Learn how a simple change in awareness can help you feel better about life

A mindful tip to enhance your happiness and add a little extra pleasure to your life

Although there is no doubt that it could make our lives more comfortable we have all heard the saying “money can’t buy you happiness”. So if money can’t make us happy what can and what can we do to get more of this thing called happiness? After all if we can find the secret to happiness it should be easy shouldn’t it? Just follow a simple set of rules and just be – well, happy?

But what does it actually feel like and what do we have to do that will “switch on” that feeling of pleasure, satisfaction and real meaning in our lives? Of course if I knew the answer to that I would be an extremely rich person and also have the “answer” to happiness! A win, win situation don’t you think?

However I do have one or two useful tips that I use to help myself and my clients engage with a mindfulness mindset that helps one highlight and acknowledge the subtle things that are happening around us all the time that will give us pleasure if we allow ourselves a few moments to acknowledge them.

By now we should pretty much on the same page and agreed that money and consumer items may give a passing experience of pleasure but there is often still a feeling that something is missing.

A few years ago while I was wrestling with my thoughts over this conundrum it suddenly struck me that the experiences I was looking for were happening all around me pretty much all the time but the problem was that I just wasn’t paying enough attention to them. For instance when I walked out of the front door and the sun was shining it may have registered somewhere in my brain that it was a pleasant experience but had I truly connected with it and acknowledged it in a way that would help me experience a meaningful difference to my day?

Then I realised the answer was staring me in the face at which point it all looked so obvious. If I could make that subtle and almost imperceptible fleeting experience just a little stronger and last a just a little longer what would happen and how would it impact the rest of my day? One thing I did know was that every time we get a pleasurable experience the mind subtly switches gear and sends an alpha wave (pleasant dreamy feeling) across the brain.

Now there was still one small problem, how would I, without interrupting my stride, simply and easily strengthen this message?

For those of us on Facebook we all know that there is a “like” button and Facebook knows a lot more about what is going on in our brains than we might want to imagine. When you press the “like button” or someone reciprocates a pleasurable alpha wave automatically and unconsciously flits across your brain giving you a little dose of the feel good factor (dopamine). Simple isn’t it? So there and then I just started pressing my own “like” button in my mind whenever I saw the opportunity. It may have been the sun coming out, noticing the colour of a flower or enjoying a pleasant coffee break, in fact anything that was simple and pleasurable that I may have missed or discounted as trivial or had just been passing me by while my ego had been focusing on “important stuff.”

So why is it so effective and yet so simple? Because your creative mind “likes” simple (or rather creative) and doesn’t need a mathematical formula or algorithm to make powerful change.

So try it out. It is simple, it takes up no time, no one knows you are doing it and it could help you experience a little more happiness and pleasure in your day, every day.

Press your own “like” button and have fun.

If you would like more information about how Hypnosis, EFT and NLP could make a real difference in your life just call me on 07970218451 or email and I will be happy to help.

 

Hypnosis and help for anger

Don’t get angry or get even – “get even tempered” with hypnosis!

How angry are you? Do you “lose it” over the slightest thing? Do you find yourself seething inside feeling as if no one ever understands you? Is your driving getting scarily aggressive and is everyone on the road “in your way”?

These are just a few of the symptoms we can experience when anger gets out of control and if so it is time to get to work on it before things get much worse.

There are lots of ways we can express our anger, and anger is a natural human expression. It is also a very powerful primal instinct designed to keep us safe from dangerous situations and if it gets out of control can create havoc in our life and for the lives of those around us. In our modern world we are no longer in day to day hostile environment but “acting out” as if were can lead to many situations that are unhealthy, unsafe and dangerous.

Unchecked anger can ruin relationships, health and the enjoyment of life. It drives away family and friends, can lead to loss of jobs and income and even our freedom by making us do things we regret later. Controlling anger is not usually a difficult thing to do and once we have the skills and understanding about what is going. With this in place then life can begin to turn around into a pleasure rather than literally a continuous fight.

Anger triggers the “fight” part of the “fight or flight” response which when left unchecked starts to operates on an uncontrollable “hair trigger” and that is a very dangerous situation to get into.

Since we all are programmed to experience some anger it is important thing to be able to manage and control it in a healthy way. When we have the tools to do this the anger can be diffused and will not be able to hijack our emotions as it may have done in the past.

There are many ways to help guide one’s mind and thinking into a more relaxed and healthier pattern such as exercise, yoga, meditation, mindfulness and finding a hobby. However it can also be important to get some professional help. I use a variety of techniques such as hypnosis, EFT and NLP that are all designed to help clients regain control and enjoy their lives on a daily basis. Hypnosis is an exceptionally valuable tool to help teach the body’s nervous system how to relax and also release physically and emotionally. An expert professional will often be able to turn this around in two or three sessions and give you the tools to continue these changes on a daily basis.

If you would like any more information on this subject and the help available to enable you to make a remarkable difference in your life then please call or email and I will be very happy to help.

Mental Health, let’s talk about it!

Talk about mental health with Time to Talk

On Thursday this week (February 4th 2016) it will be “Time To Talk” day.  Time To Talk day has been organised for the last three years by charities Mind, and Rethink Mental Illness under the umbrella Time To Change and the aim is to encourage people to share their feelings and discuss their stories and personal experiences about mental health in person and via Facebook and Twitter.

Although this is primarily a project that has been been organised in England over the last three years, in Scotland, England and Wales one in four people will suffer from some sort of mental health issue and encouraging people to talk about it can only help break down the taboos and difficulties around discussing mental illness.

For various reasons people find it hard to talk openly about mental illness so engaging everyone helps bring into the open a subject that has been in need of more awareness and understanding for a long time now. It is really much more common than we think and this initiative can only help and encourage a greater understanding and support for anyone going through difficult times. Knowing that you are not alone is invaluable in helping support the healing process.

According to a Time to Change survey 60% of those interviewed found the stigma and discrimination around issues such as depression, anorexia and anxiety were as debilitating as the symptoms they were suffering. If we have a physical illness we are much less likely to keep it to ourselves than a mental one because of the stigma surrounding mental illness.

Talking with friends and family is a great therapy but there is a point when one needs to take the next step and that is of course seeing your GP, and or appropriate professional organisation who will be able to help you get the best treatment. 

The three charities below are a good place to start if you or someone you know is having difficulty in getting the support and advice they need.

For more about Time To Talk day follow this link

Time to Talk

See me Scotland  is a Scottish charity also with the aim of ending mental health stigma and discrimination and for Wales follow the link below for  more information 

Time to Change Wales

Hypnosis, alcohol addiction and “dry January”

So here we are halfway through January 2016 but also halfway through “dry January” which means taking up the challenge not to drink any alcohol until February. Alcohol Concern who are running The campaign point out the significant benefits such as weight loss, better sleep and of course more money in your pocket.

The question is, what happens on February 1st? On that day many people will make an important change in their habits and from their experience of “dry January” take stock of their situation. Having experienced the benefits of moderate drinking or even not drinking at they will make the decision to stop or cut down on their habit.

However writing in The British Medical Journal Ian Hamilton, lecturer at York University  raises the question whether after this 31 days abstinence it might just give some people unconscious permission to continue with their dangerous levels of drinking until the next New Year’s Day.

The good news is that according to research by Public Health England after the 2015 campaign 67%  of participants actually continued the changes they had made in January and were still maintaining a more healthy level of drinking after 6 months.

However if you find you are using drink to support or ignore other issues in your life this self medication is not a healthy way to deal with problems in one’s life especially on a long-term basis.

There is help available and just taking that first step to get help is the most important thing to do in this situation. There is a wide variety of options available from an appointment with your Doctor, a visit to AA and other specialist organisations that have the skills and knowledge to help. The sooner one deals with this the better and the sooner, as one long term alcoholic described it, the sooner one will be released from “living in the madness”

There can be many reasons why one may use alcohol but it is almost always to divert one’s attention from issues that at some point will need addressing. With the right help one can start to put one’s life back together and learn the skills that will make the difference between fulfilment and pleasure in life or a steady descent into “the madness”.

If you feel you may be “Living in the Madness” and would like to know more about how I help clients with addictions I will be pleased to discuss this with you. I offer powerful tools, strategies and techniques that have helped many of my clients completely rebuild their self belief, confidence and their lives. Please call or email and I will tell you how I can help you.

Body image, confidence and Hypnosis

There is a post doing the rounds on Facebook at the moment that says “want a bikini body? Put on a bikini and stop giving a s*** what everyone else thinks!!”

Fighting talk, and amusing enough if you don’t actually care what people think. However many  people worry very much about “what everyone else thinks” and it can be very hard to acquire the confidence and thick skin to ignore those thoughts. “What other people think of me is none of my business” is one of my favorite quotes but we live in a culture that celebrates celebrity. We have celebrities on our TVs and ipads every moment of the day setting new trends in fashion, body image and status. Also we may be struggling with past conditioning without even knowing what it is that is keeping us in a low self esteem, lack of confidence mindset.

Lack of confidence in ourselves emotionally and lack of confidence on a physical level will have a profound effect on how we act, react and communicate in pretty much all our everyday communications, social and business . This obsession with body image and how we perceive ourselves and imagine others perceive us can easily tip over into even more destructive issues such as depression and eating disorders so it is important to get good professional help to turn this around and get one’s life back.

No one should have to spend their lives short changing themselves on confidence, happiness and self respect and although the reasons behind these feelings may be complex that does not mean it need take a long time and a lot of therapy sessions to turn this around. Techniques such as Hypnosis, EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), EMDR (Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) and NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) can help achieve real and positive freedom from this state often in a remarkably short period of time.

All these techniques have a positive track record in achieving rapid and lasting change that other therapies cannot always match. If we could change just by thinking consciously and knowing consciously what we want to change then it would not in most cease be a problem. However it is rarely as simple as that. However the reason that change can be so rapid and effective with these therapies is that they all help connect with our creative unconscious, the very part of us that has the tools to reprogramme our feelings and thoughts.

It may feel a daunting task to turn something such as this round but with the right help it can be a life affirming experience that has the promise to make massive change in a very healthy way.

If you would like any more information just call or email and I will be very happy to help.

“I can’t believe so much has changed in my thinking in the last few weeks., and I feel in a different place again. I am so much more confident and positive. Thank you.” – DG

Can hypnosis help you have a better day?

“What would you like to have happen today?” is a phrase often used by therapists as an initial question given to a client at the beginning of a session. Written down like this it can seem a bit stilted and awkward sounding but if you ask yourself this very question right now notice for a second what your mind is doing? Just ask yourself “What would I like to have happen today?” and think about it for a moment. You may notice that your mind will be making a search or reference for something that could be a possible match to what you would “like to have happen”.

In general we seek therapy when there is an issue in our lives that is causing us discomfort. It will be an issue that we don’t want and an issue we would like to remove from our life in one way or another. Naturally the main focus of one’s thoughts when in this state is “can the therapist remove this unpleasant feeling?” However, have we thought about what sort of experience we would like to have in our lives once the issue is resolved?

Just think for a moment about what would happen if you wanted to move from where you live now because for various reasons it had become unsuitable for your needs and life style. You wouldn’t just move out without giving any thought to what would be the important things you would like in your new home and neighborhood that are not available where you are at present.

And so it is when we are looking for emotional change in our lives. Whether to relieve anxiety, lose weight or gain confidence what we are looking for is the end goal and how it is going to change our lives in the future. In other words it is very important to have an idea of how your life is going to change for the better and how you would like to experience life in the future rather than only thinking about what you don’t want.

“And what will you notice when you have made these changes?”

This is another powerful question I often ask as the client begins to experience, in their imagination, subtle shifts in perception and understanding. They may have already created in their mind walking onto a plane with no fear and anxiety or confidently giving a presentation at work. Because the change that they have begun to develop will make a massive difference to their holiday or their confidence in the workplace this will be the time for their unconscious to share this information with the conscious mind and positively strengthen the new neural connections that the brain is making.
Isn’t it interesting how just a couple of simple questions trigger so much change without us even knowing how it happens? We have moved from negative to positive without even noticing it. Suddenly the mind is focusing on what you do want much more than what you don’t want! It’s just like hypnosis isn’t it?

So what would you like to have happen today?
If you would like to make exceptional changes in your life or experience your life more positively on a daily basis do get in touch and find out how I can help you.

If you would like more information or to book a session just call or email me and I will be happy to help.

“Hi Roger, Thank you very much for today, it’s left me in a great mood!” – BD

Addiction and the reality of addiction

People can become addicted to a wide range of substances and behaviors and these substances and behaviors are often things that most of us partake in on a daily basis. They may be drinking, gambling, sex or drugs and although the majority of us don’t engage in class A drug even food, sugar, prescription drugs are all substances that one can become addicted to in an unhealthy way.

There is plenty of debate around whether addiction is a mental illness or a “brain disease” and it is interesting to note that people can often readily switch from one addiction to another. At AA many in the group may well have switched their addiction from drinking alcohol to smoking and drinking copious amounts of coffee. A shopping addict may turn to gambling. It is not necessarily the particular substance or behavior that is important. Getting the hit is the prize.

In fact an addict is always chasing the experience of their first hit, that almost primal experience that took them out of themselves and the reality of the world they found it hard to be part of. Of course the first hit will never be repeated for intensity and experience so looking to repeat it only continues the cycle.

I work with eating disorders, gambling, prescription drug taking etc. and many of my clients have “done the rounds” of therapies talking about their experiences and being talked to about how to change their lives. However sometimes things can better be “said without saying” which is why I thought it worth posting this video.

Please watch this short video if you or someone you know could be suffering from an addiction

The answers are not in the drug of choice but in our own feelings of self worth and value. Addressing these issues is the first step to freedom from the nightmare of addiction.

 

Are we healing or just “fighting a good fight”

Should we “fight” an illness or heal it?

 

These days we regularly hear phrases such as we will “beat this illness or must “battle” against it. On the surface this fighting talk can sound very positive and help demonstrate that we are not just going to lie down and let ourselves be walked over whatever the odds. This in itself may be no bad thing but are there other unforeseen consequences to using this sort of terminology. A recent study at the University of Lancaster found that using “war metaphors” in the “fight” against cancer may not always be as helpful as it might appear.

How often do we hear that someone has” lost their battle” against a serious illness. This type of terminology is glibly used by media, pundits and experts but does it help the person suffering and does it help people recover or prolong their lives? In fact although these battling terms may be helpful for charities to raise money interestingly Macmillan Cancer Support has consciously held back from this sort of terminology. According to researcher Elena Semino professor of linguistics and verbal art at Lancaster University it is best left to the individual to choose their own metaphors to help them with their illness. It was also found that when battle terminology is applied patients may begin to feel a sense of responsibility if their condition deteriorates.

When we are ill what are we looking for? Health.

Whether one is suffering from an emotional or physical illness are we not looking for good health? And the first four letters of health are HEAL. By healing we are truly mobilising the resources of body and mind in a way that makes so much more sense. If we are in a “struggle” to lose weight implicitly we are in a struggle with ourselves. If we are “fighting” a life threatening disease then we could find ourselves fighting our own body! Will we really be able to muster the energy to “battle” with depression when one’s internal resources seem to be so low?

Anyone who has studied and qualified as a hypnotherapist, counsellor or psychotherapist will have been trained in the use of language and the importance of the words chosen and how how best to use them. Hypnosis uses it’s own particular language patterns and these patterns are designed to bypass the conscious mind and communicate with the unconscious mind. Without this we would have to rely on conscious communication to make a change and as we have all experienced at some time or other the conscious mind knows what we “should” be doing but does not always have the tools to make the required changes. Smokers may know that they want to quit but telling oneself is one thing and doing it is another just as telling ourselves to eat healthy food does not always make it happen.

We are using words constantly when communicating with others and when talking internally to ourselves. But are we really aware of what the message might be that is often hidden behind our thoughts and internal conversation and the effect it is creating? I see healing as the focus to bring together the natural resources of mind and body for real and meaningful change. However using such terms as fight, beat, and struggle could just be setting up an internal conflict that will block the results we are looking for.

For more information on how Hypnotherapy, EFT and NLP could help you please call or email and I will be happy to help.

Worry, Anxiety and Stress – the facts and figures

Can you stop yourself worrying?

As Mark Twain said in his famous quote “I have known a great many troubles in my life but most of them have never happened”

Many of us spend a lot of our lives worrying about things that seem at the time very important. And yet however overwhelmed we feel by these worries we are “still here at the end of the day to tell the tale.” This is not to say that there are not things in life that we may describe as legitimate worries. But the interesting thing is that when we really have something important to worry about we are often suddenly able to galvanise ourselves into action and deal with the situation in a way that it is hard to imagine possible with minor issues.

So what are the figures when it comes to categorising the quality of worry in our lives? It makes interesting reading.

40% Never happens
30% Has already happened
22% Needless worries
8% Actually happens

Of the last 8% –
4% We have some control over
4% Beyond our control

Putting it into perspective such as this can be a valuable way to help rationalise our responses and manage or defuse them.

However if you think you still need some tools and techniques that will really help you get on with your life there are two tools that I have found to be among the best to help release the demon of constant stress, worry and anxiety about things.

Hypnotherapy and EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique)

Why do I think Hypnosis and EFT are so good at helping us make change? Because they speak to the unconscious mind, the part of us that does not have the reasoning powers of the conscious mind but the part that generates change from the creative part of the mind. Most smokers would know logically they should stop like most of us know how to lose a few pounds if we want to lose weight but the conscious mind deals in logic and the bridge to logic and making a change is much harder to cross than the creative bridge from our unconscious. We may consciously know every step we should take but taking those steps is another matter. Harnessing the power of our creative unconscious can really clear the way to making amazing changes in our lives.

If you would like to know more about the techniques I use and how my experience has given me the opportunity to develop strategies that are practical yet amazingly effective to help relieve that uncomfortable “background noise” that is worry just call or email and I will be very happy to chat with you.

Magic phrases to release anxiety in life

Try these 3 Magic Phrases” and let go of anxiety and worry

Do you find yourself worrying about things or feeling anxious without really knowing why? Do you sometimes experience the constant aggravation of uncontrolled thoughts buzzing around your head? I think we all experience this at times but it can get out of hand keeping us distracted during the day and awake at night. We may tell ourselves to stop thinking such thoughts or to try harder to think of something else but that rarely seems to make any difference. So no amount of stern talking to yourself seems to have any effect and in fact may even be making the situation worse! Why is it that these stock phrases and interventions appear to make no difference whatsoever? The reason is that they are all expressed in a way that the conscious mind understands but, as we know, the conscious mind has a lot to say about what we should or shouldn’t be doing but is often short on strategies to actually make the changes we want. Smokers know they want to stop, we might know we want to lose weight and yet we know that there is rarely any value in constant worry but our conscious mind does not always seem to have the tools to make the changes we would like. If it did, there would be no need for hypnotherapy or any therapy at all because we would just give ourselves the message to quit doing or thinking something and the problem would go away like magic!

So how and where can we communicate our needs when we really need to make a change? The answer is with our unconscious mind, our inner mind, the subconscious. Whatever term you use this is a part of you that does not work in logic, formulas or mathematical equations. This part of the mind works with pictures, colours, intuition and is connected to our feelings and instincts and knows how to make changes beyond our conscious awareness. In fact we do not really think consciously because thoughts just seem to appear from our unconscious. Below are my “3 Magic Questions” and they are all aimed at communicating with your creative mind. Because the big obstacle is getting them past the conscious mind they are designed to do that by being formed in a language pattern that the conscious mind does not understand. At first if you read them they may not make a lot of sense but actually they make perfect sense to the creative mind so while the conscious mind is busying itself trying to work out what on earth this could mean the subconscious understands it perfectly! Ask yourself this question, when did you last MAKE yourself feel different about something? All you have to do now is say the phrase to yourself. Just let your unconscious mind work that one out for you. No need to question whether anything has changed or did it work? Your unconscious creative mind knows how to do this and questions put this way are just what it needs to help make a change. This is why hypnotists often use phrases in a way that you would not normally use them in everyday speech. This communication bypasses the conscious mind allowing the information to go straight to the unconscious. Have fun with them and see what happens! My 3 Magic Questions “If my inner mind knows how I would like to feel, how would it do this for me?” “If my inner mind knows how I would like to feel, how would I know that something had changed?” “If my inner mind makes that change now how do I feel?” If you experience chronic and constant worry and anxiety that is really getting in the way of your life then it is a good idea to get professional help starting with your GP. As a Hypnotherapist, NLP and EFT practitioner I am regularly working with clients with anxiety issues with excellent success so if you would like to know more just call 07970218451 or email and I will be very happy to help.