Tennis star Johanna Konta has come back from a slump in her performance and is looking in very good form for the 2019 Wimbledon tournament.
So what is it that has been influencing this resurgence in her form? An important part of the answer seems to be that working with her new Mind Coach, Lorenzo Beltrame, is helping get her game back on track.
Sadly her previous mind coach Juan Coto died at the end of 2016, aged just 47, and from that time Konta’s results began to gradually decline until Beltrame took up the mantle which has coincided with her latest upsurge in form.
The vast majority of sports people these days take very seriously the fact that working on the mental side of the game can make a tremendous difference to results. I work regularly with sports and performing arts clients, professional and amateur but also, a large number of my clients see me to help deal with their daily life issues of anxiety, stress, depression and confidence etc.
Interestingly I have found more and more that there really is not as much difference as one might think between the techniques and strategies we need to perform in a sporting context as the techniques and strategies we need to perform to our best in actual life situations. There are just three words that the brain is evaluating at all times that govern how comfortable we feel not, only on the big stage but in our everyday life.
Those three words are “am I safe”.
If you can turn “am I safe” into “I am safe”, whether you are on the tennis court at Wimbledon or in your everyday life the payback can be immense.
There are many empowering and fascinating ways to do this and if you would like more information about how you could make the changes in your life you deserve please feel free to contact me.
There are so many different descriptions of the state of hypnosis that even hypnotists and hypnotherapists will have their own definitions of hypnosis. As hypnotherapists we tend to define it more in relation to the particular way we do our work.
I could put someone into a relaxing trance. Or mesmerise them with the positive changes they could make in their lives. Or hypnotise them so they can recall or forget to remember a past memory.
Although the typical picture of someone in hypnosis will be eyes closed and seemingly fast asleep on a reclining chair I tend to favour the word trance since we are all experiencing different states of trance on a daily basis. The American term “Highway Hypnosis” sums up how we can be wide awake but in a trance at the same time, even when safely driving.
In fact reading the heading at the top of this post will put you in a light trance as your mind diverts itself from the first question and just for a fleeting moment responds to the second question with “or do I?”
Did you go into a state of hypnosis, trance, focused awareness or heightened imagination? Or perhaps you were expecting to be told to forget something or repeat an action or remember something from the past.
“And” (a hypnotist’s favourite word because it simply and easily joins each point with a natural flow) as you were reading the previous sentence your mind was probably taking you very rapidly through all sorts of mental pictures, thoughts and conundrums.
So does it matter whether it is hypnosis, hypnotherapy, mesmerism, sleep, autosuggestion, trance or focused awareness? The interesting thing is that in reality we will automatically find ourselves using our natural favoured way of dreaming, or daydreaming. Everyone has their preferred way of going into trance and will be unconsciously using it throughout the day.
That’s the way the brain works.
We just go there and that is a place that knows a lot about you.
The Vagus nerve
Vagus in Latin means “wandering” and most of us will have heard of the Sympathetic and Parasympathetic divisions of the nervous system but perhaps not the Vagus nerve.
This nerve, which has only scientifically been researched in more depth over the last 20 years, is critical to our physical and emotional feelings of well being as beneath our awareness it efficiently and smoothly sends messages to the brain, gut, heart and other organs of the body. So the fact that it is “in touch” with so many of our vital organs tells us how vitally important it is.
The relatively recent research of Stephen Porges has brought to our attention the pivotal role this superhighway has on every area of our body and therefore our life.
So what does it do for us?
When the vagus nerve is operating at it’s best it is connecting the messages from our organs, our thoughts, our conscious and our unconscious into one smooth multi level pathway of health, calm and ease on a daily basis.
And isn’t that what we have been looking for?
A few of the issues toning the Vagus Nerve can help with
Sound too good to be true?
Well my research and work on myself and clients has really helped take what I do up another level. Resolving past issues, helping the body operate physically with more balance and connection, quicker healing, less anxiety and more pleasure and satisfaction in life are major goals that most of us would like to aim for.
What can I do to tone my Vagus Nerve?
Heart Rate Variability breathing – High Coherence Breathing. (Heart Math)
Simple crossing the Mid line Exercises eg BrainGym
Gargling – anything that stimulates your vocal cords is good.
Meditation – Loving kindness meditation
Washing your face with icy water–cold water on your face stimulates the vagus nerve–remember this next time you’re feeling really stressed out.
Emotional Freedom Technique and Hypnosis
My work building a raft of trance based techniques including Hypnosis, NLP and Emotional Freedom Technique has been dedicated to helping clients move forward in their lives. The addition of working with and toning the Vagus Nerve has been another major addition to helping clients access even more meaningful and simple yet empowering tools that they can use on a daily basis to help turn their lives around.
If you would like to know more just email or call me and I will be very happy to help.
This experience is a message from our primal brain saying it does not, for whatever reason feel safe. Once the primal brain is activated like this it is very hard to switch off because it is in effect four times stronger than our frontal “thinking” cortex at getting it’s message across to the body.
Basically the frontal cortex, which can think logically for us, resides in the front of the skull and the primal primitive brain at the back of the skull. So once a panic attack begins generally no amount of logical thinking will turn it off and we just have to go through the experience until the body runs out of adrenaline and we can begin to calm down.
However there is a lot we can do ourselves to bring those feelings into check and manage them until they become fewer and fewer in our lives. Using hypnosis is a perfect tool to help calm the nervous system and regain control of the uncomfortable physical and emotional feelings. Also there are breathing strategies available that will help us to breath in a way that relaxes rather then excites the nervous system. Also subtle trance based ways of thinking can help us turn this around.
The beauty of using trance based techniques such as hypnotherapy is that not only does it make it easier to slip into a comfortable state of relaxation but also the trance state helps us bypass the conscious mind and generate change on a deeper unconscious level.
If you would like to know more about hypnosis, Emotional Freedom Technique, NLP and other ways of engaging your creative mind for relaxation and change do feel free to contact me and I will be very happy to help.
Always seek medical advice when appropriate.
Reading one of Katy Bowman’s Nutritious Movement blogs she said “Vision is a whole body issue” and I would entirely agree with her. (In fact if you haven’t read any of her books I would encourage you to do so. Alignment Matters is where I started and I think I have bought one for pretty much everyone in my family now!)
And now I am adding to her sentence “and a mind issue”.
For a while I have been using the eyes and eye movements as part of my modalities for change in coaching and therapy sessions. I have some training in EMDR (Eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing) which specifically uses certain eye movements to help release and reprocess traumatic memories and emotions that are locked in the brain. It can be especially valuable in helping clients suffering from PTSD.
However I also have various other strategies I use that I find very simple that help take the sting out of residual painful emotions. These strategies have been developed through my interest in how we use our eyes and our ability to see and the links to the body’s nervous system.
I wonder how many of us have thought much about the many connections to the body and mind that are continually happening beyond your everyday awareness? Once we can harness simple understandings and make conscious and unconscious adjustments in this area it can make a noticeable positive difference to awareness and experience of the world on a daily basis.
The beauty of this, is that it is something we can become aware of and make a difference to virtually all day without even trying. After all we will spend all day (hopefully) with our eyes open so a simple change of awareness in how we and where we look is going to take virtually no extra time at all however busy we are.
It is interesting how the eyes and our looking pop up into everyday conversation all the time. Take these phrases
“Things are looking up”
“He can’t see the wood for the trees”
“It’s not looking good”
“I can’t seem to focus on the issue”
You “Get the picture.” Feel free to add a few of your own.
They are all unconscious references to what we are seeing. “How are things today?” “Things are looking up” We may see it as a pleasant enough reply to the question but where we do we look when things are not going well? We look Down.
So there is a continuous loop of unconscious positive or negative information just being generated from where and how we are looking and using our eyes. It is a fact that relaxing and widening our peripheral vision will immediately help engage the parasympathetic nervous system, the part that helps us relax and ideally balances with the sympathetic nervous system which engages our body into stimulus responses.
So “What are we all looking for?” We may be looking for a good time, some relief, some relaxation, some pleasure or just some peace and quiet. Perhaps we need to look no farther than in front of our own nose?
The dictionary definition of a bully is “A person who uses strength or influence to harm or intimidate those who are weaker”
Any sort of bullying is pretty despicable and there has recently been a lot of media talk about bullying in the workplace.
First of all it is important that anyone who thinks they may be being bullied carefully organises their strategies by logging incidents, getting help from their union and keeping as best one can everything on a professional level.
Bullying at work can include sexual harassment, spreading rumours, undermining someone’s work and can be perpetrated face to face, by email, letter or phone. This constant undermining of someone’s personality and competence is likely to have a severely detrimental effect on the victim’s self esteem and ability to carry out their work efficiently.
However bullies are generally pretty weak and cowardly individuals and will soon back off when they are shown that we are not prepared to put up with this type of intimidation.
So how does one turn this around and wipe that seemingly indelible word “victim” from our forehead that seems to unconsciously attract this unpleasant sort of person?
One way of looking at it is that the bully is acting from their child self and therefore it is easy for them to spot someone else who may also be acting from their child self. So the bully is behaving as if they were perhaps 14 years old and they have spotted a victim who is unconsciously coming from perhaps their 8 year old self.
Now we all can unconsciously at times interact from our younger selves and someone who lacks confidence may really feel stuck in that past time frame without even being aware of it. Unfortunately bullies have an innate ability to spot this, also without consciously knowing it so will home in on their prey knowing that they are unlikely to get any trouble back from someone who is lacking in confidence.
So the point here is the importance of not only taking your issue through the appropriate channels but also to find techniques and strategies that build up confidence and self esteem in a healthy and empowering manner. We all have our younger parts of us that have helped us develop into the person we have become but your 8 year old doesn’t want to be dealing with awkward people with misplaced egos in the office. Our 8 year old just wants to play. It is our full grown up self that has the knowledge, wisdom and understanding to handle the sort of situations grown ups handle.
So learning and developing strategies that will help us feel comfortable and empowered in our full grown up self will help us deal with these situations in a much more grown up and effective way. Once the bully unconsciously recognises there is a change of dynamics and energy nine times out of ten they will soon back away. The most important thing is that you will become your full authentic self and confidently take on that knowledge, wisdom and experience that is yours. I have seen a complete change in body language and energy within just ten minutes when a client literally steps into that full self that is theirs to take with them.
If you have been suffering from any sort of bullying and would like to discuss any of the points in this post just call or email me and I will be happy to help.
Now this could be my shortest post yet and it could also be the shortest and simplest way to helping you on your way to finding much more pleasure in your life.
Question. How much time do you spend on Facebook? (Just skip this if you’re not on Facebook, it won’t matter!) How often do you “like” someone’s post? How often do you receive a message saying someone “Likes” your post. How does that make you feel?
Now if you want to create more pleasure, enjoyment and satisfaction in your life start to notice today, starting right now any small pleasurable experience however seemingly insignificant, any satisfying achievement that happens and just press your own internal “Like” button. This simple thought process will send a subtle but powerful surge of Alpha (dreamy) waves through your brain and you just rewired your brain right?
As a hypnotherapist and mind coach, clients come to see me to help them change their experience of the world they are in. How can we do that?
A/ By letting go of past issues that are keeping us stuck where we are.
B/ By reorganising our thinking patterns which in turn rewires our brain.
Do this on a daily basis and see what happens. Start right now.
Press your own “LIKE” button.
(And press it twice if you liked this post!)
Andy Murray competing in the 2016 French Open tennis quarter finals was heard to shout “Absolute Turnip” to himself as he fought to break the serve of big hitter John Isner. Apparently this is a phrase he has been using for a few years now, presumably for shots that were not his best and it certainly worked on this occasion.
However, how often during the day do we talk to ourselves and are we really listening to what we say to ourselves carefully? Pretty much everything we say to ourselves will have some unconscious effect on our perception of ourselves and our skills. It may not be enough for us to notice any immediate difference but the “drip, drip” effect of this self talk can easily make a big difference to our confidence and self esteem over time.
Now we may find it amusing to call ourselves or our tennis game “absolute turnip” but remember that your unconscious mind is listening to everything you say and may not be translating it the way you expect.
Have you ever told a child “now don’t drop those plates”? Seems to be very good advice and a very good suggestion. But what message does the unsuspecting youngster hear first? Drop the plates!! Why, because the brain will first do a quick rehearsal of “drop the plates” before adding in “don’t”. Too late! The plates are on the floor and broken before the conscious mind has a chance to save the situation.
There is a very good book “Your body believes every word you say” and if we think about it for a moment we cannot have an emotional feeling without a physical reaction any more than we can experience something physical without some sort sort of emotional experience. Plus, our mind is constantly making decisions for us before we know we have even thought of them. This is a very useful thing since this leaves the prefrontal cortex free to make our executive decisions and operate hopefully with our best interests in mind, while we carry on doing our everyday tasks like walking downstairs or washing up.
So it’s well worth paying a little more attention to your “self talk” bearing in mind that there are lots of different parts of you listening to what you say and interpreting that information perhaps not in the way you expect. Maybe saying our tennis is “absolute turnip” is no big deal but saying derogatory statements about ourselves and our skills certainly is. We all deserve better so make sure you do a bit of weeding around that unconscious vegetable patch and grow some more positive thoughts. It really will make a difference.
I have been using EFT in my practice for many years now and it never ceases to amaze me how simple and effective this technique is. If you want a technique that you can use and take with you “in your back pocket” wherever you are and whatever circumstances you are in then EFT is the obvious choice.
EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) has been around now for 20 years and was developed by Gary Craig from Roger Callaghan’s Thought Field Therapy. It is termed as an energy psychology and works by tapping on certain acupressure points around the body whilst verbalising (internally or out loud) the issues you are working on.
It is a favourite technique of mine and often clients will come in with no knowledge of it and I will demonstrate to them without initially explaining it a simple round of tapping on the specific points to see what experience they get. They may look a bit perplexed as we begin the “round” tapping on the side of the hand then tapping with the fingers on 7 points around the body whilst reciting the problem out loud. The interesting thing is that even after one or two rounds which will take only a minute of two at most, their face and body will relax and when I ask them how they feel they will usually say, with a pleasantly surprised look on their face, “well, I seem to feel a bit more relaxed”.
This almost instant reduction in the discomfort of the problem is to me proof that meaningful and powerful change has already begun. We may have only just started the session and the work we will do but now my client is also learning a technique that will help empower them on a daily basis. And this will be a technique they will soon learn and be able to take with them and use without me having to be there. As I say to clients “I don’t know what you will be thinking at 5 o’clock tomorrow any more than I know what I will be thinking at 5 o’clock tomorrow” but if it is something you want to deal with then EFT can help you deal with it on the spot.
The well respected complimentary medicine and nutrition expert, osteopath and best selling author Dr Mercola has written various articles about the benefits of EFT and has a video and information about how effective it can be for relieving stress and tension headaches.
EFT can help with many issues including:
Phobia – Sickness phobia – Animals phobia – Insects phobia
Fear of water – Fear of darkness – Social phobia – Night phobia – Fear of plants – Any simple or complex Phobia
Stress – Anxiety – Tenseness – Insecurity – Nervousness – Anger – Hate – Grief – Depression – Guilt – Feeling incompetent
Fear of abandonment – Fear of the future – Fear of persons – Fear of the unknown – Fear of death
Traumatic memory: Rejection, Failure, Duress, Abandonment, Accident, Abuse, Rape, Love pain
Headache – Nervous stomach-ache – Back pain – Pain in the neck – Carpal tunnel syndrome
Pre-menstrual syndrome – Physical pain with no organic cause – Constipation – Irritable bowel – Jaw tightness
Asthma – Constricted breath – Dyspnoea – Chronic diseases – Hypertension – Hypotension – tachycardia – Arrhythmia
Sexual problems (non organic) – Myopia – Vision problems – Allergies of any kind
Dyslexia – Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) – Learning problems – Low school grades
Panic attacks – Bulimia – Cravings – Anorexia nervosa – Overeating – Specific food dislike
Drugs – Alcohol – Smoking – Addictive food – Nervous habits
Plus general improvement and happiness in one’s personal and professional life:
Self-confidence – Self-image – Better relationships – Forgiveness – Procrastination – Goal achievement – Work performance – Sport performance – Personal peace
To find out more about how Emotional Freedom Technique can help you just get in touch and I will be happy help.
Have been meaning to get back to you for ages to say thank you so much for your support with myChronic Fatigue Syndrome. As you know we met just before a very big trip abroad. The two sessions really helped lift my energy levels pretty much from zero to high enough to allow me to pack and get myself to the airport, which was looking a bit doubtful at that point in time.Your techniques supported me throughout the 3 months I was away and I would recommend your methods and support for anyone living with this condition.
The issues that immediately spring to mind when considering hypnotherapy are stopping smoking, phobias and weight loss. However there are a surprising number of other conditions that hypnosis can help resolve or at the very least assist in experiencing a better quality of life. In fact there is are few issues that hypnotherapy will not have some form of positive effect on in one way or another. Even the stress and pain of a serious physical problem can be alleviated to some degree with hypnosis. In fact I saw a cancer patient last year and we did some deep relaxation hypnosis and he could not believe how good it felt to just go in his mind to a place of wonderful quiet and relaxation after all the anxiety and troubles that he had been through. A lady with scoliosis and persistent pain since she could remember found she could now enjoy sitting with her daughter right through a television programme without having to continually get up and leave the room just to alleviate the discomfort she had been experiencing.
Other areas that hypnosis can help achieve powerful results in are eating disorders, alcoholism and gambling. These are always notoriously tricky areas for therapists of any modality to treat. However if a client is ready to make a change I have found extremely good results can be achieved using hypnosis. The difference is that hypnosis works via the unconscious creative mind. When given the right tools and information to work with, the creative mind is able to make powerful changes where the conscious mind may have failed. Virtually every smoker knows consciously that they would like to stop but the conscious mind does not always have the tools to make this change. The unconscious creative mind has a different set of tools and is reached by accessing the slower alpha and delta waves the brain generates when we enter a trance state. This part of our mind tends to drive the right side of the brain, the “artist”, whilst the left side is driven more by the “accountant”. There is obviously a lot more to it but you can understand that your accountant is invaluable when it comes to presenting your accounts at the end of the year but you would not commission your accountant to paint a Michelangelo fresco on your ceiling! It is the creative part in us that more often than not holds the key to achieving change where other attempts have failed.
Because our psychological and physical health is so intertwined there is much that can be done to help problems such as Dystonia and my personal view on this issue is that although it is a physical manifestation dystonia can be linked to past programmes that are running unconsciously and creating an internal conflict. Focal Dystonia is a form of dystonia found in musicians and this is obviously career threatening when your fingers will not obey your brain. Similarly so with “the yips” which golfers can suffer from when putting. Here again past experiences can be exerting an unconscious resistance or interference between the muscles and the messages form the brain. Tourettes has a similar effect and there have been many instances of hypnosis massively alleviating the twitches and uncontrolled impulse that result in the sufferer finding themselves unable to prevent shouting out profanities or unintelligible noises in public. Performance, public speaking, procrastination, confidence and anxiety are amongst the many areas I help my clients on a daily basis. They often come to me having tried everything else knowingat using hypnotherapy can bring very rapid results and results that last.
Below is a list of just some of the issues hypnotherapists can help with so whatever the problem locate a qualified and expert practitioner to find out how they could help.
Addictions * Alcohol abuse * Anger management Anxiety * Blushing Bruxism Chronic Fatigue Syndrome * Depression * Drug abuse * Eating disorders * Exam nerves Fear of flying Food addiction * Gambling addiction * Insomnia * Internet addiction * Irritable Bowel Syndrome Low self-confidence * Low self-esteem Obsessions and compulsions * Panic attacks * Phobias * Post-traumatic stress disorder * Public speaking Quit smoking Relationship issues Sex addiction * Sexual issues * Sleep disorders * Sports performance Stress * Stuttering * Weight-loss *
Always check with your medical practitioner if you have any of the * issues above before starting complimentary treatment. For more information just call me on 07970218451 or email me and I will be happy to help you and discuss what positive changes hypnosis could make for you and your life.
Improved breathing technique is something that I incorporate a great deal into sessions especially when dealing with anxiety and stress. There are many different breathing techniques one can use but the first thing to learn is abdominal breathing. Nine out of ten times if I ask a client to take a few deep breaths the shoulders will immediately rise and the abdomen, instead of filling outwards with air and releasing back on the out breath, will remain static. My favourite technique is alternate nostril breathing.
If you want to help bring stress levels down breathing is the perfect place to start.