least one of their parents.

It may from friends or from other social interaction (particularly school): If a pre school class is shown a large spider they tend to be fascinated, but if one kid gets scared or upset, it affects most of the others.

It may be from experience:something bad happens, usually we get hurt or given a fright and we are wary of it from then on. If the negative experience is repeated or if behaviour changes because of it, we are in phobia territory.

The great thing about this is, what can be learned, can be unlearned! There a various techniques to getting over a phobia varying from exposure to the thing you’re scared of to more subtle methods like hypnosis and NLP. So whether you want to get over your fears for yourself, ot just because you don’t want to pass them on to you children, go and do something about it.

You can be free of the fear. You can be more confident . You can have a happier life!

Go on…what are you scared of?

If you want help getting over a Phobia and you live in the Coventry area then you should check out my website  www.hypnotherapycoventry.org

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Filed under Development, Happy, Health, Mental Health, Phobia, Psychology

Don’t believe everything you think

Have you ever been driving down the road and thought ‘what if I just turned the wheel and drove into oncoming traffic?’ or stood waiting for a train and thought ‘what if I just fell on the track as the train was coming?’ or been on a flight and thought ‘what if the plane crashes’ or something else just as bizarre…well if you have, you are not alone!

Most, if not all of us, have these random thoughts pop into our head.

Most of the time you will just dismiss them without even thinking about it – that’s good.

Sometimes we worry or obsess about them – that’s less good and is often where phobia’s and anxiety spring from.

Occasionally we may alter our behaviour because of them – that’s really not good, as this forms neurosis, O.C.D. and other mental health issues.

In Psychology these thoughts are often referred to as NATs or Negative Automatic Thoughts. There are many ways of dealing with these. The first is to recognise it for what it is, a random thought, not an absolute truth. CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) teaches ways to spot these thoughts and challenge their validity e.g. how likely is it that the plane will crash, given that there are thousands of flights in the air at any given moment, yet we very rarely hear of a plane crash.

There are then various ways of dealing with it. You can dismiss it as unrealistic, you can ignore it, you can try and stop yourself thinking about it (often with the use of a rubber band you keep round your wrist and ‘ping’ each time you recognise a NAT) or you can accept it.

Personally one of my favourite ways to deal with these NATs is to make fun of them. You can’t stop them popping in your head from time to time, and trying to is just as likely to make you think of them more (try not to think about elephants for the next 5 seconds – you weren’t thinking of them before, but now you can’t stop). J K Rowling uses a similar method in Harry Potter with the Riddikulus spell – the kids think of the thing they are most scared of and then make it ridiculous by casting the spell e.g. a spider with roller-skates slipping and sliding all over the place. It’s difficult to be scared of something you’re laughing at.

So, next time one of these thoughts pops into your head, see it for what is – just a random thought – and laugh at what a bizarre, wonderful brain you have that will come up with such peculiar things and remember you can’t believe everything you think 🙂

If you need a little help dealing with your NATs, you should speak to a professional who can help. CBT, NLP and Hypnotherapy are great tools to help you.

Check out www.hypnotherapycoventry.org for more information

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Filed under Happy, Health, Peace, Psychology, Stress, Worrying

Ch Ch Change

It has been said that the only things that are certain in life are death and taxes. I guess that means everything else is uncertain – liable to change – which ironically, makes change one of the most certain things in our lives.

Broadly speaking Change tends to fall into two categories in people minds. Change we want to happen and change that we don’t want to happen. But sometimes that can become muddied, like when we decide to lose weight. We want the weight to go, but we don’t want to change our diet and exercise routine.

If we want the change to happen we look forward to it, we are excited, we see it as a good thing. We accept it willingly.

If we don’t want it to happen we can see it as a loss, we can be nervous and see it as a bad thing. We go through a grieving process for what we have lost.

So, using the previous example let’s look at going on a diet. Some people may be excited about starting a diet and losing the excess weight that they accumulated. Some people will feel sad about giving up a lifestyle that they have become accustomed to. Same situation, but a very different reaction. Who is most likely to succeed?

The grieving process is often referred to as a five step process:-






Notice that the end of the grieving process takes you to exactly the same place (acceptance) that you readily go to with a change that you want to happen.

So next time you are faced with a change that you feel negative about ask yourself this…

What am I grieving for? Is it worth my grief?

Do I want to stop this change? Can I stop this change?

Will I grow from this? Is it a good thing?

What ever your answers to these questions, you will be happier if you embrace positive change and accept inevitable change.

Keep changing, keep growing, keep moving forward in the direction you want to go.

All positive changes that you make in your life will come from you. Your responsibility, your power to change, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get help. Join groups that support you in your goals, whether that be slimming groups, support groups, team sports, mediation groups or even facebook forums or wordpress blogs. You can do it.

If you need more one to one support to help you make the changes you want in your life Hypnotherapy, NLP, EFT, CBT and other talking therapies may be just what you need. Speak to a professional.

Good Luck – I know you can do it 🙂

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Filed under Dieting, Happy, Health, Peace