Cognitive Hypnotherapist and Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) practitioner in Kingston Surrey
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Change your relationship to food

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This article explores the issues related to weight loss and how the key to effective change is to change your relationship to food. Cognitive hypnotherapy embraces the best of these approaches and works through hypnosis wow gold kaufen deutsch at a deeper unconscious level to find different ways to tackle emotional eating.

Your unhelpful eating habits were probably once a solution to a previous problem which is outdated now, if it ever worked at all. By changing your relationship to food and changing unhelpful patterns and habits, you”d be surprised at how quickly you could get back to healthier eating habits.

How to Beat Procrastination

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We’re all guilty of procrastinating. But here’s the thing: procrastinating when something is important, when it’s something you know you should do, can drain your energy and you won’t even know it.

This article on PsyBlog explains how when you feel more negative about something you tend to avoid it. This is a key factor in procrastination. When you are able to feel OK and forgive yourself for the way you feel than you can get on and do something about it.

This time of year is great for making changes. Stop giving yourself a hard time for what isn’t working in your life and get on and do something about it.

I see many clients who have left tackling their issue for a long time. When they come to me for hypnotherapy, they can’t believe how much easier it is than they thought to make the changes they want using hypnosis, cognitive and solution focused techniques. Don’t leave it too long to make the changes you want . . .

Give me a call for a free, no obligation consultation if you want to get back on track in your life.

“Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.” Will Rogers

Developing Emotional Resilience (Part 3): are you in growth or protection?

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“The only real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.” Marcel Proust

I live in a row of terraced houses. On my left is Norman, his glass is what I would call half empty. In the summer as we meet over the garden fence, I’ll say to him ‘what a lovely day Norman!’ His response is, ‘Nah it’s too hot for me’. In the winter when the frost and the snow is like a Christmas scene, I’ll ask, ‘Are you enjoying the weather?’ He replies, ‘I hate it it’s too cold!’. Every interaction with Norman seems to go the same way, he tends to focus on all the negatives, the limitations, and he lives his life with what I call his ‘sunglasses of doom’ on.

Peter lives on the right side and he is the opposite. He always has a cheery word or a positive comment. He is full of energy and life and even when it’s tipping with rain and miserable outside, he tells me how good it is for the slugs! He has the spectacles of ever lasting optimism!

So how do you see the world around you? Norman and Peter are extremes on a spectrum and I wonder where do you sit on this? It can be easy to focus on the negatives. In some ways it’s easier to keep your focus on the outside – on everything that is wrong around you – rather than take responsibility for where you are and what to do about it. I wonder what difference this makes on the inside though?

Bruce Lipton, in ‘The Biology of Belief’ explains how cells in a petri dish will literally move towards a nurturing substance present and move away from a poisonous substance. He describes this as moving towards growth or protection. Given that our bodies are made up of billions of cells, the same applies. We have an instinctive ‘towards or away’ response from people, places and things that are good for us or bad for us.

Imagine if we applied this principle to every decision we ever made what a difference that could make. Are you in the job you are in because it offers you opportunities to grow and develop your potential or because it pays the mortgage? What about the quality of relationships you have with people around you? Do they nurture you and allow you to grow or do they make you feel defensive?

What about Norman and Peter? Who is in growth and who is in protection?

I find this a really useful yardstick for any decision I make. Is it a decision that takes me into growth or protection?

Most of the clients who come to see me have a behaviour or habit or pattern that isn’t working for them. So often it comes to the fore that whatever the issue is, was once a solution to a previous problem – and it usually was an unconscious decision based on protection. Hypnotherapy helps to put you back in touch with your potential by tapping into this internal guiding system. We all have it, sometimes we can’t sense or connect with it though.

The more you use this simple guide , the more you’ll be able to track and monitor your responses to things. Even if you have to make a decision that is for reasons of protection and there really is no choice in this, you can still consider how do I turn this into growth?

The simple truth is you know what’s best for you and yet so often we can say and do things so out of kilter with our own internal compass. I was in a job for a long time that I wasn’t happy with. This simple yardstick helped me to decode and make a career change. Try it out, you might be surprised by what you find and notice what a difference it makes to how you make sense of what you see and feel around you at the moment.

Developing Emotional Resilience (Part 2): challenge your limiting beliefs

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“Reality is what we take to be true. What we take to be true is what we believe. What we believe is based on our perception. What we perceive depends on what we look for. What we look for depends on what we think. What we think depends on what we perceive. What we perceive determines what we believe. What we perceive determines what we take to be true. What we take to be true is our reality.” Zukav The dancing Wu Li Masters 1979

This quote frazzled my brain a bit when I first read it! To put it simply, it means that our reality is based on our perception. Now before you go into some existential crisis, can you just begin to imagine what that means? It means that how we perceive ourselves and the world around us is based on our own beliefs and values. Most of the time these work well for us but when we have a negative belief for example ‘I am worthless’, or I am a failure’, the two most common beliefs I come across, you can see how these could affect your perception of success, of your self belief and in relationships with others.

So what do we do when we come across a negative belief?

Think of a belief that is limiting you and follow these steps to transform it.

1. See it for what it is: a perception that developed based on a past experience.

2. Ask yourself for evidence of how accurate this is, what is the real picture? Is your belief absolutely true? What are the exceptions? When is the opposite true?

3. Ask yourself, if I continue to believe that, what are the consequences for me and others? Do I want that to happen?

4. Ask yourself, what would my life be like without that belief? Who could I become, what could I achieve, how would my relationships with others be like?

5. Now, what do you want to replace that belief with that would serve you better? The choice is yours.

As you find yourself trying out a new belief, it can feel a bit different a bit of a strange fit at first because you aren’t used to believing this yet. So build a picture of that belief if it were true. What would it look like or imagine yourself saying it to yourself or maybe even find the place in the body where that new belief can live. Just try it out and notice the difference it makes to the quality of your thoughts, feelings and experiences. So when you realise you can shape your own reality because it’s based on your experience from the inside out , that’s a really useful thing to know and practice.

Developing Emotional Resilience (Part 1)

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This is the first of a series of articles on how to develop emotional resilience.

If you think back over your lifetime, there have been some amazing discoveries in science, medicine and technology to name but a few, that have transformed the way we live in the world. As human beings we have immense capacity and potential and we are still learning about the brain, the mind and the body and how these systems work together to create such genius- so there is plenty more to come!!

So how come when we have such incredible potential are the rates of mental illness, stress, anxiety and depression getting higher and higher? How come when we have more and more of the things we want, the rates of unhappiness are soaring? I work with a lot of clients who experience anxiety, depression or who resort to other habits to mask their emotions: eating, smoking, drinking etc. What’s going on here? Well I think the answer is how we manage our relationship with ourselves and the world around us and in particular how we manage our emotions.

I was at the Quest Institute conference recently and Oliver James, author of ‘Affluenza’, suggests that mental illness increases when we pursue what we want rather than what we need. What he means by this is that the goal of having- the right house, the right car, the best gadget etc focuses on external factors to keep us happy. In contrast if we focus on what we need and enjoy the process of being, this creates more intrinsic happiness.

In a nutshell happiness is an inside out process rather than an outside in.

What does this mean?

Have you ever noticed how children have a natural ability to be happy? They live in the moment, enjoy being in the moment and are at one with themselves? The truth is that as human beings this is our natural resting state so we all have this ability. If you’re not sure, remember how relaxed you feel when you are on holiday, when all that clutter of life seems to clear itself and you rediscover what’s important to you. I describe this ability as having an inbuilt, innate compass that knows exactly what’s right for you in any given moment. Using this you can understand and navigate emotions effectively, activate the amazing problem solving skills we all have and find a solution or a way forward for most things.

My primary goal in all my work with clients is to put people back in touch with this ability. It’s always been there but it gets lost in the turbulence of negative thoughts and feelings which is a factor for every client I see.

When you begin to realise that you can experience and manage your reality in a very different way, that can open up a wealth of possibilities, new horizons, new ways of making sense of the world and a way to use and manage your feelings constructively. Could you just begin to imagine how powerful that could be?

In the subsequent parts in this series, I will give you some simple tips and techniques so you can begin to experience this for yourself.

“Life is not the way it’s supposed to be, it’s the way it is. The way you cope with it is what makes the difference.”

Virgina Satir

The Placebo Effect- the power the mind can have over the body

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This very powerful article by Trevor Silvester of the Quest Institute – as well as this YouTube video – show how powerful the placebo effect can be and how hypnotherapy puts this to good use.

The same can be true of the opposite – the nocebo effect- a kind of negative self fulfilling prophecy. Many health care professional unwittingly lower clients’ expectations of change or good health in the way health care advice is being given without even realising it. Pay attention to any suggestions implicit in the communications you receive from now on, you are more suggestible than you think…

“One comes to believe whatever one repeats to oneself sufficiently often, whether true or false.”

Robert Collier

The Secrets of Success

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This is a great YouTube clip of Tony Robbins, looking at how to get what you want out of life:

He summarises very succinctly the three most important things for success:

  1. focus on what you want
  2. get the right tools and support
  3. sort out the inside

Everyone has the skills and abilities to do this, but so often we stand in our own way. You can never get enough of being second best. Most people have no idea how much more potential they have than they realise. Do you want to step into yours? This could be your year to get back on track . . . and I wonder how different would your life be if this happened?

Five tips to stick with your New Year’s resolutions

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Have you made New Year’s resolutions for 2011? Are you one of those people who typically gives up on your resolutions after just a few months or weeks? Would you like to increase your chances of following through on your resolutions?

Why is it so hard to create lasting changes in your behaviour? It’s because your brain is hardwired to resist change. When your brain tells you to stick with the same old habits, you need to fight back. It takes time to overwrite old neural pathways with new ones. These five tips will help you retrain your brain so you can stick with your New Year’s resolutions.

Don’t try to change everything at once. How do you eat an elephant – one chunk at a time!! Rather than making a resolution that is so big it is virtually impossible for you to achieve, choose one or two specific behaviours you want to change.

Believe you can do it. If you don’t believe in yourself who will?  If you need help changing your negative thinking patterns, spot them and ask yourself is that really completely true all of the time?

Reward yourself for the small successes. When you reach a goal or are following through on your resolution, reward yourself with things that are good for you. If weight loss is one of your goals for the New Year, find rewards that don’t involve eating or drinking—a warm bath, a good book, a walk with a friend, for example.

Don’t swap one bad habit for another. Don’t stop eating biscuits but start drinking sugary drinks. Don’t quit smoking but start guzzling coffee all day long. Replace the habits you want to change with good habits.

Setbacks don’t mean failure. Change isn’t always easy but it’s always possible. So don’t beat yourself up if you have a setback. Just acknowledge that you had a setback and get back onto your programme the next day. What can you learn from your lapse about what you might need to pay more attention to? Remember failure isn’t falling down, it’s not getting back up again.

Ask for help – use others to help you achieve your goals. If you need the help of a professional, see this as an investment in you and your future.

Cognitive hypnotherapy is very effective for breaking unwanted habits of any kind. If you’d like to discuss how hypnotherapy can help you change, feel free to contact me for a confidential, no obligation chat. Change can be easier than you think…..

“There are many ways of going forward, but only one way of standing still.”

Franklin D. Roosevelt

New Year, New You

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I was talking to a friend today who I haven’t spoken to for a while. She described last year as one of the worst of her life; she’s had problems in her relationship, problems at work and family problems as well. In anybody’s map of the world, a real ‘annus horribilis’.

What struck me though was as the conversation progressed and the strong emotions were a bit more distant, she was able to see a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel and explained how symbolic this New Year was to her. Whatever kind of year you’ve had, take a few minutes to go through this powerful process outlined below. It will help you let go of what you don’t need, embrace what you do, and plan for the year ahead in a more focussed way. It’s a gift you can give yourself today for the New Year ahead.

Get yourself a pen and paper- it makes this process more powerful when you write it down.

1) List all the things you’ve accomplished this year: the memorable experiences you’ve had, and everything that you’re grateful for. Make a list of everything you’ve managed to achieve.
You might be surprised at just how much you’ve accomplished in twelve months (if you are saying “I haven’t accomplished anything”, I’d challenge you – at the very least, and you have survived. I expect that as you think about it, you’ll realise that you’ve accomplished much more than that!)

2) List the things you no longer want in your life; make a list of the things you’d like to leave behind. We all have things in our lives that are past their ‘use by’ date. Physical objects, unhelpful habits, limiting beliefs, thought patterns that hurt, people we no longer wish to spend time with, and so on.

3) Think about your dreams for the future. What do you want to bring into your life? What experiences would you like to enjoy? What new skills would you like to learn? What would you like to do? How would you like to be? If you don’t know what you want, or you are unsure, you can ask yourself the ‘miracle question’: “If there were a miracle in the night, and when you woke up tomorrow, everything in your life was exactly the way you’d like it to be, how would you know there’d been a miracle? What would you see, feel and hear that would let you know a miracle had taken place?

4) List the things you’d like to bring into your life. What are the things, experiences, qualities, and ways of being you’d like to experience more of in the future. These can be quite general: Do you want to spend more time with your family? Get fitter? Enjoy earning more money? Spend more time in the present moment? List the things you’d like to attract into your life.

5) Make a list of your goals for the year ahead. What would you like to accomplish? What would you like to learn? What would you like to get? Who would you like to meet?

6) Read through your lists of accomplishments, place them out on a table in front of you and congratulate yourself.

7) Sit quietly for a few minutes and reflect. Imagine all the good feelings, thoughts and energies from your accomplishments coming into your body in whatever way would work for you. Then become aware of any of your energy that’s tied up in the things you want to let go of, and see it returning to your body. Look to your dreams, attractions and goals: any of your energy that is tied up in those (e.g. in wishing or wanting) can also return to you in the present moment. Notice how it’s possible for you to feel even better about those dreams and goals when your energy is in the present.

A great deal of people’s awareness is often wrapped up in wishes for the future, or memories of the past. It’s great to have access to these dreams and memories, but it’s also good to have our energy available to us in the present moment.

8) Allow yourself to be fully present in this moment. Become aware of the fact that all your accomplishments and activities of the past year were accomplished in an earlier present. Become aware of the fact that all your future accomplishments and experiences will take place in a future present. Really experience how it feels to be fully present.

And finally allow yourself to imagine in your mind’s eye the future ahead of you, having let go of what’s not helping you, embraced your achievements and recognising what it was about you that helped you to achieve these things. As you do this, imagine what it would be like to achieve the goals you have set for yourself. Explore the differences this would make to you and others and as you find yourself seeing and sensing more of the detail of this make a pact with yourself to bring as much of this into your life as possible.

Thanks to Jamie Smart at Salad Ltd for the ideas in this blog.