“Look Up” and change your life

If you are a Snoopy fan, and I doubt there are many of us that aren’t, one of my favorites is a picture of Snoopy, head raised towards the sky with the words “keep looking up…that’s the secret of life”. Look Up

This is so true on all levels. When we look up we are opening our panoramic vision and when we open our panoramic vision we are engaging our parasympathetic nervous system. This switches our nervous system over from a closed, guarded body and mind state to an open and relaxed state of safety.

One thing we never have to worry about is whether or not our fight and flight will kick in whenever we need it. That part of us is hardwired into the system and is always ready to protect us if, and when we need it. The problem comes when we want to move easily between our relaxation state, into fight and flight, and then back again. Our primal brain will easily override our logical thinking cortex which explains why it is very hard to THINK our way out of these negative thinking and experiences.

However the simple change from physically looking down to actually looking up will trigger a whole chain of neurons and brain chemicals that will instantly take us closer to the state of relaxed awareness we would like to be in most of the day.

By consciously triggering this “looking up” and engaging your panoramic vision you will literally be tuning into a lighter, brighter more engaged part of yourself. You will be changing billions of neurons and connections with one simple adjustment.

According to Peter Grunwald’s excellent book EYEBODY 60% of the brain is involved in visual processing. This means our eye movements are continually connecting with virtually every part of our body and mind.

So, to make subtle and powerful changes in your daily life just –

LOOK UP”

For more information on my therapy work using Hypnosis, Emotional Freedom Technique, Eye Movement Reprocessing with remarkably simple but empowering techniques to help reprogramme your life please visit my website

www.rogerfoxwell.co.uk

Hot Water bottle for adrenal release and relax

Hot water bottle/ Heated pad for tension and adrenal release/relax

In this post I will be giving a few pointers on how important it is to be aware of what our adrenal glands are doing. How we treat our adrenals can have an important bearing on our health.

A major part of the work the adrenals do is to regulate our metabolism, our immune system, stress response and blood pressure.  Hot water bottle

When the adrenals are over stimulated for long periods of time we can suffer from fatigue, thinning hair, low sex drive, high blood pressure, anxiety, depression and more. So if we have spent our lives in a high state of stress as many of my clients have, the adrenals will have been relentlessly working on full throttle 24 hours a day.

There are many ways to reduce stress, and as a professional hypnotherapist, in my experience one of the very best and effective ways to do this is hypnosis. However, just one modality will not necessarily cure everything because both the body and mind are interconnected. So to do any worthwhile healing we should also work on the physical aspects as well.

An extremely simple (and comfortable) way to help your tired adrenals relax is to place a hot water bottle or warmed pad on your back while sitting or in bed.

Remember if your adrenals have been switched on flat out for many years just giving them some warmth and respite may be just what they need to help you start your programme of healing and relaxation.

Just by placing the hot water bottle roughly in line with the lowest part of the front ribs should help quieten the flight and fight response and pave the way to getting the whole system into a healthy state of balance.

This post should not be taken as a medical guide. Always consult your medical provider.

Focus your attention and stop those Negative Thoughts in their Tracks

Negative Thinking Negative thinking is a primal programme hard wired for us to look out for danger in the jungle. If we were in the jungle and not looking out for danger 24 hrs a day we wouldn’t be there for very long would we!

However we’re not in the jungle now BUT we are in a different jungle. A jungle that is often throwing stress and anxiety at us all day long.

This everyday barrage of worry and panic is extremely bad for us both physically and mentally.

So how can we change this without having to spend five years on the psychotherapist’s couch?

…………………………

When it’s safe and convenient to do try this

Just begin walking around your room in a circle looking at the floor, head down and letting your mind wander with the usual nonsense and rubbish that seems to be washing around in our heads most days.

As you do this notice what sort of thoughts and feelings are bouncing around in your head. Ask yourself are they of any real any value? Notice your body posture.

Now, stop where you are for a few seconds and lift your head up a little. Set your eyes looking ahead with a little more focus than you might normally have while noticing your eyebrows slightly lifting at same time.

Continue to do another couple of circuits and become aware of the changes in your body, feelings and thoughts.

Where are the negative thoughts??

Most likely virtually gone!!

You have focused your attention in a different place and with a different energy.

This is very subtle but very powerful and all you have to do is just “check in” and put this into practise every now then during the day.

It will soon become automatic and you will find the old pattern of constant negative thoughts becoming much quieter. This will leave you free to experience an easy natural everyday relaxation and a much more positive focus in your life.

Isn’t that what we are all looking for?

If you would like to find out more about how I offer clients, online & one to one, remarkably simple but powerfully effective ways to help positively change their lives for ever please visit:

www.rogerfoxwell.co.uk Hypnotherapy, EFT, Eye Movement Change work, NLP, Holistic counselling

SMILE

What happens to the brain and body when we smile?

What happens to anxiety and stress when we smile?

When we smile we instantly generate a happy flood of “feel good” brain chemicals. Neuropeptides that relieve stress and anxiety, neurotransmitters such as serotonin (an antidepressant) and endorphins that are pain relievers are all instantly activated, giving the whole body and mind a quick, smiley happy workout!  Smile Lady

And these are just a few of the positive changes the body makes for us.

As we grow older we are less likely to smile as much as we used to. However each time we smile we will appear more friendly and reliable and people will find us more attractive. They are also more likely to mirror our smile back to us which makes everyone feel good.

Now we don’t even have to generate a huge grin to get these benefits. Just an almost microscopic lifting of the edges of the lips will set off this natural cascade of “happy” chemicals.

And the people around us will very likely be unconsciously joining in with their own smiles.

To feel the benefits all you need to do is to engage your facial muscles with a little outward stretching of the mouth and a little pulling up of the cheek muscles.

Well you don’t need me to tell you how to do that do you!?” 😃

This is so simple and is something vitally important to our physical and mental well being. A tiny magical move that brightens up our own lives and also everyone around us.

Just “check in” with it every now and then throughout the day and enjoy the difference.

For more information on Hypnotherapy, EFT and EMDR and how I help clients achieve their goals and improve their lives please email or call and I will be very happy to discuss how I could help you .

HELP! Racing Heart? Panic? Anxiety? Stress? Tinnitus? Etc…..

Learn to breathe much more efficiently to help control and relieve these and other mind/body issues

Disclaimer: Always seek professional medical advice to check your state of health

The way we breathe plays a massive part in our physical and mental health and it will be very difficult to solve the above and many other issues effectively if we are not breathing correctly. The majority of clients who come to see me with stress, anxiety or panic attacks are (obviously) still breathing but not correctly! Anxiety Stress

If you watch a baby breathing you will see how easy and natural it looks. However, as we grow up, life gets in the way with a disappointment here and a knock there, and over time that continues to build up leaving us in the fight and flight state, looking for danger at every corner.

This is a heavy drain on our resources and over time wears us out, exacerbating the tension in the body and leaving us physically and mentally exhausted.

Breathing correctly is paramount to our health so here is a simple way to learn how to do it much more efficiently.

I would suggest to at first practise this lying down, soles of your feet flat on the floor, knees pointing upwards and a cushion under your head.

If we first try this sitting or standing we can become confused because the connection between brain and body has been slowly getting lost over time. Lying on the floor means we can’t move our shoulders and the brain /body can relearn the natural breathing pathways and muscular connections.

THE SEQUENCE

So, lying on the floor or bed, when you feel comfortable in this position place one hand on your abdomen and the other on your chest just below the collarbones.

Now we get to the part that seems so simple but can take a few days to get used to especially if we have been upper chest breathing and not using the lungs efficiently.

Take a slow breath in and notice what moves.

If correct you will start the breath from your belly and your lower hand will move up. If not you will be lifting the shoulders and breathing only into the upper part of the chest and only the hand on your chest will rise.

Now focus on your belly and push in and out a few times with your abdomen muscles.

Now using those muscles breathe deeply in as if all the air is going into your belly. It’s not air but the diaphragm pushing down and making more space for the lungs to fill with air.

Do this a few times to get that new sequence working.

With a little practise you won’t need to think about your abdomen muscles, they will strengthen and work simply as the diaphragm moves down and the organs move out of the way to give more space.

The next part brings the ribcage into play.

From the same position “breath half the air into the belly” and then continue to breathe in the rest of the air into the chest without raising the shoulders. Notice what is happening as the air physically fills the lungs. As the lungs expand so will the ribcage expand at which point you will feel the hand on your chest moving up with each breath.

The more you get a feel for this the more you will feel the ribcage expanding not just at the front but also through the sides and back.

Keeping your hand on your belly, experiment by moving the top hand and touch the side of your ribcage. Now as you breath in and out you will feel the ribs expand at the side of your chest.

Practise this in bed on the floor only for a minute or two each day until you get used to it but you will soon find that this sequence will become natural and you will be doing it without thinking.

I hope you find this useful and if you would like more tips on improving your lifestyle please follow me on YouTube.

www.rogerfoxwell.co.uk

Hypnotherapy.EFT. Holistic Counselling. NLP. Eye Movement Reprocessing and much more

 

Are you looking on the bright side?

Your memories are stored in your eyes and a simple way to let go of negative memories.

Did you know that when you remember an event your eyes are running it through in the same sequence it happened? A study published in the journal Cerebral Cortex discovered that the brain and the eyes used the same sequence of connections and movements just as they happened in the original event. Rapid Eye Movement Therapy

Using the original sequence of eye movements and the brain’s original response all the different parts of that memory are condensed and connected into a replay of what originally happened

The various eye movement therapies such as EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing) and Rapid Eye Movement Therapy make use of the eye movements to help clear trauma such as PTSD

When working with clients with PTSD and trauma and those with and stress and anxiety I use various forms of eye movements to help release the memory of the original trauma and discomfort. This can be done with minimum need to cognitively go through the whole event which can often be very uncomfortable for the client. Our unconscious mind knows all about the traumas we remember, the ones we don’t remember and the ones we could never remember. So why not let the unconscious mind do the work?

I often notice how many of the issues we are experiencing are reflected in our language such as “If you keep looking in the same place you’ll get the same result”. So try this for yourself by thinking of a past event (choose something happy for this!) and notice whether you look down and to which side (left or right) you look.

Most of us, but not all will probably look down and to the left for what’s “left in our memory”. So if your preferred side is the left try looking to the right any time you find yourself thinking of something stressful.

When I ask clients to look to the other side and “tell me that story again” it’s amazing how many clients either find it difficult to verbalise their feelings from the side they don’t normally use. And often they can’t even tell me what the issue was!

So next time you find yourself stuck in a negative thinking loop notice where your eyes are and switch over to the other side!

A simple guide to the Vagus Nerve

The word Vagus is Latin for “wandering” and the vagus nerve connects the brain stem to the body. It is in effect wandering from the base of the skull all the way down the body to the gut.

As it makes it’s journey through the body it is constantly monitoring and receiving information about how the body is functioning and it relays this information back to the brain. In turn the brain is also communicating it’s own information to the vagus nerve. Vagus Nerve

The vagus nerve connects with virtually every organ in the body starting with the pharynx (throat) and ending at the small intestine?. It is connecting the neck, the heart, the lungs and gut and continually sending important information back to the brain about how the various organs are operating. When the (ventral) vagus nerve is operating optimally it will help lower the heart rate and blood pressure, encourage deeper breathing, relaxation, and decreases inflammation.

Although the singular term vagus nerve is generally used there is also the dorsal vagus If danger appears the dorsal vagus, which runs alongside the ventral vagus will fire, putting the system either in “fight or flight” or, if the danger appears too much to run from the “freeze state” We all know what a “rabbit in the headlights” looks like.

Ideally we want to optimally tone (or tune) our ventral vagus system so we can healthily connect with events in our everyday life. We do not want to be permanently stuck in stress and “fight or flight” 24 hours a day.

When connected to the ventral vagus response significant and valuable changes occur in our lives. These changes help us control our response to stress and our feelings of confidence and safety in the outside world. This gives us the ability to communicate with ourselves and others in a much more relaxed way changing so many things in life for the better.

It’s amazing that it often takes only a few simple changes to set in motion a process that can powerfully change your future life experiences for ever.

When working with clients, in virtually all cases the first thing I write on their take home notes is “Am I Safe?”. This is the question the primal brain is asking us all the time. “Am I safe in the jungle? But we are not in the jungle now (at least not that one!)

My hypnotherapy work is predicated on addressing the issues that have put the body and mind out of synch and disconnected. This means laying a foundation where lasting change can grow and knowledge about the workings of the vagus nerve helps answer many of the questions that come to the surface during therapy.

So as we begin to let the Dorsal Vagus relax (it will always look after us if needed) and turn our attention to toning and relaxing the Ventral Vagus we give ourselves the opportunity to move ever closer to the feeling “I Am Safe”.

Which is where we all want to be.

 

A Hypnotherapy Session

Hypnotherapy session? – what can I expect?

What defines good therapy? How professional is it? Will it do what I want? And will it need lots of appointments? All good questions and here are some answers.

My work is based on how we can easily and effectively adjust our thoughts, feelings and experiences in a healthy way every day of our lives. Hypnotherapy Session

It’s very hard for us to turn around such feelings as panic, stress and anxiety by thinking our way out of them. Our body chemistry is programmed to look out for danger 24/7 as we would if we were in the jungle and although we are not in that primal jungle now we are still hard wired to react as if we were. So the question is how do I adjust billions of neurons in my brain so that I can change my feelings and experiences in a healthier way every single day?

Here is a guide to demonstrate the path a first session is likely to go and how it could help you answer many of those questions.

1/ Releasing trauma is a must but wouldn’t it be good if we could let the unconscious mind do the work? After all that is the part of you that knows all about your issues. Releasing old issues and traumas this way means you won’t have to trawl through every upsetting moment of the past but let your creative mind make the changes and release them for you.

2/ Next you will discover how to literally “look in the right place” to help those old experiences lose their power and negative energy. Simple? Yes it is and I will show you how.

3/ Then we will use very simple and important breathing techniques to help bring down feelings of anxiety, stress or panic wherever you are, and in whatever situation you are in. You may have been told in the past to just “relax and take a deep breath” but that is rarely going to work. With the right tools you will be able to work “on the spot” with what ever issues come up. And that really is the time when we need help.

4/ Negative thoughts can take up a large part of our thinking patterns but generally only make things worse. Once again I will show you very simply how to start cutting out these damaging thinking patterns on the spot, as and when we are thinking them.

5/ Most of the session up to here is carried out with the eyes open, and as we continue we will already be engaging a state of focused awareness which is just one of the many trances that we drop into at different times throughout the day. At the end of this session I often give a 3 minute relaxation and hypnosis sequence that you can take with you. Used at home (it takes just 3 minutes) this will rapidly bring you to a much more comfortable state of calm and focus in your everyday life.

That will usually be the end of the first session and using these techniques and strategies helps me offer clients significant changes in their lives in just 2 – 4 sessions. These and other valuable and simple techniques and strategies you will take with you and be able to use them for the rest of your life.

I know they work because within a week of the first session the vast majority of clients will have made significant changes with the issues we are working on.

For instance just this month two cases of needle phobia completed successfully in two sessions. Also someone with lifelong everyday anxiety and IBS, noticeable improvements after just two sessions. And a client with panic attacks every day who literally could not swallow whole pieces of food and was living on a diet of smoothies. She was eating a chicken tikka straight after the second session!

It’s not magic but it’s nice when it feels like it is.

Why do people who whistle or hum all day always seem to be happy?

Here’s a question. Why do people who whistle or hum all day always seem to be happy?

Well, people who whistle or hum all day may seem irritating but they are actually toning their vagus nerve and putting their body into a relaxed parasympathetic state. And that’s exactly why they always seem to be happy!

I always encourage clients to do some singing, humming, because this not only exercises the voice but sends these vibrations through the body, toning the vagus nerve and helping us feel physically and emotionally relaxed.

One of the exercises I use is to hum along to a favorite song or a “warm up for singers” such as the one I’ve put at the end of this post. Just a couple of minutes singing or humming while doing other things about the home can make a significant difference to how you feel for the rest of the day. Happy Woman

Recently I have added another dimension to this simple exercise by connecting one’s awareness to the multitude of vibrations singing or humming brings to the body. The idea is that by adding an extra dimension to this valuable vocal exercise will help bring very real and positive change to how we feel physically and emotionally for the rest of the day.

 And all with a minimal amount of effort.

So to experience this begin by humming or singing with your fingers gently cupped around your ears. You will notice how the head is vibrating with the resonance of the voice.

Now place your fingers gently over your scalp and also become aware of the skull and the brain vibrating.

Try the jaw, the collarbone, the chest, the throat. In fact have a bit of fun experimenting with different parts of the body as you discover how relaxing and effective this is.

Not only will you be improving your mood but the vibrations from the vocal chords will be vibrating the whole physical body. These vibrations will be “massaging” the organs in the body, the muscles round the lips, the brain  and even the bones of the skull. They will be increasing blood flow, relaxing the voice and making a myriad of other significant changes in your body.

We can’t “make these changes happen” but they will happen automatically as all parts of the system share these positive messages and feelings with each other.

Having done that you may well notice how much more resonant your own voice has become and how that resonance gives you an extra boost of relaxation and confidence. You have connected billions of neural connections just by singing or humming!

If we try doing this by thinking about it we will soon discover that it is virtually impossible to MAKE these changes happen. But when the body and mind work naturally together they know exactly what to do.

This way we can get on with our daily lives as we continue to add real value to our daily experiences.

Telling yourself to BE HAPPY doesn’t really work so why not “Sing Yourself” there!

For more information about my online international therapy and one to one work in Glasgow, Scotland please email rogerfoxwell.therapy@gmail.com   or visit www.rogerfoxwell.co.uk

Singers warm up

 

Why might we have “burgers for brains!” ?

Eating burgers for your brain is no better than eating burgers for your body.

Burgers for brains? What on earth am I talking about? Well probably most of us are guilty of doing exactly that with our choice of words. And whoops, I’ve just done exactly that in the previous sentence by using the word guilty. Oh dear, there I go again! Burgers for brain

Yes the word is GUILTY ! Everything we say about ourselves and others is being monitored by our brain and nervous system.

The title of the excellent book “Your body believes every word you say” by Barbara Levine describes it perfectly. Our bodies and brains are constantly exchanging messages to alert and signal to our body chemistry to take the appropriate action for a positive message or a negative message.

This is a primal response that is hard wired into the system to keep us safe when we’re in the jungle. If there is even a subtle scent of danger in the air my body will need to respond immediately to escape.

So what is going on that triggers the body into this negative state?

One thing is that the three vertebrae at the top of your spine, C1 C2 C3, are sitting one on top of the other. In a dangerous situation, and also with negative thoughts these 3 vertebrae will instantly respond by shifting slightly to close off some of the blood flow to the brain. Well it makes sense because if I’m confronted by a tiger I don’t want to think, I want to run! The “Fight or Flight” response is immediately activated and the muscles get more blood and my body gets more adrenaline and cortisol.

Unfortunately fed constant negativity, whether from outside sources or from our own internal thinking begins will over time lock us into a negative state. Then the vertebrae will find it difficult to move back to their parasympathetic relaxation resting place because we are continually triggering them into “fight and flight”. This is extremely wearing for our whole body and mind system.

The other point is that we can get dopamine hits from negativity as well as positivity. Imagine if we are constantly “liking” comments on Facebook because we agree with someone’s negative point of view. Then we become addicted to “unearned dopamine”. This negative dopamine makes us feel “one up” but like any drug we will always want another hit.

Dopamine is great when we earn it by achieving something worthwhile and working towards a goal. But just like being addicted to drugs, cigarettes and anything else, we can soon become that “rat in the lab” pressing the lever to get the next hit.

Gossip, arguing, negative self talk, negative words are all keeping us locked in that lab as our own actions try to get our next hit.

Physically feeding our bodies with burgers all day doesn’t keep us fit and mentally feeding our mind and body with negative thoughts has the same effect on our whole system.

Here are a couple of simple strategies we can put in place to help “clean up our act”
One I regularly give clients is the phrase “That thought is not available”. Any negative thought and you just say that back to yourself as many times as you need.

This works because the conscious mind doesn’t understand what it means but the creative mind does. Soon the conscious mind will get tired of trying to work it out and then your creative mind can do what it does best, create positive alternatives. Even saying to yourself “the weather is crazy out there” is much better than “it’s really miserable outside”

You could also use the elastic band on wrist favourite, and give yourself a quick reminder by flicking it against your skin any time you think something negatively.

Even better swap the band to the opposite wrist each time you have a negative thought. I can tell you from experience this becomes pretty tedious and it’s easier to just drop the negative words! We won’t clear them all out but your brain will soon begin to get what this is all about and you will literally start thinking, saying and using more new positive patterns in your everyday language.

Have Fun cleaning up your selftalk vocabulary.
For information about my online and one to one work
www.rogerfoxwell.co.uk rogerfoxwell.therapy@gmail.com