Thursday, 18 December 2014

How to increase self-confidence

People often associate hypnotherapy with weight loss and giving up smoking. However, in my years of practice, I have seen far more people for confidence and self-esteem issues.
Low self-confidence and self-esteem is a very common problem. For some people it’s a general feeling of not being good enough, or a fear of being found out. For others, they feel a lack of confidence in certain situations, such as social events, or in meetings at work.
Although a lack of self-confidence is very common, it can also be crippling. Before coming to see me, many of my clients had been held back from achieving their full potential. People who lack confidence in social situations often get very anxious about them and therefore avoid socialising. This can make them feel lonely. Others, who lack confidence in a work environment, have often not progressed as far as they could have in their careers, because they avoided interviews or speaking up in meetings.
However, there is no need to feel like this. You can easy build your self confidence. Here are eight simple steps to take to increase your self-confidence:
11)      Download your hypnosis MP3 to Build Self-Confidence.
A freebie just for you guys. You can have a hypnosis MP3 (usually £10) for building self-confidence. Simply email me on with the message "I want to be super confident." 
22)      Accept compliments  
What happens when you receive a compliment? Do you immediately deflect  or dismiss it? It’s very common to push compliments away when you have low self-confidence. From now on accept compliments with a simple “Thank You.” Also, make sure you accept the compliment in your own mind.

3)      Do something every day just for you.
 Plan something every day that you enjoy. This is not something you should do, or need to do. It’s something that you want to do. This lifts your mood and is great for your self-esteem as you are putting yourself first.

4)      Speak to yourself as though you are your own best friend  
Notice how you speak to yourself in your own mind. We often speak to ourselves in a very negative way. Are you ever critical about yourself in your own mind? Often we say things to ourselves that we wouldn’t dream of saying to a best friend. Speaking to yourself in a negative way has a detrimental effect on your confidence. From now on, talk to yourself in an encouraging and motivational way. It’s amazing how quickly this will make a difference to your self-confidence.

55)      Learn from others.
As children, we learn by copying the behaviour of adults. This learning continues when we are adults. We can learn negative or positive behaviours from others. Think of someone who is confident. Choose someone who is quietly confident, and has an air of calm and being happy in their own skin. Don’t choose someone who is overly loud or brash. These people often lack confidence too. Once you’ve thought of someone who has an air of inner confidence, notice how they behave. How do they speak? How do they walk? How do they use eye contact? Once you’ve noticed these things, start incorporating them into your own behaviour patterns. At first this feels a little artificial, but it soon becomes second nature.

66)      Challenge yourself.
If we are anxious about certain situations, if certain situations are beyond your comfort zone, it’s very easy to avoid those situations. The problem is, that by avoiding certain situations, your comfort zone becomes smaller and smaller. As you avoid things, you become more anxious about less challenging situations, and avoid them to. Until, you become very limited in what you can do. Challenging yourself reverses this process. Push your boundaries. Do something every day that scares you a little. This is a great thing to do. It puts you back in control. You also show yourself that you can handle various situations.

77)      Write down three good things about yourself
When we have low self-confidence and self-esteem, we often fail to see the good things about ourselves. We can be very hard on ourselves. Every day write down three good things about yourself. These could be things you like about your physical appearance, talents you have, or things you have done well that day. At first this can be difficult, particularly if you have low self-esteem. However, over time it becomes easier.

88)      Surround yourself with positive people
 We are influenced by those around us. If you spend a lot of time with people who are anxious are depressed, it will naturally affect you. Spend more time with happy confident people and it will bring you up.

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Tuesday, 9 December 2014

How to have a stress free Christmas

Christmas should be a fun time of year. However, with the pressures of present buying, entertaining family and industrial scale food production, Christmas can turn into a stressful time of year. Not to mention the dreaded work Christmas party, loved by the supermodels of this world, loathed by the vast majority. So, how do you relax and enjoy the Christmas season?

Here are five simple ways to have a stress free Christmas.

1)      Notice the good things about yourself. Christmas parties can bring out many people’s insecurities. Instead of focusing on the negative, find five things about yourself that you like. Imagine what your best friend would say to compliment you, and say the same thing to yourself. It’s amazing how this shift in perspective boosts your confidence.
2)      Don’t catastophize. Sometimes, when we’re feeling stressed, small problems seem bigger. We sometimes imagine the worst case scenario. When you notice yourself catastophizing, stop! Challenge your thoughts. Will you be hated by the whole of humanity if you over cook the sprouts? –Unlikely. If you can’t buy the exact present you wanted for your partner. What’s the worst that can really happen? Make you sure you keep small issues in perspective.
3)      Say No. We often want to please everyone. However, it’s OK to be a little selfish from time to time. If you feel too busy to attend an event, say No to it. If you have got too much on your plate, (metaphorically speaking!), then ask family members or friends to help. It’s important to look after yourself and not to get swept up in putting everyone else’s needs before your own.
4)      Do something every day just for you. Plan something each day, which you enjoy. This is not
something you have to do or should do, it’s something you want to do. It could be something like reading a book or magazine, meeting up with a friend, or going for a walk. Do something every day just for you. This is a great way to relax, feel happier and also to boost your self-esteem.

5)      Download my free Wash Away Stress MP3 (usually £10) here.

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Wednesday, 3 September 2014

A Balancing Act - How to achieve balance in modern life.

This topic is one particularly close to my heart. This month I have been working long hours, looking after my two daughters on their Summer holidays, while at the same time trying to find time to do some exercise and see friends. As for keeping my house clean....... it's fair to say Channel 5 could do a documentary about the state of it!
I've been feeling quite overwhelmed by the amount I have to fit in to  typical week. I'm sure I'm not alone as these feelings are familiar to many of you.
On one particularly hectic day, I remembered a wonderful technique, which is used a lot in Life Coaching. This is the Wheel Of Life. It is great for helping you to see things in perspective and to identify your priorities.
First of all, draw a circle, divide it into sections and write a different area of your life in each section. The below is just an example. You know what is important to you.

The next step to assess how much attention you are giving to each area of the wheel, and score each area of the wheel from zero to ten. Ten being the all your attention and zero being none.
Now review each area and decide how much attention you would like to give each area. The object is not to give all parts equal attention but to establish what is important to you.
Where there are discrepancies between the two scores, take some action to change things.

This simple technique is a great way to review where you are in life and to put you back in control.

To find out more about how I can help you get in touch here.

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Thursday, 3 July 2014

Falling at 100 mph

I was lucky enough to recently do something I had always wanted to do. I l jumped out of a plane at 10,000 feet. It was wonderful. Do feel free to watch the video.
 I appreciate that it is not everyone’s cup of tea. In fact many people said they felt nervous just watching the video. I, however, felt only excitement about the jump.  Many people actually commented about how cool I seemed to be. Being a hypnotherapist, of course gives me an unfair advantage, when it comes to overcoming nerves. Naturally, I used certain techniques to remain unafraid. The good news is, that you can easily use these same techniques to overcome any nerves you have. Whether that is overcoming a fear of flying or being able to do public speaking, these techniques can help you.

A great technique that you can do without hypnosis is Systematic Desensitization. This technique works by pairing the feeling of relaxation with the scenario (e.g. a skydive) in your mind. It's impossible to feel relaxed and anxious at the same time, so the association of relaxation replaces that of anxiety.

Systematic Desensitization – Pairing Relaxation with the Trigger

  1) Get yourself into a lovely relaxed state, by closing your eyes and taking deep slow breaths.
2) When you feel very relaxed, double that level of relaxation, perhaps by counting from 10 to 0 and allowing yourself to go deeper into relaxation with each number that you count.
3) When you are really relaxed imagine yourself in the situation which you feel anxious about. Really imagine it as vividly as possible, as if you're actually there. Notice what you see, hear and feel.
4) All the time concentrate on relaxation and hold on to that level of relaxation.
5) If you start to feel anxious, then let go on the trigger and focus once again on relaxation.
6) Imagine the whole scenario all the way through to the end and see yourself successfully handling it.
7) Repeat as often as possible, gradually increasing the severity of the trigger, e.g. imagining progressively higher heights.
When we feel anxious about an upcoming event we often think about it. The problem is we often think about the most frightening part. Or we imagine ourselves coping badly. From now on, whenever you imagine a nerve wracking situation, imagine it through to the end, when you are once again safe. Also imagine yourself coping in a calm way. This teaches the brain that the fearful situation actually turns out ok.

I hope these tips help. Please do leave comments below if you use any of these techniques.

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Monday, 26 May 2014

Overcome Blushing

Overcome Blushing

Have you ever experienced that unpleasant sensation, of feeling your face go bright red? Maybe when you were speaking in a meeting at work, giving a presentation, or when you were in a social situation. The problem is that, once it has happened in a certain situation, you worry about blushing the next time. And worrying about it makes the blushing worse! You probably only have to think about the last time you blushed and you can feel the blood rushing to your face again.
Blushing seems like a trivial problem. However, it can get in the way of everyday life. It can make you feel nervous about specific situations. It can cause you to avoid certain places or people. Blushing can even hold you back from making new friends or progressing in your career.

As a hypnotherapist, I help a lot of people to overcome the problem of blushing. Blushing involves a great deal of mind-body interaction. Simply remembering an embarrassing incident can cause the blood vessels of our face to dilate, allowing more blood to reach the surface of the skin. This demonstrates that, the power of our mind alone, can affect the blood flow in our bodies. This is a great example of the power the mind has over the body. The good news is that we can harness this mind-body connection to gain control of blushing.

Here are a couple of great techniques you can use to overcome the problem of blushing. These are particularly great techniques to use if you tend to blush when doing any type of public speaking.

The Cool Breeze Technique
1.       Get yourself into a nice relaxed state. You can use the FREE “Enter hypnosis” download from my website to do this. 
2.       With every breath you take, allow yourself to relax more and more deeply.
3.       Now imagine a situation which used to make you blush, for example, a public speaking situation. Really vividly imagine being in that situation.
4.       Feel yourself getting hot and your face going red. Feel the blood rushing to your face and actually heating it up.
5.       Now, imagine a cooling breeze blowing across your face.
6.       This breeze cools your face down and the blood moves away from your face and back into your body.
7.       As this happens you say the words “calm and relax” to yourself in your mind and see the words “calm and relax” in front of your eyes
8.       As your face cools, the breeze cools your whole body, making you feel calm, at ease and relaxed.
9.       With every breath you take imagine yourself becoming cooler and more relaxed.

The Ruler Technique
As you know, blushing is all caused by your mind.
This technique proves to your subconscious mind that you can increase your blush response. If you can increase it using just the power of your mind, then you must also be able to decrease it.

You do this as follows:
  1. Get yourself into a nice relaxed state. You can use the FREE “Enter hypnosis” download from my website to do this. 
  2. Imagine a ruler in front of you. Numbers from zero to one hundred are marked on the ruler. The ruler measures your level of relaxation. When you are embarrassed, the ruler measures 80, 90 or even 100. When you are completely unconscious the ruler measures zero.
  3. While you are in this lovely relaxed state notice what number of the ruler measures you level of your relaxation.
  4. Think of a recent incident which made you feel very embarrassed. Really be there again right now. Imagine it vividly.
  5. Once you are visualizing that event very clearly, notice what number you currently are on the ruler.
  6. Then let go of the event you were just remembering. It is in the past now so you can let go of it.
  7. Clear you mind by thinking of a pleasant, relaxing place.
  8. Imagine the ruler again and using the power of your mind, lower the number of the ruler down several levels.
  9.  Now picture yourself in a difficult situation, such as giving a talk to lots of people. As you imagine this bring the numbers on the ruler down and allow yourself to become more and more relaxed.

This technique demonstrates to your subconscious mind that you can increase your blushing, just by using your thoughts. If you can increase your blush levels, then logically, you must also be able to decrease your blushing, using your thoughts.
You can download a great hypnosis MP3 to help you to overcome blushing, from the website

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Friday, 16 May 2014

Stress Heads

  • Feeling that sense of dread in your stomach.
  • Being snappy and irritable with your family, friends and colleagues.
  • Your heart racing.
  • Feeling completely stuck and that there is no way forward.

These are all classic symptoms of stress.
Stress is a very common issue and in my work, as a hypnotherapist, it is one of the most common issues I treat.
Stress is a huge problem in the UK. Did you know the total number of cases of stress as a work related illness in 2011/12 was 428 000 (40%) out of a total of 1 073 000 for all work-related illnesses in Great Britain?
So let’s find out a bit about the biology of stress. You may or may not have heard of the autonomic nervous system. This is the system of our body that looks after things like our heart rate, breathing, digestion etc. The systems of our bodies that are working all the time, without us being consciously aware. The autonomic nervous system is split into 2 parts, the sympathetic and the parasympathetic. The sympathetic nervous system is also known as the Fight or Flight response. The parasympathetic nervous system is known as the Rest and Recovery system. When we are under pressure the sympathetic nervous system is activated, leading to the fight or flight response. This means that when the fight or flight response kicks in our heart rate increases, our blood pressure increases, blood flows to our arms and legs and our breathing quickens, adrenaline is released, so that we can run or fight. At the same time the things like the digestive system and the immune system are suppressed because the body has more urgent things to deal with.
This system worked brilliantly when we evolved and were subjected to short term dangers. However, in modern life, the fight or flight response is stimulated in response to things like a report being due in or exam stress and it can be stimulated chronically, often all day every day if you have a stressful job.
If we are stressed for a long time it can lead to high blood pressure, depression, stomach ulcers, (because the digestive system is suppressed), illnesses, (because the immune system has been suppressed) and many other health issues. Stressed people often also suffer with insomnia.
So, we can see that chronic stress is very bad for our physical and mental health.

Luckily, there are several steps you can take to lower your stress.
One good way is to use exercise. Exercise uses your muscles, allowing the fight or flight response to be used as it was designed. Exercise also helps to keep you healthy which can help to protect against high blood pressure. Exercise also makes you feel good (afterwards!) and releases endorphins.

Sometimes, when we are under a lot of pressure, we have a tendency to catastophize. We imagine the worst case scenario.  It can really seem that the world will end if we make a mistake in an email. Sometimes it helps to take a step back and think realistically what would happen.

Another quite useful technique is to imagine things through to the end. When we feel stressed or anxious about something we will often think about it. The problem is that we often stop the imagination at the worst part. For example, someone who gets very stressed about flying on a plane, will often remember a turbulent flight and will only imagine the turbulence. If you find yourself doing this, one of the best ways to help yourself, is to continue imagining right through to the end, when you were once again feeling safe. Using the example of a flight, you can continue to imagine the plane landing and getting off the plane and enjoying a holiday.

In our busy modern lives, we often don’t take time to just relax. Even when we are “relaxing” we’re often reading, watching TV or surfing the internet at the same time. For some of us the only time we relax is when we are asleep. Taking time every day to really relax is very important. I know I certainly do this as often as I can. There are lots of relaxation CDs you can listen to. Or even practice techniques such as meditation and mindfulness. Having worked with a lot of people who suffer with stress and insomnia, I have found that incorporating simple relaxation techniques, very quickly improves people’s sleep patterns.

So, all these techniques help us to cope with the stress we are under. However, how can lower the actual stress that’s put upon us. Often stress comes from certain people in our lives, most commonly a boss, but our friends and family can also cause us to feel stressed.
A really good way to manage your workload or to manage a difficult relationship is an assertiveness technique called DESC

D – Describe. Describe with no emotion and no evaluation – exactly what is bothering you. Don’t exaggerate. Don’t say always when you mean twice. This bloodless step must come first.

E – Express. Express how this makes you feel. Don’t accuse, don’t evaluate the other person, just identify which emotion you feel.

S – Specify. Specify exactly what you want the other person to do.

C – Consequence. End by saying just what you will do if your target does not comply. Be accurate, don’t threaten, don’t menace, don’t bluff.

So, I have told you a little about the biology of stress and about some simple ways to decrease your stress levels. Stress is very common and can be detrimental to your health and well being, so it is certainly worth taking some action now. To download a wonderful hypnotic MP3 to alleviate stress in a natural way, click here.

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Sunday, 9 March 2014

Seven Secrets to Weight Loss

Many of us would like to be slimmer. As obesity becomes an increasingly common problem, we are more aware of the health risks associated with being overweight. As well as the health risks, there are the emotional problems associated with being overweight, such as:

  • feeling self-conscious about the way you look
  • avoiding social situation and new relationships
  • being unable to find any clothes you want to wear
  • feeling breathless and tired
  • worrying about being judged by others or being a bad role model to your children
We know that in order to lose weight we need to eat fewer calories and exercise more. However, we can often find it difficult to apply these strategies. Why is this? What stops you from losing weight and being your ideal size and shape? The problem lies within our own minds. 

The good news is that these problems can be overcome and you can gain control of your eating habits, your exercise and ultimately your weight.

Over the years working as a hypnotherapist, helping many people to lose weight, I have discovered the following seven secrets to weight loss.

Secret 1 – Have a clear goal in your mind

People often say “I want to be slimmer.” However, without a clearly defined goal, it is difficult to ever achieve this. Make a specific weight loss goal and apply a time frame to it.

For example, “I am going to lose twenty pounds by July.”

We are much more likely to reach a goal if it is clear in our minds. A great way is to find a photo of yourself at your perfect weight, or else, a celebrity you would like to look like. Then, put this photo somewhere you will see it frequently. This helps to get the goal firmly embedded in your mind. In addition to this, write out your weight loss goal and read it back to yourself each day. This increases your focus and determination by a huge amount. Research shows that you are more likely to achieve your goal if you make it public. So, if you are comfortable with doing so, then tell family and friends about it.

Secret 2 – A simple way to increase your determination

If you are struggling to stay motivated, this technique is wonderful. It is best done in hypnosis but can be done without. First of all write a list of all the ways your life will be better when you are slim. Write as many things down as you can think of. Then, write a list of all the consequences if you do not lose weight. List all of the detrimental effects that being overweight will have on your health, emotions, relationships and everything else.

Once you have done that enter hypnosis or simple get yourself into a relaxed state. A free guide to entering hypnosis is available here.

Then really imagine your life if you do not make the changes. Make it as real and vivid as possible. Then imagine how good your life will be when you do lose weight.

Secret 3 – A diet that works for you

It is so important to have a diet that works for you. This sounds obvious, but often people just use the latest fad diet. Spend some time researching different diet plans. Notice the differences between them. Perhaps ask friends who have lost weight, which diet they used. It could even be worth working with a nutritionist to develop your perfect diet plan.

Secret 4 – Exercise you enjoy

There is such a range of exercise available. If you hate the gym, don’t plan to lose weight by going to the gym. Find an exercise that suits you. Think about what you like. Do you prefer being indoors or outside? Do you prefer to exercise alone or to go to classes? Also think about which exercises you can easily fit into your life. If you used to enjoy exercise, but have found that over the years you find it difficult to motivate yourself, think about how you originally started to like it. Then, follow that same path again.

Secret 5 – Identify which needs you are fulfilling

There are many reasons why we eat. Of course, we eat to satisfy hunger. However, we also eat for reasons such as:


To be sociable


As a reward

To feel happier


A good way to identify which needs food is fulfilling, is to keep a food diary. As well as recording what you eat, record WHY you eat. Once you have identified the needs you are satisfying by eating, you can find other ways of satisfying those needs.

Secret 6 – Changing ‘All or Nothing’ thinking

All or Nothing thinking is a very common negative thinking pattern among people who struggle to lose weight. A good example of this is when you are eating healthily for weeks and losing weight. Then you have some chocolate and think, “that’s it the diet is ruined, I may as well each another three bars of chocolate.”

Sound familiar?  Lapses do happen. When they occur it is important not to beat yourself up too much. See each lapse in isolation and find what you can learn from it to stop it from happening again.

Secret 7 – Changing limiting beliefs

If you were asked why you are not your ideal weight what would your answer be? The following answers are all examples of limiting beliefs:

·         I’ve always been fat

·         I don’t have time to cook good food and exercise

·         I’ve had children

·         I will lose weight when I get more time

Any reason you state as a reason why you have not yet achieved your perfect body, is a limiting belief. Limiting beliefs are usually false and not based on real evidence. Once you have identified these limiting beliefs you can find more logical ways of thinking. A great blog for finding out more about weight loss and fitness is

By applying these seven secrets you can greatly improve your chances of success. I can work with you on a one to one basis in my therapy centre, using hypnotherapy. If you would like a free initial consultation get in touch on or 07725255896. You can also download the Hypnosis for Weight Loss MP3 here.

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Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Overcoming public speaking nerves

I have been busy lately, giving talks about public speaking, most recently at the Bournemouth Chamber of Trade and Commerce. I am also currently treating a lot of clients privately, in my clinic, for fear of public speaking. This is a very common fear and can apply to a wide variety of scenarios, from giving a big presentation at work, to delivering a wedding speech, right down to talking for a minute in a team meeting. When you have this anxiety, your fight or flight response kicks in. In addition to the emotional feelings of panic and wanting to run away, the fight or flight response also causes a range of physical effect. The effects include a racing heart, breathlessness, shaking, dry mouth, sweating and all the other symptoms you associate with a fear of public speaking.

It genuinely holds people back in life. I have met people who are perfectly capable of getting a promotion or a new job. They have the necessary skills and experience, but the fear of having to run meetings or deliver presentations, stops them from progressing and achieving their career goals.

I find it very sad that people are held back in this way. The good news is that public speaking is relatively easy to treat. So, how do you overcome a fear of public speaking?

First of all notice how you are speaking to yourself in your own mind. We all have an inner monologue constantly chattering away in our own minds. If we say to ourselves things like;
I am crap at public speaking,
everyone will think I’m boring,
I go bright red,
Then the chances are we will talk ourselves into a state of anxiety.
Talk to yourself as if you are your own best friend. Use encouraging and motivating language in your own mind, as you prepare for public speaking.

Another really great technique I use, to help with public speaking, is to use hypnosis to make a new association in my client’s mind. I pair relaxation with public speaking. It is impossible to be very relaxed and very anxious at the same time. By pairing public speaking with relaxation you remove the anxiety and fear. This is a really powerful effective technique.

I also often use a technique called Anchoring to help my clients overcome a fear of public speaking. An anchor is a trigger which elicits a specific state. How would you like to feel when you are doing a presentation? My guess is you would like to feel;
at ease

Using hypnosis we can access that state in which you feel calm, relaxed, confident etc. I then set up a trigger for that state. I often use a finger thumb squeeze because it is a nice subtle anchor that you can easily use while delivering a presentation. I also anchor that good, positive, relaxed state to certain key words. Anchoring gives my clients a way of calming down if they start to feel anxious. Anchoring can be an extra tool in your tool belt. It reassures you, that if the panicked feelings do start to creep up, you can deal with them. It helps to remove the fear of the fear.

Overcoming a fear of public speaking is very liberating and allows you to reach new levels in your personal life and career. You can download a free MP3 to help you to become a more confident public speaker here. If you would like more information about how hypnotherapy can help you to master public speaking then get in touch via

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Sunday, 26 January 2014

Why I became a hypnotherapist

I often get asked why I became a hypnotherapist – it is quite an unusual career after all. Understandably, people can feel concerned about hypnotherapy. They often associate the whole field of hypnotherapy with what they see on TV - stage tricks and past life regression - when actually, this is not what hypnotherapy is about.

In fact, my own dad thought I was pursuing a calling as a clairvoyant when I started this career!
So, how did I get into it?

Well, I’ve always had an interest in psychology and biology, particularly the mind/body interaction. I did a degree in Biomedical Sciences, specialising in how the brain and mind work. However, I ended up working in investment banking, after university, a job completely unrelated to my degree.

Some years later I had a very difficult birth with my first daughter. I’ll avoid too much detail here that would cause women to cross their legs and men to cover their ears, but suffice to say I was not keen to repeat the experience.

When I was pregnant with my second daughter, I was very anxious about the birth. I was on a one woman mission, to persuade the medical profession to get an epidural anaesthetic put in at six months pregnancy, and to leave it there until I had a baby. Needless to say this mission was unsuccessful. A physiotherapist I was being treated by, seeing the desperate panic in my eyes, recommended hypnotherapy to me. I didn’t really know anything about hypnotherapy, and didn’t have high expectations but I was willing to give it a try.

Well, it changed my life.

After just one session I had changed from being the “get the epidural ready now” lady to feeling relaxed, excited and confident about the birth. When the big day came I was so relaxed and the techniques worked so well that the birth was easy and I became an instant convert to hypnotherapy.

My friends and family were also amazed at the difference in me.

Around the same time in my life I was very stressed at work. I had a demanding job with high pressure to meet targets. I’m sure many of you are familiar with that sensation of feeling that you are drowning in your workload and fearing what will happen if you can’t do it all. I began to use hypnotherapy to help with stress and once again I found it fantastically effective.

I was such a big fan of hypnotherapy and had really benefitted from it in my own life. I wanted to share this fantastic therapy and make hypnotherapy my career.

So, after extensive research, I found the best hypnotherapy school in the UK and embarked on learning. I knew that the workload would be massive and I was prepared for a hard slog. And I was right, the workload was massive, but I found the subject of hypnotherapy so fascinating that I enjoyed every aspect of the training. Yes, I am a geek, and stand up proudly as a hypno-geek.

Since qualifying and working as a successful hypnotherapist here in the South West I continue to love my work. It’s fascinating and so rewarding to see so many people changing their lives for the better. 

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Wednesday, 1 January 2014

The secrets to keeping your New Year's resolutions

New Year is upon us and this is the time of year when we traditionally make resolutions and set goals. Frustratingly, we often fail to obtain these goals. How many times have you started a new year with good intentions to lose weight / find a partner / make more money / see friends more, only to find yourself back to your old habits very quickly?

I’m going to teach you how to reach your goals, whatever they may be.

First of all, buy yourself something to write your goals in. This could be a pretty little notebook or even just an app on your phone. Write down your goal for the New Year. Make it as specific as you can. Include precise measurements and time frames.

For example, instead of writing,

“I want to be rich,” write “I will earn £70,000 by the end of 2014.”

Or, instead of writing,

“I want to lose weight,” write “I will lose 1 stone by July.”

Once you have written the goals down, read them aloud to yourself twice a day. This might feel a little strange at first. However, by reading them aloud you are embedding the goals, in your subconscious mind, in two places. You’re embedding them in the part that processes visual stimuli (the writing) and the part that processes sound (the words being spoken aloud.)

This process, when repeated daily firmly embeds the goal into your subconscious mind.

By doing this you are focussing your mind on achieving your goals. Try doing this for just a few days and you will see the difference it makes. You begin to notice opportunities you had not previously noticed. You will also change your mind set with regards to your goal.

Research shows that people are more likely to stick to their plans when they have written them down. The same research also showed that people who make their plans and goals public are far more likely to achieve them. This makes sense. If you tell people what you hope to achieve then it adds an extra pressure. We also do not like to appear incongruent, either to ourselves or to others. Therefore, when we make a public affirmation we stick to it for fear of appearing false and untrustworthy.

If you feel comfortable doing so I recommend telling people about your goals and resolutions.

 We move towards goals if we have a very clear view of them. Take some time to imagine you have already achieved your goal. Imagine you are rich or slim or confident, whatever your goal is.

Really enjoy this exercise. Take your time, close your eyes and imagine, in as much detail as possible, what life is like when you have achieved your goal.

What is the different and what is the same?

What do you see?
What do you hear?
What do you feel?
What do you taste and smell?
Who is with you?
How do you know that you have achieved your goal?

This is a fun exercise so repeat it as often as you like.

The purpose of this exercise is to focus your mind on achieving what you desire. It also changes your mind set. As you really think of yourself as being a slim / rich / more organised person, you change the way you think and behave to fit with this new version of yourself. You will find that by doing this exercise you begin to think and behave in a way which is consistent with your goals.

Often, we start the year with big, ambitious goals. Of course, it’s good to aim high. However, very large goals can be daunting and sometimes it can be helpful to break down big goals into a series of smaller short term goals. For example, if your goal is to save a deposit for a house, perhaps break this down into bi-monthly saving goals.

One of the biggest obstacles we can face when trying to reach our goals is the fear of failure. Often, people avoid aiming high, because they think it is better to cruise along where they are, rather than aim for better and risk failing.

This is a ridiculous way to think. Often, the worst case scenario is simply a bruised ego and a few “I told you so” from other people. The risks associated with not fulfilling your goals are often not that bad. Whereas the potential benefits of achieving our goals can be fantastic. Do you find yourself fearing failure?

From now on adopt the new belief that there is no failure only feedback.

No failure only feedback is a great motto. Any time we encounter obstacles or make mistakes, we can use these as learning experiences. See any issues in isolation, a small lapse. Do not view any setbacks as proof that the goal is unachievable.

Whenever you do encounter an obstacle or setback, take the time to evaluate what happened and how you can do things differently next time. For example, if you are losing weight but one day eat a box of chocolates, don’t think “that’s it, my diet is ruined.”

Instead think about what triggered the chocolate eating.

Was it that you were sad / stressed / tired?

Did someone offer them to you and it was sociable to eat them?

Then think about what you could do differently next time.

 As children, we learn how to behave by copying the actions of others. Many of us assume this learning process ends with childhood. However, this learning process, called modelling, continues through our adult lives. We can use modelling to our advantage.

Identify someone who has achieved the goal you are aiming for. It may be someone you know who has a good marriage or job. Someone who is slim and healthy. I’m sure you can think of someone you know who has reached the point where you would like to be.

Now, learn from them. Observe their posture, the way they act and speak. What do they talk about? How do they respond in different situations? If you know them well enough you can even ask them how they achieved it. 

Imagine stepping into their shoes. Imagine thinking, acting and feeling like them. At first this feels very strange and fake. However, as you absorb the idea of being that better version of yourself, you change your thinking patterns to move towards where you want to be.

 Sometimes we can put obstacles in our own way and subconsciously stop ourselves from reaching our goals. Think hard and honestly about this next question.

What are the disadvantages to achieving you goal or resolution?

If you stop smoking will you miss out on the social breaks at work?
If you lose weight will you receive unwelcome attention from the opposite sex?
Are you worried that having more money will make you a nasty person?

Sometimes we have beliefs which prevent us from achieving our goals. Firstly examine each of these beliefs to see if it is logical. It is illogical to think that simply because you have more money you will become a nasty person.

If your worry is logical then think about ways you can overcome the problem. Using the example of smoking, could you swap cigarette breaks for tea breaks at work?

The New Year is a great opportunity to set goals and make improvements in your life. What will your goals and resolutions be?

Increase your chances of achieving your goals by:

Making them specific and writing them down
Make them public
Vividly imagine you have already achieved them
Break the goal down into short term and long term goals
Embrace the fear of failure
Model other people
Identify any disadvantages of achieving your goal and find a way to deal with that.

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