Tag Archives: worrying

Self Care Advent Calendar Day 9

Welcome my lovely troupe. We are currently ho ho ho ing our way through December and spending each day making sure we survive (and maybe even thrive) during the festive season.

A few of the previous posts have focused on creativity. Making things, making habits, making plans etc. So today, I want to flip that on it’s head and think about destroying something.

How can destroying something be a an act of self care? By destroying something that is negative.

We all have bad habits. Go on, admit it – you do too.

They might be habits that have a bad effect on our health, like smoking, drinking or eating junk food.

They might be habits that have a bad effect on our mental health, like worrying, putting ourselves down or listening to that negative voice.

They might be habits that have a bad effect on our relationships, like gossiping, ignoring phone calls or taking people for granted.

You get the idea.

Generally I prefer to work on creating positive habits, but breaking negative ones can be just as important. It’s difficult to lift yourself up if you are constantly being dragged back down by your behaviour.

You may think that it’s too difficult to change your bad habits – particularly if that habit is addictive – but it is possible to do it.

One of the ways I help people to change negative habits is to help them frame it positively in their mind. Let’s take smoking for example. It is more difficult to quit smoking than it is to be smoke free. Quitting has lots of negative connotations. Losers quit. I’m no quitter. What will I be missing out on? Freedom has lots of positive connotations. Free, costs nothing, escaping, choices. Just a simple word change can make the whole process so much easier.

Another way to make things easier is to think about what you will gain rather than what you will lose. Taking smoking as an example again. What will you gain by being smoke free? Peace of mind that you’re not actively causing health problems? A load of money? Fresher breath? Not having to worry about where you will be able to smoke? Not needing to think if you have enough cigarettes to see you through. What will you lose? Nothing? An addiction? Cravings (non smokers never crave a cigarette)?

As you may be able to tell from the fact that I’ve used smoking as the example, I think this is the number one habit people should be working on being free from, but you should work on what is important to you.

Make the changes you want to in your life – Imagine how fantastic you will feel a year from now when you look back at today – the day you made your life better.


Many people struggle with breaking habits on their own. If you’ve tried and failed, don’t worry. It doesn’t mean you can’t do it, it just means that you could do with a little help. The good news is Hypnotherapy is a great tool to help you to be free from those unwanted behaviours. If you want to ‘quit smoking‘ but struggle on your own, get the help you need.

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Self Care Advent Calendar Day 7

One week in and where are we? Well hopefully you’re up, clean and dressed, well fed, you’ve been outside, you’ve cleaned up, made a plan and even started decorating…and maybe feeling pretty good about it?

So how are we ending out first week of Self Care?

How about tapping into your creativity.

Now, creativity is a double edged sword. On one hand it can create beautiful, imaginative, original things. On the other hand, it can create catastrophic thoughts and stories of doom and gloom.

Overthinking is a form of creativity – but it’s not one that I think you should be focusing on, so let’s harness that creative spark in other ways. Some are blessed with talent. Some are naturally creative. Some are not. It doesn’t matter – you can still flex that creativity muscle and get some benefit from it.

Do you write Music or Play an instrument? – Write a song

Do you Paint? – Paint a portrait or landscape that you love

Do you Bake? – Make a cake to give to a homeless shelter/ neighbour / friend (or just eat it yourself)

Do you Cook? – Create a 3 course menu for a special occasion and try it out

Do you Knit? – Knit some bobble hats for a charity shop

Do you Sew? – Make an outfit or if you sew like I do, a napkin.

Do you Write? – blog, write a short story, send a card

Do you Vlog? – Do a vlog to help someone

Do you Draw? – Create some illustrations

Do you Sing? – Record a new version of your favourite song

Can’t do any of those things? That’s OK there’s still plenty you can do. Put together a new outfit, decorate a room, put together a mood board, do some papier-mâché, colour in a picture, decoupage, finger paints, modelling clay…..whatever you fancy. Just play and make something. It doesn’t have to be good. You don’t have to show anyone. Just be creative in a good way rather than a negative one.

As I said, over-thinking, catastrophizing and worrying are just ways of using your creativity and your imagination in an unhelpful way. When you catch yourself doing it, try to redirect your creative impulse into something better. If you feel like you really need to spend some time worrying, try to designate a set period of time in which to to do all of your worrying. Think you can get it all out of the way in 10 minutes? Give yourself 15 – but not a minute more. It can take a little practice for the continual worriers out there, but keep practising – you’ll get on top of it.


As a Hypnotherapist I see a lot of people with anxiety and depression.  Anxiety is often caused by a misdirected creative impulse that people can’t curb. If you find yourself in a situation like that, please get help as soon as possible. Not only is it unnecessary for you to suffer with this, it’s important to get help sooner rather than later. Although it is Never too late to change, it’s easier when it hasn’t become normal behaviour.

 

 

 

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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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What causes Stress? – Environment or how we handle it?

hypnotherapy for stress coventry

Have you ever noticed that some people can get stressed out over the slightest thing, whilst other people can seem to thrive in really high pressure environments?

Yet we still hear people say that they were in a stressful job, or a stressful situation.

Now don’t get me wrong, certain circumstances and issues can be difficult to deal with, but it’s how we deal with them that either gives us stress or doesn’t.

One of the common causes of stress is around control issues.

If you are trying to manage and control every aspect of a situation, and feel responsible for all the outcomes and how it will effect all parties involved you will undoubtedly be feeling the stress. One of the biggest lessons we all have to learn if we want to eliminate stress from our lives, is that we have little, if any, control over what happens.

Let me say that again – we have little, if any, control over what happens.

A lot of people are going to disagree with that statement. so let me add a little more to it.

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t prepare/train/practice – of course you should, that’s how you get good at things.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t try to avoid dangerous risks – of course you should, if you want to live a long and healthy life.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t plan – of course you should, otherwise you will be met by unexpected problems at every turn.

What I’m saying is, after you’ve practised, planned and assessed your risks, you have to let go.

There is always a certain amount of rolling with the punches, things will go wrong and people will be unpredictable – and that’s OK.

If you’re someone who feels a lot of stress – here are a couple of tips which may help you to manage it better.

1. Plan, prepare, practice.

Get yourself ready for what ever the situation is that you are stressed about.

2. Breathe

Being stressed and uptight will not help you to make good decisions. Take a minute or two to breathe – slowly and steadily, making sure your out breath is always longer than your in breath. Some people like to count to 7 on each in breath and count to 11 on each out breath – personally I prefer to breathe in as normal and then blow the air out slowly through pursed lips to control my breathing. This simple act changes your body chemistry and allows you to feel calmer and more relaxed.

3. Ask yourself – What is the worst that could happen?

Unless you are in very unusual circumstances the situation you are in will not be life and death. If something goes wrong – so what? It may not be ideal, but it’s probably not worth giving yourself a heart attack over! You know what -even if it is life and death, you can still remind yourself that you are doing the best you can – and nobody can ask more of you than that.

4. Imagine it’s a year from now – do you still care about whatever it is you are stressing over?

If the answer is no, it’s probably not worth worrying about now either.

Stress is a killer – avoid it where you can. If you struggle with this on your own, consider seeking some help – it’s definitely worth it!

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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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Back to work

I’m just preparing for my first client of the New Year.

I’ll be seeing her tomorrow, and I have limited information on what we will be doing, so there is only so much prep I can do, but I have to say I have been enjoying getting ready and making sure that I’m organised.

Don’t get me wrong, Christmas has been lovely. I really enjoyed the break and the down time with friends and family, but getting back to work gives me a wonderful sense of purpose.

I know that I’m lucky doing what I do – I help people.

I’ve had corporate jobs and done the 9-5 office thing and that was OK too, but there is nothing like working for yourself in a job that you love.

So here’e the thing – when you think about going back to work, does it make you feel good or fill you with a sense of dread?

If it makes you feel good – that’s great. You’re doing something that you like/love and you’re probably pretty good at it. Appreciate how lucky you are to be in that position.

If you’re neutral about it – well, that’s OK too. You don’t hate your job, but you don’t love it either. Maybe this year is the year when you could start to think about something that really drives you, something you’re passionate about. Could this be something that you could do for a living? If you have passion for something it makes you keep at it – then you get good at it. When you’re good at anything, you can turn that into a profession, and maybe love your job…

If the idea of returning to work makes you stressed, feel sick, depressed or just unhappy, it really is time to rethink things.

I would suggest that the first thing you need to get sorted is you. Start to do some self improvement work. This can take many forms from reading books, meditating, joining support groups or even trying out some therapy. When you feel strong and confident in your own capabilities, you will have the tools and the energy to make the changes you need to make.

Here’s to 2015!

The year we all find out how to love what we do and do what we love.

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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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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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It’s all about perspective

change perspective

It’s a Bank Holiday here in the UK.

It’s raining.

So, is it a great day as you have a day off work, or is it a rubbish day because the weather is bad?

How you feel about it doesn’t change the facts. It will still be a day off work and it will still be raining, but depending on your perspective you can either be happy and grateful, or you can be fed up and miserable.

It’s up to you.

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What are the chances?

chances hypnotherapy

Have you ever done the lottery?

Have you ever imagined what you would do with all the money if you won?

We’re you utterly devastated when your numbers didn’t come up?

Did you know that the odds of getting all 6 numbers in the lottery (without the bonus ball) are almost 14 million to one? Did you also know that in the UK there are about 124,000 heart attacks each year. That means that you are a lot more likely to have a heart attack on your way to buy your ticket, than you are of actually winning? Does that stop people? NO! and nor should it, though you might want to think about a low fat diet and a bit of exercise!

The thing is, we don’t always think logically.

We don’t weigh up the odds and take the most sensible course of action, particularly when our emotions get involved. Worry, Phobias, Fear and Anxiety are the negative sides to this. CBT  or Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is a therapy used to help people with these issues. One of the things it tries to teach people is how to look at the risk factors – the chances of things happening. For example, is someone has a fear of flying they may believe that if they go up in an aeroplane, that there is a high risk of them dying. In reality that risk is incredibly small. If they start to look at the numbers they will soon realise that there is much more danger to them getting to and from the airport, than they will ever face when the plane is in the air. This can be really hard for people to accept though, because they focus on their fears.

Do you ever play slot machines? If you play occasionally there is a chance (though small) that you may come away with more money than you put in. If you play regularly or consistently (particularly on the same machine) then the chances of you ‘winning’ reduce with every game you play. The machines are created to make money, therefore the odds are built in that it will take more than it gives out. Do you think this stops people from playing? Take a look around any large casino and you will quickly see that the answer is No, because people focus on the wins.

Sometimes if someone has been hurt in a relationship they will avoid getting into similar relationships as they believe the same thing will happen again. Their focus is on the Pain.

If you have a fear or anxiety about something happening it’s worth trying to think about it logically, and if you can’t do that then speak to someone who can put it into a different perspective for you. Therapists are useful for this as they have no personal agenda, but friends and family can be great too. Listen to what they have to say, weigh up the odds, focus on the positive and ask yourself…

What are the chances?

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