Tuesday, 22 August 2017

5 Ways To Lose Weight Easily

Being overweight has a huge impact on your life. As well as the negative health implications, it also affects your self-confidence. You worry more about how people judge you and how you look in certain clothes. Perhaps your clothes feel uncomfortable as they dig in. Or maybe there's a huge percentage of your wardrobe that you just can't fit into.
We all know that to lose weight we just need to eat fewer calories than we use. It's simply a matter of eating less and exercising more. So, why is it so difficult?

The reason it is so challenging is due to your mindset. It is the way you think about food and exercise, which is holding you back.

Here are some simple strategies to change your mindset and make weight loss easy. At the end of the post there is also a chance to download my Hypnosis For Weight Loss MP3 absolutely free.

1)   Stop "All Or Nothing" Thinking
A very common thought distortion amongst people attempting to lose weight is "all or nothing" thinking. Typically you will be sticking to your diet religiously. Then you'll get too hungry and eat a biscuit. Then think,
"Sod it! I've messed up the diet now. I might as well eat half the packet."
Sound familiar?
Notice when this thought distortion crops up and make a conscious effort to think more logically. A single biscuit is not going to undo all the good work you have done. Instead, identify what led to the lapse.
Was it that you skipped lunch and were too hungry?
Were you stressed or angry?
Once you identify the trigger, find a solution to prevent it happening in the future.
Using a programme such as WeightWatchers is good as you are allowed sins so can still have the odd treat here and there.

2)   Notice Your Language
The way we speak, both to in our own mind and to other people, has a huge impact on our actions and behaviours. Often people use words such as "try," "should" and "need to." For example,
"I really should lose weight because it's not healthy to be this big."
The problem with these words, is that it makes our subconscious mind think we are being told what to do. It sounds like someone else is telling us what to do. When this happens we naturally want to rebel.
Change your language to words which are more positive and put you in control. "Can," "choose" and "want" are good examples. For example,
"I choose to go to the gym today because I want to lose weight, so I can feel confident at the party."

3)   Use a visual image
Your subconscious mind understands visual images very well. Find a picture which represents how you want to look when you have lost the weight. This could be an old photo of yourself or even a photo of a celebrity or a certain outfit you'd love to wear. Put this image somewhere you will regularly see it. This is a great motivator.

4)   Make a specific goal and tell others.
With any goal in life, it is important to make it specific. Instead of telling yourself that you want to lose weight, specify how much you would like to lose. This could be a specific number of pounds or a number of clothes sizes. Once you have clarified your goal, tell other people. You don't need to take out a billboard ad! But tell family and friends. This adds an extra level of motivation.  

5)   Set yourself up to win
To stay on track, you need to feel successful. If you haven't exercised in 15 years, don't aim to go to the gym for 2 hours a day. You will fail to reach your target and will feel disheartened and give up. Set yourself up to win. Aim for 10 minutes of exercise per day. Then anything above this is a bonus.

Here is a lovely comment from one of my recent clients about how hypnotherapy helped her.

 "After years of battling with my weight and yo-yo dieting, I came across a recommendation to visit Catherine to see if hypnotherapy really could work.
After just one really enjoyable visit Catherine has already successfully enabled me to not only give up chocolate, but also to stop snacking between meals.
Catherine is extremely smart, professional, understanding and empathetic. The hypnotherapy session itself was so relaxing, I came away feeling energised and motivated. 
I had a second session just to bolster the first and this time concentrated on exercising without dreading it and making healthy food options at all meals. I came away from that session and went to a High Intensity Interval Training Class with my daughter and I am 61!!! Totally enjoyed it and this is all thanks to Catherine.
There is extra help outside of the sessions provided too. I simply couldn't recommend her more highly."

As promised, you can have access to my Weight Loss MP3 (usually £10) absolutely free. Just email me here.

If you would like more information about hypnotherapy, well-being and personal development, please subscribe to my newsletter in the top right.

Monday, 21 August 2017


You may have heard of mindfulness and maybe wondered what it is. People often wonder what the difference is between hypnotherapy, mindfulness and meditation. Which is most beneficial to mental well-being, can also be confusing. In truth all three are very similar and all are beneficial, particularly for minimising stress and anxiety.

Today's post will explain a little more about mindfulness and how you can incorporate it into your own life.

At any time, we can focus on the past, the present or the future. During a typical day, we will focus on all three at different times. For example, focussing on the past, while remembering instances from our childhood. Or thinking about the work we need to get done tomorrow, which moves our focus into the future. Or concentrating on a game of tennis we are playing in the here and now. Of course, we need to shift our attention between the past, present and future in order to function properly. However, when people dwell excessively on the past, it can lead to feelings of depression. This can be because the past was unpleasant and we feel sad that this was the case. Alternatively, if we dwell excessively on a very enjoyable past, it can lead to feelings of sadness because you perceive that things aren't as good now.

Conversely, focussing excessively on the future commonly leads to feelings of anxiety.

Mindfulness teaches you to be present in the moment, which leads to a sense of peace and calm. This technique is particularly beneficial for alleviating stress and anxiety.

You can easily incorporate mindfulness into your life by following these simple steps:

  1. Lie on your bed and close your eyes.
  2. Breathe slowly and deeply. Imagine counting 1 on your inhalation, 2 on your exhalation, 3 on the next inhalation and so on until you reach 10. Then start the counting again.
  3. Listen to the sounds within the building you are in. Then extend that out to listen out for sounds outside the window.
  4. Notice the sensations of your breathing, the way your chest rises and falls with each breath.
  5. Scan through your body from the top of your head to the tips of your toes, noticing the sensations in each part of your body as you do so.

A quick word of caution. Although mindfulness is typically prescribed to anyone who suffers with anxiety, it is not suitable for people who have health related anxiety.

As you become more familiar with the technique of mindfulness, you can incorporate it into your day to day life, for example, noticing the sounds around you as you walk to work.

If you would like more information about hypnotherapy please subscribe to my newsletter in the top right.

Saturday, 19 August 2017

The dreaded team meeting

His hands were sweaty. His heart was racing, as it had been since they had all filed into the meeting room. He could feel his face was bright red. He was fidgeting with the pen in his hand, trying to calm himself down, not listening to the words any of his colleagues were saying, while simultaneously painfully aware of whose turn it was to speak. Three more people, then it was Pete's turn to give his update to the group.

He hated the weekly team meeting. He knew it was ridiculous, but speaking to the group filled Pete with anxiety, which was getting worse over time. Usually one of the most dedicated and conscientious members of staff, he had pulled a sicky two weeks ago when he was scheduled to chair the meeting. Panic not pride had accompanied his boss's recent suggestion that he go for a promotion.

Although Pete is a fictional character, this story is one I see all the time as a hypnotherapist.

Situations such as:
  • speaking up in team meetings,
  • giving presentations and
  • having conversations with your boss
are very intimidating for many of us.

Unfortunately, as well as being a horrible way to feel, it can really hold you back in your career. Time and time again I meet people who avoided promotions because they didn't want to present to groups.

Thankfully this is treatable. A very beneficial technique is Systematic Desensitization.

You can do this yourself as follows:
  1. Get yourself into a lovely relaxed state by lying on your bed, closing your eyes and breathing slowly and deeply.
  2. When you are very relaxed, imagine yourself in your team meeting. Really imagine it as vividly as possible, engaging all of your senses.
  3. As you imagine yourself coping in a very calm, relaxed way, hold onto that level of physical relaxation.
  4. Imagine confidently delivering your talk.
  5. As you continue to focus on maintaining that relaxation, imagine through to the end of the meeting, when you all leave the room.
  6. Repeat as often as possible.
This techniques works by making a new association in your mind between relaxation and team meetings. You can't be very relaxed and very anxious at the same time. It's physically impossible due to the neurotransmitters which are released in each state. So by pairing the team meeting situation with relaxation, you remove the anxiety.

If you would like more information about hypnotherapy, well-being and personal development, please subscribe to my newsletter in the top right.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

5 Public Speaking Tips

What is the biggest limiting factor in your career progression?
For a huge number of people, the one thing that hinders them, is a fear of public speaking.

A recent client of mine was offered a promotion. Already the manager of a small team, the promotion involved managing an entire department. Although she was more than capable of doing the work, she turned the promotion down, because the new job required her to deliver presentations. Unfortunately this story is very common. Whether it's delivering big presentation, speaking to the MD or having regular team meetings, public speaking fear drastically holds back your career.

Here are five simple ways to be more confident.

1) Positive self-talk.

Notice the way you talk to yourself in your own mind. Do you say things to yourself such as,
"I'm terrible at presenting,"
"I always go bright red,"
"I'm boring,"
"People will think I'm stupid."

Even the most confident speakers would feel anxious if their inner monologue was this negative before a talk. Imagine someone you care about. Perhaps a best friend or sibling. Would you ever tell them they looked stupid? Or that they were terrible at presenting? No, of course you wouldn't. So don't say it to yourself. Talk to yourself in your own mind in an encouraging way, as if you are motivating a best friend.

2) Challenge yourself

We all have a comfort circle around us. The problem is, when we fear certain situations, we tend to avoid them. The result is our circle of comfort gets smaller. To become more confident you need to challenge yourself instead of avoiding situations. Challenge yourself to speak to a senior colleague, speak up in a team meeting or ask a question during a presentation.

3) Toastmasters

Toastmasters are a wonderful organization, with meetings all over the world, whose aim is to teach people how to present well. It doesn't matter if you can speak comfortably to a room full of people for ten minutes or are too nervous to introduce yourself, Toastmasters can accommodate you. It is a great way to build confidence and skill at public speaking.

4) Imagine through to the end.

When we think about something we fear, we tend to imagine the worst part. When you imagine future presentations or ones you have done in the past, you probably imagine the part when you first stand up and everyone looks at you. Our minds then get stuck in the most fear inducing part of the experience. Change the way you think. Imagine presentations through to the end. Whether it is remembering past presentations or thinking about future ones, imagine through to the end when you thank your audience, receive a round of applause and return to your seat. This teaches your mind that you are ok in that situation and it does end.

5) Fear Of Public Speaking Hypnosis MP3

Download a great hypnosis MP3, to easily overcome this fear here.

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Thursday, 2 March 2017

10 Ways To Feel Happy

Want an easy way to lift your mood and feel great? Here are 10 simple things you can do today to feel instantly better.

1) Take some gentle exercise, preferably outside. Exercise gets our blood flowing, which gets rid of that lethargic feeling we sometimes have when we're feeling down. We also feel a sense of accomplishment when we exercise and of course, there are the obvious health benefits. You don't have to run a marathon to get these benefits, a walk outside will provide many of the same mood lifting properties. If you can get some exercise outside, this is even better as sunlight is good for our mood.

2) Do something for yourself every day. Often, if we are feeling low, and particularly if we have low self-esteem, we have a tendency to put everyone else's needs before our own. So, perhaps you make sure your boss, children, friends, parents etc. are all happy each day, leaving no energy for yourself. Each time we do this we are subconsciously telling ourselves,
"I'm not important. My needs are not as important as other people's."
Each time we send this subconscious message to ourselves, our self-esteem takes another knock. To feel good, take some time everyday to do something that is just for you. This isn't something you should do or need to do. It's not a chore or obligation. It's something you want to do. For me, it is taking time to have a nice coffee and read a travel magazine, in a beautiful location. Even if it is just for ten minutes per day, for those ten minutes you are subconsciously telling yourself,
"I'm important. My needs are important and I deserve to be happy."

3) Accept compliments with a thank you. When we are feeling low we have a tendency to deflect compliments. For example,
"You look lovely in that dress."
"Oh this old thing. Nah, I've had it for ages and it makes my arse look huge."
Sound familiar?
Accept compliments with a thank you is a great way to boost self-confidence. It's also more polite to the person giving you the compliment.

4) Write down three good things about yourself each day. This is another great way to boost self-confidence, which in turn helps you to feel better in every area of your life. These could be things you like about your physical appearance, talents you have, things you've done well that day, being a good friend etc. It's important to write these down, not just think them, as seeing them in written form imprints them into your mind more effectively.

5) Write down three good things about the day. When we are feeling a bit sad or depressed, our perception of the world changes. We notice the things that go wrong each day. We dwell on the negative and filter out the positive. This distorted view of the world makes our mood even worse and exacerbates the problem. A good way to break this negative cycle is to write down at least three good things about each day. If you struggle with this, start small. For example:
  • The Spring flowers are out in the garden.
  • I'm lucky enough to have enough money to feed my family every day
  • I heard a song I really like on the radio.
6) Watch some comedy. They say laughter is the best medicine and there is certainly some truth in this statement. When you're feeling a bit low, watch some stand up comedy on TV or a comedy film. It's a great way to lift your mood.

7) Spend time with people who make you feel good. We are social animals and we need human interaction. Choose the people you associate with wisely. We all have those people in our lives who make us feel a bit crap. It could be that they are criticize us, are confrontational or are very negative.When you need to lift your mood, make a conscious effort to spend time with people who are upbeat, kind and make you feel good.

8) Set yourself up to win. In modern life we put a lot of pressure on ourselves. We want to have a thriving career, be the perfect parent, have a busy social life and look fantastic. Often when we achieve a goal, such as a promotion, we immediately start focussing on the next target. This creates a feeling that we are constantly failing. Create ways you can win each day. When you are setting goals for the day, have some small, achievable ones on there. If you have a To Do list make sure this includes some smaller items. These small wins create a feeling of success, which keeps you motivated and happy.

9) Focus on the here and now. We can focus on the past, the present or the future. Of course, we need to allocate some time to each, to function normally. However, when people dwell excessively on the past, it can lead to depression. On the other hand, when people focus excessively on the future, it can lead to feelings of anxiety. Focus on the here and now, what is going on today, what you can see, hear and experience around you right now, what makes you happy today. This is a great way to boost your happiness.

10) Download my Boost Confidence Hypnosis MP3 below.

If you would like more information about hypnotherapy, well-being and personal development, please subscribe to my newsletter in the top right.

Monday, 7 November 2016

How To Overcome Insomnia

Insomnia is a very common problem and can have a huge negative impact on your quality of life. Sometimes insomnia can be a life long problem, sometimes it starts during periods of stress or sometimes it starts for no apparent reason.

There are a few simple strategies which can help to improve your sleep. Avoiding caffeine late in the day will help. Aim to do more exercise. Throughout the day our bodies produce a hormone called adenosine. The levels of adenosine increase throughout the day as we do more activity. The higher the level the sleepier we feel. Doing regular exercise further increases the level of adenosine.

Another hormone which plays an important role in sleep is melatonin. Our eyes detect the light levels in our environment. As it gets darker, our eyes detect the decreasing light levels and release a hormone called melatonin, in response to this. Melatonin causes us to feel drowsy. One of the problems with modern life is that we look at a lot of light emitting screens, such as computers, TVs and phones. When we do this in the evening, it tricks our brain into thinking it is still day time and the body does not produce enough melatonin.
If you are struggling with insomnia, avoid light emitting screens in the evening. Switch to reading a paper book or magazine instead.

Often, we have thoughts running through our head when we are trying to sleep. This could be things we have to do tomorrow. They could be worries and stresses. These intrusive thoughts can keep us awake at night. A good solution is to keep a notebook by your bed. You can write down these thoughts in your notebook and park them for the night. This is particularly useful if you are thinking about things you have to get done the next day.

Insomnia is often linked to stress. When we are chronically stressed, one of our biological systems, called the sympathetic nervous system, stimulates the fight or flight response. When we are chronically in this fight or flight mode, it plays havoc with our sleep patterns. Take stress seriously and take steps to manage it. Perhaps you could start meditation, ask for more help from friends and family or speak to your boss about reducing your work load.

Hypnotherapy is very effective for treating both stress and insomnia so please do get in touch to find out more.

Here are some of the lovely things my previous clients have said about how hypnotherapy helped with insomnia.

"Having gone down many routes in the past to try and rectify my debilitating sleep problem, I went to see Catherine.  After only two sessions, I found to my surprise, regular sleep patterns started to return.  The CD that was supplied was extremely helpful in enabling me to relax and not dwell on the problems that were causing my sleep deprivation.  I would recommend Catherine to anyone with a similar problem."

"Thank you for your help. I still wake up but am now able to go back to sleep again which is amazing! This morning I woke at 7:30, which is a first for me!"

"I have been making great progress with CDs and techniques you have shown me to get a better nights sleep. I'm happy to say its working and I'm waking up much less than before, and more often than not sleeping through the night. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your help, you really have made a difference."

If you would like more information about hypnotherapy, well-being and personal development, please subscribe to my newsletter in the top right.

Friday, 16 September 2016

Boost Self-Confidence - 3 Week Online Course

The perfect solution if you:
  • lack self-esteem
  • doubt yourself or worry about not being good enough
  • suffer from social anxiety
  • find it difficult to speak up at work
  • find big groups of people intimidating
While one to one, personalised hypnotherapy sessions are undoubtedly the best way to overcome self-confidence issues, sometimes money can be tight and it can be difficult to commit to a course of therapy in my clinic.

This digital course is the perfect, affordable alternative.

The Boost Self-Confidence course is set over three weeks. Each week you will receive an audio recording of a session, a hypnosis MP3 and homework tasks to complete.

The full course is £99 in total.

Please note that I send the courses out manually so there will be a delay between purchasing the course and receiving it.

Here are some of the lovely things people have said about how hypnotherapy has helped with self-esteem issues.

"I felt much calmer and less anxious.  Catherine gave me a few tips to help with my thought process and I've found myself thinking clearer and I'm able to think positively rather than thinking negatively by focusing on what may happen.  I've really enjoyed the MP3's and can honestly see a big improvement in how I feel.  Thank you"

"Since the course of hypnotherapy my daughter presents herself with a new found confidence – even to people she knew before.  She speaks to lecturers at College if she needs to question anything, although this might be waiting until the rest of the class has left, but she would never have done this before.  I would highly recommend Catherine for anyone having an issue with confidence, especially young people as she certainly makes them feel at ease and improves their outlook on life. "

"You have truly been a miracle worker for us. We both feel so much more relaxed, confident and positive and now looking forward to the future and not just existing anymore. I would and will recommend you to anyone who has any issues they want to treat with hypnotherapy."