Hypnosis – Rescuing you from emotional hijacking

Human beings in common with all mammals share the same five defensive states, evolved over time to help us respond to danger and keep us alive. But what are these five defensive states? And how can they feel like such stressful burdens to us today?

You’re probably familiar with the first two—Fight and Flight—but there are three more that you may not be aware of, even though you may have experienced them:

  1. Fight: Becoming aggressive in the face of a perceived threat (perception is all!)
  2. Flight: The urge to flee a stressful—or seemingly stressful—situation
  3. Freeze: A reaction that doesn’t feel like a reaction at all; not being able to think or move
  4. Submit: Appeasing others when faced with a threatening situation
  5. Attach: Forming unhealthy bonds after perceived situations of stress

Typically, people react in a conditioned way and so one of the above states can become their predominant response.

When our brains react to real threats and perceived threats—they can override our regulated state. And being in hijacked emotional states like these can lead to much unhappiness, frustration, confusion, and exhaustion. Not to mention the effects it can have on our relationships.

With effective hypnotherapy, you can uncover and learn how to rise above the hold each state can have on you, to see things more clearly and to break free of unhelpful and unnecessary conditioned responses such as high anxiety.

If you are interested in finding out more about how hypnotherapy can help rescue you from emotional hijacking, just give me a call 0n 7976 701223  or request a call back.


Few people will be unaware that a significant and seemingly ever growing number of people are experiencing very debilitating levels of anxiety daily. Many people were suffering with anxiety long before the pandemic struck of course but events since March 2021 have seen that number rise dramatically. these days I estimate that 80% of my clients are suffering from anxiety and its impact in some way – chronic worrying, general anxiety disorder, panic attacks, insomnia, depression, alcohol and other substance abuse.

As a hypnotherapist I can help people overcome anxiety but of course there are ways that people can help themselves  without therapy such as meditating/mindfulness practice, regular physical exercise, connecting with friends and loved ones, being outdoors in nature, only reading and watching things that make you “belly laugh” or feel uplifted in some way.  Here are a few more simple and practical ways that can help reduce anxiety – some may appear strange or  “off the wall” but give theses a go – you never know unless you try and these techniques are often surprisingly effective.

Chewing Gum or Gently biting the tip of your tongue

If you are salivating, it reduces anxiety!  If you do not want to use chewing gum – then simply put the tip of your tongue between your teeth and gently bite it…. you will find your mouth naturally salivates as a result.

Daily Laughing in the Mirror Exercise

Stand in front of a mirror and watch yourself as you laugh out loud for 2 minutes….do this every morning!  Resist any urge to look away or stop …if it feels “daft” that’s good as it can help you to see the funny side and besides, the brain cannot tell the difference between false laughter and real laughter, you get the benefit anyway!  Remember that life is never as serious as your mind can make it out to be.


Using four fingers, firmly tap the point at the centre of the top of your head 50 times – do this 3 times a day and it helps to prevent anxiety (and to feel better generally)

Name the feeling

Name it either out loud (if appropriate), internally, or by writing it down. This has been shown to lessen anxiety even in people who thought there was no way it would!

I recommend you write down in a notebook, in some detail, the way you are feeling when you become anxious. You can use as many extreme, even exaggerated, fear words as possible with the assurance that this can help dilute the actual anxiety.

We human beings have an innate need to express ourselves. Putting experience into words can dilute its impact, as we have to use the left prefrontal lobe of the brain to verbalize in this way. Since anxiety is essentially an emotion expressed through the right hemisphere of the brain, this activation of the left hemisphere can reduce the experience of anxiety.

Grade Your Anxiety and then “Breathe you way down”

Grade the anxiety on a scale from 0 to 10, with 0 being no anxiety at all  and 10 being the most terror you could possibly experience…..then decide what number you would be happy with in this situation and ‘breathe your way down’ to that level using 7/11….bring to mind a picture of you as you would be when you at your target number….(see how you look, feel and act, facial  expressions, energy state , etc – imagine yourself changing before your eyes)   

Discharge it with exercise

Taking regular aerobic exercise is of course a great way to help minimize stress and anxiety.  But you could also make yourself do short intense bursts of exercise when feeling strong anxiety or before a stressful event if it’s practical to do so.  For example, run on the spot as fast as you can for 2 minutes….go for a brisk walk for 12 minutes…do as many press ups or star jumps or squats or sit ups you can in 2 or 3 minutes

Daily Gratitude

In the evening of the day and /or first thing in the morning remind yourself of what you can be grateful for in your life…. but this is not a checklist list making ‘analytical exercise’ but an experiential one, so you need to let yourself feel the gratitude you have or could have.

You can also each evening bring to mind 3 things that were great about the day e.g. what went well, what surprised you delightfully, pleasant moments and again when you think about these ask yourself “and how does that make me feel?” and appreciate the positives no matter how great or small.

Anger Management – Lessons from the Stoics

Perhaps it is just me, but I sense there is a lot of anger in the air these days. Just in the past 2 days I have met people angry at the government not making wearing of face masks compulsory in shops and on public transport, people angry at being pinged and having to self isolate, people angry at the threat of not being able to go to a nightclub unless double jabbed,  people angry about the way they have been treated at work and more besides.

It reminded me of the futility of anger and the damage it causes, so I thought I would share this useful article from The Daily Stoic…… Anger Management: 8 Strategies Backed By Two Thousand Years of Practice

Well worth a read and contains lots of practical advice, so bear with the  USA centric references, the Daily Stoic originates in the USA after all and anger is a universal trait.


I have moved to the Fiveways Therapy Centre Sheffield

I have moved and now provide in person treatment at the Fiveways Therapy Centre which is located at 2 Kenwood Road, Sheffield S7 1NP

Fiveways is based in the leafy area of Sharrow Head at the roundabout junction of 5 roads including Sharrow Vale Road and Psalter Lane and Kenwood Road. Located just 3 minutes drive away from where I used to work (the Stillpoint Practice), it is easily accessible by car with plenty of free on road parking nearby.

For enquiries and appointments call/text  07976 701223 or email gerry@envisionhypnotherapy.co.uk



I just wanted to reassure clients past, present and future that I will still be there for them during Lockdown 3 – both for therapy online and in person at the Stillpoint Practice Sheffield. If you would like some advice or wish to discuss how I may be able to help you or a loved one, just give me a call me on 07976 701223.  Calls are free, strictly confidential and without obligation.

Back in business – Stillpoint Reopens on 6 July 2020

Well, it felt at times that it would never happen!  So I am delighted to tell you that from 6 July I am once again able to see people in person at the Stillpoint Practice.  I have provided online therapy successfully throughout lockdown, and I will continue to offer this service,  but I do miss seeing people in person.  It will be good to be face to face again..

And as you know, the virus has not gone away and will not be disappear anytime soon, so Stillpoint is adopting best practice  to keep all Stillpoint clients and staff safe  – see the 2 info-graphics below.

Please note that physical distancing is now at least 1 metre not 2 however if one of my clients prefers to remain 2 metres apart in the treatment room, that is not a problem.

Mindfulness – some thoughts and 12 simple exercises

If you are new to mindfulness practice and are wondering what it is exactly, why bother , when and how to do it, I hope this helps you to make a start. If you have been practicing mindfulness for some time, I hope you find something new to add to your ability to be present.

Click here to download the document containing 12 simple yet wonderful mindfulness exercises I heartily recommend.

What is Mindfulness?  Does it mean I have to meditate?

There is a lot of myths and misconceptions about this thing called “mindfulness” including thinking that to enjoy the benefits of mindfulness you must meditate.  This is not so. While meditation is great, it does not work for everyone. There are many other ways to start practicing everyday mindfulness and you will find several of these on when the pages that follow.

So what is the difference between mindfulness and meditation. Though these two words seem interchangeable, they are not the same.

Mindfulness is a mindset; meditation is a way of  training to achieve it.

Mindfulness is the quality of simply being present — the experience of being open and aware in the moment, without judgment or criticism, focusing your mind on the present rather than wandering. When you are distracted, unaware of what you are doing, the end product suffers. Mindfulness is not just a state of mind — a lack of focus affects the quality of your work or whatever you are doing in that moment. How you do something matters more than what you do – for example, just think back to the last time you did something in a rush or in an angry mood and you get the picture!

But in addition to improving focus, for many the main benefit of being mindful is that it reduces stress and anxiety.  Most anxiety is caused when your mind is in the past or the future. If you are imagining a horrible future, things going wrong, running scary ‘what if’ thoughts, doom and gloom mind projections which grow ever more real as you run them over and over in your minds, you experience that fearful state.

When you ruminate on past failings, past wrongs and times we struggled, when you relive painful events, you relive the painful feelings also. Just like that imagined painful future the past too can be distorted and amplified – where the mind goes the body follows. And as you no doubt know, anxiety and stress significantly impacts our physical health including weakening the immune system, increasing the risk of major health conditions and reducing longevity.

If greater physical well-being and calmness isn’t enough motivation for you, scientific research shows that mindfulness techniques improve self-control, objectivity, tolerance, enhanced flexibility, concentration, and empathy — you gain mental clarity.

Practicing Mindfulness Exercises – a dozen ways you for you…Click this link  for the exercises which start on page 2!

Some Top Tips For Working From Home (WFH)

I have been working from home for over 20 years so based on my own humble experience and colleagues who also have worked from home for years, here are some top tips for those who are new to it:

Create a regular routine and activity schedule –  not just for work but also for rest and play. Remember work can expand to fill the time available so set deadlines, be disciplined. Take into account the times of day when you work best and make sure to schedule in breaks that you keep to.

Discuss your plans and schedule with those you share your home with – for example, let them know when you will be on video conference calls or doing other work which requires you to be free of interruption and background noise; share the household, daily life chores that need doing!

Create a dedicated workspace – pick a place where you can be comfortable and focused; minimize clutter and be organised; have what you use most immediately to hand; make it a place where you want to be.

Get outside several times a day – get fresh air and sunlight, stretch your legs, practice mindfulness for a few minutes, make calls while walking (and of course remain socially distanced if you are out and about)

Get dressed, just like you’re going into work – or at least be presentable should you get an unexpected video call occur!

Practice mindfulness – take 10-15 minutes each day to meditate (and/or pray if  you are religious)- it helps clear the mind and put things into perspective.

Virtual meetings are becoming the new reality so make sure you become skilled at it – both in running and taking part in virtual meetings. Become adept at the video conferencing platform(s) you may use such as Zoom, Go To Meeting, Skype, Google Hangouts or whatever. There is lots of good free tutorials available on You Tube.  When taking part in any meeting, be there fully – it is not an opportunity to multitask! Consider investing in a good mic and noise cancelling earphones.

Stay connected – Embrace the power of virtual and make working from home work for you…make time to connect socially; call people you have not heard from in a while and see how they are doing.

How My Online Hypnotherapy And Life Coaching Service Works

I have provided services to clients online since 2017, including virtual coaching for individuals, facilitation of global project teams and online hypnotherapy treatments.

Online therapy has been an increasingly popular choice for individuals for some years now, and while online therapy does not work for every client, it works well for most people. Please note that during the Covid-19 lockdown it is the only option available.

So who is online therapy for and not for ?

The following factors can help you to decide if online therapy is right for you.

  •  Online hypnotherapy as been shown to be as effective as face-to-face for many clients, including people suffering from anxiety and depression who may find it difficult to open up in person.
  • You need to have a good broadband connection that can handle video calls + suitable equipment – mainly just a pc/tablet/smartphone with a camera and good audio (earphones or headphones are useful though not essential).
  • You need to have a quiet, calm, private area where you can be comfortable and relax undisturbed for the duration of the session.
  • I am skilled and experienced in delivering therapy online, which includes having an effective contingency plan in place should internet connection be lost during the session.I also provide practical advice to help you prepare well and get most from each online session.
  • Confidentiality, security and privacy is assured.
  • It is more affordable that face-to-face therapy. Online therapists like me may work from home and so avoid paying treatment room hire fees and also save on travel time/costs – and thus can reflect those savings by reducing fees.
  • You save on travel time/costs by having treatment from the comfort of your own home.
  • Honesty is very important in therapy. Whether face to face or online, I cannot help if you hide or omit important details. You need to help me to help you.

For me, whether I see a client face to face or online, what matters is to build rapport, get to the heart of the matter and deliver treatment that enables the client to change  for the better – and to do that as quickly as possible.

If you would like to know more about my online service, feel free to give me a call on 07976 701223.

Duchess of Cambridge Uses Hypno-birthing

Great to see the Duchess of Cambridge revealing that she used hypno-birthing to help her during pregnancy. Such publicity should help many more women to embrace the power of hypnosis and discover its many benefits during pregnancy, in labour and beyond.  Both my kids were born using hypnosis.  I was at my amazing wife’s side throughout both births, so I have witnessed first hand just how much it can help control pain and more. Nice to think that many more women will also have a even more wonderful, much easier experience of giving birth when they follow the Duchess’s lead and use hypno-birthing. Click here to read the BBC article.